Science of Mind Archives Thanks Another Wonderful Volunteer!
Melinda Eskridge Keeps Things Organized…
By Jeannette Quinn Bisbee
At the Science of Mind Archives and Library, we have been utterly blessed with fantastic volunteers throughout the years. And that is a huge blessing because we have the enormous task of keeping thousands of books, documents, radio scripts, and numerous types of donated materials organized, indexed, and available for historians, researchers, writers, and lovers of Science of Mind and Ernest Holmes. One of the main volunteers, who helps keep everything straight,is the talented and helpful Melinda Eskridge.
Melinda does much of the data entry into the database of all the items available at the Archives. Throughout the last year, she has been using Excel Spreadsheets to catalogue all the videos, audiotapes, CDs, papers, pamphlets, photographs, documents, and books that have been added since the merger of International with United to form Centers for Spiritual Living. Melinda said, “This project helps when James gets calls from the public about whether we have a document or book; he can query the database and find out if we have the material requested and exactly where it is stored.”
I asked Melinda what has been the most interesting project she has worked on so far, “It would have to be cataloging all the radio scripts. There were thousands of scripts from when Ernest Holmes did the program, This Thing Called Life, followed by others in the church like Dr. Bill Hornaday, who continued on with the radio program in subsequent years.” Melinda continued, “At times the program was aired everyday—sometimes a brief program in the morning and a longer program in the afternoon. Sometimes the program was on each day, Monday through Friday. There was even the occasional Saturday program. So, the number of scripts we have is enormous. It felt great to get them organized.”
Melinda’s path as a volunteer of the Archives first began with finding Religious Science. “In 1995, I was depressed about a relationship I was in, and I was up early one Sunday morning flipping through the TV channels mindlessly when I heard these words, ‘There’s a power for Good in the Universe greater than you are, and you can use it…’ It was Dr. Roger Teel from the Mile Hi Church, and it was the closing minutes of a program called ‘New Design for Living.’ So I wondered ‘who was that and why did he say that?’ I was so interested that I went down to the public library and got the book, The Science of Mind. I kept renewing the book over and over, trying to read and understand what it was talking about. I researched as best I could, trying to find out if Science of Mind was some kind of a cult, and I recorded the program faithfully each Sunday morning since it came on at 5:30am when I first found it! I finally worked up the courage, and I attended a Science of Mind Center—the Mile Hi Church—for the first time. A couple of weeks after I attended, I received a letter thanking me for coming, and inviting me to attend an introductory lecture. I did and I was ‘hooked’—immediately signed up for my first class. I was still scared, but I felt like I was home. I started attending church every week, attending as many classes as I could. And I’m still there. I have been a Practitioner for 12 years. And, I began volunteering at the Archives when I learned that I could fulfill some of my CLU’s doing service there.”
Throughout the years, Melinda’s service has taken varied and interesting pathways: she has been a teaching assistant to ministers teaching Science of Mind classes; she has worked at Hospice; she has assisted Dr. Patty Luckenbach with her International Animal Ministry. And, then, in 2012 Melinda made her way to the Archives.
When asked about her first impression of the Archives, Melinda said, “I loved it. James Abbott, the director, does a great job of showing you all around the place. I was amazed and dumbfounded by all we have in the Archives. For example, people don’t even realize we have seven rooms in the Archives: one room is for the audiovisual material, one room is for the rare books, one room is for the minutes of every organization involved in Science of Mind, the main room is the library of books, another whole room is for the documents, a small room is for storage, and a final room is filled with materials that haven’t even been processed, yet. That is the main room I work on—trying to get all of the materials we have collected or that have been donated organized and indexed.|
What did Melinda find most surprising? “It was seeing one of Ernest Holmes’ flannel shirts. I never thought I would see of one of Ernest’s shirts in the Archives. But I love it. Also, it was neat to see The Science of Mind textbook translated into Russian, Swedish, Spanish, and Braille—it makes you understand how Science of Mind is known around the world!”
Melinda would like others to know, “C’mon on down to the Archives. There is so much to see and look at. And, it is a great place to volunteer and we still have so much to do. I’ve really enjoyed my time here; it suits me!”
We are blessed to have Melinda and all the other fabulous volunteers who make sharing the resources of the Science of Mind Archives and Library with the world possible…and easier every day. So, follow Melinda’s advice, if you are interested in preserving and sharing the sacred work of Ernest Holmes, “C’mon on down to the Archives!”
If you are interested in volunteering at the Archives please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-496-1361.
Jeannette Quinn Bisbee R.Sc.P has been published in Science of Mindmagazine, and was an Insight Speaker at the 2013 Asilomar Convention. Her passion is the Archives, and she contributes this blog twice monthly highlighting for readers around the world the wonderful projects and items available in the Science of Mind Archives. She is currently involved in a book project based on material from the Archives and Science of Mindmagazine.