A Summer Service

Lake Minnetonka, Minn.

Dear Sentinel: —Here at our summer home we are in the midst of a thickly settled country of small farms and market gardens, and three miles from the churches in the village of Excelsior. During the eighteen summers we have spent among them, our neighbors have become friends, and occasionally an afternoon Sunday service has been held in the open air. We felt the need of a Sunday service in the neighborhood, but the interest was not sufficient to establish anything permanent. Two years ago this spring, having had the help of the Christian Science service since the organization, the January before, of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Minneapolis, Minn., my daughter and I decided to read the lessons in the Christian Science Quarterly every Sunday morning, at home. Some one suggested inviting the neighbors and we did so. The third woman to whom I went, was not a Christian Scientist, but asked me most earnestly to have the service in the school-house, saying she would herself obtain permission from the trustees to use the schoolhouse for the purpose.

The people had known nothing of Christian Science, but they liked the service and continued to come during the summer. Two months of this time I was away, but our older son took my place, and with his sister, read the full Christian Science service every Sunday. I came back to find the human thought of prejudice had started an opposition service, in the form of a Sunday School, using the schoolhouse an hour before we met. I went to see them at once. They received me kindly but the feeling against the use of Science and Health was intense. The wife said to me, "When I see cursing, swearing infidels attending that service Sunday after Sunday, and saying they see no harm in that book, then I don't want anything to do with it." The husband seemed particularly agitated over the spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, and shaking both head and forefinger at me said, "We want nothing but the words of Jesus." The "cursing, swearing infidels," of whom we had not known before, decided the question of continuing the service the next summer. This spring the friends again asked for the service, and now, with the First and Second Readers permanent residents, a Christian Science service is established at Lake Minnetonka, "To give light to them that sit in darkness, ... to guide our feet into the way of peace."

The Carol of the Rain
July 20, 1899

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