The mission of the Christian Science Joint Institutional Committee of Missouri (JIC) is to
…fulfill Jesus’ command, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) In obedience to this command, we share the healing and regenerating truths of Christian Science with inmates and/or patients in local, county, state, and federal penal, correctional, juvenile, mental health, veteran, and other institutions in the state of Missouri, making our church’s activities available to people confined in these institutions.
Enjoy a recording of the 2022 Annual Meeting talk titled “Reformation: Inmate Stories of Unselfed Love” by Angela Sage Larsen, CS.
You can find a link to the document of references mentioned here.
Offer access to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and to The Christian Science Monitor Weekly through institutional libraries
Correspond with all institutional residents who ask for help studying the Bible and/or the writings of Mary Baker Eddy
Provide copies of the weekly Bible Lesson to all correspondents who wish to receive it
Provide other literature (as allowed by individual institutions) to aid in the study of Christian Science
Facilitate video lectures on Christian Science
Conduct weekly church services
Hold individual and group conferences
Support local churches’ sponsorship of Christian Science lectures in institutions
Support inmates in organizing and conducting their own Christian Science church services
This man, who attended services regularly at the Clayton Justice Center, is now serving a twenty-year sentence in the Missouri state prison system. It’s an inspiration the way he keeps up his regular study of the Bible Lesson and strives to be a peacemaker and contribute positively to the mental atmosphere around him. We discussed Mary Baker Eddy’s article “The New Birth” (which he was glad to get a fresh take on after his Pentecostal upbringing) and the three daily duties in the Manual (pp. 40-42). He hadn’t realized the importance of these, and he’s eager to work with them since they seem so closely aligned with his own spiritual goals. Whatever topic we’re discussing, he has a clear understanding of what’s real and what isn’t. For instance, his expression for what we’re doing when we’re afraid is: giving “energy” to evil, which really has no claim to existence. His life has to be a great blessing where he is, and will be so when he’s released.
At first this group–primarily of newcomers–gravitated to the back row of chairs and appeared to be more intent on socializing than attending a service. But when given a choice of returning to their pod to socialize or devoting an hour to listening to what the scriptures have to say about who we really are as God’s children, they all chose to listen as well as to move forward into the front row. After that there was only thoughtful listening as well as participation in the hymns and responsive readings. The faces of a few that had seemed more cynical at the beginning clearly softened as the Bible Lesson went on. Afterwards one question about the phrase “Father-Mother” in the spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer opened up a fuller discussion of the way that prayer “meets all human needs.” Two, then, took a copy of the textbook and the gentleman who asked the question about the Lord’s Prayer said that he would be reading one of the copies in his pod library.
When asked what she has been praying about, this woman said she wanted to overcome alcoholism. We spent much of the conference time reading the parts of the Bible Lesson on man. She was not familiar with the account of
Jesus encountering the devil on the mount, which I shared with her. Jesus wasn’t tempted by the devil. Instead he overcame the temptations through his understanding of the power and presence of God. We looked at the definition of angels in Science and Health to shed light on the angels, which came and ministered unto Jesus after the temptation, and talked about how thoughts from God, good, nullify any suggestion of separation and incapacity for good. At the end we closed with the Lord’s Prayer. She left saying she always appreciates coming to the Christian Science conference.