The Christian Science Committee on Institutional Work in Texas
Date: July 31, 2017
To: Christian Science Branch Churches and Societies in Texas
Subject: 2017 Mid-Year Report
Sincere seekers of the Christ, Truth as explained in Christian Science contact the State Committee and the volunteers daily! We take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude for your support and to report on the progress we see and the needs we must meet.
The myBibleLesson is mailed out every three weeks to those we serve. This healing message is an indispensable tool in sharing Christian Science. 130 myBibleLesson go to volunteers to distribute during their visits. The last direct mailing had 456 recipients. These individuals are in 77 different facilities. Several men receiving the myBibleLesson have written to the office asking for a list of units providing volunteer mentoring or for help to get transferred to a unit with church services. Would you consider volunteering once a month to provide a church service?
Church services, Chaplain visits, and “Mentors thru mail”
Volunteers serve on a regular basis at:
- two federal facilities – Seagoville and FMC Carswell
- five state facilities – Torres, Huntsville (Walls), Ramsey, Coffield, and Michael
- four county jails – Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Harris
- two juvenile detention centers – Bexar County and Gardner Betts
- one substance abuse facility – Applewhite Substance Abuse Training Facility
- one veteran facility – Wounded Warrior section at Laurel Ridge Training Center
- eight volunteers are available for one on one visits in Abilene, College Station, Austin, Houston, DFW, El Paso
- seven volunteers support inmates in 10 facilities through letter writing
- NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR NEW SERVICES IN HUNTSVILLE UNITS Estelle, Wynne & Walls
We are so grateful for the generosity of the branches that sponsored lectures with Fujiko Signs, CSB, Nate Frederick, CS and Patricia Woodard, CS: The Woodlands, Tyler, Richardson, Irving, and 3rd Dallas. Over 100 men were introduced to Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy. Comments from volunteers in attendance included, “The room was just filled with love, you could feel it!” and “all (the men at the lecture) were leaning in.” One lecturer commented, “I looked out on not only receptive hearts but smiles”. One offender wrote, “I was disappointed that our unit went on lockdown on the very day that Nate Frederick was to be here. I have been able to tune in to WRR (radio station) and hear Christian Science (Sentinel radio). I’m enclosing a small donation to help your church to cover postage expenses. You are truly a blessing in my life. Thank you, God bless, Dave”
Subscriptions and Books provided by State Committee
- 238 subscriptions for The Christian Science Monitor. This includes inmates and facilities, 12 of which are for VA hospitals.
- 100 inmate subscriptions to the Christian Science Sentinel.
- 600 subscriptions to the This covers inmate mailings and volunteer distributions. Volunteers are not to distribute copies from their personal subscriptions.
- 26 bilingual Ciencia y Salud con Clave de las Escrituras by Mary Baker Eddy have been given out.
- Spanish Full-Text have increased from 11 recipients to 18 recipients.
- Over 250 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy have been given out.
- 49 Bibles have been mailed out.
- 5 Prose Works, 3 Manuals, 3 Hymnals, 13 Biographies, along with Concordances
The third annual national Institutional Committee meeting was held in Boston during Annual Meeting weekend for active volunteers. Executive Board member Patricia Woodard, CS represented the State Committee along with three other volunteers from Houston and San Antonio. We are grateful for the appreciation, recognition, and support from The Mother Church for the work being done by the workers in the institutions. There is a growing demand for Christian Science, and the Bible gives the authority to serve the institutions, Isaiah 42:6, 7 “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
Hal Shrewsbury, CS and Sandra Shrewsbury, CS represented their branch church at the University Hospital Center’s Festival of Faith. 12 of the 40 attendees took a Science and Health home with them. Hal and Sandy wrote about the experience, “This was the first time the hospital had sponsored such a program and we felt it had been a worthwhile event. It was also humbling to realize Christian Science was included. While guests would take home some 50 handouts including ours from their visit, they would remember the one-on-one conversations they had without researching those handouts.
“We found ourselves talking with individuals in 5-15 minute conversations from the time we got there until we left. After explaining Christian Science had nothing to do with Scientology we focused on explaining how Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy, as a reinstatement of primitive Christianity with its lost element of healing and tried to illustrate how they could utilize their understanding of God as good and perfect to correct life problems and find healing much as they used the science of mathematics to correct mathematical errors. We asked them to share their concerns and demonstrated how knowing the truth about God could be part of their prayers and heard some very interesting issues.
“Just about all from the other religions visited our table asking about Christian Science. All were very friendly and we enjoyed learning about them as well. The Muslim lady explaining her religion even asked prayers for her husband who was ill.”
Gratitude from inmates
- P. at the Wynne Unit, “I really enjoy reading The Christian Science Monitor and I have a long line of inmates who read them as I’m thru with them. Everybody loves them. Thank you!”
- H. at the Michael Unit, “Every lecture I attended since I’ve been assigned to the Michael Unit I have been able to take away fresh ideas about myself as God’s image and likeness. Especially from the Bible lessons (BLs), I have been able to take away fresh ideas upon my study. The BLs have been pertinent to my situation and circumstances in regards to the atmosphere and relations of the men who attend the Christian Science service meetings. I know that I must be an alert Christian Scientist who does not lend himself as the tool of an aggressive mental suggestion. The alert Christian Scientist does not let error use him to bring dissension, division, or disloyalty into the Christian Science movement. I was so astounded how the BLs have seemed to be made especially to comfort me!”
San Antonio Zone: Weekly visits are again being made to Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center. Additionally, we are grateful for the ongoing work at the Torres Unit, Bexar County Jail, Wounded Warrior section at Laurel Ridge Training Center and the Applewhite Substance Abuse Training Facility.
Houston Zone: Volunteers provide weekly services on Sunday evenings at the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon, bi-monthly services at the Walls and Estelle Units in Huntsville, one on one pastoral visit upon request at any of the more than ten state units in the zone, and weekly cell visits three days a week at the Harris County jail.
Austin Zone: The dedicated volunteers continue their long-standing support of the Gardner-Betts Juvenile unit.
DFW Zone: This group maintains its support of weekly services at the women’s Federal Medical Center at Carswell, the Coffield Unit and Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony and the male federal facility at Seagoville. Multiple services are provided within the Dallas County Jail system. There is a need for additional individuals to volunteer in all of these facilities.
Annual Meeting 2017
First Church of Christ, Scientist, New Braunfels, will be hosting the 2017 Annual Meeting for the State Committee on Saturday, October, 7th at 1 p.m. Joining us from Florida, 12-year volunteer institutional chaplain and former military chaplain Janet Horton will be our keynote speaker. In addition to reports from the State Board and Executive Secretary there will be time for attendees to share fruitage or ask questions. All volunteers will be sharing ideas and healings and will be available to answer questions. The meeting will adjourn by 4 p.m.
Executive Secretary activities
In addition to answering requests for books, Bible lessons, or prayer, this office manages the subscriptions to the Christian Science Sentinel, The Christian Science Monitor and the myBibleLesson mailings; supports and provides information on how to work with chaplains, wardens and facilities. As Executive Secretary, I am in contact with committee workers around the state supporting their work and providing materials for their services and lectures. Over 600 letters to offenders have been mailed out this year. I would be happy to visit your branch and share more details on opportunities for you and your branch to participate in this holy work.
Gratitude for gifts
The State Committee is grateful for the generosity of the members of First Church Brownsville for $25,000, College Station Society for $2,400 and Third Church Dallas and the DFW Zone for the contributions in addition to the per capita that support the healing mission of this Committee. We have also been blessed with individual contributions ranging from $20.00 – $3,000.00. A special thanks to Charlene Carrington, 7th Church Houston Reading Room and 8th Church Houston Reading Room for sending donated periodicals to share. Each contribution is a precious gift providing powerful tools to those we serve!
Areas of Needed Support
- Additional volunteers are needed to help provide weekly services at the Torres Unit, in the San Antonio Zone, the Estelle Unit and Huntsville Unit in the Houston Zone where there is currently only one volunteer serving at each unit. New volunteers are needed for services at the Wynne Unit in the Houston Zone! We would like to be able to continue and strengthen the programs in place since it often seems a struggle to be allowed to serve in the facilities.
- SPANISH translators, volunteers and “mentors thru mail”. There are 18 individuals receiving the Spanish Bible lessons and El Heraldo.
- Funding from The Mother Church specifically for subscriptions to The Christian Science Monitor has ended. Please consider making an individual donation to the State Committee, in whatever amount inspired, to help us to renew the individual subscriptions and allow for more requests to be fulfilled. We have been granted a special institutional gift rate of $89 for The Christian Science Monitor and $99 for the Christian Science Sentinel.
Thank you for your continued metaphysical and financial support of this healing statewide activity. Contributions to the committee are welcomed and can be mailed to the address below or through Pay Pal at: https://christiansciencedallas.com/programs/outreach-to-prisons/ Each member is a vital part of the success of this healing ministry.
State Committee Board
Eleanor Bigbie – Chair, At Large Member
George Nutwell – Vice Chair, Houston Zone
Suzanne Davis – Austin Zone
Patty Woodard, CS – DFW Zone
Hal Shrewsbury, CS – San Antonio Zone
Shellie Evans – At Large Member
Elizabeth Arnett, Executive Secretary/Treasurer
Christian Science Committee on Institutional Work in Texas
P.O. Box 1381, Roanoke, TX 76262