A Church ministry and the unfoldment of the Christian Science Benevolent Association

Following is an excerpt from remarks given at the 2016 Christian Science Nursing Arts Graduation Ceremony by Carol Worley, Director of Christian Science Nurses Training.

We’re so grateful that in giving us the Manual By-law, “Christian Science Nurse,” Mary Baker Eddy established this work as a Church ministry to be practiced by members who have responded to the call of this By-law. Today we take great joy in recognizing these Christian Science nurses for the dedication they have given in preparing for this holy work.

There is no question that Christian Science nursing must be a demonstration of the activity of Church—working with the revelation of divine Science in fulfillment of this By-law and letting the light of this Science be reflected in this ministry.

Another unfolding step revealed to Mrs. Eddy for her Church was the idea of an institution—a refuge where those in need of healing and spiritual regeneration could come for this purpose…

  • A refuge where one is free to commune with the one divine Mind to learn more of his true spiritual selfhood, and to see the results in healing;
  • A refuge where those receiving prayerful treatment can receive care in perfect harmony with the divine Science they are relying on for healing;
  • A refuge where the surroundings are cared for with a reverence for the presence of the Christ.

Mrs. Eddy brought forth this idea clearly as part of Church and to be established by our Church; an activity reflective of a clear sense of God as Mother, divine Love—so true to The Mother Church and its activities.

I love how this is right in keeping with our Church Manual as we see in the By-law “Church Organizations Ample,” which reads in part, “God requires our whole heart and He supplies within the wide channels of The Mother Church dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members.” (See Church Manual p. 44:26)

At the time that she brought forth the idea, the Christian Science Board of Directors was finding many obstacles in the way of establishing such an institution as a Church organization. However, she made it clear that the starting of the institution belonged to the Directors, as she stated previously in a letter to Mrs. Longyear, “… for thereby we shall avoid much confusion in the future.” (See Christian Science Sentinel October 7, 1916 “The Christian Science Benevolent Association”)

As we pause to recognize this landmark event for our Church – 1916-2016  and its significance both then and now, I especially love what it says regarding the obedience of the members of her Church in following her as Leader after she would no longer be personally with us, overcoming obstacles that at first seemed to stand in the way of going forward in establishing the activity.

How very important it is to our present demonstration here at the BA, and at each unfolding step going forward, that we not forget that this must be a demonstration of the activity of Church; and that we not forget its original connection with Mrs. Eddy as Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science.

We can see how essential it was, and is, to our Church and to each Christian Science facility that the organization was established by the Christian Science Board of Directors—right in its place within the wide channels of The Mother Church. We continue to gain clearer glimpses of the spiritual idea that was revealed to her as we work closely with the revelation of divine Science.

The spiritual demand continues for us as we diligently work to overcome challenges today in order to continue to lovingly maintain this organization and to continue to demonstrate the spiritual activities which are always coincident with Church—always found elevating, rousing, demonstrating, and healing—reflecting that wonderful mothering activity of the Comforter.

It is entirely natural that out of this idea also came a school for instruction in the art of Christian Science nursing; a refuge—for learning, cultivating, and bringing out the art of this ministry—demonstrating what is needed for this holy work of reflecting and bearing witness to this healing truth.

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