Watch the interview here:
“I knew that it was a way for me to deepen my understanding of Christian Science.”
About Our Guests in this episode:
Caitlin Babcock and Paige Lesko worked together in the Office of the Publisher’s Agent, improving and re-organizing YouTube help videos for Concord, and created a welcome trailer for newcomers. Caitlin is an International Relations major at Baylor University and Paige is a Mass Communications major at Principia College.
Julia Schuck helped edit articles for JSH-Online and even had the opportunity to write one for the Sentinel’s Teen Connect feature. Says Julia, “I learned that there’s a lot of prayer that goes into producing the periodicals!” Julia is studying Mass Communications at University of Maryland.
Emmanuel Tekila interned in Church Activities where he helped plan the Mini-Summit for CSO’s (Christian Science Organizations on college campuses) and mapped the locations of Christian Science Reading Rooms around the world. Emmanuel is an Economics major at the University of Kinshasa and joined us from the Democratic Republic of Congo!Part of our Net Effect Conversations series: https://www.albertbakerfund.org/category/net-effect/
Transcript of Episode:
Robin: This is the Net Effect. I’m your host, Robin Jones and today’s guests are really special. This is sponsored by the Albert Baker Fund, where we want to see our community grow and prosper and see the unlimited possibilities that emerge when Christian Scientists journey together through inspired education and career development. Today, we’re going to see some shining examples of that.
If you have students, or if you are a student, or you know of a student, we would love for them to know about the resources here at the Albert Baker Fund. You can find all that you want to know about what we do, and how we help and support our community by going to AlbertBakerFund.org. Pick one of the drop down menus and find out where we can help you. So please come to the Albert Baker Fund. We’d love to get to know you and see how we can support you.
Without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guests. Today. We have Caitlin Babcock, Baylor University student in Waco, Texas. Hi Caitlin. Paige Lesko at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Emmanuel Tekila from the University of Kinshasa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And Julia will be joining us from the University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, in just a little bit.
Thank you all for joining us this afternoon. Welcome, welcome!
We’ll start with Paige and Caitlin. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you were this summer, an intern in the office of the Publisher’s Agent. Is that correct?
Robin: We’re all interested and want to know the things that you did this summer. Tell us a little bit about some of the projects that you worked on.
Caitlin: This was the Concord YouTube help page. We were given the task of reorganizing this website, which originally consisted of a bunch of videos that didn’t have the thumbnails that you see here. Didn’t really have organization, just this random scattering of help videos that they wanted us to figure out how to put together in a way that was a little bit more accessible to visitors.
How we did that was completely up to us. We worked through the summer on designing fun thumbnails for these videos. Renaming them, figuring out how to make the website more visually welcoming, more understandable for people that just understand what they’re reading. We gave the video descriptions.
We included links to Christian Science resources and to read the Bible and Science and Health so that people who stumbled across the page and weren’t familiar with Christian Science could engage more. A variety of different updates.
Robin: Caitlin, when you’re looking back and thinking about what you’re going to do in the summer of 2021, why did you apply to work at a church during the summer?
Caitlin: I’ve always wanted to work for the Mother Church. I didn’t grow up in a lot of Christian Science communities. I didn’t go to camp a lot. I wasn’t a Prin kid. So for me it was a really cool way to feel connected with Christian Science. I also felt like the Mother Church was this thing I would hear about and read about in the periodicals, but it just felt really distant, like what do they do?
I learned so much more about the work that goes into Christian Science. I feel that even if I don’t end up working for the Mother Church, all the skills I learned are totally transferable. It was a lot of stuff, like how to connect creativity to things I might not have tried before?
Robin: How about you Paige? Why work at a church during the summer? What was the attraction for you?
Paige: For me as a communications major, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to practice, some of those communication skills, paired with marketing and improve on basic writing communication skills, but also some career advice that I got about two years ago was what are you passionate about?
Someone just asked me that one day. That’s a good question. You can make a laundry list of what you’re passionate about, but I think there’s a difference between what you’re passionate about and what you like. I was thinking more deeply about this, more critically about this.
And I was like, what am I passionate about? As I was looking for opportunities and internships to apply for, naturally I came across the Mother Church ones. I realized, what I’m really passionate about is Christian Science. And I would love to have the opportunity to work in an atmosphere where I can work with Christian Scientists and practice Christian Science, with my colleagues and sort of talk about that and make it an important part of my work.
And so that was just a really cool opportunity, that the Mother Church has internships available for students.
The main draw for me was just being able to have the opportunity to work in an atmosphere where Christian Science is the priority.
Robin: Emmanuel, I’d love for you to comment on that too. What was the attraction for you to think about working at a church during the summer?
Emmanuel: I feel that duty to feel more connected with church. When I saw this internship online, the first thing that really attracted me to go into that was the idea of discovering more about the administrative aspect of church.
One thing also that brought me to reply to this internship is the fact that I knew that in the internship I could really increase my daily practice of Christian Science. Whatever was being asked there, whatever we’ve been doing during the internship was spiritually based.
I knew that it was a way for me to deepen my understanding of Christian Science. I really wanted to know the administrative aspect of church.
Robin: Were you all remote when you were working this summer? How was that for you? How was that for you Emmanuel?
Emmanuel: At first, when I learned that the internship was going to be online, it’s felt a bit tricky for me, because I had to deal with the connection issue.
It was not easy at first. And then beyond the fact of not having maybe a good connection, one thing also I was really thinking about, is that you have to be in front of your computer for all of the day. Your room was like your office, and your computer your best friend, because you need to interact with people online for almost eight hours a day.
It was very challenging. It’s really asking me to pray lots about that, to see that when we have an opportunity, God is the one arranging the way and making that possible to take that step of progress.
I kept thinking that’s because progress is a law of God, nothing can prevent it from happening.
It really took a lot to stay focused both metaphysically, and practically when you work. Let’s say, if you’re being logged out from the meeting, you don’t need to feel anxious. You don’t have to get your nerves harmed, you need to stay focused. And know that because this is my right spot, nothing can just come in to prevent these fulfillments to be done.
So the metaphysical aspects of this was very, very needed. And all the support that I got from the people I was working with in the church activity department was very useful to achieve my internship in a proper way.
Robin: Paige, Caitlin, anything to add?
Paige: Caitlin and I are so used to this because this was how we worked over the summer. We’re totally good working together here.
Definitely it was a bit of a challenge and I know probably all of us were a little bit bummed out that it couldn’t be in person. I just would like to point out the effort that they really put in to make us feel like we were there.
The entire first week, the orientation week before we even met our departments, we actually got digital tours of the church and the edifices. And even the Plaza, we got to see that via Zoom, which was interesting, cause it was very shaky, but that labor of love to make us feel like we were there and included, we really appreciated that.
As a college student, the times that I’ll be spending at home with my parents is probably very near and dear to them. I’m sure my family back home was grateful that I could spend some time at home beyond a similar work schedule, with them.
A blessing in disguise, I would say.
Robin: Yeah. Caitlin?
Caitlin: One thing that really stood out to me being online was they had us do these one-on-one meetings with all the staff we were working with. They never done that before, when they did in person internships. The idea was if we were in person, we’d be running into these people in the hallway or going to coffee together. So it’s our stand-in for coffee chats. That made a really huge difference. I felt so much more connected than I’d expected to feel over Zoom. If I ever do a remote job, that’s something I really want to continue.
Robin: That’s a great idea. Yeah.
Caitlin: Take initiative and reach out to people.
Robin: It’s so important for you to do that in an internship. Maybe even one of the most important parts is building those professional connections, making new connections, talking to people that you don’t get to see every day and really getting a chance to find out the things that they’re doing and build some of those relationships that are so, so valuable.
Tell us a little about this.
Caitlin: This was the YouTube channel before we made any changes. This is what we were given to work with. What can we do with this?
One of the things we noticed right away was we wanted to make all the titles really easy to understand and separate from each other. So something like “Alternate Hymn Settings and the Study Tools Panel” probably became shortened into something more like “How to Search Hymns.”
We also made all the titles start with “How To”, so that would be a unifying aspect. We really didn’t want people to feel like they were just on some really technical help site that they had to muddle the way through.
We wanted to feel fresh and inviting. It’s very strong. It’s very organized. Detail matters.
Robin: Did you anticipate that this is the work that you’d be doing before you got there? Had you ever worked on a help page before? How did that come about for you?
Caitlin: I had not. I really didn’t know what to expect.
I learned at the end of the internship, this isn’t what they had really planned. They had a lot more ad projects set up for us to do and things just shifted. This is what ended up needing work.
We ended up getting all these ideas and ended up taking the summer, but that was really fun too. We got to see where it goes.
I think they ended up using the thumbnail we designed for some other YouTube channels too. So it became a bit of a bigger project, which is a cool example of how you’d start something and it would lead to something else.
Robin: How about you Paige, had you anticipated working on YouTube or getting into the nuts and bolts of a help page?
Paige: I’ll have to say no, it was definitely a surprise that we had this project. I was thinking, oh, we’ll probably be looking into helping with translations of some of Mrs Eddy’s writings or something involving writing, but, we were thrown this project, which ended up being such a really, really cool opportunity to use some of the communication skills that people don’t consider communications.
If you think of a more multi-platform style of like graphic design, we got to design new thumbnails that we put on each video. It just really gives us the opportunity to sort of step out of our comfort zones.
That’s what ended up happening. We submitted a creative brief. We wrote in this document, everything that we wanted these thumbnails to envision. We sent that to one of the design teams at the church and it was really cool to work across departments and accomplish a goal as an intern. That was really, really neat.
It was really a cool opportunity to try something new and do it altogether as a team.
Robin: Did you get a chance to work with other departments and get exposure to different aspects of the work that they did as well?
Paige: We had different departments of the church actually gave us presentations as as a whole intern group as well. We got to meet people from all different departments like Practitioner Department, Christian Science Teachers, Marketing, every department we sort of got to meet with.
Specifically for OPA, Office of the Publisher’s Agent, where Caitlin and I worked, we directly worked with the design group on our thumbnail images and with the Languages Department as well. Translations is a very big part of the department that we worked for.
Robin: Let’s go to our friend Emmanuel. He’s been very quiet and patient. I understand that, you’re at the University of Kinshasa and you’re studying economics. You speak three or four languages as well. Tell us a little bit about what you did this summer at the Mother Church.
Emmanuel: I was in the Church Activity Department and one of the main projects I had to work on was mapping out the Reading Rooms for the French speaking countries in Africa, and the English speaking countries in Africa.
The job was really nice because the purpose behind this project was to know we have branch churches, but we don’t know which branch churches have their Reading Rooms inside the church, which one have the Reading Room not in the church.
We need to update the information that we have. We may have churches moving from one address to another, or changing the librarians.
My job was trying to check if they are still there. It was a nice opportunity to discover all the branch churches that we have in Africa. They come together to share ideas that can help them move forward.
Something else that I was also able to do was playing that role of taking notes. And it was a nice opportunity for me to better my skills of taking notes.
I really felt that the notes that I took really reflected what was shared in the meeting. It was a way when you are in such meetings to know what are the ideas that each branch, each field is working with? Are they facing like the situation of the pandemic, which happened last year?
It was really a way to get that awareness of what’s needed to be solved around the world. What ideas need to be taken into account and how you can react metaphysically to what’s going on in the field.
You see how practical people who are in the Church Activity Department are receiving the news.
One thing that I really love is that it’s not like the Mother Church telling people how to do things.
We all turn to God and listen to the right spots, the right direction to take. It was so amazing to see how things were unfolding peacefully until we reached the solution.
Robin: Caitlin, did you find the same thing in your work? I think you all commented to me about the importance of how you’d start your day and how you involved prayer in that day and prayer in the decision-making process.
Tell us a little bit about what your perspective is and what you gained from that?
Caitlin: That was huge. One of my favorite parts of the internship was just getting to observe all these people in my department work together in a business, but how they applied Christian Science to every detail of that.
I love the metaphysical meetings. We would talk about just how to work through the day. I wish I could do that for like every single job, cause it’s just such a great way to start out and get on the right footing.
Even when we were just doing the business things a day and meeting and having reviews, you could just see it being practiced.
People, they take their work so seriously and it doesn’t mean we’re not lighthearted, that we don’t like to have fun. Everything’s just seen as important. We’re doing this work, and it’s for the glory of God. It matters, and how we treat each other matters. You just want to do well, and you want to be responsible, and you want to do it right. It’s not a sense of pressure. There’s just so much love expressed every day.
Robin: Paige, what about you? Did this have an impact on you, and what you do, and how you do things going forward?
Paige: Definitely. I would say that just being more consistent in my practice of Christian Science on a daily basis as applied to not just, healing, but more of just, uplifting.
I find that, many times in my life. I would turn to Christian Science in a moment of weakness, and then think about it later and think, well, I don’t have to just turn to Christian Science when I’m sad or, when I’m dealing with something. It’s more of a lifestyle practice that can be applied.
What I started to do was, each morning, before I started doing my work I would do my spiritual work, which would be expressing gratitude for the opportunity that I had to be able to work with the people that I was working with.
Along with expressing gratitude, I also did some work with the Lesson. Finding the importance in the periodicals, and the different publications that the Christian Science church puts out is an appreciation that I gained. As far as Christian Science practice goes, understanding and realizing that it really applies to everything because all life is of God.
That just became really apparent to me through the work that I was doing.
Robin: Julia, welcome! We’re glad you’re here with us. You can jump right into this conversation. Tell us a little bit about how that impacted your particular work.
Julia: I was an intern with the JSH, the periodicals Journal Sentinel, Herald. I did a lot of editing work as well as some online content specialization.
Something that became very clear to me throughout the internship was that I’m praying for myself and for the church and for the cause of Christian Science in the morning, before I do anything else. It helped me feel aligned with God so that my work throughout the day was really still aligned with God.
Something that also came very clear to me while working was that those little pockets of time throughout the day, whether it’s during my lunch break or, in between meetings, to take that time and to realign my thought and and really just ask, reach out to God and say, what is it that I need to be doing to bless today?
Having those little moments of quiet, of prayer, of study really helped me know what my role was.
It helped me know what I needed to do, and it helped me understand that my work was blessing everyone just as much as it was blessing me.
I really felt that I really felt incredibly blessed. And so that was really helpful.
Robin: You used a word that I often don’t hear when I talk to students and your friends and peers, and you use the word, the cause of Christian Science.
Did that take on a new meaning for all of you? Had you ever even used that word before this summer? I’m curious to get your feedback on that.
Emmanuel, will you start with us with that?
Emmanuel: Yes. I’ve already used that word. For me, it’s refers to the purpose of the Christian Science movement. Like really, what is the purpose behind Mrs. Eddy’s church. And I think it’s really healing.
When we talk about the cause of Christian Science, we really feel that we have that sense of responsibility on what we can play, how we need to think, how we need to pray to support this.
It gives you a sense of belonging to a church and giving back to that church. So, and this is something, as Julia mentioned, we’ve really deepened that during the internship, because you got to pray for the Mother Church because each week you have what we call the prayer list.
And this is a list of things that need to be addressed during the week. And there are things happening worldwide. So you really need to take that into account. When you pray in the morning in your daily prayer. What do you need to bring that? And as the daily prayer says, you need ready to bring all the affection.
It was so nice to include those issues while praying. And that gives that that’s the meaning of that cause. So it’s really belongs to you and you need to give back to that church.
Robin: Paige, do you have any comments on that? I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful insight Emmanuel.
Paige: Everything that Emmanuel said, I completely concur. I always go back to that one question because it’s, it’s such a present thought for me recently, but it’s like, what are you passionate about? I’m passionate about the cause of Christian Science and that took on a whole new meaning from the work that we did.
To me, the cause of Christian Science is, showing and spreading and demonstrating divine Love and the power of divine Love. It’s everything that Mrs. Eddy wanted to express and wanted Christian Science to express.
In working closely with her writings this summer and studying the Manual, just really brought that home for me because, I guess before this, I wasn’t really keen on, reading the Manual cover to cover. It didn’t really seem like that much of a page turner to me. After reading that and really just diving into it I gained a deeper connection to the structure of Christian Science.
Robin: How about you, Caitlin?
Caitlin: The cause of Christian Science is something that’s always been important to me. That’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to come. I wanted to understand how we could be a part of that.
I love what Emmanuel said about belonging. I think that’s one of the biggest things we feel, like it’s not this distant thing anymore.
You feel like you’re part of it and you understand what people are working on, and what you need to be supporting.
I totally agree with Paige about the Manual too. I got one when I graduated Sunday School. I flipped through a few parts, but it just didn’t seem relevant to me, in my work.
And that’s something that definitely changed. We went through the Manual a lot and just really worked in applying that every day.
Robin: And how about you, Julia? Anything you’d like to add?
Julia: Everybody said pretty much what I feel as well, working with the Manual, and the sense of belonging. There isn’t much to add, everyone spoke so eloquently.
Robin: I love it, what you all have been articulating, this belonging to a family. I love that you put that number one on your list of the things that you did on a day to day basis.
How did that impact you Emmanuel?
Emmanuel: When you have that sense of belonging to a family, to me, it was even increasing my readiness to serve and to contribute to the work of the team. What happens was like when you come to work, it’s not like they take you as an intern, but they take you as their colleague.
And like, they bring you to a higher rank and you already feel that you need to give back to that group of people who are really valuing your ideas.
You feel like you are meeting with all of them in real, because you develop that sense of connection. For me, it was mostly how they value the ideas that you bring to the team. It’s not like they let to just speak, but they do consider what you bring his ideas and you already feel that they trust you.
They give you project to work on. And every idea that you bring to the meeting are really valued. And I felt so good to be proud of. People are looking really very what you bring and when you see the good that you can bring them to work.
Robin: You have a really nice list of takeaways that I appreciate. What stands out to you as your top takeaway?
Emmanuel: I think I will go with the idea of improving my interpersonal skills. When I was there, it was a big opportunity for me to see that when you are in the team, it’s okay to give the best of yourself. Don’t try to go over what you can give, but just give what you have to give and do it with joy.
The job with the Mother Church was all about listening to God.
Every day you come, you really need to listen to what Christ is speaking to you. Because if you say I’m going to do this, maybe you’re not going to achieve it. But if you listen to God, you will really get the right spot. It was so nice to listen more to the Christ, then bring our human way. So yeah, I really loved the fact that they really valued my ideas.
Robin: Thank you, Emmanuel. Julia. It is your turn. Tell us a little bit about what you did at the Mother Church this summer.
Julia: I spent a lot of time with JSH. I wore a lot of different hats in JSH. But the main part of the internship was editing articles for the periodicals.
I also did some help with Bible Lens, content selection for JSH Online, the carousel that you find on the main JSH page with all of those articles that are relevant to what’s going on in the world right now. Those are hand selected, prayerfully selected. That was a really cool part.
I did not like editing at the start of this internship. I wanted to like it, I wanted to learn how to be a good editor, how to edit well and sharpen my skills with that.
I found through working with my supervisors and taking on these articles that it really is such a metaphysical process.
Once that was real to me, I learned to really, really love editing.
Robin: How did you make that transition from going well, I don’t really like this to, oh, this is cool?
Julia: I had a meeting with my supervisor one day. I was feeling very stuck with the article that we were working on. She stopped and started asking me questions about how I felt about the article, how I was feeling just in general. And we started having a conversation about the importance of editing and what her experience had been as an editor at JSH.
And she said that that editing is like taking away all of the excess and really finding the core metaphysical idea, the most important part of this article that readers are going to take away, that’s going to help readers. Once we talked about that, we started working on the article again, and it was such a more harmonious process.
When we understood that the point isn’t to take out commas and add periods and little things like that, but really is to bring forward the metaphysical idea that is really going to resonate with the reader. And that was the moment where it became much more fun for me.
Robin: I’m curious, did the rest of you have a similar experience in a different way where there was something you really liked doing, or you didn’t think you were very good at that you had to get outside your comfort zone and embrace a new way of thinking or a new skill set?
Paige: It was just really cool for me to have that really, really positive teamwork experience and just really understand the different facets of teamwork.
Not feeling obligated to take lead all the time was something I had to work on and feel like I made a lot of progress on throughout the summer. Being okay with sort of not going with my idea.
I had a couple of experiences where I had an idea that I was thinking about for something that we were doing, but someone else shared their idea and I thought, wow, like I never would’ve thought of that. That’s the exact idea that we need to go with.
Having such a positive teamwork experience does really change my outlook on teamwork and now I love to work in teams. And so I’m really grateful for that.
Robin: Anyone else?
Emmanuel: The internship has really helped me to discover that I was good in writing because I had to reach out to the field when we were organizing for the CSO Summit for the French speaking countries.
I had to go back and forth being in touch with those who are leading the CSO. It was so nice to discover that I really had good writing skills.
I discovered that I was able to lead discussions. We met with them. And I was the one leading the discussion. By the end, my manager just told me that it’s, it’s really one’s skill. And I was like, wow. So I can lead a meeting.
Those are two things that I really took from that – my writing skills and my ability to talk in front of people, just the way I’m doing right now.
I think I’m doing that well.
Robin: You’re doing just great. How about you, Caitlin?
Caitlin: For me, it was working in technology. When we first found out your project for this summer is a YouTube channel. I was a bit of an inward girl and that’s just not something that’s in my comfort zone, something I’m good, at something I’m used to.
For me, it was really learning that I didn’t have to be comfortable with the skill we were doing, as long as I was comfortable with the ideas we were expressing.
What do I want people to see on this channel? I love Christian Science. What I want about that to express?
I have this fun, artistic idea. How can I express that? I realized it’s really about the passion you’re bringing to the table and the ideas you’re wanting to convey. You can learn a skill, but it’s those ideas that are whats important.
That really shifted my mindset and for the rest of summer even if we worked on something that I wouldn’t normally enjoy, wouldn’t want me to come through with, it was always like, how can I reframe this? How can I take what I know I’m good at, what I know I enjoy, and apply that.
Robin: I love it. So many students are a little bit apprehensive about saying who they are and what their faith is, or even saying the word Christian, let alone Science, right? Talk to us a little bit about why you put this in here. I think is very sweet and very brave.
Julia: Thank you. Thanks. My amazing supervisor over the summer proposed the idea for me to write this article. We were just casually speaking one day and I brought up this story of giving my boyfriend a Science and Health, and she said that would be a fantastic Teen Connect article. Part of my work over the summer was working on this article, which published, which is incredible.
It was really healing for me to be able to write it and work on it and edit it and see it get through to being published. I think the main takeaway from it is that there is no one right way to share Christian Science and trusting in God to present the opportunity if it’s needed and trusting God to equip you with the words to say.
That was my experience. When I leaned on God, I was told that giving a Science and Health to him would be a good idea. And even though I was apprehensive, I really worked with it. It was a really fantastic experience.
Every aspect of it, writing the article, experiencing it firsthand and and working on it. It was really such an amazing blessing.
Robin: Thanks for sharing that with us. And if any of you have anything you’d like to add to that, do you feel that you can go into your world now with a different sense of confidence and a better understanding of how to share our faith with our friends and family that may not go to church or may not even appreciate some of the things that we like, and some of the things that we talk about?
Emmanuel: Personally, I’m so grateful that Julia published this article. I even emailed her to thank her for this.
I’m a member of the Christian Science Organization at the University of Kinshasa. What I always do when we are holding a Christian Science lecture on the campus is that I don’t invite people to come to a Christian Science lecture because they need to become a Christian Scientist afterward.
I do invite them to come to attend Christian Science lectures, because I know that during the lecture, it’s not the lecturer speaking, but it’s the Christ. And because Christian Science is not separated from the world of God, it is the word of God. So it’s Christ himself who’s going to be speaking to those who will be attending the lecture.
And this is exactly what Julia has done with her experience. She didn’t want to influence a boyfriend to accept Christian Science. She knew that she was not the one trying to make him accept Christian Science, but she knew that the book will talk to him. And I think this is what we need to do.
Through the experience of the internship, we really learned that Christian Science is not there out to be imposing faith to others, but Christian Science shares and really what it is. And we know because it is Christ behind that word Christ himself. We do the word Christ speaks to human consciousness as Mrs. Eddy says. So it’s not a personal work, but it’s more about praying and knowing that everyone should be aware of that’s good and that’s good cannot bring bad consequences.
Sharing Christian Science should be something more about listening to the Christ speak, than having our own opinion the mediating, the conversation or the debate.
So that’s what I took from my internship.
Robin: At any given time, did any one of you reject Christian Science? Have you guys questioned Christian Science? Are you comfortable talking about that a little bit?
Julia: I am. I grew up in Christian Science. Both of my parents work for the cause of Christian Science. I went to Sunday School. We never missed church Wednesdays and Sundays. And a couple of years ago I started to question and then I wasn’t really going to church or praying or reading the Bible Lesson or anything like that.
The comeback into Christian Science was really, it had to be done through me and only me. It couldn’t be from, my parents and their, their loving gesture to give me Christian Science as a child and to try and continue that in my life because it’s helped them so much.
And so I just realized that it really, if I was going to be a Christian Scientist, it had to come a hundred percent from me and my beliefs and I had to get there by myself. I did teeter on the edge for a little while, should I be a Christian Scientist? Should I not be?
I had a wonderful healing that brought me back into Christian Science. I think it’s okay to question. It’s okay to wonder. It’s important to find peace with it, however you find that peace.
Robin: Anyone else like to add a comment?
Caitlin: I was also raised in Christian Science and as a kid. I loved it and would have healings, I’d give testimonies. And it was great, but I think late middle school or high school, I really started to question why I believed what I believed. And I was struggling with healings and I felt like I just couldn’t understand why we knew there was a God and why we knew any of this.
There’s all these thoughts out in the world. This one religion I was raised with, can’t be it like, what are the chances? And I really went away for a little bit and was searching and just felt like I was coming up really empty, rejecting these things I’d grown up with.
I definitely agree with Julia, I think it’s has to be so individual. Christian Science isn’t something you can just go along with because your family and friends did, which I think is what I was trying to do. It has to be you.
One day I was just struggling with something and I just grabbed a Bible, even though I wouldn’t normally do that and open and it was something I read.
I just read it and I felt so much love. And I started to remember all the things I’d loved in Christian Science, like all these moments in Sunday School, of reading something and the inspiration I’d felt.
For the first time I just started noticing the love in them and the rightness, and the justice, and how we’re not consigned to be suffering mortals. I think that really shifted what I was looking for in life. And that really brought me back.
Robin: What’s the one thing you learned or appreciated about the Mother Church that you did not know or realize before your internship?
Emmanuel: I think it’s the quality of work that goes behind every product. The Mother Church really is a professional institution. Almost everything goes through so many steps of checking.
They want to be sure that what goes out is really what needs to be out. They really make sure that the message is clear when it is published.
I feel so happy to have such a church which offers such quality of work. I really love that point. And also the metaphysical work that’s goes into every project that needs to be done. It’s not just your intellectual abilities, but you need to mix it up with the metaphysical intake.
That’s why we have what we have now. So we need to be so proud of this church.
Robin: Anyone else?
Paige: Thinking about the church almost like a company, there’s positions for everyone.
So if you’re into communications, or digital design, or law, there’s a place for you to work for the cause of Christian Science. That was just a really cool idea. Even music, I’m also music tech minor and, I’ve sang all my life and just getting the opportunity to meet with people and talk about music of the church was just such a cool opportunity.
If you’re a person that can do something, you have a place at the Mother Church and you love Christian Science. There’s a place for you.
Robin: I’m so impressed with everything I’ve heard today about the work that you guys have done, your experience that you had, all the different skills that you got to develop. It’s really impressive.
There are students that I talk to and they don’t have that same experience with an internship that you guys have gotten this summer. Coupling that with the fact that it was online, that you were working remotely, it’s really remarkable. The things that you’re talking about, the things that you’re saying and the incredible work that you’ve done.
So how has it changed your career goals? Who’d like to go first with that one?
Caitlin: For me, it didn’t so much change my specific goals, more my approach to the way I look at my career.
Some advice that one of the workers gave me during the internship that I think is something I really took away is that when you’re looking for a job, the really important part of a job is the people you’re working for, and do you feel purposeful? Are you animated? Do you feel like work you’re doing matters? Are you excited to go to work every day. And if you feel like you and the company click and have the connection, then a lot of times they’ll find a position for you. Things will just work out.
That’s what I really want to look for. Not closing my mind about the positions I’m willing to be in and really looking for the atmosphere of this place… Do I agree with what they’re about? Do I feel supported here? Can I just trust that the other things can come into place?
Robin: Anyone else like to add to that?
Julia: Caitlin, I feel very similar to you and how interning at the Mother Church has shaped my thought of career and jobs and everything.
I found that I feel my best in terms of my career when I’m doing something that feels right to me, that feels like God is telling me that this is a right thing.
Working for the Mother Church opened my eyes to get rid of the self will of, what does Julia want to do, and how much money does she want to make? All those material things that get in the way of the joy and the support and all of those wonderful things that come from working a job that you feel led to work in.
That was really a big thing for me and I absolutely concur with what Caitlin said.
Robin: Paige, anything you’d like to add?
Paige: In terms of career goals and approach, I found myself asking myself two questions and one was, what qualities does this work express? And does it align with my mission?
It’s really important for students or people our age, or any age, to think about what your mission is? What you want to express through any work that you do. Look at the qualities that a company expresses or an opportunity expresses, and when we talk to those people, keep your thought open and listen and feel out the situation.
Thinking more on the qualities that an opportunity expresses rather than what can I gain from this opportunity?
Naturally you’ll gain something from the opportunity, but also thinking more along the lines of what can I contribute to this opportunity? We all have so much to contribute whether we know it or not. That’s something definitely to keep in mind.
Robin: Emmanuel, you’re in a different country and on a different continent. How do you see your career after having been exposed to the things that you talked about and shared with us this summer?
Emmanuel: I didn’t mention that at the beginning, but as I was taking the internship, meanwhile also my classes at the university. It has been really a special experience.
Doing the internship has really given me a great sense of how I can increase my productivity when working with others. I also have a clear sense on how to appreciate the good that’s happening, around us.
At the Mother Church, it’s the only workplace where you can get healed and you can heal others just by being at work. You have so many great ideas coming throughout the day that really empowers you and lets your light shine and bless others.
You really individualize the spiritual power that is in you and be the light of the world.
I really enjoyed that experience. I’m so grateful to God, that this experience has come to me. I’ve really used that effectively. I won’t ever forgets this internship.
Robin: We all owe a debt of gratitude to the Albert Baker Fund for helping our students financially with their internship. It’s such a wonderful, wonderful organization.
Your willingness to share with our community is remarkable and outstanding. You’re all wonderful people, and it’s so much fun to hear your stories.
If you’re interested in connecting with one of the students, send me an email, just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to connect you.
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We’re always communicating and talking about wonderful, wonderful students that we have. These folks right here are just a shining example of the many, many students that we help. Again guys, terrific job today. You all have so much to say and such rich, wonderful inspiration.
Thanks again. Look forward to seeing you all on the next Net Effect.