Mary Baker Eddy set a new standard for Church leadership, and timeless organization when she wrote the Christian Science Church Manual in founding the First Church of Christ, Scientist, over a century ago. It is a church that “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). This tree of Life has roots anchored in her discovery of the Science of the Christ as fully revealed in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. As an essential element to the teaching of this Science she designated the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as the pastor of the Christian Science church world-wide – the Comforter available to each member and the public and “a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (Church Manual).
In this context, how essential today is the founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy and her leadership presence as embodied in the Christian Science Church Manual. The Church Manual provides timeless governance to a church alive with an ageless impersonal pastor in healing service for each of us anytime and anywhere. Although, the pastor does sacralize the writings of Science and Health based on, its divine source, Mary Baker Eddy as the discoverer, founder and leader of Christian Science is not to be canonized in her place as facilitator of the ever presence of the Comforter. She is revered as a messenger sent from God “to proclaim his gospel to this age, …to plant and water His vineyard” (Science and Health xi:22).
The Christian Science Church Manual is timeless evidence of the founding “to plant and water His vineyard.” Mary Baker Eddy – in her comment on writing the Christian Science Manual, she states “The rules and By-Laws in the Manual… originated not in solemn conclave as in ancient Sanhedrin. They were not arbitrary opinions nor dictatorial demands. … They were impelled by a power not one’s own, …They sprang from necessity, the logic of events, — from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause; hence their simple, scientific basis, and detail so requisite to demonstrate genuine Christian Science.” The Manual embodies Mary Baker Eddy’s leadership presence that continues to inspire and heal today.
A church alive, “The structure of Truth and Love” teaching a spiritual healing science (Science and Health 583:12). A light of love leading each one of us and the world to “all of good, the alone God, is Love…and thus lighting the dark place of earth” (Miscellaneous Writings, Article “Love” by Mary Baker Eddy).