Circle of Faith Blog

Welcome!

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.

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. 

For some, attending ecumenical events is all very new, and at first one friend wanted to hang out only with fellow church members.  Then someone gently suggested he join others’ tables to potentially build new bridges of communication, which he did. 

Four Christian Scientists journeyed to Washington DC last week for the Christian Unity Gathering (CUG)—the annual meeting of the National Council of Churches (NCC). It was warm and welcoming from the very first moment.

Months ago, I stumbled across a “Call for Papers” for a conference called “The Evolution of Christian Science in Scholarly Perspective” in Belgium on April 23-24.  Realizing I would already be in Europe, I could go, wondering what a scholarly perspective meant and why it was important.  

213. Is a love of Jesus enough to bind Christians?

The question I had going to the National Workshop on Christian Unity in Charlotte last week was ‘why isn’t a love of Jesus enough to bind this group?’  When I asked people what they loved about Jesus, most often they were startled. But I think there’s a promise of us being so alive with Christliness that it binds us with Christians beyond our borders.