Excerpt of letter from a prisoner to the Committee
Excerpt of letter from a prisoner to the Committee

The Christian Science Committee on Institutional Work in California coordinates and unifies the various institutional activities conducted in California by Christian Science branch churches. We are over-seen by “Six Select Churches,” who ratify our elections of State Committee members, approve our Bylaw changes, and review our financial statements.

These committees are comprised of branch church representatives. Their function is to provide support and guidance to chaplains and workers and to advise their church memberships of committee needs. Each local committee is comprised of representatives appointed by their branch church. The local committees recruit and support chaplains to serve in the local facilities.

The Committee is comprised of nine members who act as liaisons to the Local Committees. Its function is to coordinate the activities of the Local Committees and to act as a single voice when communicating with institutional authorities. The Committee interviews and recommends applicants for the chaplaincy. They publish the results of healing activity on this website and also publish an annual Progress Report.

It also maintains  “Our Institutional Procedures based on over 50 years of experience. These “Procedures” are used by Chaplains, Chaplain’s Assistants and Local Committee representatives in carrying out the work. Regional workshops are offered by the State Committee to provide training for Chaplains, informational updates regarding state laws and fresh inspiration at all levels of institutional activity.

A full time secretary supports the work. There are nine members who serve three year terms. We are a non-profit religious organization, and receive grants and gifts from individuals and churches.

Click here for roster of current members.

We Support:

  • 18 Local Committees
  • 158 Branch Churches
  • 158 Representatives
  • 61 Workers
  • 50 Chaplains

We Serve:

  • State and Federal Prisons
  • County Jails except in L.A. County
  • VA Hospitals & Clinics
  • Juvenile Facilities

Our Purpose:
The purpose of Christian Science institutional work is to provide healing and redemption through prayer and one-on-one discussions, as taught by Jesus, to inmates and residents of institutions in California such as state prisons, county jails, work camps, jails, mental hospitals, youth facilities, and Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. This unique Christian ministry is extended primarily to those who are confined in institutions and thus prevented from attending a Christian Science church, contacting a practitioner, or visiting a Reading Room.

Our Mission:
To recognize the regenerating and healing light of Christ in every inmate, patient, and staff member in every penal institution and VA hospital in the State.

The elimination for the need of penal institutions through spiritual regeneration of individuals and society in general.

Who maintains this site?

David FowlerEditor in Chief
David Fowler has been a professional marketer and copywriter for 30 years. He’s also a best selling author of books on advertising. In his early life, David was the Co-Director of the Rivendell School in New Hampshire, the first “open-setting” community based treatment center for severely disturbed juvenile offenders in the nation.  The school was run primarily by Christian Scientists. According to studies by the State of Massachusetts, the Rivendell School achieved a remarkable recidivism (return to crime) rate of 50%. David also served as the Christian Science State Chaplain for Connecticut where he regularly visited state mental hospitals and the Federal penitentiary in Danbury.
Gabriel SerafiniWebmaster
Gabriel Serafini has been designing websites since 1996 and is the founder of Share the Practice, a web design consultancy that focuses on helping people share their spirituality online. His father, Robert “Bob” McVey, found Christian Science while serving time in the California prison system as a convicted felon. Bob ended up getting released early from prison due to the change in his entire world-view as a result of finding Christian Science, and went on to receive a pardon from the governor of California so that he could go back and serve as a Christian Science Chaplain in the prison system.