Thank you all for a successful 2009 Emergence International Conference in charming Key West, Florida. One thing that was clear from the beginning of the conference was everyone’s sincere love for Christian Science and its founder Mary Baker Eddy. This was evident in the many healings and demonstrations we shared throughout the conference as well as stories of other people who have been positively impacted by us and our understanding of Christian Science.
The atmosphere throughout the conference was loving and harmonious with everyone working together as brothers and sisters in one grand family as we explored our “beingness” through the study and practice of Christian Science. Mrs Eddy wrote: “With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and Spiritual power which constitute divine Science” (Science & Health 469:30-5).
The team builder (the union of the lamb and the dove) was fun and spiritually inspiring. Mrs. Eddy wrote: “The lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compound Spiritual individuality reflects God as Father – Mother” (Science & Health 577:4). This exercise demonstrated the use of symbols for spiritual teaching.
Brother Doug gave a talk on “Our Innate Happiness”. Doug opened with this powerful statement: Writing to the Christian Scientists at First Church in New York, Mrs. Eddy made this provocative statement: “As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.” (My 165:16). Thus, true happiness comes from God. Remember, the kingdom is within you.
Next, the evenings were filled with frank discussions and laughter over candle lit dinners. After dinner, we toured the streets and were amazed by the beautiful old homes which were built like ships. Some of us continued on into the warm evening not wanting to let go of the moment which was filled with camaraderie and companionship.
The sunset sail aboard the schooner was as beautiful as it was harmonious. All of us together under the sails and the starry, moonlit sky filled us with awe and gratitude as we looked out at the “Golden Shore of Love and Peaceful Sea of Harmony” (Science & Health 576: 1).
Mary Jane Chaignot enlightened us with a discussion of the beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount. Mrs. Eddy referred to this as the “diamond sermon”. She wrote: “no purer and more exalted teachings ever fell upon human ears than those contained in what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 91). Therefore, live up to the name Christian Scientist by being an ambassador of Christ’s teaching.
A special moment was when we all joined to sing hymns with brother Deane at the organ. The readings from the desk were inspiring from brothers Hugh and Phil. The Sunday service was concluded with a circle of love closing where everyone got a chance to speak and express their gratitude for the conference and Christian Science.
I left this conference with a deeper sense of love for Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, and a new family. This year’s conference could be a watershed in Emergence International. One member stated: “it felt very healing and powerful this year”. Love was leading the way.
How can we share this love and build on our mission? One thing we have to do is maintain and update the website. I found the meeting on the site. Information is vital, especially for people who think they are alone. Having done volunteer work for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I know in my heart that such knowledge can save a life by offering hope to the weary wanderers and honest seekers of Truth – you are not alone! Mrs. Eddy wrote: “A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid’. Let us Watch, work, and pray that this salt not lose its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow in the noontide glory” (Science & Health 367: 16-23).
In closing, remember, you may be the only Bible anyone ever reads. You are blessed so you can be a blessing to others. Be ready and awaken unto a perfect day. Keep yourself “rooted in reality” (Martha Resk – Audubon Gallery). Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Mind is the divine Principle, Love, and can produce nothing unlike the eternal Father-Mother, God. Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal. Sin, sickness, and mortality are the suppositional antipodes of Spirit and must be contradictions of Reality” (Science & Health 335: 25- 31). We as Christian Scientists have a right to this reality. But we have to claim it!
Thy will Be Done!
Truth, Wisdom, Love, and Sincerity,