Are Brick-and-Mortar Churches Passé? [16 mins ENG]

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Mary Alice Rose, CSB, shares why in-person church attendance is still important in this talk during a mini-lecture series about how to pray effectively and bring health and healing into our everyday lives. Filmed at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas, Texas on March 3rd, 2012. To watch more lectures from this event, click here.

  1. Thank you, for the inspired blessing of this lecture. Our church is growing through the Christ. I await the manifestation of what Divine Love does next. I pray for this lecture series.

  2. Thank you for your message and for the reminder of the value of Christian Fellowship.

  3. Thank you for affirming the power of church together.

  4. I love the clear distinction made between 'virtual' and 'actual'.The foundation for Christian fellowship and worship is given to us in the Bible, by Christ Jesus and 'those gathered in my name'. The aspiratio gien to us by Mrs Eddy throuth the study of Chrstian Science is also made simple. found this a really inspired and helpful lecture which I am happily forwarding to friends.Thank you so much.

  5. Because I live in a mountain community 70+ miles from the nearest church I cannot participate in that community, and I do miss the contact with people and going to church. However, I feel blessed that I can listen in over the internet and feel I've made a family of friends, though I've never met them. We share heart-to-heart and hopefully I carry this fellowship with the people I do meet in my community.

  6. I am thankful to have Christian Science church my whole life. It makes me grow, and work.

  7. Thank you. What a wonderful lecture, and I can truly relate to it as I live in a country where there is no Christian Science church. For the past 20 months I have had the joy of being in church and serving in it. The time has come for me to go back but I will be taking church with me and all it's blessedness. God will open the way to have the full concept of church manifested right where I am.
    Thank you again for the beautiful way you opened the idea, of a living church, up to our thought.

  8. Truth be known, I too find an ease in the brevity of on-line communications, fact is premise is king when established in written form and thoughts are indicated efficiently. However the landscape of community is blessed with the presence of church, reading room, and the concord of our kindred Spirit.

  9. I like this! There is so much to do virtually but "actually" we certainly need church. I tried to go online for my church services and found it wanting even though the services are wonderful Your lecture says it just right, Mary Alice. Thank you for a wonderful talk on a timely issue. See you in church! lol

  10. I love the ideas you shared. Thought-provoking. Thanks Mary Alice and BoL for this series of short lectures! Loved all of them.

  11. Dear Mary Alice, I really appreciated your mini-lecture presentation. Courageous and honest in your take with the thesis statement that you are elaborating on. I value your stance. I personally do enjoy all the web-based delivery of church-related contents, including church services. However, by everyone and myself being there together, we are bring something for others and for the world. We just don't want to be only at the receiving end and just get used to it. Community gets built; increased cohesiveness brings more joy and productivity to our church work, too, by our attendance and presence. So, Thanks again for your contribution here.

  12. Among many other things, I just want to say that ... an example of womanhood like this, which illustrates so clearly how to think for herself and speak courageously, as guided by God and His word, IS a VERY important and even ... a MUCH needed, concrete expression of our Church. Look at what our Leader did. Whether one agrees with what is presented here or not, I think that such an expression of our beloved Church must be valued and honored. So, Thank you, Mary Alice.

  13. so deep going is your lecture, dear Mary Alice, that it calmed my worried thoughts I had just before. I love the event of pentecost in the Bible - this being one in Devine Mind, understanding each other perfectly, and where there are no different nations, but only children of God. I also see and love the importance of the healing church services - this holy community of the audience listening to Gods word. Thank you so very much indeed for this healing message, dear Mary Alice!

    where we all can understand each other perfectly

  14. A very dynamic and moving Lecture! I especially love the fact that you, Mary Alice, took a stand and expressed a viewpoint of Church that is obviously at the core of your being. I also love the way you fearlessly had us take a look at technology to see whether it can ever really take the place of human interaction. I have been attending the Mother Church online for both Sunday and Wednesday and have been enjoying it thorougly. I must admit the Mother Church Readers and the Reading seem to be of a much higher quality than usually found in a Branch Church. But, I will admit that I find myself hungering for a real Church Family with real Human Beings that you can hug after a church service! I am even considering moving just so I can belong to an actual Christian Science Church! There is just nothing like real face to face contact with other human beings! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  15. Thank you for these really inspiring concepts about CHURCH!!!!

  16. Very inspiring lecture!
    Somehow, I´ve always asked myself why I enjoy going so much to my local church and you answered me exactly the way I feel it - to be face to face with our fellow Christian Scientists, sharing the true Christ´s holy presence, is powerful and touching!
    That desirable and fraternal feeling can ever be replaced through any tecnology, at all!
    Thank you very much for that timely and clear message!

  17. Brava Mary Rose.I like to think of each church svc as a repeat of the Pentecostal Day, "that influx of divine Science" (S&H 43:9) collectively, which includes the healing Christ 'touch' to each individual.
    During the prayer silence is when I feel this, and in the congregational hymn singing.

    Much gratitude to the apostle, Paul, and to Mary Baker Eddy for establishing church on earth. It is a needed elevating influence for mankind.

  18. Addendum to former comment:
    50 violinists playing the same piece at the same time in separate rooms can never equal their playing it together in the same room under one conductor.

  19. Having experienced church virtually for the past four years and “being of one accord, in one place” with the congregation (isn’t place essentially mental?), I find that the passages in the lecture do apply to virtual church too. I know of numerous healings experienced by virtual attendees during services, including my own. Fellowship on teleconference after the services has been as supportive and loving as the brick-and-mortar experience. I've felt a true connection with others in the virtual experience rather than the “illusion of a connection.” I embrace both technology and church. Why would someone consider church an either/or situation—either brick-and-mortar or virtual? Why cannot it be both? Why would we limit the expression and outreaching efforts of the Christ message? We are never alone; we are one—one with the Divine One and with each other. Technology is helping us see that oneness, breaking through physical and mental barriers. There's no separation. Technology is merely a tool to express oneness. However, if the brick-and-mortar churches were the only thing, they would be filled to bursting. There would be healing and loving in and from them like the world has never seen. But brick-and-mortar churches are not the complete expression of church. Nor are they the "real" church. Church is a spiritual idea, is part of our “spiritual DNA.” I take church with me wherever I go and express it through every pore of my being.

  20. I live in an area of Idaho where there is no Christian Science church. I LOVE the on-line connection with the church in Boston, and depend on the other on-line CS connections HOWEVER, they are not a replacement for being able to go worship, sing hymns, and talk about CS with others.

  21. Thank you for this clear expression of virtual and actual church services. Each one can decide for himself what is best for him at this time, but we do have a choice. I spent many years without either virtual or actual church and I am currently loving both. This is a really clear thought lecture and very well executed.

  22. With much gratitude for the online connections that bless so many, I can't imagine teaching my Sunday School students from afar. When we walk over to sing the hymns and one of the 4 year-olds slips his little hand into mine, well, that just wouldn't translate into a pixellated image of his hand. Yes, sometimes getting "dressed up for church," driving to town and driving home, and planning my Sunday School hour are time-consuming aspects of church-going that I would rather not have to go through, but I ask myself: If Jesus was going to visit our church this morning, wouldn't I jump into my car without hesitation or reluctance? That helps me to look for the Christ in all I meet (on the road as well as under the church roof).
    Lovely lecture. Thank you so much.

  23. Excellent presentation. Clear logic. Very helpful. Thank you Mary Alice!

  24. this makse me grateful for the internet connections to God and for our in person churches. many thanks

  25. What a lovely and profound lecture !Thanks a lot.

  26. M.A. THANKS A LOT!

  27. Thank you for this uplifting message.

  28. An outstanding statement of the role of a physical church. Virtual church and other options made available by technology do not eliminate the usefulness of in person meetings and Branch Church membership. I am grateful for the many option available from The Mother Church as additional tools for spiritual growth.

  29. This was a nice presentation to jumpstart pondering some new ideas. After a lot of decades of church attendance and committee work I have seen the sublime and the ridiculous. We grow there, and sometimes not. When the children were in Sunday School, so was I. Reading Room work was a growing experience later. Some committees, I visited once, and never again, because of months of meetings over trivia. We had some great experiences with building projects and Board work. Later, it was good to be in a small society. No committees.Reading was good discipline. Now we are grateful for the Mother Church Online services for six times a month, and drive the long distance twice a month to participate. Our circumstances change from time to time.

  30. Thank you very much Marry for sharing us rhis have answered my long time kept question regarding attending church, so up lifting and inspiring.

  31. Most helpful. Showing the difference between virtual and actual. The feeling that fellowship which Jesus himself encouraged, goes way beyond just the social gathering of friends coming together.
    Thank you Mary Alice for a truly enlightening talk.

  32. you are correct. we must not bow our hearts to destroy the true body of Christ. But the breakdown occurred long before the advent of virtual church. i have personally witnessed and experienced the way that going to church created the atmosphere that gave rise to the growth of virtual church.

    God is ALL. God knows the TRUTH. my heart is for the church with skin on. until then, thank God for the virtual church. God can grow a real body of true believers. maybe this specific lecture could heal each one of us here and bring about the true church that each one truly need. God can do that for each one of us here and others with this need.

  33. I thank God for the virtual church and I also thank God for a Protestant church in my community. My husband and some other family members and friends give so much to the whole community thru this avenue. I love our Pastor (the books) I can also love the good others are doing in their churches. Thank you for this lovely message. and God Bless all.

  34. thank you for all this helpful demontration.

  35. Wow MA I rejoice how this idea "face to Face" inspired my exp. While reading of God speaking to Moses... & ICor. 13:12; CSH - "face to face" has guided me in working thru several relationship concerns. The points in your talk keeps me focused and in awe of our spiritual bond over the years. I Love u... Sallie Letterlough

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