An article about a time capsule found in Hiawatha, Kansas, prompted some reflection on the timeless truth that prompts regeneration in individual’s hearts and lives.
Joey May’s story (March 23, “History of Christian Science Church uncovered”) about the 100-year-old time capsule unearthed from the cornerstone of the Christian Science Church caught my attention. As a Christian Scientist, I can imagine that the church members who collected the materials and buried the capsule would be pleased. The excerpt from the 1919 Christian Science Journal about the building itself was also fascinating.
Of course, the heart and soul of a church isn’t the building, but the members whose lives are changed and enriched by the living of their faith. This was true for Hiawatha’s Christian Scientists.
In first-hand accounts quoted or published in the World and church periodicals, these Kansas church members seem to have had one thing in common. They were convinced that the life and teachings of Christ Jesus weren’t just historical doctrines from a “time capsule” nineteen centuries old, but were and are practical and available today in the form of Christian healing.
One of Hiawatha’s early church members was Margaret Zimmerman Newcomer. She wrote that after her sister was healed of epilepsy, she began to study Christian Science. This “illumined the Scriptures,” she said, “and awakened in me a desire to study the Bible [which is] capable of meeting every need.” Another resident of Hiawatha, Frank Kiser, described his release from physical suffering in terms of “God’s perfect light” dispelling darkness. He said, “My spiritual uplifting was wonderful. The [spiritual] things I once hated I now loved and my enemies were my best friends.” Like Kiser, other Hiawatha Christian Scientists also appear to have been grateful for the healing of disease, but even more for the healing of sin and a deepening sense of God’s goodness and love for themselves and everyone.
Though the Christian Science church in Hiawatha is gone, other congregations remain active in this vicinity. In Topeka, the greater Kansas City area, Lincoln, Nebraska, and St. Joseph, Missouri, Christian Scientists continue to worship God together and to practice humbly what church founder, Mary Baker Eddy, termed “primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” Like our neighbors in other churches, we don’t think of Christianity as a “relic,” but as a living truth always at hand and ready to be recovered—and rediscovered—in human hearts and lives.
Christian Science Committee on Publication for Kansas