Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
These two familiar passages, the first from Isaiah 9 and the second from Luke 2, tell of the joy we feel at Christmas, and throughout the year, whenever we remember Christ Jesus and his selfless ministry to mankind—healing the sick and saving sinners.
“Good will toward men!” It’s a wonderful promise that holds special meaning for us at Fern Lodge. An essential meaning of good will is benevolence. A spiritual understanding of benevolence, with its daily demonstration, is a vital aspect of Christian Science nursing and is integral to our ministry and mission.
An article in the October 2012 issue of The Christian Science Journal titled, “True Benevolence,” describes the financial stability that resulted at a Christian Science nursing facility when they “shifted from a policy of ‘no benevolence’ to one of ‘serving all whom God sends to be served, regardless of ability to pay.’” Brad Stock wrote in that article, “Benevolence…is living the great commandments taught by Christ Jesus—loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. It is the essence of true fellowship and our prime responsibility toward each other as members of Christ’s universal church.”
Fern Lodge always has served all whom God sends to us who need Christian Science nursing. We have been blessed by this policy, and many Christian Scientists in our community have received benevolence assistance as a result.
One blessing to us from our benevolent policy is the close contact we maintain with Christian Scientists who wish to help others. We do not have significant investments. All of the benevolence assistance we give actually comes from donations to Fern Lodge that are given for this purpose.
Many of those we serve receive some financial assistance from the California welfare program, Medi-Cal. However each patient still needs about $100/day in benevolence contributions to meet the actual cost of their stay. That’s about $3,000 each month for each one receiving Medi-Cal funding.
Similarly, the federal Medicare program provides financial assistance, but each patient receiving Medicare funding needs about $70/day, or $2,100 each month in benevolence assistance.
The total benevolence Fern Lodge gives each month totals about $60,000.
Thank you for your prayerful support and for the financial assistance you may give, individually, through your branch church or association, or in bequests, to support the benevolence Fern Lodge gives to many deserving and devoted students of Christian Science.
“The human affections need to be changed from self to benevolence and love for God and man; changed to having but one God and loving Him supremely, and helping our brother man. This change of heart is essential to Christianity…” (Misc. pp 50-51).
George Strong, Administrator