Circle of Faith Blog

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This blog is about Christian Science in Christian dialogue and community.

The technical term is ‘ecumenical dialogue.’ The Mother Church as well as local communities are in various stages of formal dialogue with Christian councils and organizations around the world. This blog is an open, transparent discussion about these relationships.We encourage you to enter the conversation by contributing your own comments after the blog postings. The Ecumenical Team of bloggers include Shirley Paulson (Committee for Ecumenical Affairs), David Corbitt, Madelon Maupin, Deanna Mummert, Brian Talcott, and Maryl Walters.

226. Ecumenical work is healing work

Occasionally I’m asked if my being a Protestant chaplain in the Air Force was good preparation for the healing practice of Christian Science. It was for me, but it depends upon how you approach it. We might also ask if ecumenical and interfaith work is good preparation for the healing practice. Again, it depends upon how you approach it. I found in both the ecumenical and interfaith work wonderful opportunities for healing—accompanied by lots of spiritual growth and prayer.

225. Occult? Or 'rousing dormant Christendom'?

Most Christian Scientists would probably be surprised to take a peek at my bookshelves. For several years, I have been collecting textbooks explaining Christian Science to the general public. It’s shocking to realize how very few treat Christian Science as a Christian faith tradition, despite its Christian origin and purpose.

A friend and I were invited to an iftar dinner at our local mosque. What started out as an interfaith event as we sat with a Muslim family, turned into an engaging ecumenical discussion with their Catholic parents who were also at the table.

223. Christians Standing Together in Adversity

Christians are like families.  We may have our differences but if attacked, we band together.  What better example of true ecumenical unity than when Christians pray for Christians, as has been happening over the past weeks since the news that eight Southern churches were burned.

222. Religion in the 21st century

It was a pleasure to attend and present a paper on Christian Science at the CESNUR conference in Tallinn, Estonia, a couple of weeks ago.  This group has inspired rigorous academic study in the face of the sensationalist headlines often associated with New Religious Movements (NRMs).

221. The Healing of Hearts

Seeing through the false boundaries of skin color, economic status and religious preference — at our very core — we are all brothers and sisters, children of God. I believe it is that truth that heals hatred and prejudice...We all felt the presence of God fill each of our hearts with love and forgiveness.

It is easy to think of evil as despicable acts, hateful speech, systematic racism, genocide, war, etc... Have you ever thought about the root cause of this "manifest evil" as possibly how I know and think of myself and thereby how I know my neighbor?  Consider with me for a moment...

219. NCC welcomes Mother Church 'Observer Status'

With the announcement that the leadership of NCC (USA) and the Christian Science Board of Directors are both comfortable with the agreed upon ‘Observer Status' for The Mother Church in NCC, we are delighted to affirm the role of the Christian Science Church in the ecumenical spirit of Jesus’ prayer for unity among his followers (John 17:21).

I have wondered for a long time what Mary Baker Eddy had in mind when she and her students voted to design a church that would, among other things, "reinstate primitive Christianity." What was that like in ancient times.  I attended a weekend conference in Philadelphia devoted to making some relatively newly discovered texts come alive for contemporary Christians.

217. Prayer in the advocacy arena

Individuals may ask, “What does prayer have to do with social action, especially in advocating for legislation and policy changes?” It makes advocacy more effective. Prayer may mistakenly imply that it’s asking God to be on our side. Certainly we would hope that God is on our side, but that is true only as our efforts are guided by the divine will and wisdom—and motivated by truth and love.