Brief History of the California State Committee and its Relationship with other Christian Science Organizations

In 1955-56 with the support of The Board of Directors of The Mother Church, the Christian Science Committee on Institutional Work in California (the “State Committee”) was organized. Due to the federal and state governments’ involvement, this work had been previously done by local churches in cooperation with the Committees on Publication in California, and The Mother Church. The Committees on Publication were overwhelmed with the amount of work and information they had to process and gratefully reassigned the work to this committee. For many years the State Committee was a nonprofit, unincorporated association. It was incorporated as a nonprofit charitable corporation in 2017. There are six branch churches (the “Sponsoring Churches”) that oversee and supervise the work of the State Committee. Three of these branch churches are located in Northern California and three in Southern California.

Since its formation the State Committee has worked to support, train, oversee and help fund local Christian Science institutional committees that are composed of representatives from local Christian Science branch churches and societies. These committees are unincorporated associations. There are more than a dozen such local committees distributed around California. These local committees, in turn, are the front line for supporting, training and overseeing the chaplains and chaplain assistants.  The State Committee advises local committees regarding changes in the law and provides training and guidance for all aspects of local Christian Science institutional work. The State Committee maintains  Procedures which provide guidelines for every function of the local committee and provides a “Liaison” to coordinate between the local committees and the State Committee.

All organized Christian Science institutional work in California is part of the State Committee network except the Los Angeles County Christian Science Institutional Committee. The LA Committee predated the State Committee and has always been a separate organization. The LA Committee serves Los Angeles County jails while the State Committee supports local committees that provide services to the federal and state institutions within Los Angeles County (as well as the local and state and federal institutions throughout the rest of California). The State Committee is extremely grateful for the wonderful work that the LA Committee has done and continues to do in bringing the Christ and Christian Science to the LA County jails.