Church membership—and joy

Have you ever thought about the fact that what you bring mentally to an activity directly relates to what you get out of it? By this I'm referring to the qualities of thought you are entertaining. You could be watching a school play, listening to the symphony, or cheering the home team; yet if your mood was depressed, distracted, sleepy, or angry, you wouldn't very easily enjoy any of those activities.

Most of us have probably realized this at some point as we go about our lives. And it's always exciting, at least for me, when I realize some new insight. One such experience occurred while I was listening to the notices during a service in a Christian Science branch church. An invitation to join caught my attention. This announcement pointed out the joy that result from active participation as a member. In thinking about this, I recognized how important it is for me to bring joy to my activities in church. I realized that if I am to expect others who are not members to value branch church membership, I must recognize and cherish joy even more.

As I continued to pray, I recalled a conversation I had had with some friends after a church service one Sunday. I had just come from the Sunday School where I was teaching, and one of my friends commented on how he missed Sunday School, having reached the age of twenty several years before. The Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy directs that only pupils up to the age of twenty, as well as Sunday School officers and teachers, are to "attend the Sunday School exercises" (Art. XX, Sect. 1). My friend said he wished there were a Sunday School class for adults as some other denominations have. He missed the discovery and learning that we both loved in Sunday School.

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A higher sense of individuality
May 19, 1997

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