The following was written in support of Church Alive, a focus of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, that explores the meaning and possibilities of awakening to the spiritual basis and impact of Church.

The Church Manual—our shepherd

My husband, Rich, navigated the Range Rover through several hundred sheep on their way from a refreshing drink at a lake to munchier environs in the nearby hills. Rich, with enough farm experience in his childhood not to be intimidated by masses of animals, matched his speed to the sheep, plotting a slow and careful course through their horizontal migration. The shepherd, a weathered gentleman cowboy in a bright turquoise shirt and white summer hat, stood relaxed, but alert, on the other side of the herd about a quarter of a mile up the road.

As we inched closer to the shepherd, he stepped forward into the herd, looking straight at us with a bright Sunday smile. As the shepherd took his first steps forward, three older sheep walking together became suddenly alert and looked to see what their shepherd was doing. Then, as those three looked to the rest of the flock—most of them younger sheep—they stopped, and the herd parted like the Red Sea, giving us a clear path out.

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