Here is the first in a series of interviews with Christian Science nurses we’ve met through the Dominion Foundation. We are enjoying their insights about the Church Manual By-Law, (Article VIII, Sect. 31) “Christian Science Nurse”, and wanted to share them with you.
Please meet Kynslie Thorndike Manochi
Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, how you were led into Christian Science nursing.
I grew up in a rural town in Ohio and was raised in Christian Science. I have several family members who are Christian Science nurses so I have a great appreciation for Christian Science nursing.
I worked for 5 years as a rural high school music teacher, drama teacher — loved working with children. But Christian Science nursing kept coming to thought. There were a number of reasons that it didn’t seem like I could fully commit, and it wasn’t the right time. But after 5 years, I wanted to move closer to home and a Christian Science nurse training program opened at Upward Wing in Ohio. It’s been an amazing unfoldment of God leading me and the clarity that I knew this is what I was supposed to be doing.
I’ve been working with Upward Wing since and now I’m seeing how Christian Science nursing is expressed.
Why minister in the field … in homes?
My Christian Science nursing ministry has primarily been in the home. Christian Science nursing in the home is very important. The facilities have an important role in Christian Science nursing, but for some individuals a facility isn’t an option.
In some situations where I’ve been, there isn’t even a church nearby. To go into someone’s home is a special opportunity to meet them where they are. Mary Baker Eddy tells us to work with the reformers and meet them where they are.
For some situations, there might not be a need to go to a facility. Some people want to stay in their homes, with their families, their community, and sometimes the kindest thing is to meet them where they are. This is an example that they are not alone. I like to think of it as wrapping them up in Love.
What is your favorite part of the Christian Science Nurse By-Law?
Christian Science Nurse. Sect 31. A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick.
Church Manual, Article VIII, Sect. 31
I love that this By-law is open to all. It’s for everyone. And anyone who has this “demonstrable knowledge” and is taking care of someone, they are expressing Christian Science nursing. It is an active provision in our Church Manual.
What does a “demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice” mean to you? Why is it important for Christian Science nursing?
First and foremost, we are Christian Scientists! That means that we are demonstrating that dominion. Having healings ourselves, demonstrating the allness of Christian Science. We need to be able to have our own demonstrations and prove that Christian Science is an active religion and ministry. We need to be able to walk into any situation and have that dominion and meet any situation. We need to be practicing Christian Science!
The reminder of the demonstrable knowledge is a reminder to me of, “Am I doing the work?” That expectancy of healing is first and foremost.
Tell us about an inspiring experience you’ve had, either while taking classes or while ministering as a Christian Science nurse.
One of the wonderful moments showed me that Christian Science nursing isn’t just about physical care, but a spiritual upliftment of thought.
When I was at camp with my mentor, we were preparing for Sunday School and we put together a group of citations on the idea of rest and cherishing the idea that God rests in action. We knew that camp is very active and sometimes it seemed that everyone was a little weary. Then a counselor came in the next day and asked if we could share any thoughts on rest. We shared via email the citations that we had been working with. We could see it meeting an immediate need right away. The counselor was so grateful for the Christian Science nurses and their support. The counselor said that it was exactly what was needed. This work meets every need.