Several local Christian Science churches have special Thanksgiving Day services planned, congregation members announced recently.
For those who would like a view of Newport Harbor during the service, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport Beach holds their services at the Newport Sea Base, 1931 W. Coast Hwy.; for those in Corona del Mar, Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport Beach is located at 3100 Pacific View Dr.; and for the coastal neighbors, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Laguna Beach welcomes everyone at 635 High Dr. in Laguna Beach.
All have similar services that start at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
“Christian Science churches have been giving this special Thanksgiving Day service since 1902 and are one of the few remaining churches to continue to do so,” local resident Linda Gerlt wrote in the message.
Thanksgiving Day service at Christian Science churches includes the reading of the proclamations by the president of the United States and the governor of California. Several traditional hymns are sung and a soloist will perform a hymn of gratitude, she explained. A special Thanksgiving Bible lesson is read and then members of the congregation are invited to share testimonies of gratitude and praise for God’s blessings.
The Thanksgiving holiday was important to Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, Gerlt explained in the press release. Eddy was born and raised in New England, “the birthplace of Thanksgiving.”
In 1878, before Eddy had a church built in Boston, she gave a Thanksgiving Day service in rented halls that featured a special sermon and testimonies of gratitude from her congregation, Gerlt noted in the message.
When asked by the Boston Globe in November of 1900 to write an article on the last Thanksgiving of the nineteenth century, she wrote, “New England’s last Thanksgiving Day of this century signifies, to the minds of men, the Bible better understood and truth and love made more practical; the first commandment of the decalogue more imperative and loving thy neighbor as thyself more possible and pleasurable. That love, unselfed, knocks more loudly than ever before at the heart of humanity and finds admittance.”