Readers in Churches and Societies

Article III, Section 6, of the Church Manual specifies that all Readers in branch churches must be members of The Mother Church. The rules for the recognition of a Christian Science Society include a similar provision; so that when Christian Scientists apply for the recognition of The Mother Church, and for a card in The Christian Science Journal, as a branch church or as a society, they should have for Readers members in good standing in The Mother Church. Substitute or temporary Readers, as well as the regular Readers, must likewise be members of The Mother Church. Applicants for admission to membership in The Mother Church who have not been notified of acceptance are not yet eligible to be Readers, and must be admitted to membership before they shall have fulfilled the qualifications. This also applies to those who desire admission on one year's probation.

In some few cases a society has felt that it must withdraw its card from the Church directory in the Journal because its eligible members had each served it or other branch organizations a three-year term as Readers. While Mrs. Eddy's article "Words for the Wise" on page 250 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," clearly indicates her wish that one who has served three years in any branch as a Reader shall retire from that work, it would be preferable under extraordinary conditions to take advantage of the latitude given by Mrs. Eddy in her article "Afterglow" (ibid.), and to reelect Readers rather than to cease to be a branch of The Mother Church. In cases where the by-laws of the society make too stringent a rule regarding Reader's terms, it would seem that the by-laws should be amended in an orderly manner to provided for emergencies.

To organize a branch church the membership must include at least one active practitioner whose card is in the Journal; but if such church after being acknowledged as a branch should at any time be left without an advertised practitioner in its membership, it will still be a branch of The Mother Church. While it is helpful for a society to have in its membership an advertised practitioner, the rules do not require it.

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At God's Right Hand
February 2, 1929

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