"Love ye . . . the stranger"

One Sunday evening when I was conducting a Christian Science service in an Air Force chapel, I learned a valuable lesson. It had been the custom of this little group at the close of the service to have each person attending rise and tell his name and where he attended church or Sunday School at home. On this particular evening one of the airmen, when his turn came, stood and said, "I must be in the wrong place; I'm not a Christian Scientist." While we hastened to assure him he was welcome, I saw immediately that my thought had not been reaching out to strangers.

The custom was discontinued, and all who attended regularly agreed to give prayerful thought each week to demonstrating the love of God, which welcomed strangers as well as Christian Scientists to the service. No announcements were made, no campaign was conducted, to encourage the hundreds who passed the chapel each day to read our notice (along with notices of five other services each Sunday) and to come to our service. Only prayerful mental work was done, and that merely to change our own outlook from one which had excluded the stranger to one which included all in divine Love.

From the Treasurer of The Mother Church
January 20, 1962

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