Concerning Church Membership

In the testimonies given in our churches and periodicals, there are frequent expressions of gratitude for membership in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and its branches; and a great number of people throughout the world know how sincere such expressions can be—how inadequate indeed they often seem to those who offer them. For membership in these churches, characteristically, is a richly satisfying and rewarding experience.

Its satisfactions are of a double sort. Generally, when one has felt the healing and liberating power of Christian Science, he has no dearer desire than to bring this Science to the attention of others. He has felt the touch of divine Love, and he responds spontaneously, in the spirit of Jesus' words, "Freely ye have received, freely give." By reason of The Mother Church and its branches, however, he sees that he does not have to proceed haphazardly or alone in publishing the good news. He finds that in these churches, under the inspired leadership of Mary Baker Eddy, the activities necessary for carrying the Christ-message not only to a few but to all mankind have already been established. He recognizes furthermore that there is a place for him in these activities, and that they offer full scope for all that he can give them. It is not strange that he soon wishes, as a rule, to unite with the Church of Christ, Scientist, and have a part in its work; and as he takes advantage of his opportunities in this respect he finds his desire for usefulness in the Cause of Christian Science progressively satisfied.

It is obviously important that students of Christian Science should have such an interest in church membership. All that our churches are accomplishing for mankind—their building of edifices and conducting of services, their supplying of Christian Science literature, their giving of lectures, their educational and healing work as a whole—is being done by people who turned to the churches through just such a desire to serve. Without these people there would be no church work. The work is naturally broadened and strengthened as others approach it in like spirit.

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February 7, 1942

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