Church, as it is understood in Christian Science, is a subject of vast dimensions. It is universal in its scope, reaching far beyond a material building or even its admittedly important institutional aspects. Church, in its highest sense, denotes spiritual reality— the unity, the everywhereness, of God, divine Truth and Love, and His perfect universe of ideas. This spiritual conception of Church constitutes the real man's dwelling place, that which, with incisive clarity, Mrs. Eddy defines in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as, "The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle."Science and Health, p. 583;
Statements in Mrs. Eddy's writings have tremendous practical significance. The Christlike spirit they impart and the practical healing works that result from this spirit form the substantive, potent outreach of Church. Mrs. Eddy writes: "The letter of your work dies, as do all things material, but the spirit of it is immortal. Remember that a temple but foreshadows the idea of God, the 'house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,' while a silent, grand man or woman, healing sickness and destroying sin, builds that which reaches heaven."The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 194;
Looking back over the years that he has been a student of Christian Science, the writer remembers many occasions when he has been healed of sickness, weariness, or discouragement while attending a church service. Of course, it was not the mere fact that he had entered a church building that helped him. Rather was it the real essence of Church—the healing presence of the Christ, the atmosphere of peace and harmony that he encountered, the inspired readings from the Bible and Science and Health, or a helpful testimony of healing heard at a Wednesday meeting. These are the factors that contribute to genuine church expansion. They constitute the celestial food that feeds the spiritually hungry and attracts the seeker for Truth to our door.