This is a long-overdue thank you for this year’s Association assignment and address, and the wonderful sharing from members that took place during the meeting, the lunchtime sessions, and the fruitage you’ve posted on the website. I love the idea of our Association as “banded together to bring down the walls and lift up the spirit of man.” The panelists gave such stirring accounts of how they found or re-discovered Christian Science and what it means to them, and in the lunchtime discussion more experiences were shard. More than ever this year, I started to see that in our Association everyone’s work and love flows together for the same purpose, to glorify God and bring healing to our church, our community, our world. Each member’s growth and insights help the other members, sparking each other into steady flames of love.
When I got the assignment to heal someone this spring, I felt uplifted as I opened thought to be ready and willing to do this. I didn’t find someone to heal before Association, but during the lunch discussion I realized that whether or not someone asks for prayer, I’m seeing needs at work, church, with friends and family, that call for healing. While we don’t give treatment without someone requesting it, we not only can but need to pray to see each person rightly, to disbelieve false suggestions about ourselves and others. This is work I can take up every day!
Shortly after Association, some friends were visiting at my house, and one said she’d been having digestive problems and was unable to eat many foods. As she was leaving, I told her I would pray for her. The next evening she called to thank me, saying she woke up feeling much better, like an emotional burden had been lifted off. She was so happy and grateful. Although she has since been diagnosed with a food allergy and is eating according to her doctor’s advice, I was grateful that I felt free to offer prayer, and to receive confirmation that it gave her hope. Another chance to offer prayerful support came when a Christian Science friend called to tell me his mother had gone to a Christian Science nursing facility because of a serious health issue. I shared some ideas from Association and the next day sent him a CD, Keep Praying, and the lyrics to a song, From Where He Stands, that have inspired me. He called back a few weeks later to say how much those meant to him. So, I’m still working on the assignment of healing sickness (and I’m sure that will come), but I feel God is leading me in the right direction.
This summer another Association member and I took p the project of reading and studying Miscellaneous Writings together. Every Sunday we email each other about what we’ve read that week and ideas that stood out to us. It’s really helpful to have a study partner! I was inspired by what one of the panelists said at Association then when he made the commitment to study, more time opened up.
I’m also in my second year of a term as Second Reader, and in charge of choosing hymns for Sunday services, which, I love doing. Reading seemed very intimidating at the beginning, but it’s a wonderful experience. The lessons mean more when I read them with the thought of sharing the ideas.
Thank you for all your letters and emails of encouragement, the study references and deeply inspired address this year—and every year. I am so thankful to be part of the Association.