Letter from the Administrator – Continuity and Change

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By Brad Stock

What is changing at Fern Lodge? What remains the same?


The foundations on which Fern Lodge is built will never change. Fern Lodge is based on Christian Science, the authority of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy’s revelation, and the spiritual power of authentic Christianity. We embrace prayer, community, family, home. We strive to exemplify the ministry of spiritual witnessing — seeing each other as God sees us, embracing each other in the living power of divine Love. We remain committed to demonstrating the spiritual nature of supply and benevolence, including our willingness to care for patients needing financial support, so long as they rely on Christian Science for healing.


We pray to know when change is God-impelled. God-impelled change is progress, and “progress is the law of God,” as Mrs. Eddy says. She also says: “Truth is changing the universe” (Science & Health 233, 255). So, change of the right sort is requisite. Eventually, we all must yield to progress, to the unfolding continuity of good. (For more on this subject, see my remarks for Arden Wood’s 2023 annual meeting, posted on its website.)

  • Partnership. We are embracing a new, vital spirit of collaboration. We have strong working relationships with Arden Wood and Twelveacres, the two other Christian Science care facilities in the Bay Area. We regularly support and are supported by Olive Glen and Broadview, the facilities in Sacramento and Los Angeles. We are developing a strong partnership with Tenacre in New Jersey, building new levels of collaboration, which may include staff exchanges, cooperation in education, and a significant exploration of the metaphysics of benevolence. We also have a longstanding friendship with Redwood Community in Santa Rosa (although we are no longer assisting them administratively).
  • Economy. We are striving to be good stewards of the resources you share with us, while doing all that needs to be done.
  • Renewal. We are preparing to upgrade and renovate the facility, especially the oldest wing. We need a new van that will accommodate wheelchairs. We welcome your financial support for these initiatives.
  • Joy. We are working diligently to increase our joy in the healing ministry, to feel more fully divine Love’s embrace of us all. This uplift has a direct impact on patients’ quality of life and healing.

As one example of continuity, which also embraces change, we remain committed to becoming a better example of a Matthew 25 facility. What does that mean? Years ago, George Strong (Fern Lodge’s former administrator) began exploring Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. As we noted in last summer’s newsletter, we believe a Matthew 25 facility should be
Unswervingly Christian. We should strive to imbibe the spirit of Christ, putting our all on the altar for Christ, treating each other compassionately while abiding in Principle.

Fully committed to Christian care. We should strive to provide excellent physical care. More importantly, we should strive to be clear-eyed spiritual witnesses. True witnessing is the heart of Christian Science, the heart of Christian Science nursing. If we see each other as God sees us, love each other as God loves us, this witnessing has a healing impact. (See Science & Health 476, “Jesus beheld.”)
Embrace fellowship in Christ. Christian Science nursing is an integral activity of Church, an integral part of The Mother Church Manual. Thus, Christian Science nursing and its healing activity partakes of the nature of Church. In essence, Christian Science care is a collective demonstration of Church, embracing all of us in one collective, benevolent activity.

Our individual commitment to Church is vitally important. In the application for joining The Mother Church, Mrs. Eddy lists four requirements. Since Christian Science nurses must be members of The Mother Church, these requirements are foundations for Christian Science nursing:

  • Love Christian Science.
  • Read “understandingly the Bible and Science and Health” (along with Mrs. Eddy’s other writings).
  • Be “Christianly qualified.” Mrs. Eddy does not define this term, but we can safely assume that we are to serve God and love one another. Our lives should exemplify the moral law and Christ’s beatitudes.
  • “Enter into full fellowship with the Tenets and Rules” of The Mother Church. In other words, we should strive to imbibe the spirit of all six tenets of Christian Science and demonstrate the necessity of each Manual bylaw, including these well-known bylaws: “A Rule for Motives and Acts,” “God’s Requirement,” “Daily Prayer,” and “Alertness to Duty.”

In Miscellaneous Writings, our Leader asks,

Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and become real and consecrated warriors? Will you give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to the great work of establishing the truth, the gospel, and the Science which are necessary to the salvation of the world from error, sin, disease, and death? Answer at once and practically, and answer aright! (177)

This is the genuine spirit of Christian Science and Christian Science nursing. We hope you will join us in pursuing the excellence of a healing ministry. We need your financial assistance, your time, prayers, love. We thank you for all you have done, are doing, will do. Together, we can move mountains. Please join us in supporting, more than ever before, the Christly, healing ministry of Fern Lodge.

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