Readers' Resources

Reading in a branch church or society plays an integral part in fulfilling the mission of church to bring healing to its community. 

The Church Activities Department has curated some resources — videos, citations, and excerpts from Mary Baker Eddy — to support this important work. These are not meant to be exhaustive. Readers can always find more inspiration and guidance as they prayerfully engage with the periodicals, the Pastor, and other writings by Mary Baker Eddy.

How has the Church Manual supported you as a Reader?

Meet Jeffrey Taylor from South Pasadena, CA (USA)

Meet Daniel Mfumu from Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Meet Perpetue Kanku from Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Meet Gabriela Mejía from Framingham, MA (USA)

How do you come up with readings for Wednesday?

Meet María José Ocaña Jódar from Huelva (Spain)

Meet Linda Black from Woodland Hills, CA (USA)

Meet Paul Hellmund from Fort Collins, CO (USA)

Meet Ellen Wolf from Bethesda, MD (USA)

Citations and helpful guidance

The references below are taken from: The Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Science and Health), Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 (Miscellaneous Writings), The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany (Miscellany), and Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston Massachusetts (Manual). You will also find additional resources below from The Christian Science Journal (Journal), Christian Science Sentinel (Sentinel), and We Knew Mary Baker Eddy - Expanded Edition (WKMBE) along with some letters from Mrs. Eddy to Readers or about reading.

Preparations for Reading in a Christian Science Church

Readers in Branch Churches - Miscellany 
To A First Reader - Miscellany 
No Lectures by Readers - Manual 
Teachers and Readers - Science and Health

Important Logistics

To be read in Church - Manual 
The Lesson-Sermon - Manual 
Church and School  - Miscellaneous Writings 
Something New - Sentinel
Present Order of Services - Manual 

Duties of Readers beyond Sunday and Wednesday services

Rotation in office

Words for the Wise - Miscellany 
Afterglow - Miscellany 
Magna Charta of Christian Science  - Miscellany

Poems to support Readers

Perspectives from Biographies

Excerpts from Mary Baker Eddy's letters on reading

These are mainly from letters where Mrs. Eddy is speaking directly to Readers, about Readers, or about reading. These examples give us some insights into her personal counsel and guidance regarding reading, but with the caveat that these perspectives are not meant to replace the directions that she ultimately left in her published writings, nor are they intended to override the inspiration we may gain from her published writings. If you are interested in the context of these excerpts, please contact the Mary Baker Eddy Library

“The hope of my heart is that you may find this office an aid to your growth in grace and the spiritual understanding of your text-book. To attain the latter is to keep thought between its covers by a necessary searching for texts explanatory of the Scriptures.” [MBEL, L02417]

“The style of reading it needs to be conversational[.] … Science and Health is read by some Readers in a manner that I can scarcely understand it and I am sure others cannot. The greatest present reform to be made in our ranks would be better healers and better Readers and better Publication Committees.” [MBEL, L08606] 

“Mother says she consented to an advanced student going to a school to be taught elocution who returned with a loss instead of gain[.] It darkened his understanding of C.S. And he said he never read so poorly before. I learned a lesson then and it was this. For Christian Scientists to be instructed from "the basis that elocution is taught results as it would for them to study physiology[.] I can never advise one to do it. If a child that God is teaching needs aught, God will supply it in His own way and when His child is ready for it[.] Rest assured of this[.]” [MBEL, L08287]

“Your healing is a sermon that will waken Concord folk more than preaching[.] Prayer first preaching follows[.]” [MBEL, L03699]

“She reads anything and everything in its spirit, not for show[.]” [MBEL, L02750A] 
[This refers to the reader she selected to read her dedicatory sermon for the original Mother Church.]

“Rest assured that the Bible and Science and Health are only understood by an individual in the ratio that his mortal error is yielding to the immortal Truth. Spiritual growth in individual consciousness is our only passport into the silent sanctuary of harmony and holiness whence the divine Interpreter and inspired scribe speak to mortals.” [MBEL, AI0183]