a place to support & be supported

In thinking in general about church services, I’ve appreciated that they’re a great place to go and get to know God a little bit better.  Of course, God isn’t confined to a space – being a presence, or, as Jesus puts it, spirit – so you can be getting to know this presence of good anywhere.  But churchtime is a unique arena for this, since people come together in church with this same goal.  We all want to know more about love, completeness, order, effect & cause, intelligence, safety… and church is a time when we can all hunker down together, to support each other in prayer and feel supported ourselves.

Taking it a step further, Mary Baker Eddy’s got a rad definition of “church” in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  You might already know about it.  It’s the next level of church – beyond the level of church activities, and at the level of ideas.  Part of it says that church is “the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.”  There’s so much strength and universality in her statement, and, to me, it means that the strength of church goes with us wherever we are.

(You can read Eddy’s full definition of church here.  Lots of good food for thought.)

As always, one of our services is happening tonight, from 7:35-8:35 pm EDT.  You’re welcome to stop by – either virtually (on the phone @ 605-475-4000 x. 636128) or in person at the Eastern Bank community room (at 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain).

Love!

Christa & the C.S. Society of JP

He made us, and we are his

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Psalms 100:1, 3, 5, New Living Trans.

Walk & rest safely in this, Jamaica Plain.  With reports of recent violence in this area over the past few weeks, seems like a good time to embrace the ideas of peace, community, and gentle protection together.

We’ll be in the park Sunday morning for our weekly church service, to spend some time praying and, in particular, giving special focus to the topic of Truth – i.e. the truth about God’s goodness, and ours.

(details:  10:35am EST.  Call-in number is 605-475-4000, code 636128.)

All love,

jpchurch

Church in the PARK [click pic for map – or call in: (605) 475-4000 x 636128]

 

light

“If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine.”

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.365
(from tomorrow’s sermon)

Come as you are

Nothing fancy about this post: just a lil reminder that we’re at the bank tonight for our testimony meeting.

[687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain]  <–click for Google map

Come as you are… like this guy did.  <–click to read article

You are loved.  <–it’s true.

jpchurch

 

Hezekiah’s lesson

Hezekiah was a pretty cool king.  The previous king, having powerful allies, had incorporated the religion of his allies into Jerusalem’s Temple, including idol worship, and eventually closed the Temple.  Upon becoming king, Hezekiah’s first acts included restoring the Temple and cleansing his country of idol worship.

Then he got deathly sick.  And Isaiah, a big-deal man of god for the last four kings, came to check it out and reported, “Sorry pal, get your house in order, ’cause you’re not sticking around.” [Isa. 38:1, heavily paraphrased—I encourage you to go read the real version.]  Hezekiah was, understandably, upset, and now had no recourse but to confront his mortality honestly.  But while open-heartedly bewailing his pain and tragedy, he had two realizations: (1) that God doesn’t sustain sin [Ibid 17], and (2)

“The dead don’t thank you [God],
    and choirs don’t sing praises from the morgue.
Those buried six feet under
    don’t witness to your faithful ways.
It’s the living—live men, live women—who thank you,
    just as I’m doing right now.” [Ibid 18-19]

These realizations: that sin is transitory, and that life is what expresses God’s glory, may have fueled his protest against his death-sentence, knowing what God preserves and what He doesn’t:

“Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours.” [Ibid 3]

Isaiah was already on his way out, but God didn’t even let Isaiah leave the room [II Kings 20:4] before having him turn around and promise recovery, health, and life to Hezekiah!

Now Hezekiah’s inner sense had been keen enough to protest that this apparent story of sickness and death of a righteous life didn’t fit how God ran the show, but at this point, having received conflicting diagnoses, he felt like he could use some assurance, so he asked Isaiah for some.  Isaiah said sure: God can move the time on the sundial by 10 minutes as a sign, a promise.  Hezekiah pointed out that the time on the sundial was always moving forward, so God’d better move it back 10 minutes, just to make it clear it was Him.  And, indeed, so it happened [Ibid 11].

Three days letter, Hezekiah was not dead but well.  He went on to build up Jerusalem, defeat (through reliance on God, without touching a weapon) a huge invading Assyrian army, and oversee great economic growth in his kingdom.

So next time it seems like everything’s (or anything) is going downhill, think of Hezekiah.  His keen sense of God’s truth can be yours, too.  Take a moment to honestly confront your situation.  Know God isn’t behind your fleeting faults, but that God’s glory is (and must be) expressed in your immortal goodness.

And, if need be, ask Him to prove it.

He will.

He loves you.

 

This story, a scientific explanation of it, as well as a few others, make up a Bible sermon on “mortals and immortals” that will be given at our church this Sunday morning, at 10:35 (EDT).  We’ll also sing some praises and pray a bit together.  It may be too damp out, so we’re going to meet inside at 687 Centre St. in JP, but feel free to call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128# if that’s a little far.

yours,

Grant and jpchurch

Waking up right on Sunday mornin’

Hello!

Sunday morning’s coming, and that means we’ve got another dose of prayer, song, readings, and love for you. This week we’re meeting at 687 Centre St. in JP (@ 10:35), but keep watching this site (or our calendar) for when we start meeting outside in our community! And you can always call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

The topic this week is the Adam-dream, and wakening from it to realize present good.

It’ll be a lovely morning, which is why your presence would be so fitting 🙂

Unity,
jpchurch

Prayer this Sunday

Lord, do not hold back your mercy from me;
    let your love and truth always protect me.
Troubles have surrounded me;
    there are too many to count.
My sins have caught me
    so that I cannot see a way to escape.

    Hurry, Lord, to help me.

let those who follow you
    be happy and glad.
They love you for saving them.
    May they always say, “Praise the Lord!”

David

This Sunday we’ll be praying, reading, and singing about God’s mercy, His love, sin, punishment, reformation, and healing.  We’ll meet at 10:35am (EDT) @ 687 Centre St.  Please, join us there or by phone (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

Loooooove,
jpchurch

Wake up.

Recently, I had a dream that my best friend had died.  I woke up pretty upset.  This guy’s basically my brother, so I felt I should call his mom to express my condolences or maybe grieve with her.  As I contemplating dialing the number I’d dialed so many times as a kid to find out if Kyle could come over, I knew, theoretically, that since it had been a dream, he should still be alive, somewhere, and this call wasn’t logically necessary.  The response in my head was “Come on, are you going to not call a grieving mother because of some theory?”  Pretty soon, the absurdity sank in, and I began to feel better.  Turns out, Kyle was okay the whole time, unaffected by my dream, unaware of how vivid it was.  Huh.

Of course, the unreality of dreams is no mere theory or doctrine; it’s simple truth.  Believing it or not doesn’t change the truth.  But understanding reality sure can lift the shade of gloom imposed by a fleeting dream.

And if you’re familiar with this blog, you probably know where I’m going with this.  Jesus revealed that the kingdom of heaven is here and now.  And indeed,

Our Master taught no mere theory, doctrine, or belief.  It was the divine Principle of all real being which he taught and practised.  His proof of Christianity was … Science…”

Mary Baker EddyScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26

Christ’s teachings are demonstrated fact.  All the things overcome by Jesus (storms, sickness, sin, death) need affect us no more than my dream, for dreams they must be, contradicting the Principle that is Love.

And Kyle’s still smiling.


So, any day is a good day for retelling the story of Jesus’ ultimate triumph, his proof of the insubstantiality of even the most vivid dreams (abandonment, scourging, and crucifixion).  Including this Sunday.

So, on Sunday we’ll be hosting a church service, including singing, prayer, and a sermon given by our pastor on Jesus’ doctrine of atonement.  We’ll start at 10:35am (EDT) @687 Centre St. in JP.  Please come by or call in via (605) 475-4000 x636128#.  We’d love to share our Sunday mornin’ with ya.

 

Abrazos grandes,

Grant and jpchurch

PS: a little ditty about the end of (the dream of) death, by a band called Gungor, having entirely too much fun:

Freedom sermon this Sunday

“the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus, John 8:32

“Truth brings the elements of liberty.”

Mary Baker EddyScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures p.224

 


Freedom’s pretty important to us.

We’ve fought many wars in its name, written countless books about it, sung songs, and made movies (including the #1 movie right now).  We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got our work cut out for us – there’s a lot of bonds out there to be torn away: sensualism shackles its practitioner to a false master, as well as fueling the horrors of sex slavery; the idea that somebody is not my brother bars me from the natural expression of brotherly love to him, but is also what allows discriminatory (literal) imprisonment of way too many young men in my country and others; selfishness constricts anybody that harbors it, and can motivate leaders to take away the people’s rights.  We can see infringements of freedom in our own lives or in world events on the news.

When tyranny, literal or metaphorical, in our own lives or the world abroad, seems beyond us to rise above… where do we turn?  Well, liberty is also a constant theme in the Bible: from Egypt to Rome, from false idols to plagues, there was always some bondage to be overcome.  And the savior can always throw off that bondage.  In her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explained that the Christ, this message of Truth come to destroy error, best exemplified by Jesus, is what enabled folks from Moses to Paul, as well as herself, her students, and anyone, to cast off their bonds, by understanding their transience, by understanding the allness of God good.  Indeed, she writes that the person trying to understand Christ

“has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.”

Any and all apparent lack of freedom boils down to the simplest lie: that there is another power than God, divine Love.  Uncovering this truth is liberation.  This corrects sin, unshackling the sinner.  It heals disease, unbinding her whom Satan hath bound.  One big tyrannical lie is death, and the always-truth that Life is eternal overcomes that, too.  Truth overcomes these things so efficaciously because they’re not real — they have no claim in our story of harmony and growth.

I say that like it’s easy — I’m still working on it… sure seems like I’m bound with some of these irons right now, in fact.  But the scientific pursuit of this truth has liberated me from physiological and emotional manacles before, and I know that as I continue to grow in grace, more will drop away.  And all the while I can help my brothers and sisters see the truth, and see healing in their lives.  That experience is pretty great, and I highly recommend it.

So, this Sunday morning, we’ll be hearing a sermon from these two books — the Bible and Science and Health — about the unreality of sin, sickness, and death, and the freedom that is the corresponding reality of righteousness, health, life.  There’ll also be a bit of lovely prayer and song accompanying it.  We’ll be meeting at 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain @10:35am; won’t you join us?  (We can be joined by phone at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.)

Always love,

grant + jpchurch

 

PS: Here’s a cute little song that talks about how to see this freedom in your life:

“You won’t experience evil any more.”

Zephaniah 3:15

Happy weekend.  We invite you to join us Sunday morning for a church service. Our sermon will address “unreality.”  One line from it that’s really speaking to me today is from Mary Baker Eddy‘s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 300), discussing Jesus’ parable of the tares and the wheat:

“The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. … The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent.”

Our first hymn will begin at 10:35 (EDT), and we’ll physically be in the community room at 687 Centre St. in JP, and you can join us there or at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

Much love,

jpchurch