Spirits rise

Lakeside Community Church of Religious Science

Liesa Leggett Garcia is reverend at Lakeside Community Church of Religious Science.

Liesa Leggett Garcia is reverend at Lakeside Community Church of Religious Science.

Photo By David Robert

“Religious Science is a synthesis of the laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion, applied to human needs and the aspirations of humankind.”
Ernest Holmes, Founder

I begin this article with a quote from the founder of the Church of Religious Science because I’m in unfamiliar waters here, and I imagine many other people are in the same boat with regard to this church.

Kristin Ashton invited me to church this weekend. We attended the 11 a.m. service on Sunday. The building is designed along the lines of other churches—broad hallway outside the sanctuary with rooms branching off.

There were lots of people I knew from various doin’s around the community. Ashton was kind enough to lead me over to the coffee and cookies right away. The bookstore/gift shop is down the foyer. One table had the titles Yoga Power and What The Bleep Do We Know!? and boxes of incense—again, blew my preconceptions out of the water.

The sanctuary was colored with earth tones, from the carpet to the olive, stone-appointed walls to the peaked ceiling. It would comfortably hold several hundred people on the padded chrome, straight-backed chairs. There’s a large dais with lots of potted plants upon it and a skylight above. There was a band led by Joe McKenna on bass, with drums, a guitar and a wood-grain grand piano. To the right was a Lucite lectern. Behind and to the right of it was a large screen bearing the words “Welcome to Church.” Throughout the celebration, it flashed lyrics to songs and other noteworthy items.

There were no religious symbols I recognized, although there was an emblem above the stage. It was a stylized “V” (see photo) on a multicolored circle with two horizontal and parallel lines connected to it symbolizing the threefold nature of God—spirit, mind and body.

The service began with handshakes and introductions among the people within arm’s length. A black dog with a lavender neckerchief wandered down the main aisle. The music was upbeat, not hard rock; and the community announcements, given by Joe Garcia, the Rev. Liesa Leggett Garcia’s husband, were punctuated with humor. “I’m choosing golf today; my wife is choosing shopping today,” he said, riffing on the opening song. “I’m choosing heaven today.”

After the announcements, we breathed—closed our eyes and concentrated on our breathing, which had a Buddhist air to me. A few moments later, we said the Lord’s Prayer, which to my mind is Christian. But the core principle appeared to be more a philosophy of inclusion and the idea that God encompasses many religious belief systems. Those who want to know more about the particular beliefs of the Science of Mind can look at the church’s Web site, www.lccreno.org.

The month’s sermon theme is “Heaven is Freedom from Addiction” with the week’s being “Dependency or Desire?” The Reverend offered an instructional discussion about addiction, compulsion and dependency, with one definition being “substances or behaviors that give a mood-altering experience.”

She said that part of the reason we have addictions is because we expect life to be easy with instant solutions to any difficulty.

“Life is difficult,” she said. “Accept that and life becomes easier because we stop fighting it.”

The service ended by bringing the children in from Sunday school—a fitting end to a community-oriented and -enhancing morning.

Want to take Brian to church? Call 324-4440 ext. 3525.