Good report, Rob.
All it takes is one smooth stone.
At the crossroads of two great ancient empires, a shepherd named David is trained in combat and takes on a terrifying giant. David and Goliath is a fresh take on the classic tale of good versus evil – of the little guy taking on an impossible challenge.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Last Updated on June 6, 2017 at 6:50 am
There couldn’t have been a better opening line at the Annual Meeting of The Mother Church 2017.
But I didn’t FEEL it.
However, I liked the words of the hymns which were posted on the screen for everybody to sing along with, just as I did.
Mrs. Eddy was mentioned upfront as our Leader where her writings were referenced by “giving crumbs of comfort to feed the hungry”.
The following citation was also effective:
Thou must be true thyself,
If thou the truth wouldst teach;
Thy soul must overflow, if thou
Another’s soul wouldst reach;
It needs the overflow of heart,
To give the lips full speech.
Richard Evans moved me to the core in his analogy of Mary Magdalene showing her humility by washing the feet of Christ. She found a new life and was forgiven from what society thought she was. Thank God she didn’t leave because others felt she wasn’t living up to all that Truth which Suzanne Riedel (Clerk of The Mother Church) cites later on in the meeting.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote about a woman in Luke’s Gospel who, uninvited, invaded a dinner party against all accepted custom. Her intent was to bathe and anoint Jesus’ feet. She bathed them with her tears; she dried them with her hair. Eddy wrote,
“This is what is meant by seeking Truth, Christ, not ‘for the loaves and fishes,’ nor, like the Pharisee, with the arrogance of rank and display of scholarship, but like Mary Magdalene, from the summit of devout consecration, with the oil of gladness and the perfume of gratitude, with tears of repentance and with those hairs all numbered by the Father”
(Science and Health, p. 367).
Magdalene was the only one of the disciples who went to see that Jesus had risen. She was given the gift in the tomb to witness that Jesus was resurrected.
Evans further cited the work in prisons where the goodness of the inmate was seen for the first time by the visiting student of CS and it made all the difference.
James Scott caught my attention with his passion for photography and his struggle over the years of hardship by not giving up but by listening to God as he eventually found his way by doing goodness in what he loved. This is my greatest heart’s desire.
Never, Never give up!
However, I had serious concerns with Suzanne’s Riedel’s shift in comments compared to last year’s comments on why church members were leaving and going to other denominations at alarming rates. She backpedaled and contradicted herself this year.
TMC is not a country club, evidenced in its complacency.
At the 2016 Annual Meeting Suzanne Riedel stated the following as reasons as to why the church members were leaving and going to other denominations. She stated:
People are looking for a 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
I felt these answers were spot on!
But this year Riedel backpedaled by saying people are leaving because they can’t live up to all that Truth. And it was said with such easy arrogance.
To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much.
Christian Science should meet you where you are as it will never leave you where it found you.
I love it and have a desire to heal and be a healer. My students in Oaxaca, Mexico witnessed this as I taught them “hope” and to never give up. Some shared this message of hope and stated it helped their families.
And to those of you who are trying to leave out Mrs. Eddy but keep Science and Health and her writings you are all wrong. You cannot separate the discover from the discovery.
The Christian Science Monitor found that the further they got away from Christian Science and Mrs. Eddy the further they lost readership.
Who did Jesus come to help and save? The ones struggling to live up to all that Truth. The ones who were humble enough to admit they were searching for healing sometimes with bleeding footsteps. I believe this is why my local branch church in Chicago originally built for 1200 and remodeled to hold 800 in the 1960’s is now down to 8 on a Wednesday night. Perhaps they were made to feel they couldn’t live up to all that Truth.
Perhaps you could give some of the people who left an opportunity to address your comments, Riedel. Rather than make a blanket statement that they just couldn’t live up to all that Truth. You need to uncover the real error to heal it.
What would Jesus and Mrs. Eddy say to your comments? After all didn’t they go after the lost sheep as opposed to the 99% self-righteous?
Everybody roots for the underdog.
But I would like to ask you, the entire congregation and the ones on stage at the annual meeting, who among you all is without sin?
Jesus wrote in the sand the secret sins of those who were going to stone the adulterous woman.
There are probably few readers of the Bible who have not paused, on reading the incident of Jesus and the sinful woman, to wonder as to what he wrote on the ground in reply to her accusers. A selected article that appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel of May 17, 1900, states that Professor Gregory of Leipzig has discovered in an old manuscript a different reading of this passage, in which the ninth verse is thus rendered: And they when they read it went out one by one, etc. As the professor interprets it. Jesus wrote on the sand the secret sins of those who would have had their fellow-sinner stoned in support of their own self-righteousness. Their assumption of innocence in bringing a less fortunate culprit to punishment could not hide from piercing purity of Jesus’ consciousness the sinfulness they had hidden from the world; and he turned upon them the sentence of their own moral distance from purity and goodness.
From the September 22, 1906 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Also, Why wasn’t there any diversity on that stage?
Yes, there was one clip besides the prisoners who were African-American and it stole the show.
The part that “stole the show” was the medical nurse who spoke from the heart and not the letter. I could have listened to more of what she had to say. It was moving and from the heart.
I also liked the video clips of the branch churches helping the community with out-reach programs and going into the prisons. The impact was the successful transformation of the inmates lives. They were told they were God’s perfect child. Some of who were never told that before. And it made all the difference.
Perhaps other branch churches could learn from this as one member stated at 2014 Midwest Church Alive: “Our church closed because we focused on us and not the community.”
Further, the lectures today are no longer appropriate or effective for the need of the movement. This was foreshadowed by Alan Young years ago by what he witnessed and wrote about in his book and forewarned by Mrs. Eddy. There are those lecturing who are speaking beyond their ability and demonstration. But not all of them. I heard rave reviews for one lecturer during the recent Australian tour. Great job.
Do all who at present claim to be teaching CS, teach it correctly?
By No Means: … the letter is gained sooner than the Spirit of Christian Science: time is required thoroughly to qualify students for the great ordeal of this century.”
Mary Baker Eddy
Miscellaneous writings (Q & A, page 43)
It is the Truth to this age and must be respected as such. We cannot arbitrarily demand this recognition, but we must prepare for it and make sure that our agents are truly representative and prepared, both metaphysically and experientially. We are operating in a human world completely inured to the ingenuous; it demands expertise.
The late Alan Young
“Mr. Young Goes to Boston”, p. 44-46
Jesus demonstrated the allness of God wherever there was a need—in homes, the marketplace, the places of worship. He went out and preached, was visible, met people at their own level of understanding, and sent his disciples forth to minister to the needs of humanity. Mrs. Eddy’s vision for her Church was as Jesus exemplified.
The use of the Bible story of David and Goliath was spot on in its presentation and effectiveness of what we are up against to the human sense of materialism. Great Bible story to include in the annual meeting.
But it seemed like some of the speakers were just reading words while others were speaking from the heart. Those are the ones that moved me.
I liked the closing line with Mrs. Eddy’s quote by helping the whole human family.
Perhaps we could practice what we preach. If we don’t then they are just words and we become the pampered hypocrite. How we use this information is entirely up to us if we are recepitive and all inclusive .
The spirit of this blog and the follow up is honest, good and even direct at times. It is expressing honest thought which if listened to constructively could elevate the movement.
I remember reading somewhere on JSH Online the following excerpt and saved it in my notebook.
There is definitely a crying need for all of us to get to know and truly value All our brothers and sisters —both spiritually and humanly—and to heal the wounds of injustice… the time has come to elevate the human race above the ignorance, injustice, fear, and hatred perpetuated by the long-held belief that we are inherently divided.
Shouldn’t our church be led by the unconditional love of God as we are all more alike than not by being the image and likeness of God?
You would think. Right?
I would liked to have heard more on these issues which would have left us feeling more united and energized.
With one accord, my brethren, render Fruitful service unto God.
Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind,
Rob Scott, CS
Boothbay Harbor, Maine