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Moving Forward with your church

From the August 2008 issue of The Christian Science Journal

On a visit to Brazil's capital, noted for its modern curving architecture, a friend pointed out another feature of Brasilia's design. Traffic circles, or roundabouts, encourage traffic flow through merging instead of stopping. According to this friend, Brazilians make great auto racers because drivers know how to merge and keep moving!

Church is also a good training ground to practice the kind of merging that results in progress rather than standstill. Case in point: Recently I spoke with a man who had left the branch church of Christ, Scientist, he'd been attending for another denomination. He hasn't left Christian Science, he says. He loves its revelation of God as Spirit and creation as purely spiritual, and he wants to keep growing in his understanding and practice of it. But after a frustrating battle with what he perceived as rigid traditionalism, he was longing for a church community where there was more willingness to consider fresh ways of doing things.

Without passing judgment on either, it's worth asking if both the man and the church members could have benefited by better merging skills. There's some good instruction on this in a section of Science and Health that speaks to everyone's need to grow out of gridlocked states of thought. It describes three progressive stages of consciousness termed physical, moral, and spiritual.

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