Dear Fellow Members and Branches of The Church of Christ, Scientist,
The “still, small voice” of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, “as when a lion roareth.” It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear. —Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 559
Governed by the divine law of Love, we humbly welcome the opportunity to join together as members to listen for, acknowledge, and obey this “still small voice” of Truth. This voice is heard above the din of fear or unsure human circumstance and brings comfort, light, and genuine healing to all humanity, both close to home and around the globe.
The Mother Church is monitoring, as we are sure each of you are, the current worldwide public health situation. We can be assured that divine Mind is lighting the way for each of us to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16), as we are led to take the appropriate practical steps—for ourselves and our branch congregations—that are animated by compassion and wisdom, not human fear.
Because guidance and requirements from public health authorities have varied by location, and can change rapidly, we encourage church members and branches to be alert to and monitor the direction being given in their communities. We know that each branch, as democratically self-governed, is genuinely praying and listening for how to best bless its community, follow the Golden Rule, and heed authorities’ guidance and directives. We appreciate that the preventive steps provided by the government are made with the good motive of protecting public health, and in respecting them we are also expressing “... the meekness and might of life ‘hid with Christ in God’ ” (Science and Health, p. 445).
If you aren’t yet aware, a landing page on ChristianScience.com has been created that includes healing ideas to address the challenge: Praying in response to the coronavirus.
Other things you may want to consider in the spirit of “wisdom … and brotherly love” (Mary Baker Eddy, Manual of The Mother Church, p. 77):
If officials in your area recommend or require that your branch limit public gatherings, you may feel led to consider an alternative to in-person church services and activities (e.g., Sunday School, Reading Room, lectures, etc.) such as meeting via conference call or private online options like Skype or Zoom. Please note, however, that livestreaming or posting recordings of services via websites or social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube is discouraged because of third-party copyright considerations, and also may not be the wisest option especially at this time, in order to protect the holiness, sanctity, and tenderness of our Sunday services and Wednesday evening testimony meetings.
If your branch decides to pause in-person services and other activities, please know that we understand and support your decision. Rest assured, this would not be a reason for concern that you are not fulfilling your Church Manual duties.
If you have questions about your branch’s activities, please contact The Mother Church’s Church Activities department at TMCbranch@csps.com. You can reach out to your lecturer regarding upcoming lectures.
If you or your branch receive any media inquiries about how Christian Scientists are responding to the situation, please gather what information you can about the inquiry and inquirer and be in contact with your local Committee on Publication, so you can think together about how to respond.
The following verse from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians speaks beautifully to our opportunity as members to persistently bear witness to the omnipotence of our Father-Mother God and the leavening power of Christ, Truth.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.… And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. —I Thessalonians 5:21, 23, 24
Laurie Q. Richardson, CSB Clerk of The Mother Church
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