I just attended a fascinating conference of the North American Academy of Ecumenists. Although, as a Christian Scientist, I was a minority voice among mainstream Christians, my participation was welcome. Read more about the things we discussed…
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, and Maryl Walters.
We're all growing in how we pray. A group of Christians recently discovered that gratitude, more than petition, was appropriate for their many blessings in a new Christian endeavor.
An interfaith committee, comprised of individuals from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Baha’i faiths, worked together to design and develop an intergenerational, spiritual open space devoted to prayer, meditation and healing —Thanksgiving Place. The committee agreed that gratitude would contribute to healing some of the issues related to poverty and drugs.
This summer while attending the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA conference I sat on my appointed "convening table" for the Joint Action and Advocacy for Justice and Peace. Have you ever been in a situation where your heart is telling to leap to action? How you leap determines how effective it is. The Christian Science Monitor, for me, has been an effective tool and springboard. Here is an example:
Regardless of where those hard questions come from, I’m convinced that Jesus’ message to his disciples applies to us now, when he told them, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the middle of them” (Mat 18:20). Our sincere effort to welcome the spirit of Jesus and his love in our conversations will guide us to the mutual blessings we seek.
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.
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.