At the pulpit on a chilly, rainy weekday evening in February in the sanctuary of the First Christian Scientist Church on Woodport Road in Sparta, First Reader Wendy Romano thoughtfully reads a long list of Bible verses. The formality and perfect diction are curious at first glance, especially since in the pews there are only three four people.
"Now I'll read from Mary Baker Eddy's Health and Science Key to the Scriptures," she said. "Man is the offspring of God, not man. God is spiritual, not material. Meet disease with as much determination as legislation. Block out images of negative thoughts. Then declare truth: through God thou art whole."
The audience is larger than the few people in the pews. Atop a black piano sits a cell phone with its speaker on, and across the nation, listeners have dialed in, to be a part of tonight's service.
"If you're joining us by phone, please keep your mute button on," Romano said.
After the readings, there's a time of silence to let God speak to hearts, and a few listeners give an update on God speaking to them and lessons learned. To the sound o
A woman attending service in
person, broke a long silence by saying, "I think a lot of us have a problem with (the concept of) contagion," she said.
She explained that when she would fall ill as a child, her mother would pray over her.
"Never ever did we experience serious contagion," she said. "She'd pray and that would be the end of it. We noticed that belief seemed to extend itself to the school, so Christian Science is very helpful in that way, too. The school wanted the prayer."
The woman states that the Christian Science Reading Room in Sparta Township is open at 7:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to relax in the reading room, which is like a library, but has comfortable chairs, lamps, magazines, and issues of The Christian Science Monitor and The Sentinnel, which is the weekly word from the Christian Science Church.
At the core of Christian Science is the belief that God is all, and that all is well, and that negativity, disease, etc are basically a lie, since God is good and God is all. Within the Christian Science Church, the faithful turn to prayer, before turning to a doctor, but there's public misperception that persists, in the mistaken belief that Christian Scientists decline doctors. They do not decline medical care.