Chris Sheasley is coordinator of The Mother Church’s CSO support team and specifically focuses on campuses in the USA. In this interview, he shares a little bit about what CSOs are doing these days, and helps to address some common concerns and obstacles to CSO participation, shedding light on how students can get involved.
Chris, let’s start off with some basics. Some of our readers might be unfamiliar with CSOs, Christian Science organizations on college campuses, so can you tell us a bit about what they are?
Happy to. We can think of CSOs, or “orgs” as they have sometimes been nicknamed, as a distinct expression of the church Mary Baker Eddy founded, the Church of Christ, Scientist. Mary Baker Eddy wrote the Manual of The Mother Church and provided for many activities, such as Sunday School, Reading Rooms, Sunday services, and Wednesday testimony meetings. Like all Church Manual-based activities, CSOs share in the collective mission of “healing and saving the world from sin and death,” which is stated right at the beginning of the Manual (p. 19). That’s a bold mission! CSOs have the role of fulfilling this mission on college and university campuses, and they do it in some really unique ways. (See page 14 for good news from CSOs.)