Noticing a declining membership in many branch churches of the international church organization I am a member of, I have worried about the future of my church. “What can I do to turn it around and ensure the church thrives well into the future?” I wondered.
After years of feeling a personal weight of responsibility for doing something to help “save the church,” I realized one day that I was harboring a false sense of responsibility about its future. The thought came, “The church is not your church. It’s Mary Baker Eddy’s church. It’s her job to save it, not yours.”
Whew! What a relief. A giant weight lifted out of my thought that I didn’t realize existed. It’s not that I didn’t feel any responsibility for participating in the healthy and progressive activity of the church, for I did, and still do. However, it did release me from complete worry about its future.
Mrs. Eddy founded her church on the Rock of Truth. The Rock of Truth isn’t going anywhere. It is Christ at work throughout all existence, leading, guiding, governing, and blessing mankind through the omnipotence and omnipresence of God.
Mrs. Eddy founded a church that will survive any attack of error, any doubts of the human mind, and any assaults of evil, just like Jesus triumphed over every attempt to stop him from fulfilling his mission.
The church is not a human organization held together by members, money, and popular interest. It’s a divine idea emanating from God that demonstrates the power and presence of God at work helping and healing mankind out of all suffering. God is unstoppable. God’s divinely inspired church is unstoppable. It will fulfill its mission.
Eddy wrote, “Built on the rock, our church will stand the storms of ages: though the material superstructure should crumble into dust, the fittest would survive, — the spiritual idea would live, a perpetual type of the divine Principle it reflects” (Misc. Writings, p. 140).
I pray to align my thought with the spiritual idea God created, and keep moving ahead with a church designed to survive and thrive.
55 thoughts on “The church will survive and thrive”
Wonderful Truths about Church, the structure of truth & Love –thank you!
Mrs. Eddy warned of too much emphases on the letter of Science vs the spirit. And she speaks of “..legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.” S&H 367: 8.
That divine Love is like a warm fire on a cold night. It will always comfort and draw people
Thank you so very much, Evan!!! This is a wonderful treatment! Thank you for a clear reminder to hold to, of what Church really is, and what WE can do to benefit our Church going forward!
Thank you Evan for this. As a long time student of Christian Science I too have wrestled with this imposition of declining church numbers. The lie of another God called materiality appears to be at the forefront of people’s thinking, However this is nothing new and was clambering for attention when Mary Baker Eddy was forming this movement. Look at how that worked out, it blossomed! C.S grew exponentially. In fact even back in Jesus time, was there ever such an appearance as the Roman empire, and other creeds and sects in society, with their values. And yet a whole new religion of Chritianity was born to the world. Devine Love IS unstoppable. We just need to lean upon Mrs Eddy’s interpretation of CHURCH:” The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from Devine Principle ” ( S & H 583:12).. We all are so blessed NOW!
I concur with you Rick. As a young Christian Scientist, the topic of materiality that you brought up has come to my thought to address. It definitely seems like the association with church or religion is waning with my generation. As this is linked to a declining membership, I was impelled to share some thoughts…
As I was reading the great ideas that Evan has worked with, I thought of the phrase that states that whoever aligns his/her thought with God is a majority. Therefore, as I earnestly keep my thought focused on God, Divine Love, I need not worry about the life experience of my peers. My job is to see every one as the reflection of that D. Love (including myself). When I do that, harmony is restored.
So grateful for this Evan. I think many of us have had similar concerns. As a member of a once thriving branch church which has now become a Society, albeit a small but enthusiastic group, I know I have. Your message today has been a big help and I shall share it with my fellow members. Thank you.
Thank you Evan and all commentators, quite inspiring.
The decline in church attendance, the thinning-down of…
Martine,Thank you. The article written in 1911, by a Scott annonymously in Edinburgh newspaper discribes an unbiased view of an impartial non-scientist, but surely that was only temporary.
Scottland was the home of the Baker’s from there came Mrs. Eddy’s kinfolk.
Staunch and hard to their cause they yeilded our leader, who in this USA, discovered and practiced Christian Science.
Our nationality is one with one another. Our country is Christendom.
I’d love to be in France someday, but probably not. Mrs. Lindsey Taylor will visit Paris soon with her lecture. One day in London, next tour in Arizona, USA, then in Paris? Many lecturers on line to see and hear. See below for a small discription, not at all worthy of this fine lecturer.
I don’t even know how I found the lecture to begin with, but I love the lecture by Lindsey Taylor CSB. It’s entitled STAY CLOSE TO GOD, SAFE IN LOVE. You can listen to it if you google her name /livestream. It’s one of my favorites.
Your blog with constant daily subject matter keeping us aligned and covering all specific necessary prayers, are always such a help and so appreciated especially for me.. Many many thanks Evan
Thanks, Evan, for raising this subject, which is dear to us all.
We are enjoying our church services over Zoom at this present time. And we have gathered several visitors to our services and meetings who do not usually attend in person, for one reason or another, which is such a blessing!
One visitor recently commented that our church community was thriving despite what was going on around us, which was so heartening to hear.
Yesterday I got glorious news! A new group of Christian Scientists have gathered in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
I found out about them by viewing a recent lecture by Lindsey Taylor, a Christian Science Lecturer. She was followed by an hour of entertainment by Andrew D. Brewis, He is a pianist who plays while singing Mrs. Eddy’s poems and hymns. Both dear Linda, are from the UK!
The new group has called themselves “Informal Group”. A note of confidence may be sent to them via messaging [email protected]
I was greatly encouraged. The cause has emerged to florish and there’s evidence all around if we look for it. People are hungary for this and see the confidence of our members. They will seek out this Truth and know it when they see it.
As Mrs. Taylor emphasised our “Daily Prayer” , “Thy kindgom come let the reign of Divine Truth, Life and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin. And may Thy word enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them.”
Each part of this all inclusive daily prayer reaches out to those ready and tired of fearsome beliefs. This past few months have revealed a growing need for spirituality for “all mankind”.
With Evan’s timely Sheperding, we come together once again to glorify God and worship Him in “Spirit and in Truth” Thank you once again this morning everyone.
Have a most wonderful week.
Hi David. Thanks for mentioning Lindsay Taylor. I have been to a few of her lectures and I think a recent one, plus many live ones can be found at spirituality4.me which is an online Reading Room over here in the UK. I think there is one coming up by Tom McElroy. Isn’t it wonderful how we can all share ideas here on SpiritView, especially during this past year!!
Thank you Evan for this prayer for church this morning. I found church to grow and blossom on it’s own as “the seed is within itself”, when the members are living the spirit of Christianity (not just the Science) with expression of unselfed love, no judgement, kindness and treating one another as they would want to be treated. Mrs. Eddy gave the full road map in the Church Manual, when that is followed with the spirit of love and humble gratitude for God’s goodness, your church will attract the one seeking answers. Be ready, it comes in droves, when thought is humble and grateful!
THank you Evan for this reminder of my first religious poem when at Liverpool Univerity
What makes this Church I wondered,
What makes it stand so strong?
Is it the mass of numbers?
Is it the strength of song?
Or is it the foundation
Of Truth and Love Divine,
An ever-present standard
And rest for yours and mine?
“Whatever rests upon and proceeds from Divine Principle”. That is also us. Where we are, Church is. It can never end.
Lovly poem Ken thank you for sharing.
Barely a week goes by that I have not worried about this issue as have so many of us. One thing I often ask is, —-are we clinging to an outdated version of church as being a physical structure? Many reverence “The Books” as if they are religious relics in the same way as things owned by “saints ” in some religions are worshipped. These days many readers read from an I Pad or digital copies, but some people are horrified at this. We have had to have Zoom Church meetings for almost a year in Australia, many people have been to services in far-flung places such as Bombay (Mumbai) or the Gold Coast just because we can! Isn’t CS about getting rid of material things? Replacing “OBJECTS of sense for the IDEAS of soul”? I sometimes think that maybe this is all part of the grand plan> It seems from letters and conversations that Mrs Eddy wished the Mother Church to eventually be phased out as she didn’t want it to become a second Vatican. No provision was made for the directors to continue to be elected unless approved by her and clearly she knew she wouldn’t always be around. Other things were not planned with any idea of succession. We all know how much time and work it is to continue to maintain a building and to find the right people to fill church duties…in many cases, the church “work” has become simply endless building and maintenance meetings and people who aren’t qualified to do certain jobs being thrown in at the deep end. I often think how lovely it would be to return to our small “house churches” ..like the first churches in the first century of the Christian era. How much simpler, more sincere and more informal and intimate the meetings would be..and therefore more spiritual without all the worries of filling rosters , making sure heaters and air conditioners are on, gardens watered and weeded, doors locked etc..an endless list..not to mention managing the finances. Modern life has SO many distractions and the church should be without ANY of these. Maybe this is the transformation our churches need in an era when everything has become bigger, louder, standardised, generalised, over-governed, and regulated. I know for a fact that there are many many thousands of dedicated practising Christian Scientists out there in the world who meet up in their own uncluttered informal ways but don’t go to church. Maybe I am completely wrong in what I say above but it is just what I have been thinking because there is no fault with the Science…so what is left? Truth cannot be wrong or stopped . Truth marches on and always stands no matter what ridiculous things go on in the world. “… Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” SO I guess we all keep doing the best we know how and leave the outcome to God. I often wonder how must Jesus ‘disciples have felt when he was crucified? FAR worse than we feel seeing our numbers dwindling! “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed”
I Corinthians 2:9
Thank you for your depth of feeling and thoughtful voicing our mutual concerns. I agree that Mrs. Eddy envisioned Christian Science not as housed in buildings, but emanating from our hearts as we heal everyone, all becoming the Scientists of Christianity.
yes, from families to neighbors to community…that’s how it began and how it will continue.
The Spirit spreading the Truth through prayer and goodness among us.
Diane W, you voiced much of what I have pondered for years. So much of “church work” is taking care of a building . . . As much as we might love our physical gathering place, we may be being led into a time of letting go of that, and having our focus shift more towards gathering with each other, and outreach to our communities, with that early Christian sense of house church. I think most of all we need to be WILLING to let go of “time honored systems,” if that is how Grace leads us.
Thank you so much, Diane, for your honest and sincere sharing. I totally agree. And thank you, Evan, for bringing up this most important topic.
I, too, have been troubled for decades over the decline of the numbers of churches and members. However, some years back, after being involved in interfaith work, have realized how so many of Mary’s ideas have struck a chord in many denominations and faiths who have either incorporated or shared the same truths. Many of our “spiritual but not religious” friends are living the truth by being active in social justice issues. Eddy’s all-inclusive definition of Church is all about expressing Truth and Love. Not one phrase mentions a material building. Several decades ago, Rob Gilbert, CSB., as a Representative of TMC, gave workshops on church, asking us to imagine we were among the first Christians, and how we would do church with freshness and with no preconceived ideas. It really made us think anew. Once I did a study on what Mrs. Eddy had written about organization and institutions. She had very little positive statements to make.
I, too, am grateful for the large options we have now for attending church through zoom. I really appreciate the church in St. Louis (Brentwood) which uses contemporary and more accurate Bible translations, for the Sunday as well as Wed. services. Every Sunday immediately after church there are heart-felt discussions on various topics. These serve a real need for a sense of church family. I love how the San Juan Capistrano church has interviewed many young adult CS’ts about where they are in their spiritual journey and what they need from church. Several expressed the need for love and acceptance without judgement. These interviews are available on their website: csinsanjuancapistrano.com.
Sharing CS is such a joy. I find it so natural, especially while traveling, to share something I’ve learned from The CS Monitor. That often segues into a discussion on spirituality and CS. Wherever we are, we’re with beautiful children of God. We have so much to learn from them, as well as to share with them!
Thank you to all for your valid, inspired and helpful comments!
That’s all something to think about! Thy will be done!
Dear Diane, I’m a first-time reader of Evan’s site (beautifully presented). A friend pointed me to it and I have to say it’s heartening to listen to you all. Your comments on church resonated with me on a few levels. (I live in CA but grew up in Sydney, Australia.) My friend had wanted me to see posts under “What is error?” because my article, “The troublemaker” was discussed. Someone mentioned it should be in every home and S.S. Well, it did go far as a pamphlet in 1972, “Albert the Zebra.” My dad was lecturing in Johannesburg and sent me a copy from their R.R.
It would take too long to discuss all the points you made, but Mrs. Eddy expected her church to evolve scientifically (My 342) and to become a “Christly method” rather than an organization. I’ve taken up the church change in books I write (under Auriel Wyndham Livezey). The latest just out is “The Golden Prayer Time Capsule.”
The eras changed from the religious to the medical to the scientific era, where religious organization takes a back seat. Our church is not dissolving but evolving if we are willing and ready to make the change. We have great opportunities awaiting us. Mrs. Eddy didn’t see the flux in religion in her day as negative but necessary, (My 266 and My 301) According to her, Diane, you’re right in thinking the material forms must pass away. It’s a huge subject and wonderful, too. Thank you and everyone else for this glimpse I’ve had into the progressive thought that is taking place today.
If folks would Love it would be packed. Just a simple truth. It’s all in Love. Christian Scientists do not understand that yet. Someday they will.
What an immense comfort this is! Thank you, Evan!
Are we on fire?
Is it so bright that it ignites our teenagers?
What we’ve been given is a power vaster than any super-hero’s, and if young people were aware of it, it would ignite their lives. I once had a class of young people, and imparting this excitement was so important I wrote them weekly emails, challenging them to put the lesson’s truths to action, relating them to current events, helping them realize how amazing this teaching was. They came eagerly most Sundays, constantly challenged, listened to, sharing.
When it was decided that another member should take the class “there was no way” she had time to write those weekly emails. I don’t think she realized what that communicated: that neither the teaching nor the students were worth the effort. It is now a class of one.
Truth AND Love. The loving of Truth and the living that Love. Do we love enough to give our all to the kids during the precious moments of their growing? Is anything more important?
Is anything more important than serving in the Reading Rooms, keeping Mary Baker Eddy’s works and their fruits visible on city sidewalks? It takes sacrifice, very unfashionable and unseemly in a modern world worshipful of work and family. But what family or work activity is satisfying without living and loving the truths they’re rooted in — by sharing those living truths?
dwa, I WISH you had been MY Sunday School teacher! What a brilliant idea to keep in contact with your students during the week! That really is very loving and is it really a sacrifice? What is being sacrificed if you hadn’t done that? The Sunday school, that’s what! My brother taught as you did, he loved the SS kids and was very close to them. They all had sort of nick-names for each other and he had a wonderful fun way of connecting with them AND he also kept in contact too…they always knew they could call him with any problems any time and they did. Sadly he passed on very suddenly many years too early and the SS at our church is no more but many of his old SS kids sent beautiful messages about what they learned from him after he left us. So a good teacher is never forgotten and what they teach isn’t either.
The Christian Science Church was founded upon the healing works of Christ. Mary Baker Eddy felt the healing power of the Christ in her own experience and continued further Biblical research to discover more about Christ and in order share it with the world she wrote her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She named the Pastor of her Church The Bible and the CS text book.
These alone will bring into the present the Comforter for all who are sincere seekers. Love alone will bless and heal the world.
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Thank you Evan for sharing the lifting of this burden from your loving thought.
My church (not CS) always small has not been permitted to meet for almost a year due to the pandemic. However we have grown in depth and understanding thanks to Zoom with more frequent gatherings attended than previous. The way of the future maybe.
Various commenters on today’s blog, including Evan’s, testify to or express various approaches to eliminating from one’s thought the fear of numbers of church members/attendees.
We know in the study of Christian Science that fear in human thought “blocks” the healing or spiritual progress we have, in honesty, prayed for. Eradication in thought of fear removes the mental “block,” and following comes the manifestation of what we prayed for. Truth attracts and expressing Love welcomes (both among the synonyms for God). The branch church I belong to has been much blessed in just this way.
Thank you all for the wonderful ideas about church. I have never been afraid of the dwindling numbers in our church. These are just numbers of people who attend the physical church. While I do love, need and appreciate what our Mother Church provides for us, I feel church is what we live. We live thoughtful, loving lives, rich with spiritual understanding and practice of the Golden Rule. We preach by being examples of compassionate neighbors – caring for all.
Long ago a practitioner asked me, “If we closed all the churches what would happen?”
I realized that we would start to get together to share ideas – we would start a church!
Christian Science isnt going anywhere. It can’t! It is simply the Truth being told. And that cannot disappear.
Matt.7. The sermon on the Mount…’ By their fruits ye shall know them…
We must heal and Love, Love Love❣️
Church service is the subject of this week’s Sentinel Watch podcast, featuring Anita Bice (not sure of spelling), a practitioner from Australia. She talks of the expanded sense of service and membership that many CS churches are experiencing during this time of lockdown. Very encouraging podcast. Thank you Evan for your higher Spirit view on what constitutes real church. The structure of Truth and Love can never crumble!
Diane W., you have so beautifully articulated so many of the thoughts, observations, and impressions that have come to me about our movement.
Diane W- your words echo many of my thoughts and I thank you for expressing them so clearly and with courage and integrity.
At the root of all conscious individuality is the search for truth that is independent upon one’s perception of it. As soon as one realizes that they can be deceived the search begins. It is as natural as life as the desire to achieve, survive and breathe air. Once a person gets a glimpse of the Truth, it becomes a beacon that cannot be lost. It is a part of us as life itself. Mary Baker Eddy discovered this truth even though many are not able to see or experience it. It is real and can never be lost to consciousness. That why I love her joining the seven synonyms of Life, Love, Truth, Principle, Mind, Spirit, Soul. It is not that joy, harmony, meekness and grace are not a part of these basic seven, they are, but they are resultants not primary components. There will always be in the human experience someone searching for understand the truth. In fact, there are more in number than we can comprehend, more than can be extinguished.
From a church membership perspective, we need to enlighten this flame of truth as a valued component of church experience. We need to help those looking for healing to be healed and see their experience joined together as spiritual wholeness. We need to help those who need help see that they can help themselves through the spiritual guidance the will acquire by opening up their experience to a more complete understanding of God’s goodness, allness and constant availability to protect and provide. I don’t worry about church membership for I suspect there are an abundance of those who are in need of healing desiring wholeness which can only be gained through spiritual understanding.
At that moment 33 comments : for sure Christian Scientits love their church !
David Brandon, thank you for the Baker’s family historical, I did not knew that. Sorry my english is not good enough to express ideas or sharing more than articles written by others 😉
The material structure is changing as Mrs. Eddy predicted. It’s called the internet with an ever widening church community responding to the Christ found within church’s online presence. The walls have been removed and its structure more closely resembles divine Mind. Nothing can diminish Love’s loving and flourishing.
I totally agree. Mrs Eddy was years ahead of her time spiritually and scientifically. Surely we have to accept Minds guidance and progress. If God is the centre of our purpose and thought we will be lead in the right direction to accept the Christ in our lives . Truth is infectious. May I also add that there are many seekers of this Truth who cannot get to a church for one reason or another. Therefore on-line services , including this wonderful blog answer the need of many seekers of spiritual Truth.❣️
I’ve read that bible purchases and internet searches on topics such as “prayer” and “God” have absolutely skyrocketed in the past year. There is a hunger for Truth in the world which has only grown in recent months. That hunger will not cease because it is natural, we are all hungering for what is never missing but can at times seem (to mortal eyes) to be missing.
Christian Science is the cup of cold water, the healing balm that can fill the needs of so many. I have felt in my heart that this time is the moment for CS to shine. Shine On!
How do we move forward? With the strength of individuals’ inspiration, together. As for using books, I like to refer to the last sentence in the Church Manual: Article III Section 4.
I feel that the current availability of the works on CS on so many different venues if wonderful. Now I wouldn’t try to put words into MBE’s mouth, but it seems to me that she was such a forward thinking person, the use of the term”books” can mean many things. that weren’t available when MBE was here. I’ve been a big reader since a small child. Now, most of my “books’ are on my Kindle, iPad, etc. They are still books, and I love them. I can take my iPad to bed and easily read anything I want. Being able to use the Full Text Quarterly is also very helpful in so many areas. I love being a part of this wonderful new technology, including this lovely daily Blog.
M.E. New Jersey, What page do you mean please? If you are referring to the reading from “copies”, in MBE’s day, that meant handwritten copies because digital copies (which are exactly the same as the original they are copied and pasted from) were not even thought of then. Just wondering if this is that part that you mean?
Here’s the link to Anita Byth’s Sentinel Watch.
I have enjoyed reading all of the comments on this blog – something that perhaps troubles all CS Churches in the 21st Century. There are so many new ways to communicate – the best one is to live what Christian Science is in our daily lives. I don’t find reading from our “Books” tiresome or outdated. I love marking the lesson each week and I record the lesson so I can have it available when I need a lift during the day. The Mother Church has over the years updated and kept abreast of the times as Mrs. Eddy instructed in that our periodicals are very much up to date not only in content but in technology and why not? There are so many methods to reach out to the general public so why not use them. Yes, the church of which I am a member had, when I first joined, well over 100 members/attendees collectively attending Sunday and Wednesday services. We have not maintained that number in the 21st Century, but our church is strong and thriving in this time of lock downs and restricted rules on gatherings. Mrs. Eddy knew of the challenges we would face in the future of her Church – she is still leading us on, – progress is being made everywhere- look at the growth world-wide that is happening in the CS movement today. The Christ is leading the way for us through the discovery Mrs. Eddy made in what she found in the Bible and gave to the world. If any one wants reassurance of this growth, In Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 Mrs. Eddy article “Pond and Purpose” Her wise council and loving directions can be found very uplifting as we move forward. It isn’t the number of individuals in the Church building that make a church, it is the spiritual activity of those members that keep the light of Christ burning and welcoming all who are searching for that light. The Science of Christianly is ever active and the spiritual activity of each church member will attract more individuals and growth will occur. Of that I am sure. Again many thanks to all the contributors for sharing their thoughts and insights and thanks to Evan for his reminder that this church is Mary Baker Eddy’s and she will defend it because it is built on the rock.
This is a great conversation! Some ideas that come to me from reading many of the writings and biographies about Eddy and her founding of the church, is that when she first discovered Christian Science, she thought it would be readily accepted by the pastors of the churches of her time.Instead, it was met with intense opposition. She stated that Christian Science was identical to other christian denominations except that it was more spiritual. She also stated many times in her biographies, that Christian Healing was the only thing that would save the church . Christian Healing is what separates Christian Science from most other denominations. The Christian Science church was founded to reinstate primitive christian healing as Christ Jesus demonstrated and the apostles in the first century. Some churches have embraced christian healing, but none have taken it to the level that Christian Science does in denouncing matter and disease as nothing, because God is All.
I think the use of zoom meetings and the many progressive steps to meet the needs of the people are expansive. Eddy embraced technology and progress. She did state that when reading her writings in public, that they be read from the books and not from a manuscript. They did have typewriters in her day and she wanted public reading to be done from the books. I don’t think that applies to self-study, just public reading. Reading from the books gives an authority to the words, in my opinion. It can be argued that e-books and kindles are a form of a book. But I prefer to see readers read from the actual books. Eddy also used many translations of the bible. Recently, in.a bible study course I was taking,, the instructor mentioned the more current translations are based on more current understanding of the languages being translated. Therefore, i believe we should be open to newer translations. Christian Science Churches speak the Truth to this age through their reading of the lesson each Sunday and where those who are seeking the Truth can find it. I believe that it was prophesied in the scriptures and will exist forever. I attended a pastorial meeting recently which included many church denominations, and all said they were facing a decline in church attendance. Materialism argues that it can meet our every need but it can’t. Spirit is the only thing that can truly meet our needs and heal us. The coming together in a church building may not be the only way to hold church but it offers a chance for fellowship that is difficult to achieve on-line, childcare to busy parents who need an uninterrupted hour to hear the service, sunday school for children who learn better in person, and stands as a light to the community.
Excellent comment, CB. Id like to share that in my interfaith work, its awesome to see so many Christian denominations accepting the need for prayer in healing. Many have prayer healing groups now, including the Catholic church. They are also turning from rote prayers to contemplative, listening prayer just as Jesus and the early Christians practiced. Praise be to God!
It has been my understanding that during Mrs. Eddy’s time, there were starting to be many manuscripts passed around, and to protect the accuracy and purity of the readings she requested that the books be used. But the different methods made public by our headquarters in line with progress and ease of presentation to the public are certainly protected from contamination. It is the IDEAS that are sacred, not one only manner in which they are cloaked.
Thank you very much, Evan for giving us the true idea of our loved “Church” of Christ, Scientist. Wonderful, it is Mary Baker Eddie’s Church and her task to strengthen it and save it! She obeyed God’s command to do that, and she did it perfectly!! It’s also my aim what Evan said in the last paragraph of this precious SV.
In this relation I love the hymn 176 – specially the following verse:
“Long hast thou stood, oh church of God
Long mid the tempest’s assailing,
Founded secure on timeless rock,
Rises thy light, never failing,
Shining that all may understand,
What has been wrought by God’s command,
O’er night and chaos prevailing !”
When I thought about declining members and churches, the simple but profound thought came, that it is God’s church, His spiritual everlasting idea. And God will take care of it. As Evan says here, I also felt freed from personal responsibilities.
This Church is the Revelation of Truth that makes us free! Thank you dear God for your immesurable gift of Love to your children ♡♡♡
For many years I have lived in places where there is no c.s church and so my “church” has relied solely on the access to all the publications online. Now more than ever I am feeling more connected to other Christian scientists through blogs like this and all the other church publications. And services. The structure of Truth and Love.
Thank you Helen, that is so loving what you comment!♡
Thank you all for expressing your thoughts in the eternal indestructible idea of God’s church. It has been so uplifting to me… We have all proved that even during this “lockdown” our Church has is thriving through zoom meetings and the internet .. We are all one world wide congregation ..
I am very concerned about declining membership having watched over the past 30 years many churches close or merge, very few of the children of members continue on in CS past their Sunday school years and many families just completely leave the church. I understand the manual directives regarding our Church services but feel strongly that we have to take some practical steps to admit and address this very real issue. We often update our periodicals so that they are appropriate for the times and so that they will reach as many people as possible. Why don’t we do this for our services? We are not only not reaching newcomers but we are letting long time members and families walk out our doors. It is very sad.
In Germany, CSers read from the New Martin Luther Bible. Germans no longer speak the German that Luther spoke in the 1500s. So they updated it with a newer version of the language.
English speakers today don’t speak the English of King James in 1611. Sooooooo, why can’t we read from the from the New King James translation?
We are nearly the only church in the country that still reads from the old KJ