Letters from the Field

[Extract from report of the Christian Science Worker at Folsom State Prison, Sacramento, California]

The Christian Science Worker visits the prison every Saturday for the purpose of assisting those interested in Christian Science. Many requests come to the Christian Science Worker for treatment, often as many as three or four a week; but usually the health of the man is very good. The leavening effect of the Christian Science periodicals, which are freely read, is noticeable, particularly that of The Christian Science Monitor. It acts as an educator to destroy the prejudice of the reader. There were two recent cases of healing in which neither party was previously an attendant at Sunday services nor a student of the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. When they asked for treatment their need was readily met, illustrating the truth of a statement made by a recent lecturer: "Divine truth is ever at work, but until there is receptivity, there can be no response."

An interesting feature of the growth of the Monitor distribution is the demand for the papers for the purpose of clipping articles for reference. The papers serve men on six routes, and a rule of the librarian is that nothing shall be clipped from them while en route. This has led to requests for papers after they have come in from the last route. The librarian keeps a record of these requests, and the record for one month shows the wide interest which is taken in the various departments of the Monitor. The special articles called for are shown as follows: metaphysical, 51; entire paper, 34; educational, 21; cooking recipes, 18; editorials, 14; Florida Supplement, 5; Ohio supplement, 3; Architecture, 2; article on "Peace," 2; California redwoods, 1; total, 151. The Christian Science Workers is the First Reader and conducts the Sunday service in the prison chapel. An average of about sixty men attend regularly on Sundays, and from one hundred and fifty to two hundred attend the lectures.

Beginning the first of this year, it was necessary to increase the Christian Science Quarterly subscriptions to ninety-five. Of this number about seventy are used by individuals for Lesson-Sermon study. Quite a number read the Lesson-Sermon regularly who are unable to attend the Sunday service on account of being employed at that hour in domestic or office service. The gradual growth in the demand for the Quarterly and the Monitor is gratifying, and shows increased interest in Christian Science in the institution. The prison library is now receiving forty Monitors daily, twenty-five Sentinels weekly, thirteen Journals and three Herolds monthly. These subscriptions are augmented by the united literature distribution committee of Sacramento, which sends a large bundle to the prison each Sunday for general distribution. The lecture committee in the prison distributed the Monitor and Sentinel to the visitors after the last lecture. They were gratefully received by many.

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On the Overcoming of Evil
May 21, 1927

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