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Branch Church Bylaws

From the October 1967 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Christian Scientists study the Manual of The Mother Church by Mrs. Eddy and endeavor to obey its provisions fully and faithfully. They acknowledge it as divinely inspired and realize the truth of what Mrs. Eddy says about its Rules and By-Laws: "They were not arbitrary opinions nor dictatorial demands, such as one person might impose on another. They were impelled by a power not one's own, were written at different dates, and as the occasion required."Miscellaneous Writings, p. 148;

Christian Scientists also recognize the uniqueness of The Mother Church and of the Church Manual with its By-Laws. While The Mother Church and its branches are inseparable and constitute the complete Christian Science church organization, they differ distinctly in their form of government and in their bylaws. Branch church bylaws do not conflict with the Manual. But they are not copied from it nor modeled after it.

In the Manual, Mrs. Eddy provides that "each Church of Christ, Scientist, shall have its own form of government."Man., Art. XXIII, Sect. 1; So, in the interest of orderly and effective government, each branch church must have its own bylaws to meet its own particular needs. It is the responsibility of the local branch church membership to adopt such bylaws and to keep them up-to-date. To do this properly requires prayerful thought and action on the part of all the members. While they humbly acknowledge that they have not reached the heights of inspiration and wisdom attained by their Leader in her writing of the Church Manual, they know that they are guided by the same divine Mind that guided her. They also know that the quality of their bylaws shows what they are demonstrating of true church government.

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