An open invitation

Originally appeared online in the teen series: My Church - June 25, 2018

I’d always loved church. I loved the fellowship. I loved supporting my community through our services and other activities. And I enjoyed feeling like I could be of service to the congregation by praying.

But then a different feeling hit me. Inconvenience. I had a new baby at home, and I was suddenly feeling quite burdened by the thought of going to church.

The deeper question I was struggling with came back to what Church really is. As a Christian Scientist, I was familiar with a spiritual definition of Church in the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which begins, “The structure of Truth and Love; …” (p. 583). I felt very confident that the word structure was not referencing the beams, walls, and floor of a church. Truth and Love refer to Spirit, God, so I could see how this divine structure must be spiritual—and must be found everywhere, since God is everywhere. Which meant I could live Church in a spiritual sense wherever I was, right? Yes, I could find Church in a building on Sunday morning, but I also caught glimpses of the presence of Church in the mountains during a hike, in the peace of family snuggles with our new infant, and even in a checkout line at the grocery store. Why should I feel tied to what felt, frankly, like an inconvenient ritual? 

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