A recent study of a “Church Alive” article from The Christian Science Journal (Lesley Pitts, “Mary Baker Eddy and the Living Church,” June 2011), and another from the Christian Science Sentinel (Michael R. Davis, “Church that embodies the healing Christ—today,” May 11, 2009), certainly enlivened my thinking. The executive board of my Christian Science branch church had sent out an assignment to the members with the request that we study these two articles, and then share our inspiration at an upcoming business meeting. For well over a year I had been praying to go deeper in my understanding of Church, so I welcomed the assignment as an additional impelling toward this effort.
To me, both articles brought out the idea that collective Church progress necessarily depends on individual progress.
I was awakened to the absolute necessity of deep individual prayer for myself. It can be tempting to hide anonymously and comfortably in the collective progress of Church, and overlook the vital individual spiritual growth that actually compels the collective. For instance, one of the articles I studied, the one by Lesley Pitts, quoted a 1903 letter by William B. Johnson, then Clerk of The Mother Church, which I think says it well: “Healing, healing, healing is what is needed” (William B. Johnson to Olive Weymouth and others, July 25, 1903, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection).