Richard Bergenheim's family was introduced to Christian Science in the late 19th century, through the healing work of one of Mary Baker Eddy's early students, James Neal. Subsequently, his great grandmother worked for a year at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy's residence in New Hampshire, and in 1889, his great-grandfather attended Mrs. Eddy's last Primary class on spiritual healing.
It was during his years in college that Mr. Bergenheim began to take a serious interest in his family's religion. After earning a master's degree in English from The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, Great Britain, and then teaching high-school English for two years, he left in 1974 to begin a full-time career as a Christian Science practitioner. In 1982, he became a Christian Science teacher. Since then, he has been a member of the Christian Science Board of Education, The Christian Science Board of Directors, and was Editor in Chief of the Christian Science magazines. He is currently a contributing editor.
Today, Richard lives in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, in a 19th-century farmhouse, and works in New York City. Look out his fourth-floor office in midtown Manhattan, and you see Grand Central Station across the street. Soaring upward in the middle distance is the Art Deco, aluminum-clad Chrysler Building, whose lights were just twinkling on as we concluded our recent conversation about spiritual healing. "Today I have more of an expectation of healing than when I started in the healing practice," Richard told me. "But to me, healing is still a wonder. I know there are experienced practitioners who'd probably say, 'How could you practice without an absolute expectation?"