The Group

August 26, 2010

"We've been through a lot of formats over the years. Readings — no readings, timed shares, stream of consciousness.....".

"I remember when I came the first time we had readings, followed by demonstrations and then maybe 15 minutes helping someone with a problem. Go back and check some of the early notes. Be sure and look at the readings too."

"One couple came for a while and insisted on no talking before the meeting. It was a Wednesday meeting on Thursdays."

"When did you all just start talking?"

"Little by little most of the formalities dropped away. Usually we have a topic, people keep track of what's going on in their lives maybe related to the topic, maybe not, and come here to share. Everyone's free to bring in Christian Science material they've found helpful."

"The trouble with the way we're doing things is we don't always break through to the Truth, the Science, of what we're discussing and we just drift along on the belief level."

"Yeah. But I don't think we should go back to a formal structure. If people want that there are Christian Science churches."

"Why was the group started in the first place?"

"Well, back in 1986 the Christian Science movement was poisoned with homophobia. People were being excommunicated from churches and told not to attend associations. We needed a place to share Christian Science among ourselves and with the community."

"Isn't the church better now?"

"Depends. The Mother Church hasn't been launching attacks on Gay people in the Lesson Sermons or the periodicals but some practitioners and teachers are still stricken with bigotry and are being allowed to continue in service."

"And don't forget — the official periodicals don't accept articles or testimonies that throw a positive and healing light on our affectional lives."

"Hold on — talking about drifting on the belief level! Why aren't we handling the problem through treatment?"

"Because it's more fun to rag it. But thanks, you're right. The idea of this group is too valuable to let it degenerate into a den of untreated human complaints."

"We can be thankful for progress and make sure we see our larger group — the Christian Science movement — as Truth and Love, resting on Principle. And keep it there without dualities — keep mortal mind out of the way."

"That reminds me that this group was always a focus for my study and demonstration but our topics could be extended to the world at large. Take this topic 'The Group'. I'm involved in all sorts of groups that constantly need help and attention. I mean family, city, country, world. My body and everyone else's — and so on and on. What we uncover here metaphysically can be applied to all these areas.""Does anyone have anything to say about the two people who've stopped coming to our meeting in the last month?"

"I'm sorry to see them go. Do we know why they left?"

"They weren't getting much out of it. They weren't studying Christian Science or even reading the periodicals we gave them as far as I can tell. Maybe they were coming just to hang out and go to dinner."

"It's kind of interesting they left as we got serious about the group and — dare I say it? — its mission."

"Maybe the group, as an impersonal divine idea, is letting go of non-essential elements — it's stripping down for action."

"Send that to the Christian Science Journal — it's a great cop out!"

"Just the same, Mrs. Eddy warned us against counting numbers and fretting over personalities. If it's just 2 or 3 dedicated Scientists working unobstructed by any need to entertain or water things down to try and pull people in..."

"Yes of course it's wonderful but still we should be able to give newcomers something valuable. We've got the keys to the kingdom of God at our fingertips."

"If we just do our thing and really demonstrate Science on stuff that comes up — including problems brought through that door by new people, we'll be giving ourselves and them the greatest gift of all."

"I've been feeling really bad about the way I treated one newcomer...."

"The one with all the racism and sexism?"

"Right. I pushed the 'here in America we're all equal' button instead of handling the beliefs silently in Sceince. I crossed swords with him on the dualistic level instead of striking at the root of mortal belief and he left in a huff."

"You did fine in very trying circumstances. We can correct any residue of angst now. Let's just know he was drawn to the Christ. Jesus lost his cool sometimes and it ultimately had a healing effect."

"Very good. What I'm seeing now is everyone is drawn to the group by the Christ, not by people or formats or even demonstrations. Everyone coming here — including us — is attracted by the infinite, eternal perfection of being, available to everyone here and now."

"That can be extended to everyone whether they're coming here or not. When I say 'here' I can mean here in the group and also here in Heaven where we all exist in interpenetrating bliss."

"That's why sex is such fun — it mimics the facts."

"Listen to this: 'The pride of circumstance or power is the prince of this world that has nothing in Christ. All power and happiness are spiritual, and proceed from goodness. Sacrifice self to bless one another, even as God has blessed you. Forget self in laboring for mankind; then will you woo the weary wanderer to your door, win the pilgrim and stranger to your church, and find access to the heart of humanity.' (Mis 155: 3-10)"

"Fabulous! She says enough about the heart of humanity elsewhere to make me see it as God and God only — nothing added."

"It's our seeing that's our greatest gift to give. If we make it our mission to see man and the universe in Science we'll be doing some real work in Science.""I've got an idea that might spice things up a bit. We could select Bible quotes and find the Christian Science in them. Mrs. Eddy did this a lot in her classes and with the household."

"Did anyone bring a Bible?"

"Whoops. Well we could start with the Lesson. I've been using this quote all week: 'If we wish to follow Christ, Truth, it must be in the way of God's appointing.' (Science and Health 326: 3-4). It's helped me surrender to God's guidance and not outline how healings should come about."

"Thanks. It seems to me the whole Lesson on Christ Jesus shows what we have to do to align ourselves with God's direction. We need compassion as shown by the good Samaritan. We need faith as shown by the centurion. And we need to forgive as we are forgiven as Jesus outlines in his parable of the wicked servant."

"The final section calls on us to exercise constant vigilance not to 'dream away the hours' but to 'work and watch for wisdom'."

"Scientists used to talk a lot about setting up a watch but you don't hear it much now."

"Wasn't it a military term?"

"I'm pretty sure, yes. But there's a good concept there for our practice. Watch what's going on and translate it into the underlying Science."

"I'd say it this way: Watch what seems to be going on at the belief level, find what's really going on divinely, proclaim the latter as the one and only situation and watch the healing or change in belief appear."

"Would you all like to take 'Watch' as our September topic?"

"Sure — sounds good. But maybe make it 'Watching'.

"I can see heads nodding yes. Okay, 'Watching' for September."

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