In some branch churches the business of the church, which is surely a part of the "Father's business," is not given the thought by some of the members to which it is entitled. A typical instance is that of a large branch church in which a majority of the members rarely fail to be present at the Sunday and mid-week services, but less than half of the membership regularly attend the business meetings. Further, the difficulty which some of those in attendance have in applying the fundamentals of Christian Science in the transaction of church business, augurs lack of mental preparation for these meetings.

The fidelity of Christian Scientists generally in attending the services of their churches indicates a lively appreciation of this one obligation of membership and a realization of the benefit received through fulfilled obligation. If a member frequently fails to attend the business meeting of his church, it is because he does not realize either that such attendance is a part of his duty, or that he is benefited by doing his duty. The privilege of church-membership involves the duty of aiding in carrying on the work of the church, even if the obligation were not specifically stated in its by-laws, and every opportunity to participate in the church work that is taken advantage of brings a blessing. Consistent attendance at all meetings is the least return which a conscientious member can make for the privilege of membership, and the most plausible excuses are not a fair equivalent for failure in this respect.

Mere attendance is not the whole duty of any member to the business meeting or any other service of his church, for each should be prepared to do his part in making the meeting harmonious and effective. The work of all Christian Scientists is largely mental, and those who have no physical work to do for the church should not forget that which belongs to every member. The fact that one may occupy some official position in the church adds nothing in reality to his obligation to the church. If the clerk, the treasurer, or the chairman of the board should come to the meeting without having prepared a report, it would be apparent that he had not fulfilled his obligation to the organization, and while the slighted duty is not necessarily so obvious when a non-official member comes to the meeting without the requisite preparation, it is apt to result in some feeling of doubt or discord with regard to the affairs of the church.

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December 30, 1911

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