We can bring light to the darkest places.
Find the flame that touches the community by setting the heart on fire.
Is my branch church welcoming the Prodigal Home?
Peter Daniel stated that the minister from his Congregational church stated the Christian Scientists have the answers to all of his questions. He was told to take Science and Health and read the first chapter on prayer because it is the best thing written on the subject. He also found a branch church that was supportive of his own journey including while he was working through alcohol and drug issues. Daniel thought of “the woman who reached out and touched the hem of the robe of the Christ”.
Opportunity: People are looking for community that will support them in their journey.
Some people are leaving and going to other denominations because they not finding support when facing a personal challenge. – Suzanne Riedel
Opportunity: Perhaps Mrs. Eddy could have been mentioned by name more often in the meeting. – Rob Scott
I’m currently attending the 2016 Annual Meeting of Christian Scientists, at The Mother Church in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Here are some thoughts in relation to this event by Richard Evans, Manager, Christian Science Committees on Publication.
Christian Scientists gather in Boston at denomination’s annual meeting; ponder the relevance of church.
Boston, MA — When Christian Scientists convened in Boston, Massachusetts, Monday, June 6, for the annual meeting of their denomination, they faced a question that many mainline Christian churches also confront: can church be relevant today?
Their perspective on this question—as on just about everything else—runs counter to the popular narrative. “There’s a universal hunger for the heartfelt experience of God’s saving power,” said Margaret Rogers, chairwoman of the five-member lay board of directors of the Church of Christ, Scientist, which has its worldwide headquarters in Boston. “The demand,” she said, is for a church “that is vibrant with unselfed love and actively engaged in authentic Christian healing for humanity.”
For most Christian Scientists, this doesn’t seem to mean better outreach or new ministries and programs. It means drilling down on the thing they feel they bring to the world: spiritual healing, based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, that is expected to be both humane in spirit and effective in results. “We pray,” explained another director, Allison W. Phinney, “because prayer aligns us with how things really work. It lets us see and feel more of the immense good and the divine Love that’s actually here for us and for humanity.”
Founded 137 years ago by religious leader Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science Church is a Christian denomination based on the Bible. While relatively small in numbers, the denomination has branch churches in more than 60 countries and has had an outsized impact on Christian thought by its insistence that God’s goodness brings not only salvation from sin, but healing of illness and suffering.
The group’s diversity is seen among some of the new officers announced at the meeting. The new church president is Annu Matthai of Bangalore, India. The new First Reader—who conducts Sunday worship and Wednesday testimony meetings at The Mother Church in Boston—is Louis E. Benjamin of Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The new Second Reader is Diane Uttley Marrapodi of Forest Hill, Maryland, USA. Many church members travelled to Boston for Monday’s proceedings, while more followed the meetings live online.
The theme of this year’s meeting—“Church: ‘healing and saving the world’”—comes from Mary Baker Eddy’s view that Christ Jesus’ original Christianity has deep relevance for the world and its future, and that church must be a practical force for good in daily lives, bringing hope and spiritual progress for humanity. One small symbol of this is the planned renewal of the Christian Science plaza in Boston’s Back Bay. The outdoor spaces surrounding The Mother Church will be updated to better benefit the community as an environmentally sustainable oasis in the midst of the city. A longer-term commitment of the denomination has been publication of The Christian Science Monitor, an international news outlet providing daily and weekly news, online and in print—news that is intended to bring light, rather than heat, to the important issues of the day.
Members at the meeting reported on activities in their regions, as well as provided examples of healing from around the world. Christian Scientists from around the world, including many from the United Kingdom, attended this year’s meeting.
UK AND IRELAND CONTACT: Tony Lobl, Christian Science Committee on Publication for London, England, and District Manager for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. For further information, get in touch with me via the contact tab on the link below: