Old volumes of the Christian Science Journal indicate that West Plains, MO was home to a Christian Science Society, a smaller version of a branch church, in the 1950s. Sunday June 17, 2012 was the date of the first lecture given by any member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship in several decades! The start of a new trend! Last Sunday’s West Plains lecture was hosted on behalf of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Mountain Home, AR and First Church of Christ, Scientist in Springfield, MO, and was coordinated by two locally residing Christian Scientists (my wife Kristen and I) in the West Plains area. Speaker Mark Swinney, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher of Christian Science from Sandia Park, New Mexico, spoke on the topic of “The Effectiveness of Your Prayers”. Mark’s very informal down home sort of style created a comfortable and informal audience-participation atmosphere. Attendees less familiar with Christian Science were drawn into one-on-one participation with Mr. Swinney during the talk, and report having gone home with a much clearer picture of their understanding of the practical healing effects which the study and application of Christian Science can bring to every day life.
The feedback received from the public during the promotion of this event was all quite positive. The Public Relations director at Ozark Medical Center in West Plains kindly displayed a flier promoting the event on all of the employee bulletin boards at their hospital. Mercy Hospital, a smaller local facility in Mountain View, also was so kind as to display the lecture flier in their employee work areas. Advertising was also displayed at a number of local businesses and public places in West Plains, Mountain View, Willow Springs and Cabool. We also were given free announcement time on the Community Events calendar from a West Plains AM and FM station, and the same from another pair of AM and FM broadcasters in Thayer, one of which is a full time Gospel music station. I would also like to thank my good friend Dennis Michaud, a new student of Christian Science (and fellow farmer), for the time he spent personally inviting friends and businesses in and around Cabool. I also spent one afternoon at a table in front of the West Plains Wal-Mart handing out fliers and talking to people about the lecture. And of course there were also separate announcements and fliers distributed in Mountain Home and in Springfield by their dedicated members.
FRUITAGE: Fruitage from this event includes the now clearly visible beginnings of the formation of a West Plains Christian Science Group! At the conclusion of the talk, several interested parties, both new students and long-time Christian Scientists, left their contact information for the purpose of participating in this new Bible study group. We have now a list of 11, possibly 12 participants including ourselves, to begin with. This is wonderful! The leaven is starting to rise!
The best news so far is: We have just secured the use of a meeting room on Sundays for a VERY reasonable rate. The meeting time is TBD. The room will comfortably accommodate twelve people, and is located at the Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) Foundation conference facility. I’m going to stop by and check it out the next time I am in town this week. Should our group grow in size significantly, this organization also offers a 70 seat meeting room for public use in the same building. The OMC Foundation at 401 Washington Ave., West Plains is on the street which faces the east side of the Court House, directly across from the Ozarks Small Business incubator building.
Anyone interested in joining this joyous little informal group is encouraged to contact me. See the Contact tab. We hope to see you there soon!