CHURCH. THAT WORD CONJURES UP SO MANY MEMORIES, IMAGES, promises. For anyone who's ever knelt with others in prayer or found solace and comfort from a dear band of fellow members, church might mean home, the heart of daily life, a sacred space. However, for those of us who love church, we need to keep in mind that if we don't stay fully engaged in it, making church a central part of our spiritual journey, we may find ourselves becoming complacent and even critical when things don't go our way. We can begin to see church only as a noun—merely a place, a building, an institution.
But when we think of church as a verb—then we catch the true significance of what it means for a community of believers to follow in the steps of the Master and to live his teachings, to share them, and to provide together the charity, goodwill, and love he required us to bring to a hungering world.
In our feature "Dynamic Church—and Your Part in It," Christian Science teachers Earline Shoemake and Lyle Young each take a good look at the real meaning of Church—the verb meaning! In Earline's article, " 'Don't Hang Back!' " she shows us what it means to actively engage in church—not just by completing committee assignments, but by taking to heart Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual description of Church in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which says in part that Church is "... found elevating the race, [and] rousing the dormant understanding ..." (p.583). Rouse! and Elevate! Earline's article shows us how to do just that!
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