Throughout the history of The Mother Church, in times of national and international emergencies, the Church has reached out to those in need. The Church’s “first responders” are a dedicated team of TMC employees in several departments and include the Christian Science Board of Directors. The communications representative of this group quickly reaches out to branches and church members in disaster-affected areas to learn of the needs. The first response is always prayer. In many cases, the Church provides lectures and workshops, publishes relevant, healing articles online and in the print periodicals, and provides literature to the affected areas as appropriate.
The Mother Church also makes financial donations to aid agencies on the ground. These donations have gone to the Red Cross, Care, Oxfam, the Salvation Army, the American Bible Society, and others responding to emergencies in such areas as the Philippines, Guam, Bosnia, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, India, and so forth. In the past, special funds were often opened in order to receive donations from the Field to forward to agencies providing relief in specific troubled areas. However, we have determined that it is most effective to collect donations in the Church’s Relief Fund, a restricted fund that is available “for benevolent and charitable purposes in any emergency or necessity which may arise from time to time, including disaster relief to Christian Scientists as well as non-Christian Scientists . . . .”
This broad definition allows us to collect and maintain funds on hand for unexpected catastrophic events and to respond quickly to the need, whenever and wherever it might occur. Donations to this fund are always gratefully received. Donors who wish their funds to go to specific agencies or needs are encouraged to donate directly to agencies “on the ground” in those affected areas.