The following was written in support of Church Alive, a focus of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, that explores the meaning and possibilities of awakening to the spiritual basis and impact of Church.

Church home — found!

Stepping into a church with stiff wooden pews was a sinking experience for me. My husband and I had just moved to a new state and were looking for a church home nearest to our rural residence. My first impression was dismay. I’d come from a vibrant, colorful church facility full of warmth and beauty, so this felt like being sentenced to a prison!

As I tried to listen to the Christian Science Bible Lesson-Sermon, my thoughts wandered into critical paths: This seat is awfully hard; there’s no color here—only off-white. And worst of all: Where are all the people? I couldn’t spend much time like that, because I realized I was being very critical of a church I didn’t even know. Then a thought came to me: “I didn’t send you here to criticize; I sent you here to love.” It was plainly the Father’s message to me, so one by one I actively affirmed God’s love for each of the congregants and included myself in that love.

June 6, 2011
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