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Manual of The Mother Church/Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus



Article XXII.

The Title of Mother Changed. Section 1. In the year eighteen hundred and ninety-five, loyal Christian Scientists had given to the author of their textbook, the Founder of Christian Science, the individual, endearing term of Mother. At first Mrs. Eddy objected to being called thus, but afterward consented on the ground that this appellative in the Church meant nothing more than a tender term such as sister or brother. In the year nineteen hundred and three and after, owing to the public misunderstanding of this name, it is the duty of Christian Scientists to drop the word mother and to substitute Leader, already used in our periodicals.

A Member not a Leader. Sect. 2. A member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., shall not be called Leader by members of this Church, when this term is used in connection with Christian Science.

Obedience Required. Sect. 3. It shall be the duty of the officers of this Church, of the editors of the Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Der Herold, of the members of the Committees on Publication, of the Trustees of The Christian Science Publishing Society, and of the Board of Education promptly to comply with any written order, signed by Mary Baker Eddy, which applies to their official functions. Disobedience to this By-Law shall be sufficient cause for the removal of the offending member from office.

The vacancy shall be supplied by a majority vote of the Christian Science Board of Directors, and the candidate shall be subject to the approval of Mary Baker Eddy.

Understanding Communications. Sect. 4. If the Clerk of this Church shall receive a communication from the Pastor Emeritus which he does not fully understand, he shall inform her of this fact before presenting it to the Church and obtain a clear understanding of the matter,—then act in accordance therewith.

Interpreting Communications. Sect. 5. If at a meeting of this Church a doubt or disagreement shall arise among the members as to the signification of the communications of the Pastor Emeritus to them, before action is taken it shall be the duty of the Clerk to report to her the vexed question and to await her explanation thereof.

Reading and Attesting Letters. Sect. 6. When a letter or a message from the Pastor Emeritus is brought before a meeting of this Church, or she is referred to as authority for business, it shall be the duty of the Church to inquire if all of the letter has been read, and to require all of it to be read; also to have any authority supposed to come from her satisfactorily attested.

Unauthorized Reports. Sect. 7. Members of this Church shall not report on authority an order from Mrs. Eddy that she has not sent, either to the Boards or to the executive bodies of this Church. The Pastor Emeritus is not to be consulted on cases of discipline, on the cases of candidates for admission to this Church, or on the cases of those on trial for dismissal from the Church.

Private Communications. Sect. 8. A strictly private communication from the Pastor Emeritus to a member of her Church shall not be made public without her written consent.

Unauthorized Legal Action. Sect. 9. A member of this Church shall not employ an attorney, nor take legal action on a case not provided for in its By-Laws — if said case relates to the person or to the property of Mary Baker Eddy — without having personally conferred with her on said subject.

Duty to God. Sect. 10. Members of this Church who turn their attention from the divine Principle of being to personality, sending gifts, congratulatory despatches or letters to the Pastor Emeritus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or Easter, break a rule of this Church and are amenable therefor.

Opportunity for Serving the Leader. Sect. 11. At the written request of the Pastor Emeritus, Mrs. Eddy, the Board of Directors shall immediately notify a person who has been a member of this Church at least three years to go in ten days to her, and it shall be the duty of the member thus notified to remain with Mrs. Eddy three years consecutively. A member who leaves her in less time without the Directors' consent or who declines to obey this call to duty, upon Mrs. Eddy's complaint thereof shall be excommunicated from The Mother Church. Members thus serving the Leader shall be paid semi-annually at the rate of one thousand dollars yearly in addition to rent and board. Those members whom she teaches the course in Divinity, and who remain with her three consecutive years, receive the degree of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.

Location. Sect. 12. Rev. Mary Baker Eddy calls to her home or allows to visit or to locate therein only those individuals whom she engages through the Christian Science Board of Directors of the Mother Church. This By-Law takes effect on Dec. 15, 1908.

Agreement Required. Sect. 13. When the Christian Science Board of Directors calls a student in accordance with Article XXII, Sect. 11 of our Church Manual to the home of their Leader, Mrs. Eddy, said student shall come under a signed agreement to remain with Mrs. Eddy if she so desires, during the time specified in the Church Manual.

Incomplete Term of Service. Sect. 14. If a student who has been called to serve our Leader in accordance with Article XXII, Sect. 11 of the Church Manual leaves her before the expiration of the time therein mentioned such student shall pay to Mrs. Eddy whatsoever she may charge for what she has taught him or her during the time of such service.

Help. Sect. 15. If the author of the Christian Science textbook call on this Board for household help or a handmaid, the Board shall immediately appoint a proper member of this Church therefor, and the appointee shall go immediately in obedience to the call. “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:37.)

Students with Mrs. Eddy. Sect. 16. Students employed by Mrs. Eddy at her home shall not take care of their churches or attend to other affairs outside of her house.

Mrs. Eddy's Room. Sect. 17. The room in The Mother Church formerly known as “Mother's Room” shall hereafter be closed to visitors.

Pastor Emeritus to be Consulted. Sect. 18. The Mother Church shall not make a church By-law, nor enter into a business transaction with a Christian Scientist in the employ of Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, without first consulting her on said subject and adhering strictly to her advice thereon.