Indonesian textbook ready, Japanese coming soon
The Indonesian translation of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy is now being distributed to Reading Rooms in many parts of the world. The Japanese translation is expected in April. These first translations of Science and Health in Asian languages bring the total number to 14.
Air shipments of the Indonesian translation were sent to Indonesia in January as soon as the book arrived from the printer. Similar shipments of the Japanese translation will be made to Japan when that book is ready.
[Beginning with the April-May-June quarter there will also be a new Indonesian-language Bible Lessons Quarterly printed in Jakarta and available in Indonesia only. The first Japanese-language Quarterly is scheduled for July-August-September. It will be printed at the Publishing Society in Boston and available throughout the world as are the other editions.]
The work by translators and reviewers to produce these two books has spanned many years. During that time translation committees in these two countries, approved by The Christian Science Board of Directors, also provided their respective fields with translated manuscripts of the Bible Lessons. These were borrowed for study and then returned. Church services, too, were conducted from these manuscripts. Those who could read Science and Health in English helped explain Christian Science to those who could not. The Indonesian and Japanese editions of the Herald, as well as other translated Christian Science literature, also supported their study.
In Indonesia the new translation of the textbook will be distributed through widespread family ties of individual Christian Scientists. Leaflets distributed by church members will publicly announce the book. Christian Scientists in Japan are planning a program of newspaper advertising to alert their countrymen to the new translation, and some bookstores will probably carry it.
"We have been asked how individual Christian Scientists can participate in making these translations available to both Indonesia and Japan," says Frances C. Carlson, Publisher's Agent. "In addition to the cost of the books themselves, The Mother Church has paid for shipping the first order of books to Indonesia by airmail. Individuals may support further air shipments and help defray promotional and other costs by sending contributions to the Translation Fund of The Mother Church. Checks should be made payable to Marc Engeler, Treasurer, and designated for the Translation Fund.
"I would not recommend that Indonesian-individuals try to ship language books to Indonesia unless they already have firsthand experience in shipping to that country," Miss Carlson adds. "Customs regulations may thwart their efforts. However, the Publisher's Agent's Office will be glad to accept orders and make shipments to Indonesia for them."
Volunteers needed again this year at Annual Meeting
One thing that helped make last year's Annual Meeting run so smoothly was the active participation of church members from many parts of the world. Several hundred volunteers assisted in three major activities— ushering, child care, and tour guiding.
The program was so successful it is going to be repeated this year.
If you're planning to attend Annual Meeting this June and would like to help, here briefly is what it entails:
Thousands of people tour the Church Center at Annual Meeting time. As an assistant guide you can help the trained guides by accompanying them on tours—and you need no previous experience. If you will be free to assist anytime between Saturday, June 5, and Wednesday, June 9, please send your name by May 1 to the Annual Meeting Coordinator at the following address:
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Annual Meeting Coordinator, A171
Christian Science Center
Boston, MA, U.S.A. 02115
Maybe you would enjoy serving as a volunteer usher. No one will need to usher at all sessions, but you should plan to be in Boston by Sunday afternoon, June 6, to attend a two-hour meeting for training and assignment.
Names and addresses of those wishing to usher should reach the Annual Meeting Coordinator at the above address by May 1.
CHILD CARE DURING ANNUAL MEETING
To get an idea of the bubbling activity at the child-care facilities last June, picture almost 300 children per session making music and watching films, learning arts and crafts, participating in the junior writers' workshop, decorating cakes, and generally having a wonderful time. If you would like to be part of this activity, there is a need for men as well as women volunteers to serve during the main sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, June 7, 8, and 9. Please send your name and address to the Annual Meeting Coordinator (address above) by May 1.
In addition to the volunteers, any parent planning to bring a child for more than one meeting will be asked to serve during one session. Parents preregistering children will be contacted about when they can serve.
One mother comments, "At first I was a little disappointed about missing one meeting, but as soon as the children arrived, I was filled with love and gratitude for the whole Christian Science movement. I was suddenly aware that I was indeed a small part of Annual Meeting 1975. This awareness was enough to prepare my thought for what was to come: twice, parents brought in a child who was reluctant to be left. Through divine Love I was led to say the right things to quiet each child, and harmony prevailed."
CHILD CARE DURING CHURCH SERVICES
On Sunday, June 6, children below Sunday School age will be taken care of during the morning service. On Sunday evening and on Wednesday evening, June 9, children up to age 10 will also be cared for. Volunteers from the Field won't be needed on these occasions.
PREREGISTRATION FOR CHILDREN
To speed registration and provide a helpful estimate of needed services, will parents planning to bring their children to Annual Meeting please send the names and ages of the children by May 1 to:
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Local Activities Division, C10
Christian Science Center
Boston, MA, U.S.A. 02115
Details regarding location of child-care facilities and when they will be open will be sent to each parent preregistering a child and will also appear in future issues of the journal.
HOTEL AND DORMITORY ACCOMMODATIONS
This will remind you, if you live in the United States or Canada, that your branch church clerk should have a supply of hotel reservation forms to help you find accommodations in Boston during Annual Meeting week. Those living elsewhere may write to the Visitors' Section of The Mother Church for this form. (Annual Meeting volunteers will need to make their own housing arrangements.) Information concerning space in dormitories near The Mother Church is also available from the Visitors' Section. Please see the November 1975 journal, page 652 of the Church in Action section, for additional details on housing.
Bus tours to Mrs. Eddy's homes will start on Saturday, June 5, and continue through Friday, June 11. Future issues of the Journal will carry more information on tour schedules.
A quick, healing response to their neighbors' need
The Healing Goal of The Mother Church is:
"To strengthen the healing thrust of our movement, thus improving our ability to respond to the needs of mankind by spiritual means."
A branch church in New England found a way to respond to a most unexpected need. On the day of a scheduled board meeting the members learned that a large neighboring Baptist church was ablaze. This church had been a landmark in the community for over a hundred years, and the light in its spire was a well-known beacon, guiding ships and planes safely along the Atlantic seacoast.
Although nearby streets had been cordoned off, the Christian Scientists proceeded with their meeting, in hope that their presence and prayers might be of support to the fire fighters.
"What could have been a gloomy meeting was one of support and inspiration," the clerk reports. "Powerful in the face of the holocaust were Mrs. Eddy's words, 'The material so-called gases and forces are counterfeits of the spiritual forces of divine Mind, whose potency is Truth, whose attraction is Love, whose adhesion and cohesion are Life, perpetuating the eternal facts of being.' And, 'There is no vapid fury of mortal mind—expressed in earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity— and this so-called mind is self-destroyed. The manifestations of evil, which counterfeit divine justice, are called in the Scriptures, "The anger of the Lord." In reality, they show the self-destruction of error or matter and point to matter's opposite, the strength and permanency of Spirit.'"Science and Health, p. 293;
To the wonder of all, the magnificent tall white spire, which firemen had successfully fought to save and keep from toppling on adjoining buildings, began chiming the hour.
The branch church executive board, wanting to convey its prayerful support and share some of its inspiration with its Baptist neighbors, sent a letter to the minister. Included was Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Church" in the Glossary of Science and Health, and the words to Hymn No. 176 from the Christian Science Hymnal, which begins, "Long hast thou stood, O church of God,/Long mid the tempest's assailing."
"Shortly after our letter was received, their director of music came to our Reading Room," the clerk said. "He had been asked by the minister to include that hymn in their next service, so the music director had come to borrow a copy of our Hymnal.
"Three members of our board attended this service, and the large Unitarian church used for the occasion was filled to capacity. The opening anthem was our hymn, sung in unison by the choir and accompanied on the organ. When it was over the minister announced that it was from the Christian Science Hymnal.
"On leaving, we were warmly greeted by the minister and he seemed happy to show us the listing of our hymn (and an acknowledgment of its source) in their church bulletin, which would go out to all their members and a large mailing list."
The branch is grateful it was able to respond quickly in the way it did— by spiritual means. The members have since voted to send a generous contribution to their neighbors' rebuilding fund. But this, too, has come from a fuller, richer expression and appreciation of Church, which they know to be "the structure of Truth and Love."ibid., p. 583.
The importance of loving what's in the Reading Room
A Reading Room attendant in Hamburg, Germany, has proved for herself the importance of loving the items she sells. This, along with her alertness in refusing to limit any individual's ability to grasp Christian Science, has helped overcome sluggish activity in the Reading Room.
"I watched the activity," she said, "and I carefully made records of all the items we sold. I found the Church Manual by Mrs. Eddy and pamphlets dealing with subjects like Principle, obedience, animal magnetism, law, protection, and defense had the fewest sales. I began to pray in support of these articles, and I listened for new ideas to bring them into a better light. I discovered that many church members did not even have a Manual.
"I made a display of the Manual," she said, "and waited expectantly. Soon a man came in whom I had never seen before. He told me he had read Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy but did not understand too much. Somebody had told him there was a Manual that would help.
"My first thought was: How can a stranger to Christian Science understand Science and Health better by reading the Manual? But as quickly as this thought came, another followed. Had not I myself purchased the Manual for the same reason? The textbook was given to me, but the Manual was the first book I bought for myself."
The Reading Room worker reminded herself that the whole purpose of her display was to encourage interest in the Manual and its Rules and By-Laws. After the visitor purchased the Manual, she continued to think about her own experience with this book.
"Indeed," she allowed, "I learned more about Christian Science and understood Mrs. Eddy better through the Manual than I ever had before. Although there were passages I did not understand at first, I was convinced that a church based on such Rules cannot have a mere theoretical doctrine, as I felt my orthodox church had. The next morning, a church member came in and bought a copy of the Manual, saying, 'I've never had one before.' "
As a result of the continued metaphysical work of this attendant, interest in the Manual has increased. Several more people have come in to obtain copies. Other items that previously had been lagging also picked up, and Reading Room activity has increased generally.
'I seemed to be the most unlikely candidate'
Sometimes a member is reluctant to accept a certain appointment in his branch church because he feels he doesn't know enough about that specific activity. Or perhaps he or she has heard that it's difficult to get others to help with the work. Actually there was a combination of the two in this woman's experience in Northern Ireland—and we thought it was beautiful the way she handled it.
"When the board of my church here asked me to be Circulation Representative," she said, "I seemed to be the most unlikely candidate, as I didn't even subscribe to the Monitor at that time. I felt that I just couldn't afford it and that the paper was 'too American' anyway.
"However," she continued, "I felt this assignment came from God, so I knew He would point out the way. I began to subscribe and to read and appreciate the Monitor—to be really responsive to all the love that is poured into the preparation of it."
As she read she began to see the Monitor as an awakening, leavening influence in her thinking. She no longer felt shy about discussing the paper with other church members. "Even when I got replies like 'They don't print the truth about the situation here,' I could say, 'Well, perhaps if we loved and appreciated the Monitor more and magnified the good instead of what we see to be the error, the error won't be so real to us. And perhaps it's our own view that needs changing and not the Monitor's.' I felt I could honestly say this because of the changes that were taking place in my own thinking."
It took several weeks of earnest praying for this new Circulation Representative to break through what appeared to be a wall of resistance to the Monitor. But she persisted in her love for the Monitor and her fellow members, and the heartwarming results are beginning to show.
"I have received three new subscriptions with promises of more to come," she enthused in her last letter. "And I now have three committee members to help me!"
A written agreement can benefit church and musician
A delicate situation sometimes arises when a branch church or society wishes to make a change in musicians. Perhaps one of the members (or even a nonmember) has been soloist for a number of years and the music committee would like to try someone else.
Or maybe a member of the church has been organist for a considerable time and would like to do something else, perhaps teach in the Sunday School or be considered in the next election of Readers.
Neither the church nor the musician wishes to offend the other, but how can such a change be made gracefully and without misunderstanding?
A branch in New England has found a way that benefits both the church and musician. The executive board and the regular musicians sign a simple agreement, renewable annually. It briefly covers such areas as the job expected of the musician, terms of payment, a provision for a short paid vacation, easy procedures for canceling the agreement, and a provision for close communication between the music committee and the musician.
With this basic understanding, the church and musician are able to freely evaluate their relationship each term, and there is no sense of personal attachment to the job or awkwardness when a change of musician seems beneficial. Renewal or cancellation of the agreement can be handled two to three months prior to its expiration by either party informing the other as to plans for the coming year.
Such an arrangement may or may not be useful in your branch. We are by no means suggesting that each church should have one. But where such a need does exist, this simple yet direct approach might be considered.
Two new items on the Annual Questionnaire
The Sunday School portion of the 1976 Annual Questionnaire that each branch church and society will receive has two important new questions this year.
1. How many Sunday School enrollees are new to Christian Science?
2. How many of your enrolled Sunday School pupils are members of your branch church?
Since more and more branches are actively sharing Christian Science with their communities and including their communities' children, the first question provides an opportunity to report on some of this activity.
It is also becoming quite common for branches to accept young people of Sunday School age into branch church membership. Hence, the second question.
Both questions arise from a growing sense of family in our churches, including and appreciating people of all ages, and working together to see the Christ, Truth, blessing all mankind.
What a friendly invitation can do
In a Reading Room window in Pennsylvania, next to a prominently displayed copy of The Christian Science Monitor, was this sign in bold letters:
"Come in and read today's issue."
One afternoon a woman stuck her head in the door and said, "I saw the invitation in your window. I'd like to read the Monitor."
She was of course welcomed in, and after reading for some time in the study room she came out and told the attendant, "I'm so glad I saw that sign. I'd heard of the Monitor but never read it before. It's very interesting and the news so clear and to the point. I'd like to read it regularly."
Naturally she was invited to return whenever she wished, and the attendant also explained how she could subscribe and receive the paper by mail.
Another of the many visitors— a man who came in at noontime to read the Monitor on his lunch hour—said, "My boss should come in here and feel the 'peace' and read a good newspaper. It would help him!"
'Christian Science and the Marriage Ceremony'
It may be only natural for some students of Christian Science, when planning to be married, to wonder why there is no provision for wedding ceremonies to be held in their own branch church where they have, perhaps, many of their closest friends.
The Mother Church receives inquiries on this subject from individuals and branches and in response shares with inquirers the statement, "Christian Science and the Marriage Ceremony," prepared by The Christian Science Board of Directors. It explains why our churches are reserved for the purpose of public worship and not for weddings, funerals, and other occasions of a private or personal nature.
Although the clerk of each branch should have a copy of the statement on file, we are printing the statement in full in this column because of general interest in this subject and its relation to the Christian Science approach to church services. It reads:
Christ Jesus began his public career by attending a wedding feast. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 65), "May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned."
Why, then, are weddings not held in Christian Science church edifices?
There is evidence that Mrs. Eddy gave profound thought to every aspect of marriage, including the way in which it is solemnized. She knew that, in general, the traditional churches regard marriage as a divinely ordained institution and the wedding service as a religious rite. This is in line with the commonly held view that God has created a material earth, a human race, and a system of procreation which are part of His divine plan and purpose.
Mrs. Eddy's view is set forth in Science and Health (p. 56), where she writes, "Marriage is the legal and moral provision for generation among human kind." This statement, like others in the same chapter, presents marriage as a human rather than a divine institution. The subject is viewed within the framework of moral law and legal obligation, not of religious sanction. In all her writings Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the strong moral foundation of the marriage relationship, and always she shows a tender concern for the spiritual strengthening of the marriage vows and family affections, but she nowhere confounds the human with the divine or temporal necessity with eternal law.
Thus her particular concern with marriage ceremonies was that they be in accordance with the laws of the land. She gives the title, "A Legal Ceremony"—not A Religious Ceremony—to Article IX, Section 1,of the Manual of The Mother Church, which reads: "If a Christian Scientist is to be married, the ceremony shall be performed by a clergyman who is legally authorized."
In the early days of Christian Science, there was a tendency to ask clergymen who had become Christian Scientists to officiate at weddings. A question arose as to their authority to do so, since they were no longer acting as clergymen of the denomination in which they had been ordained. The By-Law quoted above put an end to this practice. The emphasis of the By-Law is on legal authority rather than on the need for a clergyman to perform the ceremony. Although it assumes that Christian Scientists will normally turn to a clergyman for this service, it does not rule out their having a civil marriage in those countries and those situations in which this seems necessary or preferable to a religious ceremony.
Even when a clergyman consents to include readings from Science and Health or a Christian Science hymn in the marriage service, this does not make it a Christian Science service. If a justice of the peace or other civil officer who is a Christian Scientist marries a couple, he is acting in his official legal capacity and not as a Christian Scientist. Our churches are intended for the purpose of public worship (see Deed of Trust, Church Manual, p. 131, items 3 and 5), not for weddings, funerals, or other occasions of a private or personal kind.
A study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings brings to the student a deeper insight into the relations of human institutions to spiritual facts, and the Christian Scientist who is contemplating marriage works out the details of the wedding day through his understanding of these teachings. It is of special significance that the Christian Scientist has the opportunity to bring to his marriage the joy, inspiration, and deep spiritual commitment which characterize his religion. Only the demonstration of such qualities can bring to his life with another unity, strength, and true happiness.
Church dedication: an important milestone
Church dedication is a happy occasion for any branch church or society. It announces that the edifice is totally free of debt. And when this day arrives, church members don't keep it a secret. Most memberships invite their communities—via their local newspapers—to join with them in celebrating this important milestone of growth and progress by coming to the Sunday dedicatory service. The following churches and societies report dedications:
(First Church) June 15, 1975
(Society) September 7, 1975
(Society) September 14, 1975
(Second Church) September 28, 1975
(First Church) September 28, 1975
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