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2019 Annual Meeting

‘… that we may be able …’ —II Corinthians 1:4

From the September 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The following is an edited transcript of the 2019 Annual Meeting of The Mother Church, held on June 3 in the Extension of The Mother Church and broadcast live online. To watch the full replay, visit christianscience.com/annualmeeting. All links in this report will be viewable until June 7, 2020. 


To open Annual Meeting, Rich Evans, current Chair of the Christian Science Board of Directors, welcomed the worldwide Church family. Rich introduced the officers of The Mother Church: Mary Baker Eddy, Pastor Emeritus; Barbara Fife, Robin Hoagland, Scott Preller, and Margaret Rogers, fellow Board members; Fabián Smara from Argentina, President for the year; Barbara Fife, Clerk; Lyon Osborn, Treasurer; Moji Solanke George from Nigeria, First Reader; and Josh Niles from Idaho, Second Reader.

After the singing of Hymn No. 593 from the Christian Science Hymnal: Hymns 430–603, Rich turned the meeting over to Fabián. 

Fabián Smara: Welcome, dear Church family! What a wonderful weekend it has been. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to participate in the gatherings on Saturday and Sunday. So much prayerful thought and generosity of spirit have been expressed. 

Fabián read from the Bible, and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and Message to The Mother Church for 1900 by Mary Baker Eddy: 

Isaiah 40:1

Matthew 15:32

Matthew 10:7 as, 8

John 14:16, 17 (to ;)

John 15:1, 2, 5, 8

II Corinthians 9:8 God

Science and Health 332:19

Science and Health 494:11

Science and Health 58:7

Science and Health 51:28 (only)

Science and Health 344:19

Message for 1900 2:7–8, 11–13

Message for 1900 3:1–6 When

The readings were followed by silent prayer and the repetition of the Lord’s Prayer. Then Fabián introduced a short video featuring a sampling of conversations with members of The Mother Church from meetings held in the Field (see youtube.com/watch?v=znTg7THZFwg).

Clerk’s report

Barbara Fife introduced Connie Coddington, Manager of Christian Science Practitioner Activities, Daniel Carr, Branch Support Strategy Lead for Church Activities, and Elisabeth Schwartz, Manager of International Communications in the Clerk’s Office. They spoke of their travels to ten countries in Asia and Africa to support Christian Scientists there.

Barbara Fife: I know you held meetings and conversations with members and visitors, as well as meetings about the public healing practice of Christian Science. What were those meetings like? 

Elisabeth Schwartz: They were an opportunity to talk together about our shared love of Christian Science. Everyone was encouraged to participate, because each one of us is able to give voice to what the Christ is telling us, and to put that into practice and heal. 

Daniel Carr: And it’s not that healing is easier in a particular country or culture. Wherever there’s healing going on, it’s because the people are devoted to doing this consecrated work. 

Elisabeth Schwartz: It’s tempting sometimes to focus on what we don’t have, and to think that somehow if we had more, our healing ministry would be more effective. 

Daniel Carr: That argument came up so many times in so many different variations. The carnal mind is really not original! But progress comes when we focus on what we already have that enables us to be successful in the healing ministry. First and foremost, we’ve got God, with whom all things are possible. And we’ve got our pastor, the Bible and Science and Health; our Church Manual; and the weekly Bible Lessons, which are uniting this whole movement every week in thought and prayer. And we’ve got practitioners and Primary class instruction and associations. These are all helping us in our systematic understanding and practice of Christian Science. 

Elisabeth Schwartz: And we have our love for God and man. That love is what enables individuals and branches to overcome so many obstacles. 

Connie Coddington: I asked one member we spoke to if we could share her story, and she said yes. She was a physician and had been struggling for many years with various health issues—anemia, a heart condition, kidney problems. One day she remembered that someone had given her a copy of Science and Health. She went to visit that person, and a Christian Science practitioner was there too. He explained a bit of Christian Science to her, and she started working with him while she continued studying. Over the next two or three months, every one of those health conditions was completely healed. 

The physician had a patient with an advanced stage of HIV, and she recommended that the patient see this practitioner. She did, and she, too, was completely healed. The physician is now a branch church member and is studying Christian Science seriously. 

Barbara Fife: Wonderful healings! One thing I know your meetings included was a discussion about the Manual. Can you tell us about that? 

Elisabeth Schwartz: In The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy writes: “Of this I am sure, that each Rule and By-law in this Manual will increase the spirituality of him who obeys it, invigorate his capacity to heal the sick, to comfort such as mourn, and to awaken the sinner” (p. 230). She wouldn’t have said that if she wasn’t convinced that every one of us can heal. That’s why she worked so hard to give us Science and Health, the Manual, and her other published writings. Together with the Bible, they give us the tools we need to understand and to practice the divine Science of Christian healing. 

Daniel Carr: As we considered the Manual from that perspective, what we were seeing in these meetings was an increased ability to go out and share this Science. 

Connie Coddington: One member who did just that was taking a language class, and he noticed that a classmate was looking very weak and thin. He discovered that she had a severe case of typhoid fever and had been told she needed medical treatment and surgery. He reached out to her and asked, “Would you like to try prayer?” She said yes, and he explained a bit of Christian Science to her and talked with her about her true being as a child of God. Before or after each of the next three classes, they talked and shared ideas. He gave her a copy of Science and Health, and she began reading it. At the beginning of the next semester, she told him that in that one month’s time she had been completely healed through Christian Science, without surgery. 

Daniel Carr: It wasn’t at all uncommon for people to come to these meetings ready to go into the healing practice. 

Connie Coddington: We were getting new practitioner applications. They were actually filling them out at the meetings and handing them to us! 

While contemplating the healing practice in these meetings, we often talked about Psalms 37:5: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” The practice does take a deep commitment. A young practitioner told how he was sitting at his desk one day in the middle of prayer and study, and the thought came, “Pray for immortality and eternal life.” He brushed it aside, but a couple of minutes later the same thought came again, actually using his name. So this time he was obedient and prayed for immortality and eternal life. 

Wherever there’s healing going on, it’s because the people are devoted to doing this consecrated work. 

A little later, five people entered his office with a man on a stretcher. The man had been in the hospital for 15 months, and the physicians recommended that they take him home so he could die peacefully. As he was leaving the hospital, a friend handed him a copy of The Herald of Christian Science and said, “Look up one of the practitioners. They can help you.” 

So there they were in this practitioner’s office. As the practitioner entered into the heart of prayer, he felt God’s presence. The spirit of the Christ led him to a passage in the book of Acts that says God “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (17:25). A moment later, the man on the stretcher coughed. He asked for a drink of water and said he wanted to take a bath. He had been healed in that one visit. 

Barbara Fife: Talk about giving a cup of cold water in Christ’s name! We commit our work to God, as the Bible passage says, because that’s where the ability is, where the power is. As you were seeing in your travels, it’s about trusting God and reflecting the Love that is God. 

Daniel Carr: Another thing we discussed in our meetings is what non-judgmental love looks like, and how it’s so beautifully exemplified in the Manual’s “A Rule for Motives and Acts” (p. 40). So many church members said that’s what they yearned to feel in their churches. Brotherly love is what builds up an atmosphere of receptivity so that anyone in the congregation is able to hear the Word that our pastor is speaking to them in the language that touches their heart. 

Fabián introduced a video featuring Michelle Walter of Indianapolis, who shared a healing she had had of a growth on her chest (see youtube.com/watch?v=AGbFmT3R_bw). The healing came about as she considered her true spiritual identity in conjunction with the spiritual definition of Church (see Science and Health, p. 583). 

Treasurer’s report

Rich Evans: It’s good to realize that all around us is the representation of gratitude for healing over the decades of this movement. The numbers I’m about to share with you, not unlike the ones from last year, exist only because of the healing demonstrations of thousands of Christian Scientists since the founding of the Church, and the current conscientious stewardship of the Treasurer’s Office. 

The amount of funds the Church has on hand as of March 31, 2019, is $1.078 billion. The Church has no indebtedness. Expenditures for the past year were $120 million. And now Lyon, our Church Treasurer, will give us the context for these numbers. 

Lyon Osborn: We can all be very grateful for the financial soundness represented in what Rich just shared. But based on the magnitude of the numbers, many of you probably have questions like, Where did all the Church funds come from? How are we using Church funds today? And how are we going to use them in the future? 

Let’s start with where the Church funds came from. Well, just as the children of Israel were provided for in the wilderness, and the thousands who followed Christ Jesus to a desert place were fed with a few loaves and fishes, our Church is sustained by the only real substance, which Mary Baker Eddy defines in Science and Health as Spirit, God. And this substance has been demonstrated for generations through generous giving to our Church. 

It all started with Mrs. Eddy and her love for God, and her devotion to blessing humanity with a practical understanding of the reality of Spirit. The Discoverer of Christian Science worked tirelessly to establish and support a Church designed to cast out error and heal the sick. And throughout the Church’s history, Christian Scientists have followed Mrs. Eddy’s example. Their selfless giving enabled The Mother Church to expand and build as needed to conduct worship services and to support a global movement. 

Over the past decade, the significant increase in Church funds is mainly from selling and leasing real estate no longer needed today or for the foreseeable future. Valuable excess real estate is now being put to more productive use, allowing the Church to focus on its core healing purpose. And I’m very grateful to report that earnings from Church real estate are now covering all the costs to repair and maintain the Church’s buildings and property. This allows your generous financial support to fund all the other important Church Manual-based activities. 

That support can take many forms, including paying the per capita tax, subscribing for the periodicals, and purchasing products like the new Hymnal. Some even plan gifts that will benefit the Church in the future by setting up trusts, gift annuities, or estate gifts. 

So how is the Church using its funds? It’s investing in the future while funding important ongoing healing activities. As in the prior year, last year’s overall Church spending was higher than usual—mainly from repairing and restoring the Church buildings and the Christian Science Plaza. Such work is normal refurbishment after decades of use, and it supports the Church’s continued service to honest seekers for Truth right here in Boston and throughout the world. 

The Mother Church is also investing in the essential mission of The Christian Science Monitor. In this time of constant, instant news and reaction in the world, there’s never been a greater need to publish news from a Christianly scientific perspective—one that sees God’s law of progress operating right through the chaos and polarization of mortal mind. 

Our Church is also contributing to making Christian Science nursing care more accessible and affordable. It’s engaging globally through vital Committee on Publication work and supporting Christian Science lecturing. It’s distributing Christian Science literature worldwide and providing relief to branches facing unforeseen needs. It’s translating our Leader’s universal writings to bless humanity. Through these and many other ways, our Church is fulfilling Mrs. Eddy’s vision for it to heal and save the world. 

So how are Church funds going to be used in the future? Patiently and with prayerful discernment. Mrs. Eddy set the standard for properly managing and using Church funds in our Church Manual. When describing what to do with any surplus in Church building funds, she explained that they “should remain on safe deposit, to be hereafter used for the benefit of this Church, as the right occasion may call for it” (p. 76). Similarly, as we wrap up the Plaza revitalization project and finish repairing this edifice in a couple of years, we will carefully steward the balance of funds to be used in support of global Church activities that promote and extend Christian Science. 

It’s such a privilege to demonstrate Church together, to be able to reflect the inexhaustible Love that cares for and uplifts and heals humanity. Thank you for all the ways you’re contributing to this great and holy Cause. 

Rich introduced a heartwarming video featuring conversations with the local craftsmen who have been restoring the masonry of the Original Edifice and Extension of The Mother Church (see youtube.com/watch?v=kP-WptKHNng). “To my knowledge, none of these diligent, skilled workers are members of The Mother Church,” Rich said, “yet you will see in this video that they have developed a special bond working here. It reflects true Church, the structure of Truth and Love, uniting the hearts of all humanity.” 

After the singing of Hymn No. 574, Fabián introduced a video featuring Mark Rendina of Overland Park, Kansas, who shared his healing of pancreatic cancer (see christianscience.com/annualmeeting). Receiving the diagnosis three years ago after a military checkup that included a CAT scan, Mark realized he had a choice to make. Rather than undergo the surgery the doctors were recommending, he chose to rely on Christian Science for healing. Within a few weeks the tumor vanished, as subsequent CAT scans confirmed. 

Committee on Publication’s report

Kevin Ness: Committee on Publication work, like all Church and healing work, means to serve and glorify our Father-Mother God. And this begins with each of us knowing God as here, near, and dear, for all humanity. The Committee’s Manual assignment—to correct in a Christian manner misconceptions imposed on public thought about Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, and Church members—is truly healing work. Like all healing work, it’s based on Christ Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that God’s kingdom is come and present, here and now, and on Mrs. Eddy’s complete and beautiful definition of God on page 587 of Science and Health. 

There are many examples this year of this healing work in action worldwide. In addressing misconceptions about Christian Science, Committees and members of the Committee staff have written letters, posts, and articles for publication. They’ve corresponded and spoken with clergy, scholars, legislatures, government, and public health authorities. They’ve responded to inquiries from reporters and students, given talks to high school and college classes, to church groups and other denominations, and recently to a center at a university for the study of religion and public policy. 

One issue that’s been in the news worldwide in the past several months has been the spread of contagious disease and related vaccination requirements, including whether or not vaccination exemptions should be allowed. There’s been a great need to spiritually address the spread of fear that’s at the root of this concern, and to affirm the Bible’s promise in First John, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (4:18). This powerful starting point also applies to the public pressures that would try to draw Christian Science into the current medical pro-vaccination versus anti-vaccination debate—a context in which the motives and practice of Christian Scientists have often been mischaracterized. 

In responding to the situation, we’ve been guided by the letter and spirit of Mrs. Eddy’s counsel at a time of similar public controversy. We’ve pointed out that a Christian Scientist looks reliably and with conviction to a prayer-based method of healing, and does so out of an experienced trust in God, not fear of a disease or fear of a vaccine. And we’ve seen evidence of progress in the turning of mistaken assumptions about our Church as we’ve had opportunity to explain this perspective—both that Christian Scientists are grateful for the accommodations in law that give room for our religious practice, and at the same time we show respect for public health needs in the spirit of the Golden Rule and in our basic commitment to obey the laws of the land (see The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 219–220, 344–345). 

While none of the outbreaks in the United States or elsewhere have to our knowledge involved Christian Scientists, we know that many Church members have been praying to see healing of these situations. The strong, specific conviction our Leader writes of in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany is still needed and irresistible: “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion” (p. 116).

Last October the Committees on Publication worldwide came together in Boston for a conference with the theme “Beloved children, the world has need of you,” from Mrs. Eddy’s statement in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 (p. 110). We spoke together as fellow healers about challenges in the work and inspiration to meet them.

I’ll close with a healing example that a Committee on Publication shared after returning home from this meeting. She writes, “Before sleep, I prayed to God to help me understand clearly that Christian Science heals, that I truly wish to correct the imposition believed by mortal thought that Christian Science cannot really heal. I prayed for this healing to bless me in my immediate experience, and my church and my community.” 

The next morning she received a call from a church friend with whom she shared some of the spiritual inspiration she’d received from the conference, which she described as “the love and light that just feels like it’s pouring over everything.” The friend then said that the night before, she’d been seriously ill and began to believe it would be easier to pass on, that she didn’t have anything to prove. But then the friend thought that if she consented to death, she would look back later and wish she’d tried harder. So she prayed, “Oh God, don’t let me fail You.” She made a conscious decision to stay alive in that moment. She said the revelation broke into her thought that if she died now, her children wouldn’t understand how much Christian Science really heals—and she was healed. 

She concluded, “I know with new conviction that nothing can stop the Christ, Truth, from operating.” The Committee on Publication rejoiced with her and wrote: “God does answer our prayer, and in just the way we’re ready to hear. Thank you, God!” 

Fabián introduced a video featuring two speakers from the events held on the weekend prior to Annual Meeting. A. J. Kiser, a practitioner from Boston, spoke about sharing Christian Science authentically through expressing God’s love. Doris Ulich, a practitioner and teacher from Bamberg, Germany, spoke of the power of God that makes all things possible and enables us to progress as individuals and as a movement (see youtube.com/watch?v=NqVoxhH7lv4).

Then the Board returned to the stage for a final conversation.

Rich Evans: I can’t recall when I’ve ever seen and felt such holiness. No human hand has caused what we’ve experienced these last three days. It’s the evidence of God’s right hand, divine Principle itself, enabling and inspiring selfless work for one another, for Church, and for the whole human family. 

The Christ-healing that has been shared in every meeting these past three days has been an immeasurable gift to all of us. And we’re so grateful. 

Robin Hoagland: As we think about the many examples we’ve had of sharing, we come back to the question, How are we able? And I can’t help but think of the story of the woman at the well of Samaria in the Gospel of John. She goes to her daily task of collecting water and has that remarkable conversation with Jesus. As you recall, she left her waterpot and went to the community she was largely estranged from because she felt impelled to tell them she had found the Christ. 

There was something more essential than water that was impelling her to share. The story doesn’t end with “Wow, I just had this amazing conversation, and I’m going to go home and apply it to my own life.” She is impelled by the Christ to overcome her hesitations and engage with her neighbors. 

A Christian Scientist looks reliably to a prayer-based method of healing out of an experienced trust in God, not fear of a disease or fear of a vaccine.

Now we, too, are able to draw from that eternal water of Life and find vital resources as we share the Comforter today. They include our pastor—the Bible and Science and Health—and our Church’s publications: the Sentinel, the Journal, the Herald, and the Monitor. But if we’re honest with ourselves, do we really see all of these publications as essential to the practice of Christian Science?

In his Treasurer’s report, Lyon talked about the essential mission of The Christian Science Monitor, and I just want to pause on that for a moment, because recently I was listening to the Editor of the Monitor, Mark Sappenfield, observe that over the history of our movement, too often our members have seen the Monitor as a nice-to-have publication, but not an essential resource. And yet today people are feeling overwhelmed by the news. They’re shutting down their news feeds. They’re deliberately disengaging with world events. This is the Monitor’s hour. It is able to share this unique and needed perspective on progress that is able to lift the spirit of humanity. 

If we are engaging with the Monitor, if we are engaging with any of our publications and services and resources, we’re going to find that they are comforting and strengthening us so that we can, in turn, comfort and strengthen others with the same ideas that others are yearning for. 

Barbara Fife: The whole weekend has just been full of blessings and things that make us think and rethink how we’re working, how we’re praying, how we’re thinking about our neighbor, how we’re thinking about Christian Science. And all we’ve heard proves not only that we’re able, but that we’re willing. There’s so much willingness within our members to move forward and share what we have. God enables us, and we are willing to go that extra mile. But what is it that would stop that willingness or try to tell us we’re not able? It’s just that same old boring, unoriginal mortal mind that Daniel Carr talked about. 

When I was a teenager and getting impatient or frustrated about something, I remember my mom saying, “You don’t get frustrated or impatient. Impatience or frustration tries to use you. Don’t let it.” That was such a wake-up call for me. If we’re going to let God use us, we certainly can’t let mortal mind have the upper hand. 

Mrs. Eddy explains, “Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind” (Unity of Good, p. 11). Not getting into the currents, because if we do, we just get swept along with whatever thought happens to be predominant at the time. And yet we know that we have this dominion, this God-given ability to take the stand that we need to. 

Many times in my life when things have seemed hard, I’ve thought of how Jesus would just walk through everything. It didn’t matter what was being presented to him. I could picture him standing strong and straight with the authority of God. And that would remind me what dominion is, and I would literally as well as metaphysically straighten my back and know that I could keep my thought where it needed to be, and that nothing could take away that dominion. It is too precious to give over to somebody else, or some event, or something someone says, or whatever! 

We read in Science and Health, “Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth” (p. 516). We don’t just reflect dominion, we possess it. You own it. And because you own it, you can use it. And because you can use it, you can heal. 

The sense of willingness to share really is linked to what we know we have, and that we know it works. We can strengthen our stand when we need to, and prove what we have—and I know we’re all doing this, wherever we are. 

Scott Preller: Barbara, as I was thinking about the distance, sometimes, between that willingness and what our current church situation may look like, I was reminded of a passage from Haggai in the Bible: “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong … all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: … The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts” (2:3, 4, 9). 

I want to talk a little bit about the context of Haggai saying that, because we’re sitting here in the Extension of The Mother Church, and we’ve got scaffolding and a film covering the construction that’s going on. The Jews had come back from exile in Babylon, and the temple where they were worshiping in Jerusalem had been burned out. There wasn’t even a roof on the top. Life itself was pretty hard, and they’d just gotten used to worshiping in the burned-out old temple. 

Haggai urged the people to work on building up the temple, and the pushback he got was, “My life is hard. I don’t know if I can even put food on my own family’s table or a roof over my own family’s head, and you’re asking me to focus on doing something to the house of worship and devote my energies there?” 

Now, you and I don’t have to worry about whether The Mother Church is going to finish this beautiful renovation. You heard from Lyon that your dedicated contributions have made that possible, and we look forward to it being finished. But the question, “How do we look at our church today?” is still a good one for us to be asking ourselves. Do we look back at a time of glory and think, “Well, now we’re surrounded by such a time of materialism that it’s just not possible. We’ve got to focus on how we go forward just in our lives, and where do church and religion fit into that in a society that says increasingly, ‘Nowhere’?” 

And the answer that Haggai gave was basically, “Do you want to know why you’re having a hard time? Because you haven’t attended to the house of God. If you attend to that, you will find the other things fixed as well.” Then the people started to get to work, and that’s where he talks about that latter glory. 

What’s so deeply encouraging to me about this weekend is, I know every one of you is going to go back to church experiences that are considerably smaller in congregational size than what you’re sitting here experiencing right now. But my great hope is that we go back knowing our sense of Church is not determined by what the world is doing. It’s not determined by what the building situation looks like. It’s about the discovery—the discovery that all really is not matter and all its limitations, and suffering, and hostility, and lack. The discovery is that all is actually “infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation” (Science and Health, p. 468).

And we get the joy of proving that in some measure, together. I know that that’s still what the world is going to be saved by, and I know you know it too. If our thought is constantly turning to embrace and be embraced by the Comforter, then we have nothing but joy to look forward to—what the glory of this latter house is going to be like. 

Margaret Rogers: In the last couple of days we’ve addressed the idea of able ministry for us as individuals and as a Church. You really can’t separate them. Thinking about the house of the Lord, we automatically go to the idea of a structure, a building. But as individuals we are also the temple of the living God. 

What does that mean? Hymn No. 166, which we’re about to sing as we close our meeting, begins with the line, “Know, O child, thy full salvation” (Henry Francis Lyte, Christian Science Hymnal, © CSBD). That’s saying to each one of us: “Child of God, know that you are fully saved, because you have the Science of being. You know that no matter what troubles you as an individual or the Church body, you are already all right. You are a spiritual idea of God. You always have been. You always will be.” We will all wake from the dream of horror, decay, warfare, and see that we’re untouched. We are safe. Whatever healing work needs to be accomplished in our individual lives or in the Church, it all begins from that knowing. 

The second line of the hymn says, “Rise o’er sin and fear and care.” That “rise” is the resurrection of thought. The sin and fear and care that come in so many ways are going to yield to knowing for precious moments, again and again, what we truly are. 

And then these lines, “Joy to find, in every station, / Something still to do, or bear.” There’s a tradition in some Christian churches called the Stations of the Cross, which commemorate the persecution, doubt, and desertion Jesus faced on the way to crucifixion and resurrection. We all have to face those to some degree in our lives. But the hymn says there’s joy to find in every station. Bearing the cross doesn’t kill us or our Church. Jesus proved that. He is our Way-shower. The ability to get all the way to the resurrection is given to us by God. 

Notice the three “thinks” in this hymn: “Think what spirit dwells within thee.” God has given us the full spiritual sense and strength we need. “Think what Father’s smiles are thine.” Don’t forget how much God loves us. “Think what Jesus did to win thee.” We’re going forward from this weekend to find joy in every station. 

Rich Evans: Yes, we’re going forward. And we’ve been given a real clue in this week’s Bible Lesson. As you probably noticed, we have that wonderful statement from First Corinthians that “we have the mind of Christ” (2:16). Now there is an enabler! That is both a solemn charge and an assurance that we are indeed able to fulfill whatever God asks of us. We know that the Christ is not static, but active, and includes no fear. From this basis, we undertake the work we have been given. And just as the Master recognized that he could do nothing of himself, but what he saw the Father do, we are able to feel the impulse and government of divine Love. As we respond to this law of Love, practicing it individually and then loving our neighbor, we will find ourselves drawn together in Church. 

But let’s not be fooled that Church is in numbers or edifices. That would be a distraction from doing what we see the Father doing. Church is defined in the Glossary of Science and Health as “the structure of Truth and Love” (p. 583), which we can always see and demonstrate. We can also see it embracing all humanity. We don’t do this for ourselves. We do this because of humanity’s crying out, because of humanity’s great need to move beyond this grip of matter into an understanding of the completeness, the infinitude, of divine Love. 

So, holding in thought the infinite nature of that which “rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle” (Science and Health, p. 583), we will use this foundation for the good of all mankind. Mankind is coming in the door—and we are also taking our lives of Love into the street. Both are happening right now. 

Fabián said in his paper yesterday that humanity is seeking permanent comfort that can only come from Christ-healing. As our neighbors seek this comfort through a different sense of Church than they have known—Church as living Love—God is readying us for an influx of simple seekers of Truth through requiring of us humility and constant listening for His idea. Love is leading, and that is all the power and basis of proof we need for us to be able. The prayer that we may be able has been answered, and ever will be—individually and collectively—as Church. 

Annual Meeting concluded with the singing of Hymn No. 166 from the Christian Science Hymnal and Fabián’s reading of a benediction (Philippians 2:1, 2).

Summaries of events held prior to Annual Meeting will appear in upcoming issues of the Journal.

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