Exploring the deep things together

I had a chance to talk with a couple friends this weekend about some of the deeper things of life.  And I took away this sweet reminder – well, one of many – from our conversation: nothing can make the truth of life be any less true.  It’s all around us, currently… just waiting to be understood.  And, bit by bit, we each have the pleasure of exploring it more.

That’s what the Wednesday evening meetings are for.  They give us a chance to come together and share what we’ve proven about Life and Truth.  And it’s a time to cheer one another on.  We’re in this together… as it should be.

And with that, despite the snowy snow-snow from yesterday’s blizzard, church is on tonight!  We’ll be in our usual spot (details below); come join us in person or on the phone.

(Note: If you happen to be driving to the meeting tonight, it sounds like the bank parking lot is pretty well cleared!)

All love,

your pals at the C.S. Society of JP

P.S.  If you’re craving a fantastic, soulful song that happens to be on the topic of “the deep things,” check out this one by our friend Laura: http://time4thinkers.com/weekly-musician/laura-lapointe-deep-things-god/


Details about tonight’s service:

@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EST.
-In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure Love.

Sermon on Life – you’re welcome to stop in!

Hi all… just a quick note to let you know that we’ll be back to our usual spot at the Eastern Bank (address and other details below) for today’s Sunday service.  If you’d like to listen in via the phone line, you still can for sure.  It’ll be wonderful to have you there, both those in person and those on the phone.  All you’ll need is your love and humility! 😉  The sermon will be focused on Life.

All love,

the good folks at the C.S. Society of JP


Details about today’s church service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am-11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

Different location tomorrow! (Same time)

We’ll be in a different place tomorrow evening for our weekly Wednesday service!  You’ll find us inside the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain.

(It’s just a block and a half north of the Eastern Bank, where we normally meet; the address is 633 Centre St.  You’ll be able to see our sign outside the building – the big church with the tall steeple – and someone will be able to show you to our meeting place inside.)

And a gentle idea for you today:

Let.

(as in, this)

Big love to you, wherever you are!

the C.S. Society of JP


Tomorrow’s testimony meeting:

@ First Baptist Church. 633 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EST.
-In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure Love.

Today: God!

Happy New Year!  Check out the bottom of the post for details on location/time/call-in #.

A quick note about this morning’s Lesson-Sermon: it’s broadly on the topic of God.

More specifically, there’s a lot about praising God.  From a Christian Science perspective, it’s helpful to think about what’s being praised here.  What does Christian Science mean when it says “God”?

A few useful ways to think about God—actually, what Mary Baker Eddy (who founded the Christian Science church) names as terms synonymous of God—are these:

Principle
Mind
Soul
Spirit
Life
Truth
Love

That is… not a dude in the sky someplace.  Not an opinionated overseer.  But Life itself.  Love itself.  Spirit itself.

Just a quick little bit of food for thought!

All love, and happiest of New Years,

the JP Church clerk


Details about today’s church service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am-11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

All the church! Tonight, Thanksgiving, and supporting our world in prayer

Three things:

1 – Tonight.  Wednesday testimony meeting is still on, despite the nor’easter that’s been gently delivering rain/snow/hail all day.  We’ll be warmly ensconced in the Eastern Bank community room, and we’ll have our phone line as usual (info @ the bottom) for those who aren’t able to make it in person.

2 – Tomorrow = Thanksgiving!  We’re hosting a joint thanksgiving service with our sister church, Third Church of C.S., Boston.  It’ll be happening at 10:00am – half hour earlier than usual – @ the Nate Smith House, 155 Lamartine St, JP (map):

Thanksgiving in JP 2014 -1Thanksgiving in JP 2014 -2

You can call in on our regular line, too!  We won’t do phone intros as usual (only because of the number of in-person folks we’ll have).  However, if you call in, you’ll be more than welcome to share your Thanksgiving gratitude during testimony time.  We’ll make sure you can hear others who share in the room, too.  Call in early if you’d like so we can say hi.  🙂

And if you’d like to read the Thanksgiving lesson in advance, here it is: http://christianscience.com/bible-lessons/thanksgiving/thanksgiving

3 – Every day = a day for peace and love.  If you’ve been following the news in the US about Ferguson, MO, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do.  As a fellow Christian Scientist said in response, “no prayer falls to the ground.” (see 34:55-40:20 of this program)

Taking all of our hopes & wishes for humanity and giving them over God – the one big Love, who’s above varied opinions or human tragedy or any horrible “-isms”… the great protector and equalizer – is something we can all do right now.  This isn’t ignorance or blindness… it’s most definitely a form of activism.

If you’d like to see how some others have been praying, one place to look is http://time4thinkers.com/prayerwatch-ferguson-verdict/.  You can read and share your own prayerful ideas, too.

That’s all for now.  Love each other, stay warm.  🙂

Christa and the C.S. Society of JP


Details about tonight and tomorrow:

Wednesday service

@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EDT.
-In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure Love.

Thanksgiving service

@ Nate Smith House. 155 Lamartine St, Jamaica Plain (map).
10:00-11:00am, EDT.
-In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, Thanksgiving testimony sharing, and pure Love.

SOUL subverting body.

–> Details of the service location/time/call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–

In a conversation I had with a friend the other day, we found ourselves thinking about the value of art.  It began with curiosity: namely, of what makes the world value art less than, say, the work of a mechanic or an accountant.  Why does our culture know the stereotype of the “starving artist” so well?  Why does it happen, not too infrequently, that an artist will be asked to share their work for free, while that would very rarely be expected of someone who fixes a leaky shower faucet or does your taxes?

There are a lot of variables at play… but, breaking it down, the most basic answer I saw was that people find something more tangible in those things.  In response, my friend pointed out that art and its value can be sort of mysterious—for instance, explaining why a piece of art is worth something can be more complex than explaining why a fixed faucet is worth something.  (And never mind trying to understand the piece of art itself, or trying to know what caused it to exist in the first place!  There’s a lot of mystery in general that surrounds art.)

It then occurred to me that one big answer would naturally be found by looking at people’s view of life and vitality.  Simply put: if you’re seeing the (material) body as the principal part of your identity, then of course, it’s only natural that the things that go towards the preservation of the body—feeding it, giving it shelter, setting it up with reliable resources – are going to have the most obvious value.

If, on the other hand, you feel the less “tangible” element of soul as being a core part of your identity—i.e. if you feel a strong connection to the parts of you that the five senses can’t locate—then you’re probably very able to identify with the value of art.  Mainly because art is, by its nature, an excavation of deep identity—of soul… or Soul, if we’re to consider this essential quality as God-like, as holy.

The thing is, we all love art, and we innately feel connected to the art we like.  I do believe that’s because this holy Soulfulness is really the fabric of who we are.  We’re just not always entirely clear how it compares to the needs of the body.

My personal takeaway from the conversation was this: every time we awe at something that art does, every time we celebrate the (supposedly) intangible beauty that lies beyond material existence, we’re actually taking a stand for Soul.  We’re putting our arms around our deep spiritual identity.

And, at the same time, we’re taking a powerful whack at mortality… at the idea that our lives are stuck inside the breaths & heartbeats of a bodily lifespan.  We’re learning that we are actually endless.

So embrace Soul!  Let yourself feel connected to it, through beauty, art, what have you.  Consciously notice that you do this.  It’ll help you see more of your immortal nature.  It’ll point you away from the body and towards health—really, towards immortality.

(And to clarify the first part of this blog post, none of this is really about what people choose to lay down cash for.  Every situation is different, after all; there’s no judgment of those decisions.  🙂  More than this, I’m interested in how that concept helps us explore our definition of identity.)

* * * * * * *

In a fine example of good timing, we’ll be considering the topic “Soul and Body” during our church service tomorrow.  We’ll hear how every blade of grass and every star is “distinct and eternal.” (Mary Baker Eddy)  You’re invited to come and pray about this with everyone in attendance, or to defend this idea in your thought from wherever you are.

Christa & JP Church


Details about tomorrow’s service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000  x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am – 11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -Jesus

Hey.  Let’s get together tonight… just to share how we’re overcoming the world

And how we’re learning about overcoming the world.  And how God’s moving in our lives.  And how we can support one another as we each keep figuring it all out.

Testimony meeting tonight.  7:35pm, EDT.  Eastern Bank.  The door will be open.

(…that is, even if it’s actually physically closed – b/c the weather is cold! – someone will certainly open it for you.  Or will greet you warmly on the phone.)  🙂

More details about the service (what is a testimony meeting?), location, call-in number, etc. are all given below.

All love,

the Christian Science Society of Jamaica Plain, MA


Details about tonight’s service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room.
687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EDT.
how: In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure Love.

A “marinade” for today. (Subtitle: Church at Eastern Bank)

—>We’re back at the Eastern Bank community room!  Details, call-in #, etc. below.<—

Been chewing on this paragraph for a little while now:

I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory, — all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I AM THAT I AM.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 252-253

There’s a lot of good stuff in this passage that speaks for itself; I don’t need to try to articulate it for you.  But for me, I’ve found it inspiring to just marinate in these ideas a bit, and feel what they mean for me.

(In Science and Health, there are a couple of places where Mary Baker Eddy gives a succinct definition of God.  Here’s one of them, found in the spiritual Glossary she gives in the back of the book.  The passage above is slightly more fleshed-out.)

And I hope that wherever you are, you can feel those identifying characteristics of God, lifting you to experience new ideas and guiding you to learn what you need.

Tomorrow, those of us in this society are holding our Sunday prayer meeting—”holding watch,” as it were.  Any and all are free to come and listen, participate, pray, or just take it all in.

NOTE: We’ll open up the bank room tomorrow 15 min. before the service, for any who’d like to come and partake of some quiet prayer time first.  (Phone folks, we’ll be sticking to our usual call-in time, a few minutes before the start of the service.)

Warmly,

Christa and the C.S. Society of JP


Details about tomorrow’s service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000  x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am – 11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

Ask without hidden motive —> be surrounded by your answer

–> Details of the service location/time/call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–

Today, here’s a simple, useful message… just made to be basked in.

John 16:23-24 (from the Aramaic English New Testament)
[to dive deep & compare translations, Bible Hub & Bible Gateway are good resources.]

All things that you ask straightly, directly, that you desire –
like an arrow to its mark,
like birds to their watering place —
from the Breathing Life of All, Father-Mother of the Cosmos,

with my shem
my experience,
my Light and Sound,
my Atmosphere, my Word:
from inside my Name –

you will be given.

So far you haven’t done this.

So ask without hidden motive and
be surrounded by your answer –
be enveloped by what you desire –
that your gladness be full –
that the joy of goals met here
may continue its story to perfection in Unity –
that the [fullness of] life in you
find its lover in the Cosmos.

You and all are welcome to join in the service this evening (details below) to consider this concept some more, and to feel the healing it brings.

But wherever you are today, may you feel even closer than before to the goodness & healing we have every right to expect from God.

Much love,

Your pals at JP Church


Details about tonight’s service:

@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EDT.
how: In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure love.

PLEASE NOTE!  This Sunday and the following Wednesday, we will be in different locations than usual.  Be sure to keep an eye on this website for details; it will tell all.  ❤

Always connected to Spirit

–> Details of the church location, time, call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–

[From tomorrow night’s reader – a few words about the inspiration behind the readings]

Halloween is coming up, and there is an atmosphere of festivity here in JP. Two weekends ago, my family and I saw the lantern parade at Jamaica Pond. Kids were out wearing their costumes, and families were walking around the pond with homemade lanterns made of candlesticks in 2-liter bottles cut in half. It was a lot of fun and a time of beautiful fellowship.

But there is more happening around Halloween. This is a time of worship for many people, who worship the spirit of the woods, trees, or earth. Others at this time of year try Ouija boards, seek out fortune tellers, or try to use magic in order to feel inspired, or to connect with something bigger.

This can be a good time to recognize that connecting to God, who is right here with us, brings permanent joy and peace. God is all we need! Divine Mind rightly tells us all we need to know for now and the future, and we can be conscious of the one all-encompassing Spirit that includes all identities.

Church also provides a time for beautiful fellowship for all of us as part of the one Spirit. Everyone is so welcome to join in for this meeting – in person, or on the phone.

With love,

Sarah and JP Church


Details about tonight’s service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EDT.
how: In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure love.

REMINDER: next Sunday in the U.S. is the end of Daylight Savings Time. You’ll want to bump your clocks back 1 hour.  Just a little pre-warning.  🙂