April 2, 2019

Dear People,

I’m very happy to finally be able to get to you the study references since they are a significant part of preparation for the Association day together. Our mid-December move out of state (from Massachusetts to Maine) turned out to occupy more of our attention than expected over the last several months, so we fell a bit behind our usual schedule. Thank you for your patience in this regard – and also for the delay in responding to your avalanche of deeply meaningful cards and notes regarding my many years at The Mother Church.

I’d like to remind members, and let guests know, that we’ve always had a somewhat unusual approach to providing study references. You see, rather than my first writing the address and then making available selected references related to it, the search into the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings illumines and develops themes that Mrs. Eddy herself obviously felt were basic to Christian Science. From the beginning of my teaching, therefore, the references have not been incidental and illustrative so much as serving to establish the very framework for the address and the shaping of the message. Your own study of them prior to Association day will enable you to see quickly where we’re headed with the various sections so that you can then devote yourself to the prayer, unselfing, and spiritual listening that that makes for “ears to hear”.

The title of this year’s address is God’s Prolific Hour, a phrase drawn from Mrs. Eddy’s lines in Miscellany (p. 132) which seems to me to describe the kind of experience we’ve all had, whether in reading the Lesson, or in Church or at a lecture, where the focus becomes the stirring of new insights, a clearer, freer spiritual sense – what almost seems a different consciousness.  It becomes God’s hour, and the effect is healing, a more abundant sense of good, a fruitful, productive time. Mrs. Eddy writes,  “Oh, may this hour be prolific, and at this time and in every heart may there come this benediction, Thou hast no longer to appeal to human strength, to strive with agony; I am thy deliverer.“

Mary Baker Eddy was uniquely aware of how vital the revelation of divine Principle, Love, was to Church and to humanity itself.  She saw it as being so crucial it deserved to be considered a pro-active Cause, demanding everything we can possibly bring to it.  She wrote (My. p. 131), “There is with us at this hour, this great, great blessing; and may I say with the consciousness of Mind that the fulfillment of divine Love in our lives is the demand of this hour – the special demand.”

With deepest love and appreciation,

Allison W. Phinney, C.S.B.

P.S. You will now find a brand new posting of a selection of initial responses to this year’s assignment on the role of the Bible in Christian Science. We will be having a panel and a floor discussion on this subject at the beginning of the afternoon session, so it will be helpful if you’d take another look at the references we originally sent with the assignment. 

P.P.S. We’ll also have a section in the afternoon on the exceptional importance of gratitude and testimonies to the Christian Science movement. We’d like you to be thinking about why that is, as well as about a testimony you might share during remarks from the floor.  We also look forward as always to your sending your healing fruitage at any point right up until the time I walk out on the platform!  It’s an invaluable part of our meeting, and there’s no need to buy into mortal mind’s aggressive stuff about “not remembering” healings.