Branch churches, societies, and informal groups

Church Activities Department

The Church Activities Department at The Mother Church is a resource for your branch church or society. Recently, Branch Church Activities, Reading Room Activities, and TMC Youth joined forces to create this integrated department. It is designed as a full spectrum of support for church and all of its activities—from services and testimony meetings to Sunday Schools and Reading Rooms,—and it reflects the unity of the whole church membership in carrying out these activities together.

We also support Christian Science Organizations on university and college campuses, organize youth-focused events called Summits, and manage a summer internship program in Boston for college students.

Feel free to call (617-450-3468) or email us ( any time with your questions.

If you're looking to attend a Christian Science church service find a church near you.

Reading Room

In this area, you'll find tools and resources to help you advance the healing mission of your branch church and Reading Room.

Reading Room Resource Center

Sunday School

Are you a Sunday School student, teacher, superintendent or parent? Check out these resources to support a richer Sunday School experience.

Sunday School Resource Center

Prison and institutional work

Christian Science branch churches around the world support prison and institutional work through volunteer chaplain programs.

Institutional Committee Resource Center

About informal groups

Find a church, society or informal group

Sign up for the Church Activities newsletters

A curated selection of inspirational articles and resources focused on Church-related topics.

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Church of Healers

This interactive discussion provides the members of a branch ways to explore how they can move forward together with a focus on their collective healing ministry. Some of the topics that we dive into are: What is your mission? How can you take the next steps forward in your mission? What would impede your branch’s healing ministry and how can you handle those impositions?

Reading Room

This workshop helps librarians and members to think more deeply about the Reading Room as a healing place for the community and explore ways this activity can demonstrate “a church designed to reinstate primitive Christianity.”

Engaging Youth in Church

The Engaging Youth in Church workshop focuses on three main areas: strengthening Sunday School, bridging the gap between Sunday School and church, and encouraging active participation in church. It is designed for the entire church community. We love having people of all ages attend!

Why Church

This workshop is designed specifically for youth. It provides the opportunity for young people to explore more what Christian Science means to them, the role of church in supporting them, and being part of a global movement of healers. We also discuss how church and all of its activities can be a more effective and relevant to the whole community. It’s an opportunity to see why a healing church needs young people as well as what that can look like in their experience.

We recommend offering this is in conjunction with the “Engaging Youth in Church” workshop.

If you would like to request a workshop please email

Forming a Christian Science society

To advertise in The Christian Science Journal as a society, members need to meet the following requirements:

  • A solid record of healing in the community,

  • A minimum of eight local, active members to support the activities advertised,

  • Weekly public Sunday church services,

  • Readers (as well as substitutes) who are members of The Mother Church,

  • An attitude of Christian fellowship towards all other Christian Science branches advertising in The Christian Science Journal and The Herald of Christian Science (Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sect. 12).

Societies are also welcome to include in their activities Wednesday testimony meetings, lectures, Sunday School activities, Reading Rooms, etc.

To request an application for advertising in the Journal as a society, email

Becoming a branch Church of Christ, Scientist

The requirements for organizing a branch church are set forth in the Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sections 6 and 7.

In order to begin advertising in The Christian Science Journal, a branch Church, of Christ, Scientist, needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Weekly public Sunday services, as well as Wednesday meetings (Church Manual, Article XIV, Sect. 2, and Article III, Sect. 2),

  • A membership with at least 16 loyal Christian Scientists, of which at least four are members of The Mother Church and one is an active Journal-advertised practitioner (Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sect. 7),

  • Readers and substitute Readers who are members of The Mother Church (Church Manual, Article III, Sect. 6),

  • A Sunday School, a Christian Science Reading Room, and at least one Christian Science lecture per year (Church Manual, Article XX, Article XXI, and XXXII, Sect. 4),

  • An attitude of Christian fellowship towards all other Christian Science branches advertising in The Christian Science Journal and The Herald of Christian Science (Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sect. 12).

To request an application for advertising in the Journal as a branch church, email

The Church Manual provides that “two small churches” may “consolidate under one church government” (Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sect. 6).

This process generally involves majority votes of both memberships and negotiations—often through meetings of the two church boards—to discuss and consider options resulting in resolutions that are then brought to the respective memberships.

A consolidation usually involves the following:

  • Two religious non-profit organizations cease to exist and a new one comes into being.

  • Assets from each church become the assets of the new entity.

  • The members of each body automatically become the members of the new church.

  • Sometimes both Boards operate together until the united membership holds new elections.

  • By-laws are written and voted upon and members decide upon the name of the new church.

  • The name of the new church can be the same as one of the churches consolidating, or a new name may be chosen by the members that reflects the identity and location of the community to be served.

State laws sometimes require the dissolution of any existing religious corporate charters of the former churches and the obtaining of a new one for the new church. It is wise to work with a lawyer to assist with the details of this process, since dissolution/merger laws vary from state to state.

When consolidating, it is necessary for each branch to fill out an application form for their new Journal advertisement. To get applications, please email

The following documents replace the tax guidelines sent to branches in 2007 and partly updated online in 2009. Click the links below to download them as PDF’s.

These documents may require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Download the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Notice to all Branch Churches & Societies in the US 2017

Tax guidelines 2017

Information for Readers 2017

Charitable contributions 2017

Tax determination letters from the US Treasury Department (IRS)

The documents below may be useful in proving the tax-exempt status of your church or society in situations such as proving tax deductibility of charitable contributions to your church, and obtaining branch church exemption from sales tax in your state, where such exemption is available.

Providing copies of these letters (plus a photocopy of the page in The Christian Science Journal where your branch is advertised) to persons requiring proof of your tax-exempt status will satisfy inquiries in almost all cases.

Letter establishing the tax-exempt status of The Mother Church (May 25, 1936)

Letter establishing the tax-exempt status of all branch churches and societies (June 3, 1941)

Letter confirming the tax exempt status of The Mother Church (May 16, 1994)

Letter reconfirming the Tax Exempt Status of The Mother Church (Feb. 3, 2016)

Letter reconfirming the Tax Exempt Status of The Mother Church (Sept. 17, 2019)

Letter from the Social Security Administration

A letter to The Mother Church from the Social Security Administration describes the tax status of Readers (see INFORMATION FOR READERS).

Letter from the Social Security Administration (Sept. 13, 1955)


Please contact:
Office of the General Counsel 
617-450-3323 or 1-800-288-7155 ext. 3323

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