The motives for joining a branch church are usually gratitude and a wish to take a useful part in the movement that has for its purpose the re-establishment of practical Christianity, which heals sickness and destroys sin. Our Leader's numerous letters to branch churches, many of which are to be found in her Prose Works, are an indication of her realization of the importance of this stage of development. In taking part in the activities of a branch church we begin to learn that "we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another," as Paul pointed out to the Romans (12:5), and that individual activity should forward the unity of all in divine Love.

We cannot be members very long without realizing two very important facts: first that we should neither follow nor seek counsel of material personality; secondly that our primary concern should not be for a merely material structure. Mary Baker Eddy covers both these points in the first paragraph of her definition of "Church" in the Glossary of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she writes (p. 583): "Church. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle."

In this brief, lucid statement there is no element of materiality, no suggestion of a need for human opinion. If we do our church work for the sake of human approval we may have to do it again from a purely spiritual motive. If we do it in imitation of someone else, it will remain an imitation. If we base our endeavors on obedience to divine Principle, however, we shall rapidly learn the right way of doing what is really needed at any given time and so make steady progress. We shall see that whatever we are called upon to do is of real importance for us. It will bring blessings with it in proportion as we do it faithfully and promptly, whether it seems to the material senses to be a noteworthy piece of work or something that will attract no attention at all.

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September 6, 1952

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