"Preach the gospel"

Letters received by the editors of the Sentinel from members of newer and smaller branch churches indicate that frequently much perplexity is experienced over the question as to whether or not a Sunday afternoon or evening service should be held by these churches in addition to the regular morning service. Some seem to feel that a second service should be held only when the first has become so overcrowded as to make it imperative that something further be done to accommodate all who wish to attend the services of the church. On the other hand, some believe that a second service would be such a display of hospitality as would attract those who otherwise might not be able to attend church service in the morning, as well as those who might consider themselves under obligation to attend the forenoon service of a church of some other denomination.

Of course the editors are not in a position to decide these questions, and as there is no by-law or rule of The Mother Church which makes it obligatory upon churches of our denomination to hold a second service, it may fairly be assumed that the branch churches should be governed in this matter by local conditions and requirements. It has, however, been the experience of most of the branch churches located in the larger cities, that there are many persons who do not find it convenient to attend the morning service, and yet are glad to avail themselves of an opportunity to attend a later one; also that some considerable portion of those who attend the second service are strangers or persons whose regular church affiliations have taken them elsewhere in the forenoon. This would indicate that as a general rule the afternoon or evening services should not be regarded solely as overflow services, but rather as additional opportunities for presenting the healing gospel of Christian Science to all who wish to hear it. Observation of these conditions has led most of the Christian Science churches in the principal cities to believe that it is profitable to hold a second service, even though the morning service may not be overcrowded; but whether this would hold good in the smaller cities and towns is a question to which the good judgment and experience of those locally interested must furnish the answer.

Impartial Love
October 2, 1915

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