Resources to help you minister to your members and communities
Here are resources to help you continue offering your healing services and activities to your congregation and your community during this time.
The following letter was emailed from the Board of Lectureship office to all branch churches who had scheduled lectures between the months of March and June 2020.
Christian Science Board of Lectureship
This letter is specifically for those of you who have or had scheduled an in-person lecture for the months of March through June 2020.
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote, “...the world has need of you — and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives” (Mis. p110). This is as true today as ever. Whether or not this quote is familiar to you, you’ve certainly given thought many times to how Christian Science informs our ability to bless the world. And that fact is telling. God is always “graciously preparing” us, and, even in challenging times, we don’t have to scramble to figure out what to do, because we’ve already been given what we need. We’ve been given, we have contemplated, and we have been uplifted many times by the spirit of Truth and Love, and we are proving step by step the blessings this brings to humanity. We are ready.
Your “faithful affection” and “uncontaminated lives” are undoubtedly doing such good in many ways already. One way that can take form is in offering a Christian Science lecture to your community. You may already have a revised plan in place, or you may be waiting to see how things unfold — either way, I want to offer some information that I hope will be helpful in regard to your lecture work.
Nothing about who we are has changed. God is still the originator of all that’s good and real, of all law, and all right activity. Our guide star is still Jesus’ great commandments — to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves. This vision is the source of the “innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives,” that Mrs. Eddy was talking about, qualities which get expressed in our lecture activity.
Having unselfish love and faithful affection for our neighbor means we’re open to whatever ways God leads us to reach out to our communities through the lecture work. Wisdom may direct us to postpone an in-person lecture until another time, or it may lead us to be open to God’s guidance in how to use new technology to reach our communities right now through an on-line or over-the-phone lecture. Expressing unselfish love and faithful affection also means we have “pitiful patience” with any community fear about contagion, and a principled approach to following the guidance of local authorities, if public gatherings aren’t generally happening in the area or have specifically been prohibited.
It’s not unusual for there to be a diversity of perspectives about what’s right to do in regard to the lecture work at this time, but, above all, our faithful affection can extend to one another as we each strive to quiet our own human notions and listen for divine guidance. When and how a lecture happens are important details, but not as important as unity and love. We can trust our quiet prayers and ability to witness to Love’s present and total control over all creation, and use these most powerful tools for seeing God’s good will be done, for everyone.
To that end, you should know that whether or not you decide to go forward with your public lecture during this lecture year (prior to July 1), you have the full love and support of The Mother Church. There won’t be any kind of penalty for following your best sense of how divine Love is guiding your lecture activity. We can all admit that there is a hungering need and ripe opportunity for what Christian Science has to offer at this time. And, while choosing not to strive to meet that need is not an option, the form of how that happens is entirely up to God. Again, God will use us for the greatest good, when we follow God’s wisdom and guidance. As your plans unfold, please let the Board of Lectureship office know what changes are being made — if a lecture will be held online or over a conference call, or if it’s being canceled or postponed. This information should be sent to email@example.com. The office staff will be updating our system, and making changes in advertising in the Sentinel and at Find a Lecture. And, most of all, we’ll be supporting your next steps prayerfully!
Some of the following details may not apply to your current needs. Feel free to jump to whichever sections might pertain to you.
If you’re wanting to know more about what options are available for hosting your lecture remotely — via a conference call or internet-based tool, talk to your lecturer. They will be able to explain what they are prepared to do and help you understand how the various optionswork.
If you’re unfamiliar with these kinds of resources, don’t worry, the lecturers are all working with tools that are very easy for anyone to use. Even the video-based broadcasting tools, which allow someone to watch a lecture live from their own computer, tablet, or smartphone, still also give someone an option to simply call in from a telephone, if those other ways of connecting aren’t easily accessible to them. That means anyone who is able to make a simple phone call can join. Whether joining via the internet or just a regular phone, these are meant to be very inclusive tools that reach as many people as possible, so they are purposefully designed to be very user friendly.
Your lecturer may even be able to provide you with a simple invitation letter that you can share with anyone you choose to invite, so you don’t have to feel responsible for setting anything up for others. You can just share the basic info on how to connect to the lecture as it’s given to you.
At this time, I don’t think anyone’s thinking about perfectly “produced” events. Most folks just feel grateful to have access to the inspiration that meets them right where they are, mentally and in whatever location. That being said, I’ll reiterate that just because lecturers are prepared to pursue some of these options with you, it doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to use them. What’s right for your branch to do at this time is an individual decision, and you can trust God to point out the right way. If you have further questions at any point, please ask your lecturer, and they will be very happy to help any way they can.
We thought it could be helpful to explore just a few publicity ideas to support you either adapting the materials you’ve already created or creating new materials geared toward a new kind of event.
If you’ve already printed your publicity materials, you could buy blank stickers from an office supply store that can be printed from a home computer. By printing on the stickers something like, “Attend online or by phone! Go to [and give the access phone number or website, and meeting ID, which the lecturer provides]” and affixing them to the old flier, those fliers could still be mailed out. Or an image of the adjusted fliers could be posted online.
If you haven’t yet printed your publicity materials but aren’t yet sure if you want to postpone the lecture, move it online/over the phone, or wait and see if an in-person event may still be possible in a couple of months, you could always add a line to the materials that says something like, “Please contact us closer to the day of the event to confirm the location or find out if it’s been moved on-line.” Or, if you have decided for sure to move it on-line you can simply place the access information the lecturer gives you in lieu of a physical address, and state something like, “Attend online or by phone!” If you’re using publicity materials from the Board of Lectureship office, feel free to be in touch with Tara Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org to add these adjustments to the PDFs. Then an updated version of the documents will be emailed to you.
If you’ve paid for ads in local publications or on radio stations, think about contacting these outlets to ask about the possibility of changing those ads.
Some members of your branch may have social media accounts where updated information about your lecture can be posted.
If you have a church website, you could post the lecture access information on the home page.
Overall, the best way to share is generally to be in contact directly with friends and neighbors. They might appreciate a call, email or message from you to check on them, offer some uplift, and provide information about how to attend a lecture from their own home if they’d like to.
This moment provides a ripe opportunity for the light of Christian Science, set on the hill, to shine and light the way to human progress, health, hope, and salvation. Our God-given “innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives” allow that light to shine through our thoughts and actions and bless the world. Thank you for all you’re doing to let the light shine.
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
— Rev. 9:16