Yesterday I sat down at a large conference table in a local seminary with 16 other people from the St. Louis area to examine and discuss the meaning of texts from the three Abrahamic faiths. An imam and two Muslim women in head scarves, a reformed Jew, a Catholic sister, a Mormon, a Buddhist, and several lay Christians were in attendance.
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.
A single magnificent Aspen grove serves as a metaphor for our Christian Church with its common root of Christ Jesus.
Sitting in our local library while waiting for my car to be repaired across the street, I began to read the Christian Science weekly Bible Lesson. Soon, a woman sat down across from me and noticing the title, Sacrament, she initiated conversation. Here’s a snippet of our hour long conversation...We parted as Christian sisters not necessarily agreeing about baptism; but on some level we left with a greater understanding and respect of each others’ Christian faith.
The gem of ecumenism often is the one-to-one conversations whether attending a large conference, serving at the Reading Room, or sitting quietly at the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles). Let's explore together another setting in which to build a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian Science Christian: the Campfire!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.