Archive for the ‘Christian Science Canberra’ Category

A Glimpse of Life Eternal … Is This Body All There is to Life?   2 comments

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

Until last year Reggie was a member of our family.  He was an elderly rescue dog.  We loved him dearly and he lived with us long past his expected ‘use by’ date.

Gradually last year I noticed that he was slowing down and sleeping much of the time.  I understand that animals don’t stay with us forever.  They come and they bless us, and we them, and they move on.  It was starting to feel like Reggie might be about to move on. 

One Saturday morning he seemed to be in a long deep sleep.  By lunch time it seemed that he was going.  He couldn’t be roused and he had lost control of his bodily functions.  I sat on the floor beside his bed and turned to God.  “Tell me how to think about this,”  I asked.  Then the question came:  “Is it the body that you love?”  The answer was, of course, “No!”  “Then what?  What is it that you love?”  I could see so clearly in that moment that this body was an irrelevance.  Reggie was very real but he was not just this body.

I sat quietly and the inspirations came. I saw more clearly than I had ever done before, the immortality of life – life that was spiritual, eternal, untouched by matter and material claims.  I was so absorbed in these thoughts and what God was teaching me that I forgot to notice the body lying beside me.  My husband came to the door to see how he was going and Reggie lifted his head a little and opened his eyes.  I offered him some water and he drank it.  Within a few minutes he was sitting up.  I offered him food which he ate and shortly after that he was up and around.  The next day he was quiet but well and happy.  By Monday he was urging us to take him for a walk and when we put him on the lead he was first out the door at a run.

Reggie did leave us later that year.  Until he went he was well and active and lost none of his faculties. This time when it seemed that he was going I asked God:  “What do I need to know about this?”  The answer was different. “You know who Reggie is.  You have seen this.  Trust it.  Now is the time to let him go.  You don’t need to hang onto the body because you know that it is not the real him!”  When he left there were times when I missed him, but I can honestly say I was never sad about his absence.  I knew so well that nothing had changed.  He was still Reggie – the same gentle, loving giant he had always been.  I knew that God was still caring for him just as tenderly.

I look to thee in every need, and never look in vain;

I feel Thy touch, eternal Love, and all is well again: …

Thy hand in all things I behold, And all things in Thy hand.

Thou leadest me by unsought ways, Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.

(Christian Science Hymnal 134)

Protected During Hailstorm   2 comments

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

Two years ago on a Monday afternoon Canberra was struck by a hailstorm of such ferocity that thousands of cars were destroyed and buildings severely damaged.  I was working on this day and had to deliver meeting documents to Government House in Canberra.

On my way out of the grounds of Government House the security guard at the gate let me know there was a big storm brewing and asked if I would be all right driving.  I assured him I would be fine.

Before I got to the turn-off, the storm broke and hail came pelting down.  My first thought was perhaps I should turn around but I decided to carry on.  When I reached the road which leads onto the main road, I noticed both sides were packed with parked cars, even on the nature strip and there was no place for my car.  I thought I might carry on slowly to the main road. 

Suddenly there was a loud bang against the car door and I thought I might have run into another car.  When I looked towards my mirror there was only an object which I did not recognise for a moment but then I realised it was the mirror holder without a mirror.   A strong gust of wind must have blown it against the door which caused the bang.

I was becoming a little rattled, when a thought from the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy came to mind, page 469:  “We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit that, although  God is infinite, evil has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place where all space is filled with God”.  I am God’s protected child, and I am surrounded by God within this perfect space where evil and inharmony cannot enter.

Another thought came to me from the Christian Science Hymnal, hymn 148, “In heavenly Love abiding, no change my heart shall fear; and safe is such confiding for nothing changes here.  The storm may roar about me, my heart may low be laid; but God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?

With these thoughts I headed onto the main road; there was no other traffic but lots of hail, tree branches and twigs.  I drove slowly to my place of work thinking on these wonderful God thoughts which calmed me and brought a sense of peace.  I reached work unharmed and with no further damage to my car.  I thanked God for His protection and guidance.  

I feel privileged to be a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Canberra, and for duties I have been able to perform such as Second Reader, board membership, ushering and Reading Room attendant.

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.”

(The Bible – Jude 1: 25)

Reality – Found in Matter or Mind?   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic:  Reality – Found in Matter or Mind?

Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter into metaphysical premises or conclusions. The categories of metaphysics rest on one basis, the divine Mind. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul. …

The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p269)

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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.

Christmas Presents Recovered   Leave a comment

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

Christmas in Canberra is typically hot and dry, and this day—two days after the holiday—was a particularly hot one. Our son, 13 years old at the time, asked if we could drop him and his friend at the public swimming pool in town. My husband and I needed to do some grocery shopping, so we agreed to drop the boys off and pick them up in a couple of hours when we had finished. Both boys were confident swimmers, and we knew the pool was well supervised.

When we returned my husband ran in to collect the boys.  I watched them walk across the carpark towards the car.  The friend was dressed and carrying his sports bag. Our son wore only his swimmers; he did not have his bag, and he looked particularly dejected. He explained that he had rented a locker for his gear, but when he returned, he’d found his locker empty. Each locker has a separate code that is created afresh each time it is rented, which seemed a particularly safe system. I asked him what he’d had in his bag.

This Christmas had promised to be quite a lean one for us. My husband was between jobs, and although we usually don’t make a big deal of Christmas presents, this year all our son’s presents were of a practical nature since he would start high school in February. His grandparents had given him cash so he would have spending money for the summer break and outings at school; someone else had given him a new watch; someone else a wallet. A swimming towel, new joggers, sports bag, new summer clothes—all came as presents from the family. All his needs had been met, and he was thrilled with the generosity that had been shown. In his enthusiasm, our son had put all his gifts into his new sports bag and had even worn his new shorts and T-shirt to the pool. All now appeared to be gone.

My husband explained that he had had a conversation with the pool manager. The manager had concluded that the only way someone could have gained access to the locker was if they deliberately stood behind him and watched when he entered the code. My husband had offered to come back in the morning to see if the bag had been handed in, but the manager insisted that my husband should consider it gone.

It was a quiet trip home, but this gave me plenty of praying time.

My first thought was that it was too late to pray; that the bag was gone. Immediately, I realized that this line of thinking contained a number of errors. I reasoned that God never made a human timeline; with God there is only ever the infinite now. It was my duty to deal with whatever thoughts were being presented to me now. And, in fact, that is all I can ever do! Right now if the thought is coming that an injustice has been done to my family or me, then now is the time to deal with it. It is never too late to pray.

The next thought that came was one of indignation that someone could do this unkind thing to our son. Again I was alert and challenged this negative thought. I stood firm with the conviction that God’s man is honest, principled, kind.

A third and subtler suggestion intruded on my thought. I found I was beginning to add up the dollar value of the goods in the bag and feeling great concern about how we would be able to replace them before school started in a few weeks. But then I recognised that God is our source of supply—in fact, our source of all good. His abundance never runs out. I left off adding up the cost, knowing that with God, “My cup runneth over” (Psalms 23:5).

With these thoughts I felt peaceful.  I relaxed in God’s love, knowing that He was in control. The next morning, my husband announced that he was going back to the pool to check whether the bag had turned up. Our son went with him.

An hour later, two smiling faces arrived home. They explained that the manager had found the bag—to his great surprise—at the end of the day in one of the cubicles in the girls’ change room. On checking they found that nothing was missing. The wallet still contained all the Christmas gift money! Our son said that the manager kept saying that it was a mystery that someone would steal the bag and then just leave it intact.

This experience helped me to see more clearly that we are only ever dealing with thought.  Our thoughts and our beliefs determine our experience.  Mary Baker Eddy cautions us in the textbook of Christian Science to “Stand porter at the door of thought” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 392).

She also writes, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 261). This experience allowed me to demonstrate the eternal truth of this statement. I am infinitely grateful for all that I am learning through Christian Science.

Conference Rescued – Speaker Healed   1 comment

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

One of my roles in the years just before I retired was to organise the annual regional conference for the large state government department I worked for.  These events were attended by over 300 participants and included one main keynote speaker and approximately 48 breakout sessions.  Planning took many months.  In order to secure an exceptional keynote speaker, it was necessary to book at least twelve months in advance.

This particular year I managed to secure a booking with someone I knew to be not only at the forefront of his specialist area, but an excellent and engaging speaker.  He was pleased to be asked and at the initial interview we discussed a timeline for when he would give me details of his talk and materials for hand outs etc.  During the year we touched base a couple of times and all seemed to be going to plan.  However, when we were about a month out from the event he still hadn’t given me the material I was expecting and wasn’t answering my calls or emails. 

Eventually I managed to make contact with his support staff.  They said that he had been in hospital with a very severe case of pneumonia and even after a couple of months he was not well enough to be back at work.  I said I would make contact again in a week or so to see how he was progressing.  This time I managed to talk to the speaker himself.  He said that although he was still very ill and weak he felt sure he would improve enough to be able to do the talk.  We touched base several times over the next couple of weeks but his health was not improving.  He seemed keen not to let me down and said that he would bring his wife to support him and possibly do the talk sitting down. He thought then he might possibly manage.  This was still the situation, the day before the conference and it was extremely tempting to be very worried.  I did not want this dear man to jeopardise his health but I also knew that the opening address was a very important part of the conference.

I have been raised in Christian Science and I’ve learnt over many years that there are spiritual laws that can be relied upon when challenges arise.  So I prayed to see things from a spiritual, rather than a human perspective.  I knew that this conference was a right idea.  Among other things it was an opportunity for participants and presenters to share ideas that worked and to collectively rise to higher levels of performance.  I knew that all right ideas are God’s because I have come to know God as infinite Mind and the source of all good.  I have also come to know God as Love and that Love is not just a feeling but a divine law.  This law ensured the safety of all; this law held everyone in their right place and maintained harmony.  I thought on these and similar ideas until I felt a sense of calm – a strong sense that all was well.  The night before the conference I slept peacefully expectant of good unfolding.

The following evening was the meet and greet and the conference opening dinner.  When I arrived the hall was already abuzz with excited participants.  Quickly I noticed that there was quite a gathering of people over near the bar.  In the centre of this someone was holding the floor and entertaining a small crowd.  As I moved closer I realised that was my keynote speaker.   He greeted me with a huge grin. ‘You wouldn’t believe what happened’, he said.  ‘You know how I’ve been so sick for the last few months.  Well last night, it was like a switch flicked and instantly I was completely well.  I haven’t felt this well in years. Look at me now!’  His excitement and enthusiasm spilled over into the group and he continued to entertain them.  Needless to say his talk was a great success, as was the rest of the conference.

Every day I am grateful for what I am learning in Christian Science.  It teaches me to be calm in the face of challenges; it teaches me to turn away from the human scenario and to acknowledge the spiritual truths; it teaches me that there are spiritual laws that apply to all life and if understood and trusted these laws will adjust any discordant situation.

Life That is Spiritual   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: Life That is Spiritual

Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p246: 17)

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.

Credit Card Safe in a Busy Airport   1 comment

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

Just before the COVID restrictions came into force my sister and I were travelling in the US.  At one point we were catching a flight from one of the larger airports.  The terminal was extremely busy and there were long queues everywhere.  We needed to check in our luggage so we queued at one of the self-serve terminals.  There was a cost for each bag and my sister said that it was her turn to pay this time.  She inserted her credit card into the slot in the machine and we filled out all the on-screen questions and received our baggage tags.  From there we queued again to drop our bags and then joined the long winding queue going through security.

Finally we were through with just enough time to find lunch before our flight left.  At this point my sister realised  that she no longer had her credit card.  We had left it in the self-serve terminal!  This was the card that held all her travel money.  A good hour had passed since we checked our baggage and with the queues everywhere it seemed impossible that the card could be found.  My sister suggested that I wait near the café with the hand luggage and she would go back through to the check-in machines.  My job was to stay calm and to pray. I knew my sister would be praying too.

I sat quietly in a corner and turned to God.  I have come to know God as the all-knowing divine Mind.  The All-knowing I reasoned knew exactly where that card was.  I have also come to know God as divine, Father-Mother Love.   As a loving parent God protects and guides His offspring. I have had many proofs of God’s loving care in other circumstances and this gave me confidence that all was well.   In my prayer I also acknowledged that God’s man is honest.  As I thought on these things I felt a sense of peace that replaced any sense of anxiety I had felt.   

Within a very short time my sister was back – and smiling!  She waved the card at me. ‘ Look what I found’, she said.  ‘It was exactly where we left it in the check-in machine.’  My sister explained that she had intended to go to the information counter in the hope that the card had been handed in but she had a very strong mental message not to do this but to go to the terminal we had used and check there.  She obeyed this direction and found the card in the slot just where we had left it.  We had no human explanation as to how this could have happened given the number of people using the machines.  A later check on her card showed that no extra charges had been made beyond our last baggage charge.

For what I am learning in Christian Science and for the peace that these teachings bring I am always grateful.

Thy hand in all things I behold,

And all things in Thy hand.

Thou leadest me by unsought ways,

Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.

(Christian Science Hymnal 134)

Run Over but Unharmed   2 comments

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

Prior to these current COVID restrictions I travelled often with my sister.  In 2019 she was invited to do a series of Christian Science lectures across the US.   I was her support person.  It was my job to take charge of the everyday organisational issues such as getting through airports and finding meals in strange cities.  More importantly it was my job to prayerfully protect and support her lecturing work. 

My prayers were prayers of affirmation, not petition.  I acknowledged God as divine Love and as infinite all-knowing Mind.  I acknowledged that these lectures were right ideas and as such they were God’s ideas, as all right activity is God’s.  I knew that God protected and brought to fruition all His ideas harmoniously.  I also knew that all those involved in bringing these lectures to the public were protected in this work and that only good could come of these activities.

On this particular day the lecture went off very harmoniously.  The venue was perfect, the audience large and focussed and my sister spoke with such sincerity and inspiration that all were moved by the words.  Afterwards we were taken back to our accommodation by one of the organisers.  When we arrived the driver pulled up in the driveway and my sister jumped out.  For a moment I sat half in and half out of the back seat while I passed bags and coats out to my sister.  Without checking whether we were fully out the driver suddenly started forward.  My sister immediately called for her to stop which she did.  The quick movement of the car jerked me out onto the driveway.   I didn’t fall but I landed awkwardly and the car came to a stop completely on my right foot.   This wasn’t a small car and the pressure on my foot was immense.  I was wearing only my little ‘going out’ shoes and these offered no protection.  Because of the prayerful work I had been doing during the day I felt no fear.  I also felt no pain.  My sister called out to the driver to back up but she became confused about what had happened and asked a series of questions that didn’t quickly result in her taking the necessary action. 

Eventually the driver did back up and I was able to pull my foot away.  Throughout this I continued to feel calm.  Despite the feeling of great pressure, at no point was there any pain or discomfort.  As the driver pulled away we picked up our things and headed inside.  I can honestly say I did not have a single twinge or any indication that anything untoward had happened.  There were absolutely no after effects.  I put this down totally to the fact that I had been keeping my thought fixed on the omnipotence of God, good, during that day and all the previous touring days.  Christian Science teaches me that what I think is very important in determining the events of my life and my wellbeing.  I am hugely grateful for all that I am learning as a student of Christian Science.

Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. 

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p260:4)

A number of Christian Science lectures, including the ones given by my sister on this tour are available on this site. Click on the Christian Science Lectures tab in the menu at the top.

Grateful for Spiritual Growth   1 comment

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

I’m grateful to Mrs Eddy for the Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel. I subscribe to these periodicals and treasure them for the way people share their thoughts, prayers, healings and experiences about many issues.

An article in a recent Sentinel reminded me that we’re not praying to change or improve God’s already perfect and harmonious creation. We’re praying to acknowledge, understand and claim this fact now and forever. Another article showed me how the writer uses the Lord’s Prayer to do this when praying about the concept of home in what seems to be a time of chronic homelessness all over the world.

He finds that this healing prayer establishes God’s kingdom as ever present. It establishes us as one universal family in our perfect Father-Mother’s harmonious kingdom where God provides for us exactly what we need.

A testimony in another recent Sentinel helped me in thinking about feelings and memories I sometimes have about the actions and behaviour of people in the past.

The writer had become irritated and impatient by the actions of a friend. When praying it occurred to her that this friend might be struggling in some way and need tenderness and support. Frustration was replaced with humility as she repented for her lack of compassion and her heart was filled with sweet love for her friend.

The writer refers to a gentle message that she found especially encouraging – from the third verse of hymn 278 in the Christian Science Hymnal.

Healed is thy hardness, His love hath dissolved it,

Full is the promise, the blessing how kind;

So shall His tenderness teach thee compassion,

So all the merciful, mercy shall find.

I realised that this is how I should be thinking and praying, rather than mulling over what I think are past hurts and injustices.

Trusting God – Needs Met   Leave a comment

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

My family was just about to complete a posting with the Australian Government in Zimbabwe. We had spent a happy three years there and I was now looking forward to returning to Canberra. One evening my husband came home from work and told me that he had resigned from the Australian Government and that he didn’t want to leave Africa again.  He had decided that we would go to South Africa where we both had Permanent Residence.  It was a bombshell and to be honest, I was very worried about the move as previously I had found it difficult to live in South Africa.  I realised that I needed to get my own fears out of the way and just trust in God, good, and know that whatever was right for our family would be revealed. 

When we got to South Africa, we had no home, no vehicle, knew no one and it was raining non-stop!  I must admit that the human picture was daunting! My husband and I decided that he would go and look for a car to buy and to keep dry, I took our two young girls to spend the afternoon at the city library.  While we were there, I met a lady with a little girl the same age as my daughters.  She was very friendly and welcoming and it was a very happy encounter. 

The following morning, we went to the local Christian Science Church for the first time and took the girls down to the Sunday School.  Who should be in the class but the little girl from the library!  This just seemed such a wonderful example of God caring for all of us – it was if God was saying – don’t worry, I know exactly what you need and I am going before you!

Back in Zimbabwe, I had decided that I would trust this whole move to God. This encounter in the library was just the beginning of wonderful provision. The next day was the last day of the school year and we needed to get the girls enrolled in schools.  We were aware that in South Africa, it is necessary to enrol your child for Kindergarten in good time as there are long waiting lists.  However, at the first school we went to, an unexpected vacancy had occurred that very morning and my daughter was interviewed and offered the place.  My younger daughter was given a place at the pre-school next door. We then found a small town house to rent in the same road.

Later in the week, my husband was interviewed and offered a place at the university to start a course which was being offered for the first time.  Throughout the time that he studied, I was able to find work which paid our living expenses – many things I had never done before but which all fitted in with caring for the girls during the school holidays – I taught pre-school, recorder groups, English and study skills to groups of Eritrean students and ran science courses for teachers from rural areas.  It was indeed a time of growth for us all.

Sometimes changes seem to be forced upon us.  This experience really showed me that whatever comes our way, God is always with us and knows exactly what we need. 

Best of all, when the time was right, we did get back to Canberra!

Where you’re going, Love will lead you. Where you’re walking, Love will guide.

(Christian Science Hymnal 598)

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