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

 

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“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)

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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:

A call to love.

[revised]

As I think about this date and the challenge it represents to me, I feel compelled to challenge myself.  And why not pose the challenge to you, too?  The challenge: Love more.

Love is unconditional.

We all love the Boston Police Department when they’re restoring order amidst the confusion of violence.  We respect their commands, we party in the street with their victory.  What about when they pull us over?

Would you be able to love a popular, soft-spoken, religious, teenage lifeguard who’s a Best Buddy, a student, and a little brother?  What if he was involved in a bombing or a police murder?

What about Putin or Assad?  Someone in Boko Haram?  How about Obama or Cruz?  That kid from high school?  The beggar outside the coffee shop?  The driver that cut you off?  Your ex?

Yourself?

God loves you, just like She loves Sean Collier and the Tsarnaevs.  And Putin, your ex, everyone in Boston, everyone everywhere.  These are not mere platitudes.  They’re based on Principle (that God made you good and recognizes it) and understanding it can radically improve our situation.

When his reliance on God brought him (peaceful) victory over a whole army that had been sent to kill him, Elisha fed and freed them, thereby earning peace with their king.

Jesus forgave his murderers.

Love doesn’t mean enabling bad behavior — Jesus’ famous “turn the other cheek” is a triumph over violence, a command to demonstrate that violence is powerless against Love.  And he didn’t just talk the talk on that point, either.

Sure, but that’s Jesus Christ.  We can’t all be Jesus…  But we have one God; we’re emanations of one Mind.  We can therefore work to do as Paul asked: let that mind which was in Christ Jesus be in us.

I’m not saying I succeed in my effort at Christ-ian (we really should have a word for that… 😉 ) love all the time.  But I’m working on it, and I invite you to work with me.  I have to admit, I have trouble with people who walk inconsiderately.  And Bashar al-Assad.  But I’m taking it a day, a step, at a time, and I’m committed to loving in a more principled way.  To learning that we all have the same Father-Mother, Good.  To letting go of my claims against them.  To refusing the claims of fault in my siblings.  To demanding that I see the good in their individuality.  I still have more ease with some folks than with others, but I’m working at it.

For instance, I’ve lived in urban areas for awhile, and I’ve often been unsure of how to interact with folks asking me for money, aware that sometimes giving them what they ask for could be enabling destructive behavior, and sometimes honestly taking it personally when I detect attempts at deception.  Lately I’ve taken this question to God (Mind, Love), and have received more opportunities to interact with these brothers and sisters of ours.  I’ve begun learning who some of them are, how they express Good, and how I can effectively express love to them.  I’ve learned to listen, to share, to respect…  And, unsurprisingly, they’ve given me more than I’ve given them.  They’ve taught me about gratitude, grace, humility, strength, and more.  I’m really grateful for them.  (PS: if you want to better love this segment of your family, I recommend the Sermon on the Mount, being a pal, and learning what’s useful to them.)

I spent this time last year asking God to show me how to love the Tsarnaevs.  I think of myself, of those I love, and think of bad things I/they’ve done and people who don’t like me/them, and why I love them anyway.  Why the good in them inherently is more important than the bad, more identified with who they are, more lasting.  I don’t know the Tsarnaevs personally, but I know God loves them, and I know God’s not dumb.  Please join me in loving them and everyone who feels the same conflicts they do.


Some of us are getting together this Wednesday evening to talk about divine Love and how we put into practice our understanding of it, how it makes our lives better and lets us love more.  There’ll also be some readings, singing, and prayer.  We’d be thrilled if you;d join us at 687 Centre St. in JP (or via (605) 475-4000 x636128#) @7:35 (EDT).

I’m … still working on people who walk on the left side of the sidewalk.

<3,

Grant and jpchurch

“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”

Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.340

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

Church: rock.

Hey there.

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve spent considerable time “building” on the foundation of the material world.  Building a worldview from the foundation that physical science describes everything.  Building a life towards the goals enshrined by materialism.  Building yourself to best fit the ideals of that life.

But the ideals are limited, necessarily so in a finite world.  The rewards of their pursuits are sometimes enjoyable, but rarely reliable (and sometimes come at others’ expense).  It can seem like a zero-sum game.  Not to mention that this worldview can’t fully explain the most essential components of life: consciousness and love.  Nor can it explain the “miracles” of prophets like Jesus, or thousands recorded in the Christian Science periodicals.  (Incidentally, this week’s Sentinel shares healings of grief, a growth, and shingles; muscle strain; and chronic back pain.)

So… what foundation do we build on?  Various luminaries throughout history have given helpful answers to this question, and we’re exploring some of the best this week.  The apostle Paul said,

“no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.”

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, we read on p.138,

“The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built.”

From this foundation, Jesus, Peter (“rock”), Paul, Mrs. Eddy, the writers of those testimonies linked above, I, other members of jpchurch, and countless others have demonstrated morals uplifted, love, physical health, walking on water, finding purpose, raising the dead, achieving joy, and other beautiful illustrations of the reliability of building on this firm rock.

This week, our pastor has a wonderful sermon on the subject of matter for us, discussing these questions of foundations (and whether they belong in matter).  We’d love for you to join us in hearing it, along with a bit of lovely singing and powerful prayer, this Sunday morning at 10:35 (EDT), @ 687 Centre St. in JP for locals or (605) 475-4000 x636128 for everybody.

Build on Love.

jpchurch

Church: about “what stays”

Mary Baker Eddy penned a powerful question in her work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

Which ought to be substance to us, — the erring, changing, and dying, the mutable and mortal, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal?

pp.278-279

 

Well, I’d like to invite you to glance at a provocative little blog post of one of our jpchurch family: The kind of gratitude you should never practice.  My main takeaway from reading it was the lovely message that gratitude really ought to be inclusive.  But another point that comes to me after pondering the article is to be grateful for ideas bearing fruit in life/experience, rather than particular material things that seem more or less to pattern those ideas.  Elsewhere in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy recommends resolving “things into thoughts,” which are better than material objects in that they are good and eternal.  Or as Jesus said, treasure not treasure of earth (subject to moth, rust, or thief), but treasure the treasure of heaven.  These substantial things — the things of Spirit, divine Mind, heaven — are so much more real than mere material shadows.  And, indeed,

It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his.

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p.302

 

This Sunday morning, we’ll be having a church service, central to which will be a sermon on the subject “substance”, including these questions and ideas.  We’d love for you to join us physically (687 Centre St., JP), telephonically (605.475.4000 x636128), mentally, spiritually.  Party starts at 10:35 EDT.

Bless you,

jpchurch

 

 

Sunday service

Hey folks, you know the drill: God, love, fellowship, the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, you, us, 10:35 Sunday mornin’, 687 Centre St., JP, smiles, deep thoughts, singing.

Subject this week: Mind.

 

PS: Wednesday evening we’ll be at a different location; we’ll have that info up here in the next couple of days.

Wednesday sharing meeting: fresh thought

If you look back it this blogs’ posts, articles, and blog-friends, you might notice that we really like the Bible and this book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which helps us understand and apply the Science underpinning the Bible. For an open thought, reading these books begins (or continues) a spiritual and practical journey of uplift, healing, love, and understanding.  For some, just reading Science and Health has resulted in profound healing.  So, we regularly read topically-selected passages from these books at our church services and Wednesday meetings.

But if these books are so great, why do we take time weekly to open up the floor to whoever wants to speak?  Well, the books are great and we do read from them regularly, but it’s so important to keep thought fresh, diverse, and vivid.  The books have all those qualities, but there’s really something special about sharing in person how I, you, we apply these spiritual concepts in our individual walks of life, from pacifying family squabbles, to overcoming cancer or depression, to praying about hurricanes or war, to bicycling, rollerblading, running, or sky-diving safely and beautifully.  It’s touching, useful, beautiful, and affirming.  Combined with a bit of readings, singing, fellowship, and occasional discussion, it can make for a great Wednesday night.

This Wednesday, as most Wednesdays, we are meeting at 7:35pm at the community room on 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, MA, with a phone-in line at (605) 475-4000 x636128.  We’d be thrilled if you joined us!

Much love,
jpchurch

Healing meeting

Hi there 🙂

In case we haven’t said it enough times, our movement is about healing.  Our meetings are one part of that: we come together Wednesdays to share healing insights in our favorite books (the Holy Bible, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures), to share experiences of healing we‘ve had applying the Science contained therein in our lives, and to support each other.  Naturally, folks experience healing at these meetings.  (I sure have.)  We’d be thrilled if you’d like to come by and take part.  Be healed, learn to heal, sing, give a high five.  It all goes down at 7:35pm at the community room at 687 Centre St. in JP this Wednesday.  See you there!  (If you can’t make it in person, we’ll happily welcome you by phone at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.)

<3,

jpchurch