California Mystery Worship Three: Matter is Mortal Error

An outsiders account of a Christian Science Service. Very insightful.

The Thoughtful Pastor

Mary Baker Eddy's seminar work“Matter is mortal error.” I’m seeking to understand this phrase after attending worship at First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Thousand Oaks, CA.

I arrived early, accompanying the friend of a friend who serves as summer vocalist. I had the opportunity to observe the two lay readers, the organist and the vocalist, all female, put final touches on the 10 am service.

I sat in the small, unadorned worship center, which would seat 100 comfortably, and thumbed through the hymnal, noting that two of the songs for the day were not in the hymnal. I saw no other song book available. Although I was eventually greeted by an usher, the only person who spoke with me while I sat there, she did not offer a different hymn book or an order of service

I finally went to the back of the worship area and found a hymnal supplement. I asked…

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