I actually began writing this two years ago on the one hundredth anniversary of Mary Baker Eddy's reorganization of her Church. Thinking about this anniversary has meant a lot to me. In 1879 the Christian Science Church was organized like so many other Christian churches, on a congregational basis in which each member had a vote. But there were problems with this type of organization. So, in December 1889, at Mrs. Eddy's request, the members voted to dissolve.
Then on September 23, 1892, again at her request, a group of her students met and reorganized the Church on an entirely different and unique basis, which gives its Board of Directors responsibility to transact the business of the Church. The members are given a man date to so spiritualize their consciousness with the eternal truth of perfect God and man that they consistently heal themselves and others through prayer. In fact, "spiritual healer" might be said to be the sacred office of every member of The Mother Church. The Manual of The Mother Church by Mrs. Eddy states, "I recommend that each member of this Church shall strive to demonstrate by his or her practice, that Christian Science heals the sick quickly and wholly, thus proving this Science to be all that we claim for it."
Manual, Art. XXX, Sect. 7.
One can scarcely imagine the joy the early members must have felt when the Church was reorganized. They must have been overwhelmingly grateful to have been given an institution that was God-inspired and through which they could share Christian Science while the purity of its healing message was securely protected. And although it may be some time before mankind begins to grasp the magnitude of what this Church means to the world, it does not seem inappropriate to ask ourselves what it means to us.