My love of church started small and quickly grew as I discovered what a tremendous blessing church involvement can be. As a child, I sporadically attended the Christian Science Sunday School. A few good seeds were planted during that time, but I did not fully embrace Christian Science and church until I was confronted with what seemed to be insurmountable challenges in college.
I had grown up in the Midwestern United States, and I found my highly competitive East Coast college overwhelming. I felt ill-prepared for its rigorous academic demands. I was homesick, too, yearning for the comfort and security of familiar surroundings, feeling adrift, alone, helpless, and hopeless.
My father suggested that I try to get to know God better. So, I returned to the Christian Science Sunday School of my youth. As I attended Sunday School, as well as the Christian Science organization (CSO) at my college, I felt uplifted and nourished, and began to feel at home in my new surroundings. I also learned how an understanding of Christian Science could help me be successful in my studies, have more harmonious relationships, and be healed physically.
I believed membership in The Mother Church would support not only my, but all mankind's, search for truth.
Regular and wholehearted participation in Sunday School and the CSO, both of which were affiliated with The Mother Church, became my life rafts in the turbulent waters of my college experience. Communing regularly with spiritually minded people helped me develop a hopeful, can-do attitude and a steadiness in my life. I had found havens of love and fellowship, where I felt loved.
Initially, I just soaked up all the goodness, but I quickly learned that my role was also to love and support—not just to be loved and supported. And so, as I saw how much I was benefited by my participation in these activities, which were under the auspices of The Mother Church, I found I wanted to join the Church. I wanted to be part of the institution that is the source of those life-altering groups that had blessed me so much. I believed membership in The Mother Church would support not only my, but all mankind’s, search for truth—it would help humanity in some degree draw closer to God, feel the transforming power and warmth of God’s healing love.
This conviction has stayed with me over the years. When I attend a church service today, I pray to see the complete spiritual nature of everyone there. To me, this is the essence of true love. I prayerfully expect everyone to feel inspired and close to God during the service and beyond. As I pray for the congregation, I know that my consecrated prayers are blending with those of others to bring forth a loving atmosphere conducive to healing. I know that the inspired readings and music are reaching, touching, and uplifting the lives of the congregants. And as I pray deeply for those in attendance, I am uplifted as well.
As a member of The Mother Church, I’ve learned that I can pray not only for a church service, but also for the global family of church members—to pray for the world and the global mission of The Mother Church. As I struggled during college to find the purpose of my life, I discovered Mary Baker Eddy’s statement: “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it” (Science and Health, p. 57). Being a member of The Mother Church affords me the opportunity to join with a global band of healers who are praying for all mankind. This commitment to sharing the love of God with the world does indeed make me very happy!
Kathy Dunton is a Christian Science practitioner from Wellesley, Massachusetts.
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