"Would you like to join us?"

When Third Church, Grand Rapids set out to create their by-laws, they wanted to capture a sense of love and inclusion— rather than a list of "do nots." In this video, members share the inspiration behind this process.

How to download this video  Feel free to share this video with fellow church members or at a Church Alive workshop!

  1. Thank you for this lovely, fresh view of how to regard applicants for membership in a Church. Non-judgmentally. Lovingly. It is the Christ which sets the achievable standard of perfection, not us, and error will fall away from each individual's thought by its own dead weight of being nothing, not through personal condemnation. Thank you for sharing your inspiration.

  2. You guys are a breath of fresh air! thank you for having the courage of your convictions, and for sharing with us the direction that is taking you. In II Timothy we read “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Tim 1:7) That goes for all of us, not just current members of our branch church. Your sanity is refreshing!

  3. God Bless All of You. What a wonderful inspiration you are to every church member everywhere. I wholeheartdly agree, it’s all about Love, Love, Love.

  4. Thank you, people are dying waiting to join Christian Science churches. They are given the impression they can’t join until it walked on water. Our church has dropped some of the requirements to be more loving.

  5. How lovely and inspiring this all is. Thank you for blowing the breezes of change and love into the Life of the church and for being such demonstrations yourselves of that Love and happiness that Church is meant to be so it can Heal. Love Merri

  6. What a loving group of people who came together to form Third Church, Grand Rapids. C/S is a growing into kind of religion. Heavy smokers, heavy drinkers etc, all these people are looking for the right way to lean on, and as they study C/S, these bad habits will fall away, guaranteed. No need to judge or condemn. To watch your Vidios was so inspiring.

  7. Tolerance,gentleness,Taking people where they are-like Hagar and child,is a mighty nice road.Happy forward traveling.

  8. I’ve considered an incident recorded in MBE biographies about Mrs. Eddy going on a shopping expedition for furniture and meeting a salesperson that was experiencing a physical challenge. She lost interest in the purchase as her thought was elsewhere. The following day, when one of her workers went back to the store to complete the purchase, the salesperson was HEALED.

    WE should be striving to be such healers, and if we are not able at the present time to be at the point where “they laid the sick in the streets….and they were healed”, it certainly doesn’t give us license to look down on others.

    This branch church certainly has the right idea. The fact that someone WANTS TO JOIN in adhering to the TENETS should be enough to evidence the desire that is prayer which “does not return unto us void.”

  9. Thank you for sharing your Church story! It is inspiring to find people willing to talk things over, develop a mission statement, and be who they are without judgment — just love Christian Science and get to know more about it each day. I’m glad you have made these videos!

  10. I love these ideas. When my husband joined his first CS branch church (he had been raised in a Fundamentalist Christian church) he made the comment that most churches want you to join to be saved – CS seems to want you to be saved before you can join! It got me to thinking. If we love and welcome in anyone who is interested in joining as the child of God, shouldn’t we expect healing – that if something in their life needs to “reform” the Christ will do it? (We don’t need to decide what that might be, of course.) That’s a healing church. Thank you for sharing living out from Love as a church.

  11. Our church went through a similar experience a few years ago. In the process of streamlining our membership application the membership committee had started to list all the ‘don’ts’, as you say, and wound up with about 2 pages of them! Prayerfully , they decided to go at this from a more positive standpoint. Now, our qualification for membership now reads something like, “Do you accept the platform of Christian Science?” This is found on pp. 310 – 320 of Science and Health. That’s ALL!

  12. I agree with number four, Gary. Our church changed the requirements for membership. We dropped that if a person was a prior member of a CS Church, they should not have to wait a long period to join. Also, we removed the question; do you smoke, drink or take medications? If a new person starts coming to the church services on a regular basis; say six months, you want to make them feel welcome, not that they have too be lilly white and pure or walk on water for membership consideration and for a possible healing they need. It is nobody’s business in the CS Church what a person’s private problems are, unless they want to mentioned it. CS Practitioners are used for private problems and it is none of the church’s business when reviewing an application for membership. They come to church to possibly join and for healing, not condemnation as not good enought to be a member. Narrow minded thinking is what turns people off……….God controls decisions and actions by those church members that are honest,loving and sincere.

  13. God bless your church. I so wish others would take this approach. Jesus hung out with sinners. What more can you say.

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