Emergence International (EI) is a worldwide community of Christian Scientists (not to be confused with Scientology) and their families and friends, with the purpose of supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and to advocate for the Christian Science movement. 2004: Ethel Baker, manager of local activities for the Christian Science Mother Church in Boston, MA, said: "There's no question specified in the Church's manual about sexual orientation." She said that the Church's position is to not take a position. Members are expected to work out their own questions of human sexuality. Referring to the membership or employment in the Mother Church, she said that sexual orientation is: "...just not an issue." She concluded: "We're not even individually to judge each other - that's just not Christianity. That's the only way that we'll begin to move forward - that non-judgmental, unconditional love of each other."
2004: Bob Minnocci, an active Christian Scientists for over two decades and an ex-employee of the Mother Church wrote in mid-2004: "I can say emphatically from what I've observed and experienced that a person's sexual orientation is simply not an issue at the church - in employment or membership consideration. I can also say that at no other time in the past 20 years have people from all walks of life - gay and straight - been more welcomed and warmly embraced by The Mother Church than they are today. And from conversations I've had with church officials, I know that the welcome is nonjudgmental and profoundly sincere, based on a simple principle established by church founder Mary Baker Eddy - 'Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals'."
Mission and name
The name derives from a quote by Mrs. Eddy: "Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth."
By the late 1970s, groups of GLBT Christian Scientists were meeting in no fewer than six cities in the United States and United Kingdom. The first conference for representatives from some of these groups met in Chicago in 1983. Following a second conference in 1985, several participants decided to develop a national identity for gay Christian Scientists and Emergence International was born.
Another organization, Gay People in Christian Science (GPICS), was founded by Craig Rodwell in 1978, and was more confrontational in its tactics toward the Mother Church than Emergence.
The organization hosts an annual conference where papers, workshops, and a unique worship service are presented. Conferences are held in various cities in the United States.
- Homosexuality and Christianity
- List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality
- List of Christian Science tenets, prayers, and statements
- Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p. 485
- Bruce Stores. Christian Science: Its Encounter with Lesbian/Gay America. ISBN 0-595-32620-X
- Emergence International — official website