Items of Interest

The student of the Manual who remembers that it is the Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy is aided substantially in determining which of the By-Laws therein may be applicable in conducting the affairs of branch churches and societies. Likewise, the headings of the several divisions and Articles, as well as the titles of the By-Laws themselves, are of assistance to him.

Certain By-Laws which indicate the need for each branch church to make adequate and comprehensive provision for transacting its business in an orderly manner, are contained in Article XXIII under the heading "The Mother Church and Branch Churches." Article XI, Section 13, entitled "Members of Branch Churches" and published under the heading "Complaints," and Article XXXV, Section 1, entitled "For The Mother Church Only," contribute to the student's understanding of the distinctive nature and purpose of the By-Laws which are applicable to branches of The Mother Church, those By-Laws which govern directly the indivicual member, and those which are enforceable as to The Mother Church itself.

A lack of understanding of this distinction sometimes results in the failure of a branch church to adopt adequate rules for its local government, and, upon occasion, leads to the mistaken use of By-Laws intended for The Mother Church only. There is, moreover, in Article XXIII, Section 3, "Mother Church Unique," a clear reminder that Mrs. Eddy intended Christian Scientists to discern the proper application and use of the By-Laws in this respect. All this does not mean, however, that a branch church may not in its own words adopt, if it thinks needful, a rule similar to but not identical with a By-Law of The Mother Church. Of the Manual itself, our Leader wrote (p. 104), "It stands alone, uniquely adapted to form the budding thought and hedge it about with divine Love."

Admission to The Mother Church
December 21, 1929

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