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Posts Tagged ‘history’

Part of our effort to send a message of inclusiveness is to share our information as widely as possible. We just found another exciting way of sharing the good news. Nadine Petersen took notes at our first meeting on August 6, and they’re outstanding. They’re not only a good reminder of what all we shared together, but they can give you a very nice tool for sharing the experience yourself. Take a look!

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From Shirley Paulson

August 7, 2009

I’m still reeling from last night’s gathering. Can’t decide if it was just because the weather was so perfect, or the people just turned out to be so amazingly united and happy. Probably the latter, although we did enjoy the comfortable summer evening outdoors.

A pizza-salad-brownies dinner got the fellowship off to a good start. Most people came from long distances from all over the Chicago area, so it was good to have some time to get acquainted. Predictably, there were mostly women who showed up, but we were glad to see enough guys, and especially some young people who didn’t even know each other. By the time the organized part of the meeting was over and ideas were flowing, small groups of new acquaintances in the kitchen, living room, patio, and TV room. Who knows what everybody said? We just know that by the time the last ones left, there was a pretty clear consensus that something big is going to happen in Chicago.

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From Shirley Paulson

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When the three of us – Rindy, Sandi, and I – got back to Chicago from our visit to the service and gathering of the Next Generation Christian Science Fellowship, we were convicted. That is, we knew we’re going to have to take steps to provide something comparable in our hometown. Like staring at a blank page that will end up being part of a book, we know something is going to happen, but we sure don’t know what.

Trying to figure out where we’re going next, we had to decide what spoke to us so powerfully. Here are some key points:

1)    We all felt immediately that we were welcome and appreciated, even though we hadn’t done anything, and most people didn’t know who we were.

2)    In the first service, which follows the familiar pattern from the Christian Science Church Manual, we found ourselves more awake and interested than usual just because it was different from the long-held traditions we know.

3)    The second part of the morning was known as a “gathering” because it does not attempt to be an officially recognized Christian Science service. But we loved it, and evidently so did everyone else who attended – maybe 60 or so were there, twice as many as the earlier contemplative service. Why? Great music, comfortable conversation in small groups, fun video, interesting new ideas.

I came home feeling like I had just experienced a 21st century version of early Christian gatherings. It was genuine, exciting, and truly welcoming. So at least we know the atmosphere we’re looking for.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Let me introduce myself along with this new blog. I’m Shirley Paulson, a long-time Christian Scientist, who has spent much of that “long time” looking for a way to break loose from worn-out conventions associated with traditional church-making. It’s never easy making the break from the things you grew up loving, but there comes a time when you have to sort out the keepers from the things that bog you down.

My friends, Rindy Powell and Sandi Justad, zipped off to St. Louis with me a couple of days ago, when we heard there was a new group organizing around the very things I’ve been looking for. They’re called Next Generation Christian Science Fellowship. They’ve just started holding services and gatherings a few weeks ago, and we wanted to see what it was like. Sure enough, it looks to me like they’ve figured out what to keep and what to leave behind. It was easy to recognize the heart and soul of Christian Science, even though it was dressed in new clothes, or maybe danced to a new beat.

Jesus said and did things that shook the earth, and I’ve gotten used to the idea that earthly things will always be shaken, but the things of God are permanent and secure. So when the old garb starts to fade and the old beat doesn’t keep pace, I keep searching for the spiritual things that open the view on God’s world. The intention of this blog is to keep track of the “new clothes” and “new beat” as they work their way into my life. Sandi and Rindy and I know that we’re going to have to take action here in Chicago. I don’t know where it will go; I just know it’s the Spirit – the Bible calls it “the Holy Spirit” – is moving, and I can’t help but follow it. In the blog, I’ll keep you posted on where it’s taking us.

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