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Friends came over the other night and we shared ideas about the Holy Spirit. We don’t go to the same church; nevertheless, our spiritual journeys have taken us all to the point of wanting to “have the mind of Christ,” as Paul mentions in 2 Cor 2:16.

My friends’ spiritual journey started in a small town in Washington where a Baptist congregation welcomed them in. My husband and my spiritual journeys started in a small town in upstate New York, when questions we had about life’s deepest issues prompted us to visit a Christian Science church. That was a turning point — or better yet — a starting point for us both.

Like the welcome our friends found at their Baptist church, members of the Christian Science church received us with kindness. They answered our questions thoughtfully and patiently, pointing us to the Bible and particularly the New Testament, where the unmatched life of Christ Jesus reveals the nature of God. I began to grasp something deep and satisfying of God as our dear Father, as all-loving, all-wise, and ever-present.

I found time spent in church to be peaceful and comforting. The words “God is Love” in large letters on the wall at the front of the church auditorium meant a great deal. The basis for this concept is I John 4:8 — and what a wonderful concept it is! Most Christian Science churches — including the Albany and Corvallis churches — place this Bible verse on their walls. Sunday worship includes prayer — the Lord’s Prayer and silent prayer — hymns, and a Bible-based sermon. Children attend Sunday school during the same hour, where they learn the Scriptures and how to turn to God in prayer for wisdom and help. At Wednesday evening meetings, those present share how they are striving to live more of Christ Jesus’ two great commandments — to love God and your neighbor as yourself — and how this has brought them moral and spiritual regeneration, as well as physical healing. I began to glimpse that the same kind of life was possible for me.

Along with church attendance, I started reading the Bible, which Christian Scientists see as our “sufficient guide to eternal Life.” I also started reading "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by church founder Mary Baker Eddy, which is the textbook for the denomination. Since I didn’t grow up in a church-going family, discovering my relationship to God was all new to me — and quite exciting.

Not so for my parents, who couldn’t understand why I was going to church, which was quite foreign to their way of thinking. However, when my mother heard the idea that “God is Love,” her face lit up. This was something she could easily understand. As time went on, my family’s questions and concerns about church and Christian Science became less frequent. They could see so much improvement in my life that it was evident this church was good for me. For example, I’d let go of quite a few bad habits, and had come to see the importance of overcoming sin in my life. I was learning to be more loving. The small publishing company my husband and I owned began to flourish. Connections with others became stronger and more caring.

As I’ve continued to study Christian Science, I’ve learned more and more about God’s power and omnipresent love for His creation. I’ve learned about the Savior, Christ Jesus, and how he brought peace, love, and healing to the world. I’ve tried to let that Mind be in me that was also in Christ Jesus. I’ve felt the touch of the Holy Spirit.

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Roberta Sperling is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Corvallis.  She also teaches Sunday school and serves on the Lecture Committee along with members of the Albany Christian Science church. She's a board member for Friends of Corvallis Parks & Recreation. Roberta and her husband publish RubberStampMadness, an arts and craft magazine; Cloudbank, a poetry journal; and poetry books from a downtown Corvallis office.

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