In areas where there isn’t a branch church or society, Christian Science informal groups provide a way for students of Christian Science to come together for public worship and mutual support. Informal groups may be started with just one member of The Mother Church. The activities they offer are based on the healing ideas found in the Bible and in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and may include reading the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson, singing, prayer, testimonies, or discussion as local conditions dictate. Informal groups ensure that Christian Science has a public presence in the community until a branch church or society is able to form.
The Mother Church lists groups and their contact information on christianscience.com. Groups often also do their own advertising online, in newspapers, on community bulletin boards, etc. Some also participate in local events such as book fairs, health and wellness fairs, and farmers’ markets. The Mother Church provides informal groups with books and literature at a discount for these purposes.
Click on the Directory button below to find an informal group near you. If you live in an area where there is no informal group, you can find information below about starting one. We can also connect you with other Christian Scientists in your area. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 617-450-2417.
The basic criteria for an informal group are as follows:
Have at least one member who is a member of The Mother Church.
Offer activities and/or meetings in your community that are open to the public.
Understand the central role of spiritual healing through prayer, as taught by Mary Baker Eddy.
Offer activities that are focused on the Bible and Science and Health.
Have a desire to help others understand Christian Science through the resources of The Mother Church and The Christian Science Publishing Society.
Understand that an informal group is a steppingstone to becoming a Journal-listed Society or Church and be open to taking this step should your group in the future meet the requirements for this.
Submit an application form.
Complete annually The Mother Church’s questionnaire for groups.
Once approved, an informal group receives:
A Reading Room account number to purchase discounted products from the Publishing Society.
Permission to use the trade name “Christian Science Informal Group” to publicly identify your group.
Listing in the church directory on christianscience.com.