Committee on Christian Science Work
in Los Angeles County Institutions
"...the Lord looseth the prisoners."
Friday, October 26, 8 p.m.
Fruitage Meetings are held generally the 4th Friday of the month at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Pasadena at 8 PM. A calendar of dates appears below. The Pasadena Church is located at 80 South Oakland Avenue (at Green Street), Pasadena. Our Fruitage Meetings are for Representatives from participating Branch Churches, Committee Workers and interested Branch Church attendees. Fruitage reports and updates on various institutions are given.
For more information, contact the Committee office:
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The following reports are available for download by clicking on the title:
- Annual Report 2016-17 (video)
- Annual Report 2015-16 (video)
- Annual Report 2014-15 (.pdf)
- Annual Report 2012-13 (.pdf)
Did you know?
- The Los Angeles County Institutions Committee is a Joint Committee of the Christian Science branch churches of Los Angeles County.
- Most of the operating expenses (about $45,000 yearly) and all of the volunteers come from L.A. County branch churches.
- We visit and give services in 7 county institutions, with 17,500 inmates – one of the biggest single jail systems in the country.
- We work closely with the L.A. County Sheriffs who staff the jails, and are genuinely welcomed by them.
- About 25 branch church members volunteer to serve in our visits to these jails.
- On average, we give 70 services each month.
- About 1,000 inmates attend these services each month.
- Most of these 1,000 inmates indicate they have never heard of Christian Science before the service, which means we interact with about 1,000 newcomers to Christian Science each month.
- Our chaplains and assistants serve as readers in each service.
- The services are about 30 minutes long, focused on the Bible Lesson Sermon for the week.
- Inmates are sometimes given Bible Lesson printouts before the service, and almost all closely read along silently as the two Christian Scientists read the Lesson aloud.
- Each service begins with a brief explanation of the history of Christian Science, of Mary Baker Eddy, of its foundation on The Bible, and of the role Science and Health plays in our church.
- Our volunteers usually give 1 – 5 services in a day’s visit. After each service, the two readers talk with the inmates about the ideas just presented, and how to apply them in daily life. Inmates very much appreciate this interaction.
- At the end of a service, inmates commonly say “amen” and “thank you” enthusiastically, and they are polite and very appreciative that we have come to interact with them.
How and why I came to this work
Read excerpts from comments by workers on the Committee. Comments
History of the Committee
Our activity began in 1928, when a small group began visiting the County Hospital and the County Jail and distributing literature to road camps and Juvenile Hall. Christian Science services began in County jail in June 1934, at the request of inmates. Today we serve in one way or another at some 7 locations throughout Los Angeles County.
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
Our purpose is to make the healing and regenerative spirit of Christian Science available in the Los Angeles County institutions in which we are privileged to serve, through clearance with the Sheriff’s Department and the County Probation Department. The scope if the work is tremendous. At the adult facilities weekly church services are held, and one-to-one interviews are scheduled on request. In the juvenile camps, Sunday School type meetings are held regularly. At both activities, large quantities of Christian Science literature along with Bibles and copies of Science and Health are distributed.
The Los Angeles County branch churches are the backbone of the Committee. These churches appoint representatives who become members of the Committee. Also from these County-wide churches come the volunteers who become Chaplains and Workers. The financial support for the operation of the Committee also comes from the branch churches.
The Executive Board of the Committee on Christian Science Work in Los Angeles County Institutions is elected each year from and by the representatives. The Board meets monthly and governs the activities of the Committee and it holds an Annual Meeting every year. See the Annual Report on this site which is distributed to the Los Angeles County churches in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.
Chaplain – hold regular Christian Science church services at the adult facilities, and acts as First Reader. They also hold one-to-one interviews at the request of the inmates for answering questions and/or providing metaphysical treatments.
Workers – assist the Chaplain with the services in the jails and acts as Second Reader
Camp Chaplain – hold Bible study in the various juvenile camps in Los Angeles County.
Literature Distribution Workers – meet weekly in the Literature Workroom of First Church, Pasadena, to organize the literature – Bibles, copies of Science and Health (in various languages) and periodicals – into batches to fill the orders of the Chaplains who give out the literature and texts at their respective facilities.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICE
Anyone wishing to work in any capacity on the Committee must obtain an application from the Committee office and this needs to be signed by his/her branch church. They must be class taught. All workers, after acceptance by the Executive Board of the Committee, must then be approved by the appropriate Los Angeles County Department. They are then duly listed for admission to the facilities, having agreed to abide by the regulations of these Departments.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Contact either your church’s County Institutions representative, the Clerk of your church, or the Committee Secretary, Nanci Newman, at 323-664-4910, firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest that you attend one of the Fruitage Meetings which are held the fourth Friday of most months at 8 PM, in the Sunday School room of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Pasadena (See meeting calendar on this WEB page). At this meeting you will hear fruitage reports from Chaplains, Workers, and Camp Chaplains. Also at the meetings, you will have the opportunity to speak with those working in all capacities on the Committee and hear first-hand of their experiences. All are welcome!
If you would like to contribute to this Committee, please send your donation to P.O. Box 393, Los Angeles, CA 90078. If you would like to subscribe to a periodical for the library of one of the institutions in which we serve, please contact the Secretary at 323-664-4910 or email@example.com
Further information may be requested from the Committee Office:
Committee on Christian Science Work in Los Angeles County Institutions
Nanci Newman, Secretary
P.O. Box 393, Los Angeles CA 90078