by Don Ingwerson
I mentioned last month an effort by Christian Scientists to meet Members of Congress to discuss health care reform in our annual Capitol Hill Day. The Federal Office has posted an update on these efforts:
Over the past four years, we’ve had the privilege of working with many Christian Scientists throughout the country—from Hawaii to Maine—who have volunteered their time in coming to Washington, DC, to meet with Members of Congress. They’ve carved out time from their workweeks, vacations in DC, and family time to advocate for Christian Science.
Last month, we worked with over 100 such individuals in DC at the same time—“Capitol Hill Day 2013”. Over the course of two days, they met with over 300 Congressional offices to ask for their support of solutions for Christian Scientists!
The value of the event has been very clear, as we began relationships with new offices and built on existing ones with others. This effort resulted in many more Members of Congress actively supporting solutions for Christian Scientists.
It’s wonderful to see so tangibly the fruits of these meetings! And it seems that the Christian Scientists who have participated have found the experience meaningful, too—and even fun. But you don’t have to take our word for it:
The diversity of church members who have been a part of these kinds of meetings on Capitol Hill is tremendous! As Houston architect Carlos Machado notes, “working with other Christian Scientists from very diverse backgrounds and seeing each one of them shine in different ways during the meeting days” was one of the highlights of his experience on the Hill.
Carlos also says that he was “very grateful for the care expressed by the members of Congress and their staff…[and] left DC with a much deeper appreciation for the work being done by government officials.”
He’s not the only one who’s come away from these meetings with this type of newfound appreciation. Mimi Oka, who lives in New York City, is a Christian Science practitioner with a background in investment banking and performance art. Earlier this year, she came to us with an offer to come to DC and meet with some Members of Congress she and her husband know personally. Reflecting on her time trekking around the Hill, Mimi says the meetings “made me appreciate our democracy, the dedication of our elected officials, that we can really get past the fractious nature of partisan politics, that Christian Science really benefited from the support of core values enshrined in our constitution.”
Californian Rob Hummel says he felt “gratitude…for the opportunity to be able to participate and play a small part in this activity in supporting our church” during his two meeting-filled days. In fact, Rob, who has had a career in motion pictures that includes cinematography, visual effects, post production, and involvement with restoration of films like The Wizard of Oz, ended up canceling a speaking engagement in London to join us on Capitol Hill!
It can be incredibly rewarding to participate in a meeting. Pennsylvania Committee on Publication Debby Kowit shares, “It was heartwarming to interact with those who expressed a genuine interest in what we had to say.” Debby has joined us in DC more than once, and was very pleased to discover during her latest trip that several of the offices remembered the previous meetings!
We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary support from the Field over the past several years and as we continue to move forward as well!
To read this post on the Federal Office site, click here: The blessings of meetings on Capitol Hill