We attended the Annual Meeting for our worldwide church today and it was wonderful. Held in The Mother Church in Boston, the quality of thought in the room was definitely such as can individually heal the world, so the power of having us in “one place of one accord” was palpable. What a privilege to see so many friends, mentors, and colleagues all united around a theme that my husband and I have been cherishing for decades.
We were pleased and surprised that a peer of ours, Chet Manchester, was named this year’s President of the Mother Church! He hosted the meeting seamlessly, and will do a great job in this role. We are proud of him (see a photo below with my husband) and have been supportive his journey for over 20 years. In all that time, we’ve never seen him in a suit before – but regardless of the suit – Chet lent the occasion a casual air that made everyone feel included and comfortable. Kudos, Chet!
We learned that the church is fiscally sound and handling their stewardship responsibly, aptly governed by “wisdom, economy, and brotherly love.” I learned that there are 12 million unique readers a month to the online version of the Christian Science Monitor. I loved hearing that when a convent in Connecticut was looking for a single unbiased source of news, they chose the Christian Science Monitor, and are actively and appreciatively praying with us about the issues raised there. I was encouraged that we are learning to converse better with the public, focusing more on questions, listening, and relationship building than on getting across our own talking points; I think this is the key to progress. The Christian Science movement in Africa is growing quickly, and we heard a tip-of-the-iceberg testimony of multiple cases of HIV AIDS being healed there.
There was an awesome musical interlude by Tessa and Jay Frost of a poem written by Mary Baker Eddy (the founder of Christian Science) set to original music. You can see a picture of them below next to their keyboard, and find them here on the web. They are releasing their first CD on June 15 and are taking pre-orders here. I was impressed with these young people and loved their beautiful folk-music (as opposed to operatic) sound. You can get their sheet music here (their collection will grow) so consider doing some of their music as a solo in church!
The other highlights for me were praying aloud together with all these incredible thinkers our Sixth Tenant:
“We solemnly promise to watch and pray for that Mind to be in us that was also in Christ Jesus, and to be merciful, just, and pure.”
It was also amazing to sing together in this vast church building the Doxology:
“Be Thou, O God, exalted high;
And as Thy glory fills the sky,
So let it be on earth displayed,
Till Thou art here and now obeyed.”
We capped off this wonderful afternoon with a salmon salad and Boston Creme Pie at Legal Seafood with a really fun waitress…
Thank you God all around!