Head of legislative and media affairs for the Christian Science Church in Massachusetts, and a Christian Science practitioner — someone who has devoted his or her life to professionally helping others through prayer.
Classical music and jazz — I was a professional composer and pianist for 34 years. I also enjoy bicycling long distances.
Best advice I ever received
A friend once told me that if we’ve learned good lessons from even very difficult situations in our lives, we can realize that all we have really experienced is good. I’ve found this to be a very liberating concept.
One thing I know for sure is
God is good and loves all of His/Her creations.
Describe your connection to Worcester
I grew up in North Grafton at a time when it was quite rural. There was only a small market near us, so when I was a young child, my mother and I would take the bus to Worcester to buy baked goods and quality meats on Water Street. My mom’s family lived up on Grafton Hill and I frequently visited them for overnights. I took weekly piano lessons in Worcester, and in those days, Worcester was the only place around to see movies. I have a lot of fond memories of Worcester.
Describe what you do for the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Massachusetts
I work in both the media and the legislature, providing the public with accurate information about Christian Science and working with legislation that helps keep spiritual care available to every one.
Have you always been a Christian Scientist?
I was raised in a mainstream faith and left that when I went to college in the 1960s. After that, I explored atheism and many different Eastern and Western religions. Upon encountering Christian Science in 1990, I read the primary work on Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. I felt that I had found something of great value, which answered many of the questions that I had over the decades. Simultaneously, by applying the ideas that were in this book in conjunction with the spiritual truths of the Bible, I began being healed of chronic ailments. It was remarkable to me and yet it was also very natural.
What is the most misunderstood facet of Christian Science?
I think people think that Christian Scientists don’t use medicine because there’s some prohibition about it by the Church. But that’s not the case. I don’t use medicine because I find Christian Science to be a health care system that works and has been reliable for me. I think that’s the case for many Christian Scientists.
What do Christian Scientists mean when they talk about healing through prayer?
Well, first, it doesn’t mean rituals, incantations, or formulas. When I’m praying for myself or for someone who’s called me for help, I begin with one primary fact: namely, that we’re God’s creation and that we can never be separated from His unconditional love for each and every one of us. Gaining a deeper understanding of this brings healing to any situation, whether we’re talking about our physical health and emotional well-being, or conditions that need healing in our communities and in the world. Millions of people around the world have found that there’s no problem too big or too small for God to heal.
Do you have personal experience with that?
Let me tell you about one that was quite dramatic to me. As I mentioned earlier, I’m an avid cyclist. On one group ride I crashed my bike at 35 mph. It wasn’t a pretty picture. My friends were very alarmed since in addition to all of the deep cuts and abrasions, they were convinced that I had fractured my collar bone. It certainly felt that way. I decided to rely on Christian Science and called a fellow practitioner for help. Nine days later — to the amazement of my friends — not only was the collar bone completely healed, but I was riding full-tilt with them on an 80-mile ride. There were simply no physical or mental scars.
What are your thoughts about The Christian Science Monitor discontinuing its print version and going to all-online?
I think that The Christian Science Monitor is on the cutting-edge of a direction that most newspapers will eventually go. The Monitor has been available online since 1996, but now will be a 24/7 continuously updated resource to people all over the world. And, I think that’s very important because it will present the world to us in a timely way that will continue to allow us to think and pray about the issues that are important to humanity and to our planet.
Do people ever confuse Christian Science with Scientology?
All the time! It’s surprising how many people do confuse the two even though they have no similarity to each other. Christian Science is a religion that’s been around for 140 years and a Bible-based system of spiritual healing.
Does the church have any major initiatives in the new year?
Since universal health care is clearly on the federal agenda for Congress this session, I think that there’s going to be a lot of thought and activity given to that issue and how spiritual care should be included as an option for our citizens in this pluralistic society.