Tag Archives: religion

Christian Scientists gather in Boston at denomination’s annual meeting; ponder the relevance of church

By:  Richard Evans, Manager, Christian Science Committees on Publication

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?

CS church edifice with attribution

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.

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Women’s History Month: One woman often overlooked

Women's History Month (©Glowimages/Stock photo)
Women’s History Month (©Glowimages/Stock photo)

She “was no ordinary woman. Behind her Victorian-era velvet and lace dress was a 21st century power suit.”

March is Women’s History Month. And so, appropriately, Ingrid Peschke, a regular health blogger on the Huffington Post, “highlights an often overlooked 19th century woman for her significant contributions to religion and health.” Peschke continues, “Her strength of character, courage and commitment are evident in the body of work she accomplished.”

  • What is this woman’s name and what is her remarkable story?
  • How did she test her conclusions?
  • Why did a doctor ask her to write a book about her findings in achieving health?

A great read from start to finish. Find the answers here: Women’s History Month…

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Is church relevant today?

Courtesy of nimdok

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that in the U.S. 88% believe in God, 82% believe religion is important in one’s life, and 75% pray at least once a week, but only 39% attend a religious service at least once a week.

I’ve been asking myself, “is church relevant to me?” The answer is yes. So this leads to the more important question, “how is church relevant to me?”

Continue reading Is church relevant today?

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Still have room to grow

“It is the information at the core of religion where Believers and Non-Believers still have room to grow.” This was the conclusion drawn by Byron Pitts in his report on The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 covering the survey on religious knowledge in the U.S. conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.  With today’s news cycles, that seems like long ago, but Byron’s conclusion caught my attention.

As a Christian Scientist I am a Christian and I strive to follow Jesus’ teaching to love one another.  So, a question I have to ask myself is, “do I love enough to gain a basic understanding of the core beliefs that are important to my neighbors?”  While we will all likely have areas where we need to agree to disagree, it seems to me that we would all be better off if we had a better understanding of one another’s core beliefs.  I took the test that was given as part of this survey, and while I did quite well, I did not get 100% correct.  So I must admit that I still have room to grow.

Continue reading Still have room to grow

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