Archive for the ‘Christian Science Canberra’ Category

Finding Home   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

I grew up in Zimbabwe, and when I was 10 years old started boarding school. I found moving between the boarding hostel and home unsettling, and for many years struggled with the concept of home. Wherever I lived, I wanted to (or thought I should) be living somewhere else. I lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa, England and Australia and spent time travelling in other countries, but never felt settled and this really bothered me.

In 1985 I moved to Australia and in 1992 was posted by the Australian Government to Zimbabwe. At the end of my posting, I was strongly drawn to living in South Africa where I had strong family ties and had studied and worked for a few years.

When I moved to South Africa, I thought I had found my place. But, after about ten years when things weren’t working out because it was difficult to find employment, the restless feelings that I should be living somewhere else returned. I started praying to know that home is not a material location or physical structure, but a state of mind in which we are at one with God – at home and in our right place all the time wherever we are. As Paul says, “For in him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 28). 

Browsing in my local Christian Science Reading Room one day, I came across a pamphlet called PLACE. It has four lovely articles from past Christian Science Sentinels and Journals around being in our right place, home and employment – drawing from the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and her other writings. They were all really helpful.

Then one evening while out walking my dogs, the idea came clearly that I should apply for jobs outside South Africa. Over the next few weeks I applied for jobs in Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. I was offered three interviews, and then positions in the Middle East and Australia. I prayed to know which to accept, and it came to me clearly to accept the job in Australia.  As with all these kinds of decisions – when it is right, there is an incredible and indescribable feeling of peace.

A few months later when I landed back in Australia, I felt I had returned home. That feeling of being at HOME and in my right place has never left me since then. I have had no feelings of restlessness or that I should be living somewhere else.

I am very grateful for being led through Christian Science to an improved understanding of HOME and for the lovely way this has been manifested in my experience.

God is Love – Can We Ask for More?   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: God is Love – Can We Ask for More?

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God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (The Bible – I John 5: 16)

“God is Love”. More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p6: 17-18)

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (The Bible – I John 4: 11)

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Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome.

Beyond Lockdown – A Light at the End of the Tunnel   Leave a comment

In Canberra the lengthy COVID restrictions are now being eased. Thank goodness! As we approach re-opening and a more normal way of living and interacting, it’s important that we make sure all we’ve been through in the last 18 months has not been in vain.

We can think of these months of social isolation in two ways – as an awful time that was so hard, so lonely and often scary, or, as a unique opportunity. Could anything else have given us the opportunity to stop the busyness of everyday life, be still, and re-evaluate how we’ve been living in this world and treating one another? That initial decision as to how we’re going to think about this time, is immensely important because it dictates the failure or success of our experience ahead.

The repercussions of the initial decisions we make was brought home to me in a very dramatic way. My husband and I and our two young girls were holidaying, staying in a country motel. It was the very darkest time of night, we were all deep asleep when the oldest girl, who normally slept very soundly, for no discernible reason, suddenly woke up. As we were settling her back down, we smelled smoke. My husband looked out and saw the bushes beside the building on fire. Being ex-army he jumped into action and began hosing down the flames, but then realised the underside of the building was also alight. That’s when he found the whole of the underneath of the motel, which was fully occupied, was also on fire, and the rooms were starting to fill with smoke. We roused everyone and soon the fire was being put out. When the police arrived, they said it was an act of deliberate arson and five minutes more the floors would have collapsed into the flames.

Fear was starting to govern everyone’s thinking as they realised that through the evil actions of others, they had all nearly been killed in their sleep. It was at that point I realised we had a decision to make. There was another way of looking at the situation. It was that, even in the middle of the night when we were all sleeping the most soundly, even then we were alerted, saved and kept unharmed, that even in that extreme situation evil could not win. It was that option that we voiced to the group, and when we did, the atmosphere tangibly changed. Feelings of fear and vulnerability were replaced with a deep sense of safety and protection. Too, instead of my daughter feeling frightened, she felt the exact opposite, she felt like a hero.

Afterwards when I was thinking about what had taken place, I realised that in the weeks leading up to that holiday, I had been doing a lot of praying. Praying to me is not a pleading to a far-off God for benevolence, but a deep, conscientious recognition of the divine goodness ever-present in our lives. Tuning our thought to all that is right and good and loving is a bit like practising our maths calculations – we get better at it and see more right results appear. To me that’s what God is, the Principle that makes life work right and brings out those good results.

As we now move forward into this new way of living, recognising the good we’ve all had the time to focus on and practice, can help us feel assured that good results lie ahead for us. Through this period, haven’t we all been diligently and selflessly caring for one another in being isolated and law-abiding? Haven’t we had the time to rethink how we value our families and community? Haven’t we all been re-evaluating how we can better care for our planet? The basis of this thinking is love, and the Bible defines God as Love. Thinking rightly and acting lovingly is like doing our maths correctly, it assures us of good outcomes. It gives us the assurance that our futures will work out rightly.

This way of thinking about God, life and ourselves is Christianly scientific. If you’d like to look into this powerful healing way of thinking then visit the beautiful official website christianscience.com.

God’s Love, in Every Culture   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

This article was originally published in the December 2011 issue of the Christian Science Journal. In it the writer, a member of the Canberra Christian Science community, shares how she overcame loneliness and cultural differences when she moved to a remote area of Indonesia to teach English.

She writes: My first two weeks in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, were traumatic.

It took two weeks, but finally I turned to prayer. And then I felt I had something familiar to lean on. I loved the idea of setting aside time for God every day at sunset, which most people around me did. The local mosque sat just across the road, and I decided to mentally join in the melodious call to evening prayer. My room faced a vividly green rice paddy, and I would sit on the balcony to read and pray, looking down at the men praying in the mosque, and watching sparrows flitting in the rice paddies, waiting for the enormous, jungled mountains to fade into darkness. 

Finally, I felt the peace I was searching for. I glimpsed that God, Truth, is relevant in every nation, culture, and situation. I prayed to recognize those around me as my brothers and sisters, our differences dissolved by the understanding that we all shared the same Father-Mother God. As I continued to pray, my perspective gradually changed, and my loneliness and frustration melted into love and fascination.

Click here to read the full article where the author explains the spiritual reasoning that led to this being a happy and rewarding experience, and one where she grew in her appreciation of the true brotherhood of man.

Looking to Spirit for Cause and Effect   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: Looking to Spirit for Cause and Effect

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During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.

(Retrospection and Introspection by Mary Baker Eddy 24: 7)

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Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome.

Practical Prayer   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

Yesterday I had a lovely example of the practicality of prayer as practised in Christian Science.

Ours seemed to be a rather grumpy household last night.

I had spent some hours searching for one piece of information that I needed to send to our accountant for our annual tax return.  I couldn’t find it and had finally contacted the investment company that issued the original document, asking if a new copy could be sent. This communication was sent by email and I received a reply, also by email, that they couldn’t send me the document by email because my email address was not officially on their records – such irony! But even a sense of the ridiculous nature of this response did not ease the sense of frustration I felt as I went around in seemingly never-ending circles.

Then my husband came home, and he had just heard the news that the Canberra lockdown had been extended for another month. As the owner of a small business that depends on customers coming to his premises, he could see no way forward to stay financially viable.

However, after he tramped off to bed, I sat still – something I should have done much earlier – and thought of the verse from the Bible ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Ps 46).

What I see this as saying is: ‘Just stop running around in circles and thinking you have all the answers, that you have a mortal mind of your own that can actually solve anything. The universe is God’s – God is the only Mind and keeps all the wheels running smoothly if we get out of His way. Ask God what He/She knows about the situation and listenfor the answer.’ And I did.

In a very short time, I remembered that I probably hadreceived the document I needed and had put it in a special place, ready for the tax return. And there it was. I was able to scan it and send it to the accountant right then and there.

And I found, by checking on guidelines from the ACT Government about the lockdown, that a way forward was possible for my husband’s business.

God really does have the answers – we just need to ask – and I’m very grateful.

God – An Ever Present Help in Trouble   2 comments

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: God – An Ever Present Help in Trouble

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Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from they presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

(The Bible – Psalms 139: 7, 8,11)

Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome.

Chest Infection Healed Quickly   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

Just before the lockdown began, I came down with a chest infection.  If I walked upstairs or tried to talk, I coughed uncontrollably making it very difficult to hold a conversation, talk on the phone or take part in online meetings. It was also difficult to sleep at night.  To allay the fears of family members who were concerned that I might be infectious and so should not be babysitting, I agreed to take a Covid test.

Throughout this time, I had been at home praying asking God to show me what I needed to know and not mixing with others.  Eventually I remembered the statement in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, (p 420)

“If students do not readily heal themselves, they should early call an experienced Christian Scientist to aid them.  If they are unwilling to do this for themselves, they need only to know that error cannot produce this unnatural reluctance.” 

I decided to contact a Christian Science practitioner who was unimpressed by the symptoms and likened the coughing to a “performance wanting to get my attention”.  She assured me that “Spirit (my true substance) can’t irritate or distress itself” and agreed to pray for me. 

That night I slept peacefully and in the morning I found a text on my phone saying that my Covid test was negative.  Over the next two days, the coughing disappeared and I was able to fulfill care commitments for my family with no problem.

I am deeply grateful for this healing and for the lessons that I continue to learn from the experience.

A cherry on the cake came a few days later.  I realised that my ribs were sore on one side – and found myself thinking that this was due to the violent coughing that I had been doing.  I realised that as the cough had never actually been part of me, there was no reason for there to be any after-effects.  I rejected the suggestion and concentrated on the reading that I was doing.  When I had finished reading, I realised that all feeling of aching had disappeared. 

This whole experience was really a ‘wake-up call’ – a nudge to draw closer to God and to feel his love not only for myself but everyone around me.

Grace – God’s Unconditional Love Meeting the Human Need   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: GraceGod’s Unconditional Love Meeting the Human Need

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prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

(The Bible – Malachi 3:10)

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Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome. If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday, please join us.

Safe Evacuation from Afghanistan   2 comments

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

About two weeks ago, along with others around the world I watched on TV the fall of Kabul and the urgent rush for people to get on a plane out of Afghanistan.  The scenes were horrific and prompted me to pray about the presence of Love and order operating right there, even though it only looked like chaos.

A couple of days after I was prompted to pray this way, on Monday 16th August, I received a text message from a friend of one of my daughters.  She knew I was a Christian Science practitioner and she asked me if I could pray for the safety of the wife and baby daughter of a good friend of hers.  The friend worked for the Australian government and was in Canberra but his wife and daughter were in Kabul, in all the mayhem, trying to get out on a Defence plane.

I texted back immediately reminding her and her friend that Allah, being another word for I AM or God, was with the little family and I would pray to see evidence of this.  I also assured my friend that she had the spiritual capacity to recognise God’s protective love and we could catch a glimpse of this together.

Later the same day, they received an email from the Australian Government saying that the application for citizenship had been escalated and steps were being taken in Kabul to forward the administration.  I knew that ‘red tape’ didn’t have more power than the divine law of good.  

The next contact was two days later, to tell me that the little family had been told by government to wait at home till instructed to go to the airport.  This was a period of quiet trust in God and hope that safe passage to the airport was being organised.  My friend texted me “divine law is operating despite appearances” – I was thrilled to see this tone of her thought.  

A few days later a text came at 2:30 am to tell me that the mother and baby were safely inside the airport.  As I lay in bed I thought further about the safety of the mother and child and the tender care God was taking of all His creation. Even in the best of circumstances I’ve flown long flights with babies and young children and it can be challenging.  Seeing the images of those fleeing Afghanistan crushed into defence planes, I prayed specifically for the baby to feel at peace.  Later that morning another text came to say they were on the plane and close to landing in Dubai.  I shared with my friend a Bible verse I often use when travelling: “Behold I send an angel before you to keep you in the way’ (Exodus 23:20).  We were gratefully watching this promise from God being fulfilled.

The next text told of how the mother and child had had a couple of nights at a military base in Dubai.  Accompanying this message was a photo of the smiling baby girl in a little pink dress, looking very much at peace.  Next they let me know they were in Melbourne in quarantine and the friend of my friend, who had sparked this prayer journey a week earlier, was on his way from Canberra to meet up with his wife and child.  He had official permission to be with them during their COVID quarantine period.  

When the request came to pray for someone trying to escape from Kabul under those chaotic circumstances, I was grateful that Principle, the law of Love, was powerful enough to respond.  Once I started giving focussed prayer to the danger as the Taliban took over, I felt the power of prayer from around the world.  There was a palpable sense of God being on the field.  These last couple of weeks have brought into focus for me a little more of what Mary Baker Eddy hoped for Christian Scientists:

During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p96:31)

With humility and gratitude I’m glad I could contribute to some modest ‘aid’ and I “cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection”.  There is so much to be grateful for, as bit by bit I learn of the joy and relief of those involved in this escape from danger.

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