12/1/2015 Thoughts from the October 2015 Journal article on page 38, “The Christian Science Monitor: a gift the world needs,” by Ross Atkin.
Here are some points I hope to remember:
· “Our challenge is not to feel hopeless to make a difference in the world seemingly overwhelmed with outside problems.” God doesn’t have any boundaries.
· Why did Mrs. Eddy feel The Christian Science Monitor is essential to our healing practice of Christian Science? (in the article, The Christian Science Monitor is considered “bedrock” to the Christian Science movement not “tangential.” Also, “regular reading of The Christian Science Monitor is a key to our own individual spiritual growth and mental good health”.)
· How do you use The Christian Science Monitor in your daily prayer and work for the world?
· How do we overcome resistance to doing this work and to The Christian Science Monitor itself?
· What more can I do to appreciate and use this gift in the way Mrs. Eddy intended it to be used?
1/7/2016 Reading Room discussion on article in January 4, 2016 Christian Science Monitor, “Done with church, but not with God.” This spurned great discussion. If the Monitor’s object is “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,” then why did Harry Bruinius write the article? Is there a need for “organized, traditional church?” Why did Mrs. Eddy establish her church? How can his article help us make progress in our Reading Room to reach out to the community? Is our church rigid? exclusive? judgmental? Or is it open to diversity and community? Does our church allow us to get to know God? Does it allow us to see “God’s word make an impact around the world?”
1/21/2016 Reading Room Program—How to use the computer. We looked at Concord Express and experimented with that program. Question: What is he difference between Concord and Concord Express? Should the Reading Room purchase Concord? At this point, we at the meeting felt Concord Express is sufficient. We also experimented with listening to the hymnal songs on the computer (new and old hymns).Finally, we experimented with looking up churches, practitioners, etc. online. These are resource pages in the Journal. The computer lists closest-in sites and then moves outward by miles. It seems like it would be a very useful tool if traveling.
Ideas for another Reading Room program—how to create a Prezi for the front window. Perhaps once a month a Reading Room volunteer or church member could create a new Prezi based on community issues, Sentinel titles, or national or world issues.
2/4/2016 We had another great Monitor discussion focusing on the article, “The Trump Effect” in the January 25, 2016 Christian Science Monitor. We discussed elements this article points out that we can pray about.
Some thoughts included:
· God governs man.
· “Mind produces all actions. If the action proceeds from Truth, from immortal Mind, there is harmony; but mortal mind is liable to any phase of belief.” SH p. 419:20.
· The Daily Lift by Evan Mehlenbacher for today titled “God is in Charge of All.”
· Fear cannot control us.
· Man expresses intelligence, and we think because we reflect Mind.
· Prosperity is not limited.
· Our goodness is not divided into a “Zero/Some game.”
· No one can be hypnotized by mortal mind “stories.”
· We can discern what is true spiritually.
· There is no personal sense.
· We should pray daily for those in authority.
· God is Principle.
· Start with God in our thoughts and prayers.
· God is the only cause and effect.
· God is the only Ego.
· Man has an individuality that is a reflection of God.
· Personality is the counterfeit of man’s likeness to God
· “God is our lawgiver, our judge, and our king.” (the Bible)
· God and His being is one.
2/18/2016 Another fantastic Reading Room Writing Workshop Program focusing on the topic, “How to develop an idea.”
· Writing is like painting a picture when we need to sketch our idea first, and from that sketch we create the final painting.
· Writing should be relaxing, not stressful.
· We all have stories to tell.
· The goal should be to share a story.
· We need to be careful not to fall in love with our own writing so that we are able to look at our writing objectively and cut and edit it as needed.
· We could try to record our article on our Smartphone as if we are talking to a friend. Then type that up or use voice to text conversion.
· Think about the question, “Why is writing important? What is the value of writing?”
· With regard to references, start with a story and then use references to expand the idea.
· We all read the first paragraph from a random Sentinel article and talked about what would compel us to read further. We all had some personal connection to the topic and therefore wanted to read on.
· We next completed a worksheet that effectively thrust us into an idea for writing by reflecting on a memorable article or testimony; then an important experience related to Christian Science; a purpose for writing about that experience; and finally a first paragraph.
I was astounded at how our sharing tied into everyone else’s, at the ways new ideas evolved from our discussion, at how effectively the worksheet helped uncover a deep desire of mine to pray and find an answer to a nagging question, and how our discussion seemed to meet he need of all of us.
3/3/2016 Monitor discussion about many shorter selections from The Christian Science Monitor and why they may have been included in the weekly magazine. These included photos with captions, letters from readers, shorter articles, and one main article.
· It was amazing how many ideas our group had as they responded metaphysically to a photograph that showed a hardship.
· We also discussed how to respond to the good news the Monitor reports—to support and perpetuate that goodness and not to just dismiss it and say, “ Well done.”
· We talked about how opportunity can come from adversity.
· Also we raised the question, “Should we pray for a specific situation or pray globally?” We decided to listen to our own guidance as far as prayer goes.
· As we solve our own problems, we are reaching out to the world. We can trust that our prayerful thoughts do have far reaching consequences and are effectual.
What do you do with your old Monitors? One member of the group takes them to a fitness center so others can read them and be lifted up too.
We also discussed the direction of the Reading Room programs. Should we meet at a different time? How can we reach out to the community more? Is what we have been doing effective?
One new idea is to post that the first Thursday of each month the public is welcome to join our Monitor discussion. We could even post in the window the article(s) we will be discussing.
Should we pass out the article to members to read ahead of time? Personally I think that is okay, but we still need to take the time to reread or summarize the article(s) at the beginning our of our discussion.
We also talked about ways to let members know what our discussions are like—via testimonies, blog, and email.