Member Testimonies and Gratitude in a Time of Global Challenge

The following testimonies are given by members of our local Green Valley church who have experienced healing through sole reliance on Christian Science. You are invited to visit our Sunday church services or Wednesday testimony meetings to learn more about Christian Science and healing.

April 8, 2020

First of all I would like to express my profound gratitude for Christian Science, Christ Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy, this church and the universal structure of Truth and Love. While deepening my study of the unreality of fear and my exemption from it and its material effects, I have been led to study more of the spiritual meaning of the Passover.

Today is the day millions of people start to celebrate this event which won the Israelites freedom from the oppression of the Egyptian Pharaoh. In reading the history of this event it was against Egyptian law for the Jewish people to sacrifice sheep to God. The night of the Passover they not only sacrificed sheep but burned the remains publically and painted their doors with their blood. To me, this means that spiritually they were standing strong for the Truth, for the one true God in defiance of the material laws or AM trying to dictate to them and keep them in bondage. The people standing for the one true God were passed over by the plague that came that night. The blood on the doors would have been visible proof to the Egyptians of the truth the Israelites stood strongly for in this way.

Mrs. Eddy talks about the spiritual meaning of the Passover in Miscellany, pg 156 in this way: “When Jesus directed his disciples to prepare the material Passover, which spiritually speaking is the Passover from sense to Soul, he bade them say to the goodman of the house: “The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.”In obedience to this command may these communicants come with the upper chambers of thought prepared for the reception of Truth – with hope, faith, and love ready to partake of the bread that cometh down from heaven, and to “drink of his blood” – to receive into their affections and lives the inspiration which giveth victory over sin disease, and death.”

This study has helped me so much to realize what a strong stand must be taken in these times against the aggressive mental suggestions attempting to keep us in bondage to material health laws. We can claim victory as the pandemic is an aggressive suggestion of mental assassination in the form of out of control virus particles – the opposite of the freeing grains of Truth coming constantly to us from the one Mind. One belief is that it is only a matter of time before all must come down with this disease. Today’s Daily Lift is lovely on this by Ann Carter titled “Don’t come down with something – come up!” I am so grateful for the spiritual message of the Passover which is so helpful and relevant in these times and am taking a strong stand daily against these false aggressive suggestions for myself, church, family, friends, community and the world. We all can rise up together in the power of the spirit and declare “This far and no farther will you come” per Job 38:11! On page 442 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy ends her chapter on Christian Science Practice with this: “Christian Scientists be a law to yourselves that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep or when awake.” Onward Christian Soldiers! We can do this with the cross of Jesus going on before! When reading on Sundays I feel your presence, love and support and reflect it back to you. We are together in Christ no matter the visual. Thank you – love you all

— Helene B.


The recent Bible Lessons in the Christian Science Quarterly on Reality and Unreality have been very helpful to me to understand the reality of health and the unreality of a virus. These Bible Lessons have helped me not to consent to contagion. These Bible lessons have also reminded me of a healing I experienced about five years ago.

My husband, his brother, and his wife, and I went to a restaurant near their home in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. We had directions to find the restaurant tucked away in what was a residential neighborhood. We entered the restaurant through the pastry shop. We proceeded to be seated in the “dining room” which was probably the living room of the house. We learned that the wife was the pastry chef, and the husband was the chef and the waiter.

It was apparent that the man taking our order was experiencing a belief in some type of virus. We enjoyed a tasty meal and an assortment of Lebanese pastries from the pastry shop in the lobby.

The next day after returning home to Baltimore, I began to experience symptoms similar to those of our waiter / chef. At first, I thought, “Why was he waiting on us in that condition?” Then, my next thought was forgiveness. It seemed that they were refugees from Lebanon and were doing what they knew how to do to make a living in America. They were clearly appreciating their freedom. Then, I thought I could claim my freedom as well, which included freedom from contagion.

I am grateful for one of the quickest healings I have ever experienced. And, oh yes, the Bible Lesson that week was “Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?” When I returned home and was experiencing symptoms like those of the waiter, I delved into that Bible Lesson like I had never done before. That was key to that healing. I am so grateful for the Bible Lessons in the Christian Science Quarterly.

— submitted by Oveta Hall Popjoy


Thank you David for what I know will be wonderful readings this afternoon and for taking on the many duties of the First Reader for the year. How grateful I am!

I have started thinking about all I am grateful for when I begin my walks each day. Today the beauty of the cactus that are beginning to bloom just jumped out at me. I am grateful that the concept of “time” is changing in my thought by not having so many material limits and mortal measurements. The Golden Text this week …”thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” has been a wonderful way for me to start a daily prayer for the whole world. This verse starts with gratitude!

I was also grateful for the lesson from CedarS by Christie Hanzlik this week. She asked the question “Have you forgiven Judas?” I had never thought of doing this. I always wondered if he hadn’t betrayed Jesus, what would have happened next. So this set me off on a journey into Matthew 26 and 27 beyond our lesson to see in more detail what happened to him. Christie also suggested an article by Nathan Talbot titled “The other side of Judas”. December 7, 1992 issue of Sentinel. He talks about the other side which calls for our compassion. What happened to Judas after the betrayal really opened my eyes. I see how we all at some point have to learn to deal with our own experiences of betrayals by demonstrating the power of divine Love. Forgiveness, compassion, patience are all qualities that help us grow spiritually out of the consequences of our actions of betrayal. This article was very helpful to me in understanding the importance Jesus put on loving all.

I am also very grateful for the articles in both the Journal and Sentinels about resurrection. They, as well as our lesson this week, shows us clearly God’s ever-presence and our oneness with divine Mind. What a joy to know this for myself and the whole world during this Easter week and every day!

Thank you,
Jan E.


April 2, 2020

Just want to express gratitude to all the people in this congregation and on the streets and in the places of business which are still open, for their kindness and cheerfulness in this time of world challenge. Mary Baker Eddy tells us … “Jesus demonstrations sift the chaff from the wheat, and unfold the unity and reality of good, the unreality, the nothingness of evil.” (from Science and Health page 269, line 5).

It seems to me that in spite of the many dire medical and economic predictions associated with COVID-19, our community is holding its head high. …and with its prayers and turning to God, will be able to see its way through the unreality and nothingness of evil to the reality of perfect health and harmony. I love Martin Luther’s prayer: “Here I stand. I can do no otherwise; so help me God!” (quoted on page 268 of Science and Health).

Larry Backus


This week I have been especially grateful for the mothering, comforting, and guidance of The Mother Church. We have been receiving updates from TMC regularly and they are very supportive of congregations which are needing to stay at home during the proclaimed “national emergency”. The Mother Church has offered many tools to help us during this time of non in-person services including posters for our church and reading room doors, telephone numbers for churches who are holding call-in services, etc.

I am especially grateful for the added content on JSH-Online addressing the issues of today including handling the belief of contagion. Suzanne has many times referred to the blessings of listening to the Audio Chats of the past. Yesterday, while pulling weeds from our stones, I found the chats on JSH-Online and this time I was alert in tuning in. One I found especially helpful was a Question and Answer chat with Marion English, CSB, about the practical benefits from praying the Lord’s Prayer. That talk brought home the spiritual growth that comes from really praying with our hearts and not just saying the words.

Needless to say, I am grateful for our branch church and its efforts to be good neighbors in this trying time and for the love The Mother Church has for us and for mankind throughout the world.

Gratefully,
Cene Backus


Hi all, I was sharing some thoughts with someone who mentioned I should send it in so here it is. First of all, my gratitude for Christian Science is unbounded. Especially in times like these. In praying for myself, family, community and world I found I had some fear deep down over the word virus. It came to me to look it up. What I found was so exciting – this revelation took all vestiges of fear away. The main agreement within the material scientists community is that it is a super small microbe — quite inert and dead if you will. It becomes active, feeds and replicates only when entering a cell in a human body. Oh my gosh how mental is that!!! Wow! Mrs Eddy gives us everything we need to bar this entrance. In her article Contagion she talks about consent. I do not consent to open the door of my thought to any little wandering material thoughts! Clad in Loves panoply — I and my family and all upon whom my thought rests are also shielded from this form of mortal thought entering in. There is so much Mrs Eddy gives us to pursue this path if study. I am so grateful to have found the way to eradicate all fear — love love love — these little erroneous thought bits are not real and cannot become a part of our thought if we do not consent. Let us stay strong together my friends !!! Onward Christian soldiers!

Paraphrasing Mrs Eddy — nothing inharmonious can enter our being. We are a closed system — expressed by and connected inviolately to God right here and right now. Where else and when else!!

Helene Benedikte


Thank you, as always, for the readings that open our thoughts to the truth and allow us to ponder spiritual ideas in new and different ways.

I am so grateful for the many different ways we can connect with each other, especially spiritually, during these times of “social distancing”.

I thought that Chet Manchester’s Daily Lift on Monday titled “Gathering spiritually, calming pandemic fears” was so perfect. He talked about another kind of gathering essential to healing fear from Matthew 18:20 where Christ Jesus says “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. Chet shares that even when we can’t meet in person, we can come together in thought and that collective prayer is a powerful way to do it. He shares other ideas and a testimony of his own healing through the Lord’s Prayer.

Spiritview, the blog by Evan Mehlenbacher, shared today the passage by Mary Baker Eddy from p. 96 of Science and Health, “This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.” I felt this was so pertinent to what we are facing today. This coronavirus is the evil that is trying to tempt us. One of the “new phases”. We can choose as Mary Baker Eddy says, to be on the side of “discord and dismay” or “Science and peace”. I know where my thoughts will continue to rest upon!

It has been fun to see all the people out walking. I have had a chance to see many friends and neighbors that I usually don’t see much when I walk the dog. Of course we share the sidewalks and roads with loving distance and we have shared some interesting and sometimes hilarious stories.

I was reading the Metaphysical ideas from CedarS about the lesson this week by David Price, CS, from Denver, Colorado and he shared his personal thoughts about what’s happening in the world today and some ways we can help. It has been helpful in confirming some of my own feelings.

He wrote: “It is really easy to criticize the way the world is handling what seems to be chaos right now. It’s easy to say “Fear is gripping the world and it is irrational.” In your own thought you can and should argue against fear and argue against any supposed power that would attempt to usurp God’s present care and all-Power, omnipotence. It is also a Christian thing to do to respect your neighbor’s concerns and to follow those recommendations which are society’s best intentions for keeping everyone safe. I went on a run on Tuesday. As I was stretching on the sidewalk I noticed a woman walking on the same sidewalk, so I took four steps back into the grass to give her plenty of “social distance,” She smiled at me and thanked me for stepping aside. Was I afraid? Nope. Was I giving in to something I didn’t believe? Nope. It’s better to pray in secret and let your life bear witness to the power of Spirit exemplified in health and especially in holiness.”

With this week’s lesson and such wonderful, prayerful thoughts being generated all around us, how can we not have only good come about all around us.

So grateful!
Jan E.


As I was praying yesterday, I was expressing gratitude for some news I had heard the night before.

There was a report indicating that attention was being given to directing ideas and action to aspects of our government other than the “pandemic”,.. where health authorities seem to be “governing”, and very vigorously directing our future with all kinds of prognosis and predictions!

Another article, earlier in the day, had expressed encouragement and probable solutions and directions our government might take to bring things into balance in a variety of areas.

As I pursued the thought of Government; the direction and operation of it…in perfect balance, under God’s control, I was led to an article in a pamphlet, “God’s Government”. The article is “The Might of God’s Spiritual Government” by L. Ivimy Gwalter. The reading, and praying with these ideas, lifted my thought as I had been striving to do, but was not finding the “light” needed.

I began to realize I was trying to change a condition; a problem of mortal mind’s suggestion, rather than understanding that no matter how aggressive, heavy, and all pervading this imposition “seemed” to be…GOD GOVERNS!

(Here is a quote from the article).

“Wherever God is, government is; wherever true government is, God is. This is true because God by His very nature is All-in-all. There is none beside Him. He is not corporeal, unpredictable, and finite. He is all the Mind there is, all the Life and Truth and wisdom. He is Spirit, unseen to spiritual sense. He is the Soul of all because in Him alone are all order, beauty, perfection, harmony, and immortality.”…

…and it goes on. As you can see, this is a very powerful article. It is proving to be an ongoing healing treatment for me. The heaviness immediately has left and my thoughts and prayers have become joyfully inspired as I am realizing, that the lessons that I am learning today, are re-positioning my goals and expectations. From this experience, and the experiences our government, and all governments are facing, healing is possible.” Our Leader says…” “Every day makes it’s demands upon us for higher proofs….” and “progress is the law of God whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill! (S&H 233)

It is true, as this article says; “The purpose and function of God’s law is to bless”. I am more grateful thank I can say, to understand these spiritual facts in some way, to feel the blessing…and know it is available for all mankind right now and in every way!

Jane MartiJ


How grateful I am for the ever present care of God’s love that is available to all of his children.

The other night while washing up for bed, I felt a sharp pain in my chest and it seemed difficult to breathe. In no time, immediately, I was flooded with grateful and harmonious thoughts of Divine Love. Familiar truths reminded me that I had been made in the image and likeness of only Good. I was and am that clear reflection of strength, wisdom, health, and perfection. I closed my eyes and prayed the Lord’s Prayer and it’s all encompassing Truth. It disintegrates all sense of fear and leaves only comfort, only complete healing.

Continuing to hold onto these thoughts, I left the bathroom to sit on my bed. I knew that my true identity as God’s own child was my health, my status and foundation. Nothing could interfere, distract or alter this strong relationship with my Father, Mother God. Listening to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy online reinforced the Truths I am learning and endeavoring to demonstrate. As she states on page 261 of her book, “The effect of mortal mind on health and happiness is seen in this: If one turns away from the body with such absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain.”

And this is exactly what happened. I felt at peace and filled with gratitude. The pain stopped and I was breathing normally as I went to bed.

Not for one moment did I ask myself why was I in pain, why can’t I breathe? I had immediately turned from the body to lean on my maker.

Thank you Father, Mother God for your unceasing Love which is always available….. whenever, wherever. Always.

Ellen Woodburn


I was advised by a practitioner at one time when seeking prayerful support that it was important what I followed the words, “I AM…” with; as that was the name given to Moses by God to be used by him to explain who had sent him to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt.

In researching this name given to Moses by God, I found that there were other interpretations of this verse in the Bible; The Interpreter’s Bible states that …”in the Bible a name, whether of man, angel, or deity, sets forth the character of its bearer.” The word used for God’s name in Exodus 3:13 is translated as “I Am who I Am”…I Am, Because I Am”, “I will Be”… and “I AM,”

Mary Baker Eddy uses ‘I Am” in her textbook, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures numerous times in referring to God. See pages 253, 256, 267, and 290 among other pages.

The definition of God begins…”God, the great I AM…” I found researching the name of God as “I Am” to be very helpful-especially following a poem by Timothy MacDonald in his audio chat “Victor not Victim” given 9/29/2015. He was regretting the past and fearing the future at one time in his life when suddenly God was speaking to him with these words:

“My name is I AM;
I waited, God continued;
when you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there; my name is not, I was….
When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there; my name is not I will be….
When you live in this moment, it is NOT hard ;
I am here. My name is I AM!”

This has been a reminder to me to guard carefully, especially at this time of challenge, what I follow the words “I AM” with as I am the reflection, the expression of God, the “I AM.”


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AWAKING TO GOD’S AWSOME CREATION

Recently, I woke up with an indescribable feeling of wonder at God’s creation. I marveled at what was outside my window, with a fresh awareness of the layers of inter-connectedness that I was witnessing: the trees, grasses, rocks, dirt, leaves, critters, sky, sunlight; how nothing existed that was outside of this grand system of creation, ever-changing and yet eternal; and then considered the infinite variety of scenes all over the world, everything right there to bless and sustain every living creature and object. The loving Principle present in every culture, and in every inch of the planet, that expresses goodness in diverse and precious ways. How could this beauty and joy not be right here with us all, everywhere, and in every moment?

And further, that there are no boundaries, either here on earth or continuing into space, amidst planets and galaxies, action forever occurring at every level — on into infinity, something that is barely even imaginable.

What you and I see with eyes, as Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health, is only the counterfeit (see page 527) view of the reality of God’s spiritual creation. I felt enormous gratitude that God, all good, is behind — EVERYTHING! That I am – and everyone else is – a vital part of this infinite wonder. God, divine Mind, imagined it all, brought it into play, and sustains it. From hymn 374: “O Love divine, we thank Thee/That good alone is here.”

A recent Bible Lesson contains a citation from Jeremiah (31:3): “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

And this week’s Bible Lesson tells us that Christian Scientists have “enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; … [and to] overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.” (SH 450:19-22)

What a blessing Christian Science is, offering us insights into Truth that reach beyond any material picture.

— Nancy Johnson

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“Chronic & incurable” disease healed

I have received many healings throughout my life up to the present time. A healing that took place while living at Springridge retirement in Wilsonville is an example.  I experienced a very irritating and unpleasant disease that was difficult to live with.  I happened to mentioned it to a good friend who is a medical nurse. She informed me that the disease is chronic and incurable.

About that time I came across an article stating the same views. I knew what I had to do. Is this the truth about me?  Of course not. The only plan where disease claims to exist is in the human mind.  I needed to acknowledge there is no human mind.  I needed to let go of the human material view and acknowledge my ever present perfection.  This I was able to do and maintain on a daily basis—all that is going on here is my continual perfection.  At some point I became aware that I was free—free of the dreaded so-called disease. I can happily say it has not returned.

Disagreeable things tend to disappear when they are not believed in. When healings take place gratitude can be overwhelming.  The gratitude I feel for Christian Science will always be with me.  I also want to mention that listening to Sunday and Wednesday Church services is a wonderful blessing for those of us  living at a distance. I’m deeply grateful.  Thank everyone involved  in the Church and all the good work that is being done and carried on.  It is a privilege to be a member of such a warm and loving Church.  By using the principles of Christian Science, we can prove nothing is chronic and incurable.

Love and blessings to all,  Beulah

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Testimony about the Presence of Love

This testimony is about a week-long ‘marathon’ upon the passing of my mother, and several experiences of the power of enduring Truth along the way. To say that I never could have done this without Christian Science is an understatement.

My mother, a resident in an assisted living facility in southern California, passed away the week before Christmas some years ago. Both of my siblings — my brother, who resided in Mexico, and my sister from Vancouver Canada, — were there. I came from Portland OR, and soon a close cousin from Colorado flew in.

In addition to the sadness we all felt, we knew we had to deal with legalities and find satisfactory places for all of Mom’s belongings, including the contents of a storage unit, before returning to our respective homes. It was all very overwhelming. At home, my husband and I had an exchange student and had planned a ski vacation to northern Idaho with two of our daughters and their families. We were scheduled to pack up and drive there before Christmas.

I called a practitioner, who reminded me that divine Love could never depart, and was present in every circumstance, always. This was unchangeable, no matter what appeared in the material picture, and was true for all involved. Peaceful relief flooded over me, and I kept this fact close to my heart.

We gathered together the next morning to review and regroup. We affirmed that we loved Mom and each other, but acknowledged that we each had different needs and abilities. We agreed to respect those differences and not put any personal ‘expectations’ on each other. We understood that this respect was a way of showing love, and we would keep this in mind as we did the work in front of us. We knew this work was also for the love of our mom, who had shown us so much love throughout her life.

Gestures of love poured in daily. Employees in the residence came up to us and told us dear stories of mom, who had shown an interest in them and their families. They offered to help however they could. We put the word out to other residents about furniture and were quickly able to locate those who could use bed, sofa, tables and chairs. We found someone in the business of selling art. Legalities sorted themselves out promptly and easily.

We had time to go to a favorite beach of Mom’s and share cherished memories. One evening, seven of us (including a small dog!) piled into Mom’s car and went to dinner at her favorite restaurant. It was a small and somewhat elegant place with subdued lighting. In an attempt to be able to read his menu better, one of our party got too close to a candle flame and accidentally lit his menu on fire! No one was hurt and no damage done. Everything was put right in short order. We howled with laughter, knowing that Mom with her wonderful sense of humor would have loved it.

In the ensuing days, my sister and cousin were able to get back to their jobs in a timely fashion. There were just a few details left to handle, which my brother and I were able to stay on to take care of.

Meanwhile, in the days before Christmas, unusual arctic blizzards had hit Portland. Although the airport had been shut down for days, I had to show up at LA airport to wait for the notice that my flight was cancelled. Then I had to get back to Santa Barbara and find a way to go home. It quickly became clear that all transportation — flights, trains, and even busses — was booked.

The very last detail was Mom’s car. Since we weren’t able to locate title or insurance papers, we had decided to leave it in Santa Barbara until we could see what to do.

Well, harmonious divine Love was ever active. We realized that I could drive it back to Portland. The next day my brother made multiple trips to the DMV to get things in order. I called a practitioner for support and left Santa Barbara at noon.

Several problems arose during the trip. Mortal mind was shouting that conditions were difficult, if not impossible, and that God was not in charge. I prayed frequently and was so grateful that the ‘peace which surpasses understanding’ overcame upset with calm.

Some examples along the way:

Problem: It became apparent that the windshield wipers were bad, and I knew I would need chains on snowy roads further north.
Quickly resolved: I called my daughter with my location, who then went online and found a car dealership and auto supply shop at the very next exit. She continued to be an invaluable, cheery help all along the way.

Problem: Food, equipment and supplies needed to be packed for our now delayed ski trip to Idaho.
Quickly resolved: I called the exchange student with lists and directions, who willingly and efficiently did the packing.

I arrived at midnight at a snow-covered town in northern California, found a motel, and was on the road again by 8 am the following morning.

Problem: Chains were required to get onto the freeway.
Quickly resolved: A guy right there at the freeway entrance ready to put them on. Happily paid him to do that.

Problem: One of the chains immediately broke and flew off.
Quickly resolved: With no one else on the freeway, I was able to walk back to pick it up, enjoying the quiet winter wonderland. Was able to continue safely with the one chain until I arrived at the next town, in Oregon.

Problem: Got lost in town finding a place to deal with chains.
Quickly resolved: My daughter lovingly directed me via internet and phone to the tire place.

Problem: The tires on the car weren’t made for chains — news to me that there was such a thing!
Quickly resolved: Tire shop had the right studded tires and was able to put them on promptly, although the place was packed with motorists dealing with the challenging weather conditions.

Problem: There was no room in the small car for 4 other tires.
Quickly resolved: Although the tire shop wouldn’t take them and told me I couldn’t leave them, the fellow who put on the new tires agreed to take them and could benefit from any value.

I continued on my way, checking in as needed with a practitioner and praying in whatever way came to mind. Due to the snowy, icy roads, progress was relatively slow. Nearing Portland, road conditions were the worst I’d ever seen. Due to the frozen rutty roads, it took an hour to go every 10 miles.

I arrived home by 9 pm. Unpacked, re-packed and was ready to go at 7 am the following morning, which was Christmas day. I experienced no fatigue and felt completely calm and peaceful. We made the trip and had a wonderful Christmas, albeit the day after actual Christmas day, and greatly enjoyed our time together.

I am so grateful for the loving prayers of practitioners and for Christian Science, which Mary Baker Eddy was so dedicated to bringing to the world. Divine Love does indeed meet all of our needs. What wonderful reassurance that the laws of God are continually in place and are supreme over every material condition.

Nancy Johnson

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