From the Arizona Daily Star

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September 15, 2019

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In September, the Arizona Daily Star ran a front-page article detailing how the geographic center of Tucson has changed over the decades. Among many other places, the piece briefly mentioned that First Church of Christ, Scientist, Tucson, had at one time been the location of the center of town. It seemed worth sharing in a letter to the editor that although that church building is no longer there (the church has owned three different buildings since its founding more than 100 years ago), the congregation still worships nearby and continues to be active in the community, seeking to fulfill its Christian purpose. The short letter below was published both online and in print, September 28, 2019.

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News of the annual meeting of the Church of Christ, Scientist, was published in the Kingman Daily Miner, June 13, 2019

‘Church can heal divisions,’ Christian Scientists say at annual meeting

Christian Scientists attend the annual meeting of their denomination in Boston. In Mohave County there is a church in Lake Havasu City. (Courtesy)

Christian Scientists attend the annual meeting of their denomination in Boston. In Mohave County there is a church in Lake Havasu City. (Courtesy)


Given the looming challenges the world faces – strife, corruption, climate crisis, health care costs – Christian Scientists at their church’s annual meeting in Boston reaffirmed their faith that the things of the Spirit are what the world most needs.

Church members indicated their commitment to proving “the reliability of practical Christian healing.” Among the experiences shared was the healing of cancer by a former military pilot.

“As a pilot, you get used to turning situations over to God,” he said. “I felt God’s love – the warmth. My skill set was to rely on God, not be a cancer patient.”

The healing was confirmed in follow-up examinations by U.S. Veterans Administration doctors.

Church officials reported that the church is financially strong and in the midst of a significant refurbishment of The Mother Church in Boston, where the church is headquartered.

Presiding over the meeting was new church president Fabián Smara of Argentina. The newly elected readers, who conduct church services at the Church in Boston, are from Nigeria and the U.S.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, has branches in some 70 countries, and members throughout the world participated by watching the live stream of the meeting in local churches, Christian Science reading rooms, or from their homes.

Kevin E. Ness is manager of Christian Science Committees on Publication for The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. In Arizona, there are 19 Christian Sciences churches and societies.

Christian Science Annual Meeting 2017 Calls Forth Best In People Across Denominational And National Lines

BOSTON — In today’s culture of political divisions and religious strife, Christian Scientists spoke at their church’s annual meeting of “a new spirit” emerging, which is calling forth the best in people across denominational and national lines.

[read more]

Here’s the link:


A loaded question on Yahoo! invited a wide range of answers including the one below. Given the blunter aspects of social media, it’s not always helpful to respond to these things, but it was in this case.

[Posted answer:]

“For me, as I read the answers below, the real question is, Why is it that Christian Science has been and is still so dear to my heart? I’ve been a church member most of my life. I’ve read and considered all the criticisms raised here, and many more. But for me, the reality of God’s presence and love as Jesus taught it is at the heart of Christian Science, and it’s been a source of light and meaning that’s hard to imagine living without.

For me, too, the practice of Christian healing isn’t reducible to a “rejection” of modern medicine—there’s so much more to it. I’ve seen and experienced God’s love in so many practical ways—including being healed many times and witnessing healings in others’ lives—that I can’t dismiss these effects as “nature running its course,” placebo effect, mind-over-matter, or any of the other common put-downs for what can’t be explained by clinical models. Which is not to say that I’m the best example of a Christian Scientist—far from it. I’ve led an ordinary and less than perfect human life. But what the Christian Science church has helped me do, is to take seriously the teachings of Christ Jesus—to follow him more sincerely—reforming my character to some extent and making me, I hope, a better person. It also shines God’s comfort and forgiveness into the darkest corners of my life where my shortcomings would otherwise haunt and burn.

I’ve found Christian Science to be genuinely Christian, not in terms of creeds and dogmas, which we may not share in all the traditional ways, but in terms of the great spiritual core at the heart of Jesus’ life, teachings, sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection from death. The Master’s humanity opens our eyes to the tremendous reality he saw—a God who is Love itself—and to what we are as God’s image. I’d think this spiritual perspective—and the healing power that accompanies it—deserves at least an honest hearing as an expression of serious Christianity, but I realize this has to be earned by the lives we lead and the spirit we express.

Diane R. Hanover

(member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Tucson, and currently serving as Christian Science Committee on Publication for Arizona)

The Star Shines for Everyone

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The Oneonta Daily Star, Oneonta, New York

Religion column:

The star shines for everyone

It was just another birth, wasn’t it? That baby born to an unwed mother in a village at the edge of the Roman Empire. Nothing for the temples and palaces to take notice of, transfixed as they were by the hard glare of empire and commerce and the trappings of civilization.

And yet, this birth would move the world.

Why did the power brokers and gatekeepers of the age miss what was taking place? Or, in the case of King Herod, attempt to kill what they didn’t understand?

A few wakeful shepherds responded. They heard what others didn’t, a song of angels: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” A light was dawning, far greater than anything people had ever known or even imagined. It began to work a change in human hearts, a revolution of goodness and love still going on.

How often today do we overlook or try to quell what matters most to the welfare of humanity, the things that give meaning? Some say that all religion, including Christianity, is irrelevant, obsolete, outdated in the face of advances in physical science, and losing ground. People of various faiths or no faith at all may sometimes wonder themselves at the darkness when they see houses of worship no longer in use — or what can be worse, failing to live up to their highest ideals.

And yet, the meaning of Bethlehem is for all humanity — for Christians and non-believers and the faithful of other religions. It’s the meeting point of east and west, the promise of God’s goodness, coming quietly in the midst of darkness with tremendous moral and spiritual authority. “When it’s Christmas, we’re all of us magi,” the late Joseph Brodsky, a Russian Jewish poet and émigré to this country during the Soviet era, put it. Christ Jesus’ conviction about the worth of everyone as children of a loving God sent shock waves through the ancient world that still reverberate today.

What could be more relevant and needed today than this spiritual light, that pierces the darkness of evil, life by life, with the transforming power of God? “Midnight foretells the dawn,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Her still-revolutionary book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” upends sectarian faith with a call to fully understand God. She asked, “Is the wise man of today believed, when he beholds the light which heralds Christ’s eternal dawn and describes its effulgence?” Who is believed in your church, or mine, when the divine light and Love breaks through a hardened heart, softens character, redeems a life from sin, heals the sick?

To follow the path of goodness that Christmas points to, sets us on a course that much of the world still disdains or overlooks. And yet, something greater and more powerful than all the popular assumptions of the day is at work. “Herod reigns but the stronger he is, the more sure, the more certain the wonder,” as Joseph Brodsky saw. A “Spirit that’s Holy” for all of us to discover in ourselves and each other: “you stare / skyward, and it’s right there: a star.”

This spiritual light transcends even religious boundaries.

Van Driessen is a member of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for New York. The poem quoted is “December 24, 1971” by Joseph Brodsky.