What does Church mean to you?
I have been a member of this Albuquerque church for a long time. It is a beautiful structure. As I attend classes and programs in churches around the city I recognize some congregations meet in cafeterias, auditoriums, offices, store fronts, and homes. At the same time there are other church structures that resemble the cathedrals of Europe.
Deep down inside I recognize no matter how impressive or unappealing a building might be the structure is not the church. Mrs. Eddy reminds us ‘Church is the structure of Truth and Love.” So it is up to the members to be grateful for much more than the building.
How grateful we are for our early members who were healed as children or found answers to their numerous problems as adults. How grateful we are for those who proceeded through divine Principle to become members. They were early residents of Albuquerque who desired to elevate the race and rouse the dormant understanding. They became a community that demonstrated Divine Science and we still have records of their membership as well as the church they endowed.
So each Sunday and Wednesday we gather to rededicate ourselves to each other and the wonderful Truth of Christian Science. During our services, as Mrs. Eddy recommended, we pray for ourselves and each other ‘collectively and exclusively’. That time is set aside, and it is our privilege to express our gift of love for all Christian Science members and congregations throughout the world.
Another wonderful gift is our lesson sermon. I am always amazed that the one Mind provides ideas months ahead of time so each Sunday lesson speaks right to the needs of today. This has been especially appreciated during the last year or so as we individually seek new ideas and pray for our country and this world.
After I have read the lesson sermon I find new ideas when it is read aloud and surrounded by beautiful music. How grateful we can be for readers who spend hours considering the meaning of each passage. Our wonderful musicians carefully select and rehearse over and over again, that we might reap the benefit of their insight and talent.
When we are unsettled about personal problems or have sincere questions about society and culture Wednesday Meeting is a good place to find answers. Our evening services are inspiring as we each share the results of our own weekly study. We come together as a community of seekers to declare the truth in our hearts for each other and our brothers and sisters. Often I have been discouraged, searching for a new idea in my work, and another member shares just what I needed.
As I have pondered all my gratitude for church I am reminded that as I have responsibilities as a citizen I also have responsibilities as a church member. I cannot just attend or vote and think my job is done. Or fail to pray and support those who tirelessly keep the lights on and the temperature of the building adjusted. The expectation that new seekers of Truth will be led to our light means we as a community must be there with a warm welcome.
After each service or meeting we have the privilege to share our love in greetings, handshakes, and hugs of appreciation. It is there we become a real living church. It is during those times we can feel in our hearts the completeness and joy of God’s love. Then we know it has been a week of progress and feel the impact of rousing our own dormant understanding.
When I park at our church and see the lights shining in the windows and on the beautiful portico I am once more so grateful to each and every member who has through the years kept the light of Christian Science on for each of us and our city.
- Vicki Turpen
From the Executive Board: We would like to hear from you, too! If you have any news or inspiration about church to share with the other members, please send your submission to the Clerk for posting right here on the newsletter section.