From the Directors

Many inquiries reach The Christian Science Board of Directors regarding the holding of "metaphysical meetings" so called. Nowhere in the Church Manual or in other of the writings of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, is there reference to "metaphysical meetings." That term, applied to certain meetings of members of branch churches, has been rather loosely employed in our movement. Mrs. Eddy writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 69), "Divine metaphysics is that which treats of the existence of God, His essence, relations, and attributes." Thus divine metaphysics is the subject of study by Christian Scientists individually; it is the subject of study in classes taught by qualified teachers of Christian Science; and it must be understood by Christian Science practitioners, in other words, by all Christian Scientists in applying their religion.

A branch church may properly hold meetings of its members or of its committees such as will promote the welfare of the church or of the movement as a whole, and if the term "business meeting" is not thought to be sufficiently comprehensive to characterize such a meeting, then the term "welfare meeting" or "meeting in the interest of the church," or some similar suitable description, might be used. Mrs. Eddy, in the Glossary of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 583), defines "Church," in part, as "that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick." This definition may well be considered in respect to the proper scope of church meetings, and members should be familiar with the spiritual functions of "Church" as Mrs. Eddy has here described it. Church members' meetings called to promote the spiritual welfare of the organization may quite properly give information concerning the affairs of the church, the need of fuller support and activity on the part of the members, the opportunity for greater participation in the various functions of the movement; in short, help the members to be more active in the furtherance of the Cause as a whole and to promote the interest of their local branch churches as well.

Meetings of branch churches may be opened appropriately by a hymn, by silent prayer and the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, or the "Daily Prayer" from the Manual of The Mother Church (Art. VIII, Sect. 4), followed by the reading of suitable selections from the Bible and from Mrs. Eddy's writings. At times the reading of certain pertinent articles, editorials, or statements from the Christian Science periodicals is suitable, or previously prepared and approved written statements from experienced workers in the membership, or talks from the floor on subjects relevant to the object of the meeting, sometimes by those specially selected to speak of their helpful experiences, may be inspiring and may contribute toward more alertness and more devoted spiritual support. At some meetings members present are free to speak helpfully of their experience in applying Christian Science. Obviously, speakers should not undertake to preach Christian Science or present their own conceptions of Mrs. Eddy's teachings, but they may properly state how they have scientifically applied her teachings in a situation which concerns the church. Mrs. Eddy's letter in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 156) to "Beloved Christian Scientists," so often referred to in connection with the question of holding meetings of various kinds, need not be regarded as prohibitive of properly conducted church or committee meetings.

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Items of Interest
Items of Interest
October 29, 1932

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