Tag Archives: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

At annual meeting, Christian Scientists see “new spirit” emerging in society

Boston, MA — by Kevin Ness, Committees on Publication Manager, The First Church of Christ, Scientist

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.

In an interview, the chair of the denomination’s board of directors, Allison Phinney, pointed to the simplest of signs seen at a nearby Methodist church in Boston’s South End: “God is Love.” “You are Loved.” “Justice.” Said Phinney: “Materialism doesn’t satisfy. It is Spirit, God, that brings us into newness of life, shifting thought, revealing the power of church.”

“Newness of life”—a Biblical expression—was integral to this year’s meeting. The theme, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life,” came from the denomination’s textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by church founder Mary Baker Eddy. The meeting took stock of the challenges as well as the promise facing many Christian denominations in this period.

These very challenges have prompted many to look to their core values as people of faith, the board emphasized. In these core values is the power that renews individual lives and revitalizes churches and society as a whole.

There’s an awakening, Phinney said, to the fact that “we have to work together, that it requires the practical Christianity, which Christian Scientists would term healing, so evident in the life and love of Christ Jesus.” It is bringing out “a new spirit of joy and healing at work in our own movement right as communities around the world are searching for deeper answers to human needs.”

The recent launch of a daily digital edition of the 109-year-old Christian Science Monitor is one result of this deeper look at core values. According to church officials, it represents a modest new beginning, focusing less on the number of Internet hits and more on the Monitor’s basic ideal of healing and impartial journalism. “We’re seeing ever stronger demands for just treatment of all the members of human society,” Phinney noted, “and we know it is Spirit, God, the divine influence and energy, that is touching the heart of humanity.”

The new church president introduced at the meeting, Irmela Wigger of Hamburg, Germany, is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher active in the ministry of spiritual healing. Following a tragic incident of violence in her family some years ago, her church family brought her through. “Church is about serving God,” she said, “and from this serving we get a pouring out of Love—God’s love—you can’t imagine.”

According to the church’s clerk, Suzanne Riedel, new members joined the church from 29 countries, including Australia, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, Portugal, Togo, Uruguay and Zimbabwe, as well as the United Kingdom and United States. The meeting included reports of healing as well as church progress.

Founded 138 years ago, the Church of Christ, Scientist, is a Christian denomination based on the Bible. The use of the term “Science” refers to what Mary Baker Eddy saw as the spiritual laws of God as understood and demonstrated by Jesus. Members come from all walks of life and backgrounds, including the physical sciences. Said board member Rich Evans, “We don’t equate serious spiritual commitment with ignorance or unreasonable belief.” The conclusions of the Christian Science founder “were untraditional in some respects, but she thought deeply about the relation between practical Christianity and demonstrated proof of God’s great love for humanity.”

George Reed can be reached at newhampshire@compub.org www.linkedin.com/in/georgereedcsb

Interfaith response to drug crisis

May'16 Senator Ayotte Nashua drug lecture
United States Senator Kelly Ayotte

Nashua church offers spiritual response to drug crisis
by Laurie Toupin, First Church of Christ, Scientist
Published in the Nashua Telegraph, May 28, 2016

“Faith communities have an important role to play” in the battle against drug addiction, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told attendees in introductory remarks at the “The Drug Crisis: A Spiritual Response” Interfaith Panel Discussion on May 14. The event, sponsored by the First Church of Christ Scientist, Nashua, was held at the Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center.

Overdoses resulted in 438 deaths last year in New Hampshire, Ayotte said.

Four out of five people start by misusing opiates. But people won’t seek help because they see it as a stigma, she noted.

The religious community has a special voice that can save lives, she said. This role can’t be filled by government.

Four speakers talked about that special voice by presenting solutions to the drug situation based on their job and journey where God and prayer often took center stage.

Lock it up

Janet Valuk, director of the Nashua Prevention Coalition echoed Ayotte’s dire description saying that New Hampshire is ranked first in the nation for the number of drug overdoses and 48th in the nation for treatment facilities.

Her solution? Prevent drug use in school age children.

As a teacher, Valuk has seen the easy access many children have to everyday medications at home. The number one way youth are getting access to these drugs is through parents and grandparents who leave drugs in accessible places, she said.

To confront this, her group’s latest initiative is the Lock It Up! Campaign. The group promotes using a Prescription Lock Box sold at some Walgreen Pharmacies and online. In addition, they stress the importance of disposing unneeded medications quickly. Many communities have Medicine Drop Boxes in their Police Departments that are accessible 24/7. The DEA also sponsors a Drug Take-Back Day in the spring and fall.

An internal solution

“Substance abuse disorder is a internal problem,” said Ryan Gagne, founder of Live Free Structured Sober Living in Manchester. “People don’t fail. They simply try treating the internal problem with an external solution.”

Gagne shared his journey of how he overcame his cocaine and alcohol addiction. As a teen, Gagne felt like he didn’t fit in. He had a good home, but said jokingly “I kept waiting for the alien ship to come back for me.”

He started hanging out with others who felt isolated like himself, and who filled this void with drugs and alcohol.

To truly heal, Gagne said he had to fill that void with something else. For him, recovery and spirituality go hand in hand.

He went through a 12-step program and felt, for the first time, that he had a purpose.

On November 22 2015, Gagne opened his facility for men such as himself – who needed a place to transition from treatment to recovery.

“If you are not treating the internal problem with an internal solution, people are at risk for the cycle of abuse to continue,” he said.

A spiritual connection

Ann McIntyre, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, agreed that a spiritual connection needs to be made. McIntyre and her husband run an addiction recovery weekly support group, meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 110 Concord St., in Nashua.

The program, based on the 12-step program from AA, has a deeply spiritual foundation. McIntyre said, “With the Savior’s help, we can overcome our addictions and find new meaning to life.”

The program is also open to family and friends. “Family and friends can learn to rely on the Savior for healing and to help them support their loved ones through recovery,” she said.

Support groups are held in Nashua, as well as other towns throughout New Hampshire.

A vertical approach

John Adams, CSB, a teacher and practitioner of Christian Science, summed up the underlying message of all the speakers. “This is not only a horizontal (human) effort, but a vertical (spiritual) effort to lift up one’s thought to the understanding that he or she is created in the image of God,” he said.

At 15, Adams began drinking with boys older than him. It wasn’t long after that he began smoking pot which led to indulging other drugs.

In his mid-20s, he visited his grandmother. She was a Christian Science practitioner, one who devotes his or her life to helping others through prayer. She gave Adams her copy of a book titled “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy. “Read this,” she said. “It will change your life.”

Adams was not inclined to read the book and struggled with his grandmother’s request.

But soon after he read it, “It totally altered my course of reasoning.” He read the book three times. By the third time, Adams completely lost his desire to do drugs and was fully healed.

This led him to look beyond himself, asking instead, “Who or what can I bless today?” This gave him a sense of purpose, integrity, and dignity.

“The people doing this work are motivated by love and a strong desire to help others struggling with a drug problem,” Adams said. And together, we can solve this.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/neighbors/1081206-478/nashua-church-offers-spiritual-response-to-drug.html

Health benefits of spirituality

Vermont winter photo by Elodie Reed

Vermont winter photo by Elodie Reed

An abbreviated version of the following was published in the Concord Monitor.

A recent Concord Monitor interview with retired New Hampshire Hospital Chaplain Rachael Keefe shows how spirituality and spiritual care help patients with mental illness. Chaplain Keefe served for six years, praying for and providing spiritual counseling to patients and staff at New Hampshire’s State facility.

The State website says that the hospital seeks to give holistic, compassionate, psychiatric services to help the mentally ill recover. The Dartmouth School of Medicine magazine shares a history of New Hampshire’s institutional and community care of those deemed mentally ill.

The history is interesting but perhaps more important are the benefits patients have received from treatment that helps them connect with divine Love and provides them with spiritual care.

In the Concord Monitor interview, Chaplain Keefe said, “Spiritual care is essential to anyone’s well-being. When you’re in an acute psychiatric crisis, having someone who can offer hope – at its core, that’s what we do – is essential.”

A paper by Dr. Harold Koenig titled, “The Spiritual Care Team: Enabling the Practice of Whole Person Medicine” brings out similar points advocated by Chaplain Keefe. Dr. Koenig also has other research articles on his website showing the benefits of spirituality and religion in healing the sick.

Spirituality – a conscious connection to God – and healing results were the essence of Jesus’ ministry. Christians strive to follow Jesus in all that he did, and he healed mental illness through spirituality and prayer. He said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

The Bible also says, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) This is a powerful truth to pray with that helps us to get out of ourselves and into the stillness and peace of God.

After years of struggling with his mental health, a friend who now daily studies the Scriptures and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, has found peace of mind and sound mental health.

Divine Love and spirituality provide complete and permanent health.

© 2015 Christian Science Committee on Publication for New Hampshire

Boston brotherhood

photo by Elodie Reed
2014 Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi (photo by Elodie Reed)

Growing up I was somewhat of a loner. Running changed that. In my first cross-country race, even though I finished in last place, I made some friends with teammates. Ten years later, Boston running teammates invited me to join “Team New Balance,” which was a group of elite runners competing in races across America. We trained and raced together in a bond of brotherhood for the Greater Boston Track Club.

Greg Meyer, the last American to win the Boston marathon before today, was a fellow teammate. Today, three decades later, American Meb Keflezighi won the 26 mile run from Hopkinton to Boston. Before the race Meb said, “This year, all 36,000 of us will run together to demonstrate the spirit of the marathon. We will still have our individual motivations, but we will be unified under the Boston Strong umbrella.”

Meb is a 39 year old experienced runner, but was not expected to win. Younger African runners have dominated this race for decades. After today’s triumphant race, Meb said that he worked to win the marathon for God and for the people of Boston. And I’m confident that God and the people of Boston helped him to victory.

Today, Boston experienced a sense of brotherhood as a community, which was magnified with an exhilarating marathon for both the men and women. True brotherhood and sisterhood has its origin in the one God, a major theme of the Bible.

Author Mary Baker Eddy, who built her first church in Boston, writes in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.” (page 340)

Today’s successful marathon is one illustration of how the expression of brotherhood results in good.

The writer retired from professional training and racing in 1980 to devote his time and energy to the healing ministry of Christian Science. He currently is the media and legislative liaison for Christian Scientists in New Hampshire.

© 2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for New Hampshire

The connection between consciousness and health

The Concord Monitor published a letter to the editor that readers of this blog might be interested in. It can be read online here.

A connection between faith and health

Monday, February 17, 2014

One aspect of faith that would be helpful to your readers is to show how faith and health are connected. A Pew Research study found that 80% of Internet users search online for health information.

Numerous medical studies show a strong connection between health and our thinking and actions. Harvard Medical School has reported that our health is affected by our thinking, whether it’s a simple thought of gratitude or a stressful blowup.

These are not new revelations. For 5,000 years Scriptural writings have taught similarly. The Bible says that God is Love, and that God is the countenance of our health. Love and health are strongly connected.

We all have the capacity to be what God made us to be in Love’s image and likeness. Love is a powerful medicine.

Of course there’s more to health than Love. Yet our answers are at hand. Today’s enlightened physicians are digging deeper into finding the mental causes and cures for illness.

New Hampshire native Mary Baker Eddy wrote a textbook based on her lifework of spiritual healing titled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It has healed folks all around the globe for more than a century.