Elaina Simpson, C.S.
Ideas on Church
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Reposting excerpt from the October 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal titled, “Being a force for good”: Excerpts from 2019 TMC Youth Summit
You can view the full article via their 'share' feature, and I'll put the link here: https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/1me1rudwd84?s=e
"The following is an edited transcript of a panel discussion on “Why Church?” that took place during the “Being a force for good” summit of 20- and 30-somethings held at The Mother Church in October 2019. On the one-year anniversary of the summit, we hope you will join us in reflecting on the ever-expanding idea of Church, especially as we all continue to discover new ways to experience church in person, online, and by phone." "... Elaina Simpson: A few years ago, it seemed like attendance was imbalanced in the branch church where my husband and I were members. I had grown up in that church, and now there definitely were no other 20- and 30-somethings there. We wanted our church to feel like a place where everyone felt welcomed. Groups of members came together for various reasons via church workshops, board meetings, and email threads, and we asked ourselves: How can we feel like more of a community? What kind of culture do we want to have here? We got together and talked about what makes our church unique. And this idea of family came up frequently.
Every church is very unique, but at our core we all have a sense of family. We worked to see our church not as a separate Christian Science community over here, but as a part of the greater community. We’re in the community, and we’re here for the community. That opened our thought to welcoming all prospective visitors and possibilities.
It has been beautiful to see over the last few years such a sense of balance and diversity in those who attend our services. That sense of family starts with, How do you want to be treated when you walk into church? If you want to be treated a certain way, and you want to feel the love, then you can start by giving the love. When you see a visitor at your church, go say hi and maybe even give them a hug. We had discussed that, and it was beautiful to see the evidence of that healing.
We have had new members and visitors. Those who were members of our church for decades have been very supportive of everyone, reminding them that their contributions and thoughts are valued just like everyone else’s in the family. Even though there is always space for newcomers, people have mentioned our church feels “full.” Church is a constant prayer.
When my husband and I came in as new members, we found that we don’t necessarily need to have people in our own age group to feel a sense of warmth and friendship. We are all ageless ideas of God, and every church member’s prayerful support is needed, important, and valued." Have a lovely evening,
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