Christian Science church officials: ‘vitality’ despite shrinking membership

SHARE Christian Science church officials: ‘vitality’ despite shrinking membership
screen_shot_2018_06_21_at_9_50_01_am_e1529592670480.png

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist in downtown Chicago. | Provided photo

The Church of Christ, Scientist has been losing members around the country for decades, but it still has a footprint in Illinois.

Founded in the 19th century by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science church emphasizes that God can and does heal human ailments — so members might favor prayer over medicine.

The church’s headquarters doesn’t keep membership totals, but it does keep a tally of Christian Science churches and “reading rooms” — and there are 90 of them in Illinois.

Principia College in downstate Elsah, along the Mississippi River, admits only Christian Scientists as students. But with enrollment of just over 400 students, despite the school’s massive financial endowment, “Principia has lots of money but few Christian Scientists to fill classrooms,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Questions surfaced whether someday other faiths will have to be admitted, but school administrators say it’s too soon to say.

The church recently held its annual conference at the “Mother Church” in Boston, and officials said there’s still a great “vitality.”

The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out suntimes.com. Email tips and comments to Robert Herguth at rherguth@suntimes.com.

The Latest
A dedicated servant to the team, the Fire are winless in six matches and it’s bothering Klopas that he cannot find a fix.
The nonprofit wants to open a fourth school that would double as a venue with a bar, in a “significant step forward” as it also looks to offer an affordable performance space for artists.
A tutorial on photographing sunspots, a report on a coyote at Palmisano Park and a favor request from a tug engineer are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.
It won’t be easy for the Bulls and executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas to get off of LaVine’s max contract deal with a trade this offseason, but it won’t be from a lack of trying.
Despite the team’s poor record, Connor Bedard’s popularity and the team’s ticket-sales strategies have kept fans coming to the United Center. The Hawks ranked fourth in the NHL with 18,836 fans per game and have a season-ticket renewal rate of 96% this spring.