Fern Lodge Annual Meeting 2024

Oriana HaleAnnual Meeting, Newsletter1 Comment

The Healing Power of Spiritual Witnessing

The first Sunday of April we held our Annual Meeting at Danville Church, and we had a wonderful turnout! It was great to see so many people come out to support Fern Lodge. We know many people sent their support from afar and have been eagerly awaiting to hear what inspiration was shared. Below is the summary of the talk as written by Ann Kneeland, C.S., and citations shared by our board president, Gina Gozinsky, in her opening readings. Gina also expressed the board’s gratitude for George and Sharon Strong, the staff of Fern Lodge, and all of you who support Fern Lodge.

Summary of Fern Lodge Annual Meeting talk April 7, 2024, by Ann Kneeland

We all have opportunities to nurse others—to meet others’ needs for physical and mental comfort in practical ways. Students of Christian Science can nurse others while seeing God’s view of His perfect, spiritual creation. This spiritual witnessing supports and leads to healing.

I’ve seen the healing effect of God’s view. The night before I left for a college term abroad, my boyfriend drove from his college varsity soccer camp to say goodbye. During the evening he was suddenly stricken with symptoms which interfered with normal communication or navigation. As I boarded the plane the next morning, I struggled with this distressing picture. My parents lovingly reached out to a family friend, a Christian Science practitioner, in the country where I’d be studying. They asked him to call me and to give me prayerful support, which he did.

He told me about a Christian Science practitioner who was asked to give prayerful treatment for someone who’d been severely injured in an automobile accident. When the practitioner tried to pray, he couldn’t do it; he couldn’t get past the image of the bodily injuries. Finally he reached out to God and asked, “Father, you were there. What did you see?” God’s view of His spiritual and perfect creation poured into thought, and the patient was healed.

What is God’s view? In the first book of the Bible, God pronounces His creation, including man—whom God made in His image and likeness—“very good” (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31). Mary Baker Eddy confirms this: “The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. … Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475).

I was familiar with these wonderful truths. So, every time the distressing picture of my boyfriend came to thought, I asked, “Father, you’re there; what are you seeing?” And God answered, “I see my son who is spiritual, perfect, strong, free, joyous, and complete.” I was confident that God’s witness was true. My fear dissolved and I trusted that all was well.

My boyfriend’s mother, also a student of Christian Science, joined him at my parents’ home to help care for him. He was completely healed in two weeks with prayerful treatment by a Christian Science practitioner. He returned to college, and that quarter he lettered in varsity soccer.

God Himself is the first witness in the Bible, a witness being one who knows and testifies to facts. God continually witnesses the perfection of His spiritual creation, including man. This Godlike view is how Jesus healed, and he described it as his life mission, “to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37).

The world largely lost sight of this healing truth a few hundred years after Jesus’ ascension, and religion was mostly limited to healing sin, not sickness. But in the 1800s, chronically ill and weak Mary Baker (who later became Mary Baker Eddy), having exhausted many conventional and alternative healing methods, wanted to know the spiritual truth that could heal her, as Jesus promised his followers would do.

After a severe accident, she was told by doctors that she was on her deathbed. She writes, “On the third day thereafter, I called for my Bible, and opened it at Matthew ix. 2. As I read, the healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed. That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 24).

What healed her? To find the answer, she deeply explored the Bible, and she discovered the spiritual principles behind her healing. She tested her discovery—Life in and of Spirit as the only reality of existence—and it healed others. After nine years of study, healing, and writing about what she’d discovered, the first edition of her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was published.

This textbook explains how Jesus healed. It gives us the spiritual understanding to silence false witnesses—the material senses—with the true witness of perfect God and perfect man. The result today is healing, and the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

As a Christian Science practitioner, I’ve seen the healing effect of working with a Christian Science nurse to witness spiritually. A man called me for prayerful treatment because he’d fallen in his garden and had several facial wounds. I went to his home, where I realized that it would be helpful to ask a Christian Science visiting nurse to come and bandage the wounds, something which Christian Science nurses are specially trained to do, all the while mentally seeing God’s spiritual creation as whole and complete.

The nurse knew the patient, having visited his home previously. When she arrived, she looked him in the eye and said simply, “Nothing happened.”

She wasn’t ignoring his need for practical care (the wounds were carefully cleaned and bandaged), but she was sharing God’s view of His uninterrupted harmony, which I was also doing through silent Christian Science treatment. The next morning the patient felt free to usher at the Sunday service in his Christian Science branch church.

The nurse followed up with two more visits, and by the fifth day neither bandages nor further prayerful treatment was needed. The next week the patient spoke about his healing in a Wednesday testimony meeting. He commented, “When the nurse said, ‘nothing happened,’ a wave of relief washed over me, and I felt the assurance that everything was going to be OK.”

Paul writes, “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). Spirit’s witness obliterates the false witness of the material senses. It destroys fear, and shows what’s always been true: perfect God and perfect man. The result is healing.


Isa. 43:12 ye
John 1:1–5 (to ; )
Rom. 8:16
SH 298:8–15
SH 303:25–30
SH 37:16–17, 20–25
SH 417:16
SH 411:10
‘00 8:26 (only); 9:8, 16
My. 166:19–20
Mis. 238:9–11
Hymn 529

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