Moving to a new church

After 25 years of living in the same town, we recently moved. There are new routes to learn, new stores, new neighbors. There’s a lot of new, and it feels adventurous. But as we’ve also been discovering, it can seem as if we’re having to say goodbye to a lot as well. The rhythms and interchanges of living in a caring community can become such givens that we tend to take them for granted. Leaving has a way of reawakening gratitude for these patterns of good. 

Nowhere has that been truer than in our appreciation for how our branch Church of Christ, Scientist, has enriched our lives over these many years.

The branch church we bid farewell to is smaller in numbers than the church we joined those many years ago. But the church of today seems somehow more vital and real to us than the church of back then. Back then we mistakenly thought we had the luxury of being able to indulge occasionally in a kind of human assessment of how things were going, of what we thought of the solo, or how the ushers greeted us, or the intonation of the reading, or the petty frictions that surfaced from time to time while serving on various committees. But over the years, our branch church matured spiritually. We learned together how to separate the personal from the vital. We got better at turning away from distractions and focusing on demonstrating the Science of Christianity. We increasingly came to realize just how much trust and value are involved in the willingness of members to share through individual testimonies their innermost struggles, prayers, healings, and victories with others, who were also coming to church because they wanted to learn together about Christ-healing. This is fellowship on the level of the disciples in the Bible, who had varied backgrounds and sometimes disagreed but were strongly united in the message and evidence Jesus had given them of the kingdom of God. 

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September 21, 2015

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