How can we pray about unity at church?
QUESTION: How can we pray for unity in churches when some people really don’t want to change and some do?
Annette Dutenhoffer says: It’s great that we’re thinking about the how of church unity instead of the why bother?
Church work provides a wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth, to really buckle down and work things out.The goal isn’t to try to unite a bunch of human minds into one way of doing things, but to acknowledge the wholeness of Church as a spiritual idea in the one Mind, God. Remember that on the day of Pentecost, diverse people were gathered together from all over. Yet the Bible says that everyone heard the message of the Holy Spirit spoken in his or her own language. 1 You could say there was one message, but many ways of hearing it.
We glimpse the infinite nature of creation when we’re willing to respect the individuality, diversity, and creativity of each member, while working together on a common purpose. The definition of Church on page 583 of Science and Health defines this purpose. It says in part that Church affords proof of its utility, elevates the race, and rouses the dormant understanding. Such an infinite idea needs all of us to express it. No one needs to steamroll others, or to feel unimportant. We’re all equally needed.
After Jesus ascended, the disciples’ first order of business was to replace Judas Iscariot. The Bible says they prayed, acknowledged that God knew best, then they chose. They trusted God’s direction. 2 What a great example of the simplicity of church work!
Years ago, our membership auditioned two soloists. After much discussion and disagreement, we chose one and notified the candidates. We encountered many problems with the one we had chosen, from minor contract issues, to when the job would begin. Eventually, it all fell through. It seemed rude to call the other candidate after such a short time and tell her we had changed our minds, but she graciously accepted the job, saying she would have had to decline originally, due to a family emergency.
This is a good example of knowing that unity is a quality of Mind, and even if a decision needs to be changed in church work, we can still collectively move forward, realizing that the biggest blessing will prevail.
Annette is a Christian Science practitioner based in Longmont, Colorado.
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Topics: Church | Tags: division, working together