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Purpose in church

From the January 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A couple of decades ago when I was elected to conduct the services of my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, as First Reader, I remember looking forward to my new upcoming responsibilities and also wondering what my purpose would be as a First Reader.

I knew I wanted to serve God and my fellow man, and I knew I wanted to witness church growth. I also knew I wanted to help and be a healer. But what did this all mean, specifically?

As I thought about this, I researched Mary Baker Eddy’s writings on the topic of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures being the impersonal pastor of The Church of Christ, Scientist. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible, and ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,’ is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Love they demonstrate, is the great Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them ‘beside the still waters’ ” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 322). I asked myself, “If the pastor is in charge of instructing, shepherding, and watching over the congregation, what is left for me to do besides read words on a page?”

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