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Church's Reading Rooms Are Open To Everyone

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The Church of Christ, Scientist locates what it calls "reading rooms" in public places. But few people outside the church ever step inside. Tulsa's Christian Science Reading Room is located downtown, blocks from the church which operates it. The distance is intentional. "It's a gift to the community, really, more or less," said librarian Elliot Glaser. The reading room contains a collection of religious books and periodicals including "Science and Health," a principal text of the denomination, and the newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor.

Dorothy Brooks-Herrick, a member of the church, comes here once a week. "If you want to find something you naturally wouldn't have in your home, you can come to a reading room," Brooks-Herrick said. She says a lifetime of studying the Bible has both guided and inspired her. "It is faith, with understanding. Christian Science is understanding our relationship to God," she said.

And though the reading room is available to anyone, most people walk by without stepping inside. "If we even got one percent of them come in here, we would feel great. But we don't," said Glaser. "On the other hand, I feel every time somebody comes through the door with a spiritual question or needs prayer and can find some kind of an answer here, then we've done our job."

The church does not try to convert the people who go the reading room. They just want to advance their study of the scriptures. That's why the reading rooms are located where the people are. These followers believe Christian education should not be confined just to the church.

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