Church relocates reading room
Library moves across Main Street
Those searching for the new location of the Christian Science Reading on Main Street won’t have to look too hard — it’s directly across the street from its old spot.
Susan Amert called the acquisition of the choice location at 65 E. Main St. – formerly home to a barber shop – divine intervention.
“We didn’t think we’d have a chance to get it,” Amert said. “We were about fourth in line. We were praying and praying.”
Christian Science believes in the power of prayer.
“Everyone in front of us dropped out,” Amert said. In days the board had to gather again and agree to become the new tenants at 65 E. Main St.
“We did not know the cost (of renovations) or how much was the rent,” she said. “We said, ‘Yes’ in faith.”
The group’s local members began to look for a new location last summer when the storefront it rented at 92 E. Main St. was purchased and the new rental agreement was more than the group was expecting. The property is slated for redevelopment.
“We had been there around 15 years and in all that time our rent had not gone up,” Amert said.
Suddenly, they became aware that the barber shop had been vacated.
“The building belongs to the International Order of Odd Fellows,” she explained, adding that Newark Camera operates next door and the IOOF Lodge is on the second floor. “It’s a historic building.”
And so, Amert said, the group began the effort to get the space transformed from a barber shop to a reading room.
While the new location is not much different in size, its shape leads to better flow and function of the space. In the well-lit room are shelves full of books — both for purchase and to read in house — plus magazines, CDs, hymnals and lessons on CD.
“We have lots of reference materials for the study of the bible,” she said.
Also on the shelves are books about Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the denomination and their secondary text called “Science and Health.”
The biggest change in the new location is the addition of technology. Christian Science periodicals, which were bound editions piled on shelves at the old reading room, are now on a computer and can be cross-referenced in search of specific authors, titles or topics.
“All those bound editions have been moved to the church,” Amert noted. First Church of Christ, Scientist is at 45 W. Park Place.
The Christian Science Reading Room is incredibly quiet and relaxed. While the never-ending vehicle and pedestrian traffic can be seen from the front window, it’s barely heard.
“We wanted to be where we could be available,” she said, noting that includes being available to University of Delaware students. “We are open to people of all denominations, people with faith in God and without.”
That visible location brings in the curious and those with specific needs, she said. Volunteers in the reading room help where possible and also direct folks to other community resources, including their neighbors at Newark United Methodist Church.
“Our emphasis is on the spiritual,” she said. “We are spiritual first responders.”
The Christian Science Reading Room is open Tuesday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m. and from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday. Call 302-456-1428 for more information.
While there is a lot of hustle and bustle on East Main Street in Newark, inside the Christian Science Reading Room it’s quiet, making it a good place for study and reflection.
Susan Amert is excited about the new location of the Christian Science Reading Room, now at 65 E. Main St. It operates the same as the prior reading room across the street did, offering a quiet place to read, meditate, study and pray.