Christian Science practice

Audio only

Ginny Luedeman, Jake Lowe, and Nate Frederick all make themselves available to pray for others.  They’ve made a commitment to be in the public healing practice.  They got together at the NYC Spiritual Activist Summit 2012 to talk with summit participants about what it’s like to be a Christian Science practitioner these days.

Comments

  1. Rob Scott says:

    One of the audience members made an excellent observation that many people feel practitioners do not hear them and they just start speaking the Truth.

    I learned in sales training (Integrity Selling) that if the patient/customer does not feel valued, listened to or understood then the healing message will never get through their mental gate and the practitioner  and their healing message will be shut out.

    This seems to be the result expressed by the audience member’s concern.

    The absoluteness needs caution depending on the level of CS understanding by the patient.  If a patient just got out of a coma from a car accident the last thing the patient wants to hear is that there was no accident or the child was never molested after they came fourth and notified an adult for help.  We know on an absolute level that their spiritual identity can never be stained or called into question.  But how you say something is as important as what you say.

    I don’t feel this is making the practitioner a therapist.  I feel it is probing to uncover the error.  Once error is found out then it is 2/3′s destroyed.  I think a lot of people skip this step and just rush into speaking the Truth.

    I also felt Ginney’s story about the husband  ”going downtown” for gay sex because of abuse in his childhood did a disservice to the LGBT Christian Scientists.  There are numerous examples of gay and lesbians in healthy and happy relationships.  There were gays and lesbian in that audience during your discussion that day. It just seems that religion always shares only the negative stories.  Perhaps now that gay marriage is legal people don’t have to live a lie.

    In my volunteer work for suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBT youth it is family and religious rejection that is destroying the self esteem and well being of youth and even adults.  The youth desperately want to know they are not alone and they want to be understood.  Do you hear me???  Do you see me??? Do you understand me???  But most importantly – Do you love me unconditionally???  Does God love me unconditionally ???

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL mankind.

    Rob Scott

    Chicago, IL

    • nina says:

      Hey Rob, I appreciate both thoughts you’ve shared.  Because I know Ginny and have heard her speak without a shred of judgment in answering LGBT-related questions, I didn’t mind the story.  But I do agree with the more general point you’re making.

      I also appreciate what you’ve said about the way practitioners respond to our mortal stories.  I’ve been working with a practitioner for more than a year now whose method just delights me.  We examine the mortal story together, digging into it until we identify EXACTLY what’s making me feel terrible.  It’s not always obvious.  Then her prayer focuses like a laser on the heart of the error, rather than just bumping generally around the outside of the issue.

      This more focused prayer has made a HUGE difference in my life.  I’m so grateful for the time and attention this practitioner gives me, and I now do the same for others when they ask me for prayer.

      • Rob says:

        p.s. Thank you, Nina. I also have a great respect for the role and responsibility of a practitioner.  My grandmother, whom I loved dearly, was a journal listed, Christian Science Practitioner, and I have the greatest respect and love for the writings and teachings of Mrs. Eddy.

        I also reach out on a regular basis to several CS practitioners / CSBs who I have learned from and am most grateful.

         

         

        • Rob Scott says:

          I came across this article on JSH online.  It is appropriate to repost for this audio and discussion.  It made have sounded in the audio that  it is easy to become a Christian Science practitioner according to the letter of the  law.   More importantly it is the spirit of the law or what is in your heart that I find more important in a good practitioner.   My grandmother had it and it brought healing to so many lives through Christian Science.  I also feel there are niches left unfilled within the movement as the harvest is full and the laborers are few.

           

          The Christian Science practice—open to everyone

          From the September 1993 issue of The Christian Science Journal

           

          When your life has been touched by the healing power of Christian Science, it’s natural to want to share it with others. This interview with a Christian Science practitioner, Mary Ridgeway, shows just how naturally this desire can lead to public practice and how one’s life and family can be blessed along the way.

          Is full-time employment in the Christian Science practice a calling anyone can aspire to? It’s a calling that’s natural for everyone to aspire to because everyone is a child of God. We’re all called to the practice of the truth of being. We become aware of this divine leading through the desire in our hearts to love God and mankind more fully.

          I think there’s great power in the yearning of the heart to love and help one’s fellowman. I’ve not always been a Christian Scientist, but I always had a desire to help others. I was a musician studying music therapy in college. After graduating, I worked with people who had emotional disturbances. When I began to study Christian Science and to learn more about it, I had an even greater desire to help others. My heart was full of gratitude for Mrs. Eddy’s glorious spiritual understanding of God’s nature. When you get to know God through the study of Christian Science, how can you not want to help others know and demonstrate the source of all good?

          What do you feel prepares one for the public practice? The desire for Christliness in one’s own life is the starting point: asking oneself, ‘Am I bringing the Christ to bear in every detail of my life?” Expressions of kindness, tenderness, compassion, and spiritual strength, whether involving church activities, family, or community life, constitute practice. When we bring these qualities to bear in our lives, we’re preparing for a public practice.

          Do you love? Are you tender? Are you compassionate to your fellowman? Do you have the desire to help uplift thought above challenges or problems to a more spiritual view of life? If so, “Now is the accepted time” (II Cor. 6:2). Even a slight understanding of Truth and Love has a healing effect. Anyone who has a deep desire to follow Christ Jesus’ healing works should be encouraged to give time to public practice.

          My practice has also been based on the deep spiritual lessons I’ve learned by having to pray deeply and strive for spiritual growth during some very challenging events in my own life. If we’re willing to let life experiences point us to Truth, to see God’s presence in the midst of the fiery furnace, then we’re being prepared for Christian Science practice.

          How has your commitment to the practice affected your family? Let me begin to answer that question by addressing the common perception that you have to be away from your family. Sometimes you do. You get called, sometimes in the middle of the night or called away to another city. Those things do happen. But my family has never been neglected. There are many ways my family has been profoundly blessed and protected by the practice.

          When I was first starting in the part-time practice, I became ill. The condition worsened until I wasn’t able to care for myself or our children. I had the normal feelings any mother would have. I was concerned about what they would do, who would take care of them, and so forth. Working through this problem taught me that I could love our children more when I loved God most. I had to love God most in order to learn how to really love them. This realization was essential to the complete healing I experienced.

          I remember something our daughter said to somebody once that I thought was quite wonderful and I was very grateful for it. She said, “You know, my mother’s healing not only changed her life, but it changed mine as well.” I know that my commitment to the practice has blessed my family. One of our daughters has some friends who’ve asked her to pray for them. So I know she’s working with Christian Science, practicing it. Our other daughter has had some very deep challenges in her life and has been willing to stick to what she knows is good and practice it.

          The practice has also blessed our marriage. It’s brought so much meekness, patience, and pure affection into our lives. I think my husband and I have grown in our appreciation for each other and support each other more consistently in our lives and work. I see harmony resulting in all of our family relationships, and I see spiritual growth.

          Have you made financial sacrifices in order to practice? My Christian Science teacher stressed the practicality of this work. She said, “One can make a very good living being a Christian Science practitioner if you understand that it’s all demonstration.” I really believed her and took it to heart. I set about to try to prove it for myself and took a bit of a leap of faith when I opened my office.

          I relied on Christ Jesus’ promise “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). I really felt that I was seeking the kingdom of God with the righteous activity of the public practice. And I was more grateful than I can tell you for the opportunity to be able to do this.

          I think gratitude is infinitely important in the demonstration of supply. I gave a lot of thought, and still do, to Mrs. Eddy’s question and answer in Science and Health “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more” (p. 3). This made it clear to me what I should be doing if I expected increase, whether it was patients, or money, or whatever.

          The gratitude I felt for the good that was present was very deep. I endeavored to avail myself of all the blessings that I had. I made myself available to my patients—as available as I possibly could be. And I prayed diligently for myself and for everyone who came to me. I endeavored in every way to live the truth that I was learning.

          This has been my experience. And it has brought much increase. My practice continues to grow, and my family and I are continually enriched.

          If you’re interested in learning more about the Christian Science practice, the Manager of Practitioner Services in the Clerk’s Office would be happy to talk with you. Call or write:
          The First Church of Christ,
          Scientist
          Practitioner Services, A172
          175 Huntington Avenue
          Boston, MA, U.S.A. 02115-3187

          Telephone: (617) 450-3107
          U.S. and Canada: 1-800-288-7155,
          extension 3107

           

          For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,
          do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might
          be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom
          and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord
          unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,
          and increasing in the knowledge of God;…
          giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us
          meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

          Colossians 1:9, 10, 12

  2. Lisa Kristy says:

    This so touched my heart and reconfirmed that I am already in the practice. I am a call back type person and finally had a practitioner that calls and text me back! What a glorious time this is for CS and hence the world! Thank you, Ginny, Jake, and Nathan. I know alot about each of you and so love and respect what you are doing for the movement! Yay and Yay!!!! I think this will inspire some to move on towards the practice, and lift those up who are already there! Yes, we need more of this!!!!!!

     

  3. Dean says:

    This is an awesome podcast. Each practitioner had something to say that I found very helpful.

    Ginny- making a clear distinction between treating a patient’s thought, and your own thought-especially important working as a Christian Science nurse I would add too

    Jake- giving the 100 dollar bill back to the one who needs it- great metaphor!

    Nate- your experience about all the amazing quotes and ideas that flowed spontaneously in sharing with a patient- and your general tone – all of you- wonderful tone under-girds all the sharing, thanks so much!

  4. JD says:

    Wow, what a great talk and great questions — and definitely a good showing that you don’t have to be a certain “type” of person to be a CS healer — all three of the speakers come from different backgrounds humanly, and yet the sincerity and their devotion to God really shine through.  :-)

    What a powerful healing to close the discussion with Nate!

    • JD says:

      Devotion to God AND devotion to helping others find healing through that strong presence of knowing God!  :-)

  5. itsaboutgood says:

    This was so awesome. Thank you so much. Love rocked the stage in NYC. Thank you all for your beautiful expressions!!!

  6. Amy says:

    This was really interesting! One thing that surprised me was the part about practitioners calling the patient back. In all my 4 decades as a CS no practitioner has ever called me back, so I was happy to hear that this actually happens sometimes.

  7. Diane Taylor-Dickey says:

    This is outstanding!  We need more of these!!

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