C.S. access in Community
Considering the topic Christian Science access to our community I keep focusing on the word “community”. The word “community” comes from the Latin suffix “-ity” which means “the state of”; the prefix “com-“ which means “together” and the root “munio” which means “fortify, strengthen, protect, defend, guard, secure, shelter, and support”. I don’t think of community as an actual place or location but rather individuals who live in a common area who interact with many common social, economic and political interests. Religious fellowship is a part of the concept of community. Christian Science is a part of this fellowship, but it is unique in that it differs from all other religions in holding the truth that God is All-in- all, therefore there can be no power equal or opposed to Him. As part of the community the presence of our church and Reading Room certainly does support and strengthens the fellowship of all who live with and around us. By working and supporting together we know we will be governed by right decision, and we will find our rightful place as governed by God.
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it” Revelations 3:8 Our reading room, our church, our sentinel, journal, monitor our music our love our forgiveness our patience our unselfishness all are an open door. Nobody, no thing can change to stop or interrupt that possibility of spiritual growth. we are not waiting for death to reach heaven, we reach heaven through Life Again we have an open door and we can reach out by letting our light shine to show others they too have an open door.
Everyone’s access to Science is established and guaranteed in God’s decree in Jeremiah 31:33, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts,” which is affirmed in Science and Health, page XI, that ScienEfic healing is “…the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’—a divine influence ever present in human consciousness….”
The fact that everyone is already fully conscious of Truth, by reflecEon, gives a firm basis for demonstraEng the fact in the community.
Isaiah shows this at work in human experience, “…as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (55:10,11)
What can oppose this? “The powers of this world will fight, and will command their senEnels not to let truth pass the guard unEl it subscribes to their systems; but Science, heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on.” (S&H 225:8-11)
The law of infinite Truth in the inward parts precludes any seeming opposiEon.
The word translated “comforter” is also “encourager,” so that ever-present influence in human consciousness is conEnuously providing the scienEfic courage that heeds not the pointed bayonet.
Specifically those senEnels of this world might appear as apathy, resistance to change, dullness, habit, fear, misinformaEon or disinformaEon, laziness, etc. that mostly don’t seem threatening. IncenEve to seek Science, though, is inherent in the divine influence of Life, Truth, and Love that is ever present and all presence, described in S&H as, “…the unsaEsfied human craving for something be]er, higher, holier, than is afforded by a material belief in a physical God and man.” (258:4-6)
The Reading Room situation is definitely a good opportunity for focused prayer. And perhaps we could expand into a topic of outreach and service to the community. Over the last year, our church has, of necessity, learned new tools for communicating and holding services as well as business meetings and social gatherings. What opportunities are there for using such tools in service of a “well- located” Reading Room?
We have a Facebook page for the Reading Room to which I (and, occasionally, Rachel) have been posting JSH articles, info about church services, and other relevant info. Even with a fairly low level of attention, the page is followed by 485 people. What if the on-duty librarian could engage with online visitors via Facebook to expand the RR’s outreach? Perhaps posting articles, thoughts, a topic for prayer and responding to comments or questions. Or this could be done from a member’s home, possibly expanding the RR hours.
There’s also opportunity for praying about how we can continue and expand the church’s outreach and connection. How can we give more people an opportunity to learn about this Science, to attend services, and to engage in fellowship? Should we have online study groups (as we were doing in person for several years)? What other steps could help expand and diversify our congregation?
Over the past year, I have frequently thought of this verse:
New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient creeds uncouth;
They must upward still and onward
Who would keep abreast of Truth, …
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 258:2 (to 2nd ,))
Our topic fits in so beautifully with our coming Lecture in May that I couldn’t resist commenting on it!
Our focus on “Community Access to Christian Science” certainly must include the fulfillment of God’s purpose for our lecture.
Mrs. Eddy says, “The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappearing and its aggressive features are coming to the front….every hour weaving
webs more complicated and subtle.” However, nothing can derail, or distract from the message of Christian Science by any means, subtle or aggressive, which the Father is providing to our community!.
Community Access to Christian Science:
Yes, we do want our community to have access to Christian Science. Our Church and Reading Room facilitate such access. Right now we are working on relocating the Reading Room and with the guidance of divine Mind we will surely find a right “place”; one that meets everyone’s needs.
Further though, as i prayed about the topic of access to Christian Science a question occurred to me: “What makes a community want to access Christian Science” The answer to that question seems to be based on what Christian Science has to offer mankind.
What have others said Christian Science or the Christ Truth has to offer:
Jesus taught the Christ truth is “a pearl of great price”; “a treasure hid in field’; “a net cast into the sea that gathered of every kind”; ‘a field white already to harvest”; “living water…spring up into eternal life” (Matt,Luke,John)
A church ” built on the Rock, Christ; even the understanding and demonstration of divine Truth, Life and Love, healing and saving the world from sin and death; thus to reflect in some degree the Church Universal and Triumphant.” ( Mother Church Manual)
Our Church, our Sunday School, our Reading Room are gifts to the community providing welcome access to Christian Science; they are a blessing to the “poor in spirit’ and to all those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” And so are each of us, as individual Scientists, providing welcome access when we share a “cup of cold water in Christ’s name” (the blessings of Science) with our neighbor.