- Faith & Family
On Sunday, November 13, the first and fifth branches of the Church of Christ, Scientist are co-sponsoring a free lecture about the “Possibilities of Prayer” at the James L. Knight Center in Downtown Miami.
“This is not the first time that our two churches have joined forces together to offer a lecture,” said Luis Vargas, the librarian of Miami’s First Church of Christ, Scientist’s Reading Room.
The lecture is geared toward all ages, people of various religions and cultures. The first one-hour lecture will be in English and a second session in Spanish, “La Oracion Efectiva y la Salud,” will follow. Given by Christian Science lecturer Elise Moore, who has been in ministry for 25 years, the speech will reveal how prayer can heal everything from a child’s ear ache, to wounds and unemployment.
“There are four elements that are included in every healing prayer no matter how someone is praying,” she explained.
According to Moore, those elements include: absolute faith, knowing that all things are possible through God, spiritual understanding of God and love.
Individual Christian Science churches provide similar events for the public throughout the year.
“Every year our churches offer lectures on Christian Science for the benefit of our community and we participate annually at the downtown book fair,” said Ed Lyons, the church clerk for the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist.
It is these and other outreach efforts that educate the public about the 132-year-old denomination.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is people confuse us with the Church of Scientology because the names are similar,” Lyons said.
The Church of Scientology is a separate and relatively new Christian denomination that was incorporated in 1953. The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879. There are 58 Christian Science churches in Florida — four branches are located in Miami. As is its policy, numbers regarding membership are not open to the public.
“We don’t disclose the membership at the church and neither does the Mother Church [the world headquarters for Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston],” Vargas said.
Moore further explained, “We are not particularly interested in someone being a member of our church as if that is required for salvation.”