New mural at the South Street Youth Center

Hi there friends!

We’d like to share the below letter with you, a version of which went out recently to members of the JP Church community.  It’s about a project that’s near and dear to our hearts, and – thanks to individuals and other organizations who donated – is a fully-funded reality!


The church members over at JP Church [aka: the Christian Science Society of JP] wanted to let you know about an exciting community project we’re supporting in Jamaica Plain.  We’d like to thank everyone who donated to make this project possible.

South Street Youth Center mural
Partial view of the completed mural

OUR NEW PARTNERSHIP

JP Church is building a new partnership with South Street Youth Center, part of a low-income housing complex down the street from where we meet. Our first undertaking together is an uplifting, spiritually-based mural project.

The mural is just the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing relationship among our church, youth center staff, and the young people they serve. We are actively cherishing the idea of what Sunday School can look like and how our church can best serve the youth in our community.

South Street Youth Center mural
An attendee of the South Street Youth Center and a JP Churcher, working on a blue tree

THESE KIDS ROCK!

The Youth Center does a lot of amazing work with youth from age 6 to 22 that live in the housing complex, including providing after school programming, mentors, and various classes.

So far, the youth we’ve met there rock. They’re full of enthusiasm and love and innocence. It was great to spend a Saturday morning painting “You Are Important” and “Eres Importante” on the wall outside the center. It’s a potent message that’s part of artist Alex Cook’s You are Loved multi-mural project.

South Street Youth Center mural
Alex, deftly mixing paints for his eager helpers

THANK YOU!

Our deep gratitude goes out to the following organizations, who helped to support this mural through their donations:

First Baptist Church of Jamaica Plain
3rd Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston
Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue

Several individuals also contributed to the mural by using the “Donate” button on our website, and we are equally as grateful to those generous folks.

(If you love this project and feel a desire to contribute to it, we wouldn’t want to stop you: we know exactly how you feel!  However, we’re no longer actively seeking contributions, as we’ve met our fundraising goal.  Anything donated after this point will go towards offsetting JP Church’s costs in sponsoring the mural.)

South Street Youth Center mural
“You Are Important” in Spanish
South Street Youth Center mural
“Eres Importante” in English 🙂

To see more pictures, check out Alex’s South Street mural album or our Facebook page.

We are so very grateful for you!

hugs and love,

JPChurch

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greater than church

So most of these blog posts are a bunch of words.  Maybe heartfelt, maybe conveying depth, emotion, truth, but words nonetheless.

Similarly, reading this blog, you might think our church is all about church services, meetings, events, a couple of amazing books, song, and getting word out.

We do love those things (dearly), but ain’t none of ’em what we’re about or why we’re here.

We’re about healing: our community, our movement, our world, our bodies, our hearts, our thoughts, our neighbors.  We love it, we’re working on doing it more consistently, and we want to share it.  The other things above are (ideally) all ripples flowing out from that, expressing that.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of this Science of Christianity, once said,

“The true Science—divine Science—will be lost sight of again unless we arouse ourselves.  The building up of churches, the writing of articles, and the speaking in public is the old way of building up a cause. The way I brought this Cause into sight was through healing; and now these other things would come in and hide it…

We must show the difference between the healing of Christian Science and quackery.”

(Lida Fitzpatrick, We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, pp. 111–112)

Come by any Wednesday night at 7:35pm to discuss how we’ve seen this Science applied in healing in our individual lives, or call in (605) 475-4000 x636128.  We usually meet at 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, MA (and that’s where we are this week — check this website for future meetings).  These meetings aren’t what we’re about, but they’re a sweet and natural outgrowth of the healing we practice, sharing it gratefully.

Warmest wishes,

jpchurch

Songs of praise tonight (Wednesday)

Heyyy
 
So, we always sing, and it’s always great.  Tonight We’re going to sing some songs that aren’t in our standard hymnal, but have a simple, praise-full message:
 
Thank You, Lord
 
Thank You, Lord (x3)
I just want to thank You, Lord
 
Been so good (x3)
I just want to thank You, Lord
 
I love You, Lord (x3)
I just want to thank You, Lord
 
Thank You, Lord (x3)
I just want to thank You, Lord
 
 
“Pilgrim on Earth”
 
 
This Little Light of Mine
This little light of mine,  }
I’m gonna let it shine      } (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
Everywhere I go,         }
I’m gonna let it shine } (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
Not gonna hide it away, }
I’m gonna let it shine        } (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
When you need a friend, }
I’m gonna let it shine        } (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
This little light of mine, }
I’m gonna let it shine     } (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
And of course there’ll be reading and sharing (of testimonies, experiences, and remarks on Christian Science), as always.  7:35pm @ 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, also available at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.  See you there!

word & spirit on Wednesdays

Last weekend this site hit you with so many words.

Today, we’ll instead hit you with so much love.  Hope you feel it.

Come hear a little bit of The Word and share a lot of love with us in our Wednesday evening meeting.  7:35 @ 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain.  1.605.475.4000 x636128#.

Science! @ church (different location)

Merriam Webster’s Word of the Year is “science, because people looked it up a lot this year.  It has relevance to so many stories this year: what’s happening to our world, what are we learning about, what are we discovering?

The English word science comes from the Latin for “knowledge”, and the Koine Greek γνώσιν (“sci-” in Latin and “σι” in Greek share a Proto-Indo-European root) is sometimes translated as “science” and sometimes “knowledge” — it comes up 29x in the New Testament of the Bible, like the end of Luke 1 where it talks about preparing the way for the Lord’s “science of salvation.”

Humans have attempted science for a long time, and we’re getting really good at our version.  We’ve mastered the atom, crawled all over Mars, and occasionally get the weather right.  Scientific endeavor has translated many things into thoughts, thereby augmenting understanding and enabling technological prowess that seems like magic.  And this science can explain so very much about the wondrous heavens, from the forging of the elements in the big bang to the life cycles of stars, and what currently confuses astronomers about the heavens will likely be figured out in the future.  But this understanding will always be finite.

On the other hand, God, infinite Mind, is the One that set them there, and

His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless.

Psalm 147:5 (AMP)

proverb says it is by this understanding that He established the heavens.  (Sidebar: It’s not mainstream, but self-consistent Truth inducing actual creation has certain renowned proponents among philosophers and physicists.)

Can our human attempts at science explain the ultimate “why”‘s?  Sometimes we’ll try, and you hear mutterings about string theory and eternal inflation, but then “science” begins to exceed its boundary of testability.  And in other directions: Can we explain the forgiveness of misdeeds?  Can we reproduce the radical healing practiced routinely by Jesus and others?  There seems to be a science there – Jesus taught students, he encouraged empiricism, and he promised that anyone could reproduce his works:

believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things

John 14:11-12 (MSG)

Hmm.

The reason human science can’t compete with this divine Science (at least in these questions) is subtle (at least, to me).  In her book about scienceScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures (S & H), Mary Baker Eddy consistently echoes the theme of the Bible that God, divine Mind, Principle, is the only cause.  I was skeptical of this claim for a long time.  In particular, it denies validity to material causation.  That book says:

starting from a material sense … seeks cause in effect, Principle in its idea, and life and intelligence in matter.

In the infinitude of Mind, matter must be unknown.

S & H, p.279

Just beforehand, it says:

     That matter is substantial … exists only in a supposititious mortal consciousness.

Every system of human philosophy, doctrine, and medicine is more or less infected with the pantheistic belief that there is mind in matter…  A logical and scientific conclusion is reached only though the knowledge that there are not two bases of being, matter and mind, but one alone, — Mind.

Ibid, pp.278-279

That passage on its own might not convince you — it wouldn’t convince me on its own.  But beauty and order point to Mind.  And I know it’s written deep in your heart, as I’ve been slowly discovering it is in mine.  But if you don’t think you can read that right now, how about this: The folks who do acknowledge and adore one infinite Mind are capable of doing what we asked about in the beginning of this post: undoing sin, healing disease, and raising the dead.  Jesus did it (see the Gospels).  His apostles did it (see the book of Acts).  Mrs. Eddy did it (see, for instance, Christian Healer).  Her students did it and do it today: overcome lust and sickness and raise the (seemingly) dead.  I’ve experienced the first two, and have met some who have gone through the lattermost.  (Come by any Wednesday evening meeting to hear more stories!)  They do it by knowing the “basis of being” in the way Mrs. Eddy described above: “The Christian Scientist, understanding scientifically that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the” (apparent) sin, sickness, or death (S & H, p.423).  I’m learning that it’s actually a simple and sure process.

Scientifically acknowledging the omnipresence and limitless good of God, our Mind, and thereby healing, is true praise.  Science and Health says, “Christian Science does honor God … in the way of his appointing, by doing many wonderful works though the divine … nature,” (p.483).  God causes this righteous praise to spring forth.  He gives you the desire to do good and the power to succeed at it.  It is God’s light by which we see light.

This Sunday morning, our pastor will give a sermon on God the only cause and creator, touching on some of these topics and more, in churches all over the world.  We’d love for you to join us in hearing it, and in singing and praying a bit.  Our local service is at 10:35, and it’s not (!) at our regular location — it’s at 66 Williams St., Apt. #2, Jamaica Plain, MA.  You can also phone in at 1.605.475.4000 x636128#, or Skype-message  christian.science.jp.church (audio only so far).

Much much love!  And thanks for reading the longest post yet.  🙂

-Grant

PS: Unlike physical science, the Science of Mind does give satisfying understanding of love.  So we conclude with this poetic prose from a section labelled “Love imparts beauty” that touches on much of the above:

God fashions all things, after His own likeness.  Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence.  Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light.  The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”  The modest arbutus sends her sweet breath to heaven.  The great rock gives shadow and shelter.  The sunlight glints from the church-dome, glances into the prison-cell, glides into the sick-chamber, brightens the flower, beautifies the landscape, blesses the earth.  Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth.  Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.

S & H, p.516

Heal all the things

Christian Science, besides uncovering the science of reality, besides enabling a fuller expression of love in your life, is a tried and tested system of healing that can be applied to anything.  Things that can seem like huge problems from HIV to protests to depression to unemployment to addiction can all be corrected, lovingly.  So can (seemingly) little things: lost keys recovered, cured habits, and uplifted opinions are perennial subjects of the testimonies given at Wednesday evening meetings of Christian Science churches and societies.  We’ll be discussing this panacea and how it’s undone problems in our lives, big and small, Wednesday night, as we do every Wednesday.  We’d be really thrilled to welcome you.

7:35pm @ 687 Centre St., Jamaica Plain

1.605.475.4000 x636128#

Deception! Villainy!

…and how to defeat them!  Hint:

Truth brings the elements of liberty.

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p.224

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

-Christ Jesus, via John 18:32

Need to be freed?  Come and hear about the liberation that we all have access to.  10:35am Sunday @ 687 Centre St.

Do you ever wrestle with doing the wrong thing?  Do you get sick?  Have you grappled with your impending mortality?  From the standpoint of a human body composed of matter, it’s inevitable that brute urges, disease, and decay will come, and will be struggled with.

What if we change that standpoint?

687 Centre St., JP @ 10:35 Sunday mornin’. (650) 475-4000 x636128

On fire: Wednesday

When Jesus overcame death, he appeared to two of his followers and explained some things to them.  Their reaction?

Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us … ?  Didn’t you feel it all coming clear … ?

Jesus represented the Christ, which reaches all of us.  Have you ever felt your heart on fire, or felt this perfect clarity?  Isn’t that the Christ speaking to you?  Do not forsake this love: act on it, and never forget it.  (And tell us about your adventures!)

Wednesday we’ll be having a meeting, where we’ll all be sharing about the benefits that listening to the Christ has brought to our lives.  We’d love to have you, to hear from you, to support you.  Party’s at 687 Centre St., JP, and starts at 7:35 pm (EST).  You can phone in at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

And don’t forget, it is “God … working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Phil. 2:13, NLT)