Phone conference systems for services and meetings

by Jason Marsh, Jon Mattson, and Grace Burke

In response to several inquiries, I thought it would be good to post what Auburn church uses for our phone conferencing system.

You can get a good Polycom speakerphone that is usually used by corporate conference rooms for about $150-$200, but it may only pick up voices from about 10 feet away.  We have a Polycom 2EX with satellite wired microphones that we pass around.  This Polycom is closer to $400.  Voice quality is excellent, but it doesn’t pick up music very well, but music over the phone always sound poor anyway.  You can also get wireless satellite mics.  A good source is Polycom

This system works well for the size of our congregation, but wouldn’t work in a large church building unless everyone sits close together (which has other benefits!). Larger rooms will need to feed the audio from the microphone system into the phone line. We tried to set this up and found that for our size of space, it wasn’t necessary and was fairly difficult.

We keep the base station near the first reader. The two satellite microphones are wired directly into the base station, and works in our auditorium which has only about 4 rows of chairs.

We use a paid conference calling system, so that no one has to incur long distance charges, but there are a variety of free conference calling companies where there is no charges to the church. I would Google “free conference calling” or the name of the paid service we use is PGI – ReadyConference Plus (it comes out to about $3 per hour per caller).

Hope that helps!

Feel free to comment below with further questions.

The Ten Commandments in Contemporary Language

A few years ago my Sunday School class and I brainstormed how we could make the Ten Commandments ‘relevant’ to our daily experience. We didn’t feel like we had vital ways to apply the commandments. For example, we felt we could check-off the box for “not stealing” and “not killing”, so were those still something we should keep active in our daily decisions? So, we re-framed them, and came up with this list.

As a resource, I’m providing them in three ways: within the text of this post, as a PDF document, and as a Word document  (so you can refine them further for your own Sunday School class).

Enjoy these, please share, but always please include the original source, in this case Jason Marsh.

Ten Commandments in contemporary language

By Jason Marsh, October, 2011

1)            Accept no “other” outside the Infinite – only God

2)            Have no “image” (thought) but perfection – for self and others

3)            Expect good, expect healing, don’t use God’s name if you don’t mean it – why pray if you don’t expect results?

4)            Live in the Now – on the Sabbath and every day, hour, and minute

5)            Love without prejudice (to age or bodily description, including parents )

6)            Encourage others and yourself by not killing ideas -> bring positive energy into all your interactions/activities

7)            Respect the sanctity of identity & body – for yourself and others (no body manipulation)

8)            Acknowledge abundance for yourself

9)            Be honest to yourself, and therefore others

10)         Acknowledge abundance for others, humbly see that their good is included in your good

Note: first 3 relate to your relationship to God, 4th is a transition (both), and last 6 relate to your relationship with others.

Eddy letters shared by Michael Davis

At the Summit, Mike Davis shared some wonderfully moving letters written by Mary Baker Eddy from the MBE Library. There have been some requests for information about how to obtain the letters.

You can obtain these by calling the MBE Library at (617) 450-7000, and you want the ‘research’ department. When I requested it, the charge was $6.50 for copying and handling fees.

The ID numbers for the sympathy letters are:

L10887 (To Mrs. Grace E Foster: “I have waited for the first sad hours to pass before writing to you….”)

L05613 (To Mittie Whitcomb: “My beloved ones, my soul pleads for your consolations and even peace, pleads that now, in this deep affliction you “acquaint thyself with God and be at peace”….)

The number for the one about readmitting the Nickersons into membership is:

L00075 (“…now, as of old, divine compassion reiterates the tender rebuke: ‘Go, and sin no more.”)


Suggested Reading: Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening” by Diana Butler Bass

Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual AwakeningLooking for an interesting viewpoint about modern-day Christianity and the challenges and opportunities facing not only Christian Science churches but all religions and churches today? You might check out “Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening” by Diana Butler Bass.

Kim Shippey discusses this book in the November 19, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel (subscription required) here:

Amazon link to the book:

Note the committee does not formally endorse or necessarily agree with all the contents of this book, but hopefully it can serve to further the conversation about where we’re all headed.

If you’ve read this book, please leave a comment and share what you thought of it. Also if you have any other books you’d like others to consider checking out, share that too!