As a fairly new member of a Christian Science branch church years ago, I was happy to be elected to serve on its Board of Trustees—my first opportunity to fill a church board position. What I didn’t know was that the membership was bitterly divided over whether to keep or sell the church edifice, and that board work would be contentious and stressful.
Our church building was a historic structure established in the early years of Christian Science, and quite a few members wanted to honor its history by keeping it. But its upkeep required significant money and time—more than the current membership could agree to spend.
Attending regular board meetings at which the edifice was the main topic, I bristled at the hostility I witnessed. And over time my reactions became part of that hostility. But in my heart I knew that combativeness and self-righteousness needed to be resisted and overcome.