SPECIAL TO THE CLARION-LEDGER
Christian Scientists from around the world gathered in Boston on June 5 for the annual meeting of their church. They spoke of “a new spirit” emerging, which is calling forth the best in people across denominational and national lines, despite the cultural climate of political divisions and religious strife.
Founded 138 years ago, the Church of Christ, Scientist, is a Christian denomination based on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The use of the term “Science” refers to what church founder Mary Baker Eddy saw as the spiritual laws of God as understood and demonstrated by Jesus.
In an interview, the chair of the denomination’s board of directors, Allison Phinney, noted, “Materialism doesn’t satisfy. It is Spirit, God, that brings us into newness of life, shifting thought, revealing the power of church.”
“Newness of life” —a phrase from the Bible—was integral to this year’s meeting. The theme, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life,” came from the denomination’s textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures ,” by Eddy.
The meeting took stock of the challenges as well as the promise facing many Christian denominations today. These very challenges have prompted many to look to their core values as people of faith, the board emphasized. In these core values is the power that renews individuals and revitalizes churches and society as a whole.
There’s an awakening, Phinney said, to the fact that “we have to work together, that it requires the practical Christianity, which Christian Scientists would term healing, so evident in the life and love of Christ Jesus.”
The recent launch of a daily digital edition of the 109-year-old Christian Science Monitor is one result of this deeper look at core values. According to church officials, it represents a modest new beginning, focusing more on the Monitor ’s basic ideal of healing and impartial journalism.
Members of the church come from more than 60 countries and all walks of life and backgrounds, including the physical sciences. Said board member Rich Evans, “We don’t equate serious spiritual commitment with ignorance or unreasonable belief.” The conclusions of the Christian Science founder “were untraditional in some respects, but she thought deeply about the relation between practical Christianity and demonstrated proof of God’s great love for humanity.”
Mississippians who did not attend the meeting in person had the option of viewing the meeting via live streaming on the internet.