The mission of Clifton House, Inc (dba Beacon Haven) is to support proper care and an expectancy of healing through Christian Science nursing.
1908 – Nursing By-law: Woven into the Fabric of Christian Science
The ministry of the Christian Science nurse was woven into the fabric of the Christian Science church in 1908 when Mrs. Eddy added the by-law “Christian Science Nurse” to the Church Manual (Article VII, Section 31). The requirements in this by-law are the source of the Christian Science nurse’s authority and scope of practice.
Christian Science nurses provide skilled, practical care that is grounded in the spiritual healing method of Christian Science.
1920s – Star of Bethlehem: Meeting a Need
As the Christian Science movement grew at the turn of the last century, so did the number of its critics.
At this crossroads moment, two students of Mrs. Eddy, Emma Thompson and her daughter Abigail Dyer Thompson, saw the need for a place for Christian Science nursing where Christian Scientists could practice healing without interference.
With support from generous gifts, Christian Scientists built Star of Bethlehem Home in St. Louis Park. It opened in 1927 with 26 bedrooms and served Christian Scientists and their families for decades. After it closed in the early 1960s, Christian Science nurses worked independently to meet the need.
1970s – Clifton House:Upgrading the Care
Star of Bethlehem closed because changing health care and safety regulations required expensive renovations for the facility. With this closing, Christian Science nursing in the Midwest was again at a crossroads.
In the early 1970s volunteers purchased an office building on Clifton Avenue in Minneapolis that was renovated in 1974 to be the next home for Christian Science nursing in the region.
A group of donors known as the Friends of Clifton House worked together to pay off the mortgage for the facility while other donors known as the Group 500 each pledged funds annually for the on-going operation of Christian Science nursing services.
For decades Clifton House made Christian Science nursing accessible to Christian Scientists and their families both through the facility and with private duty services provided in homes.
2000s – Transition with Visiting Services: Choosing Life
Designed for a mid-20th century operating model that had become too expensive to continue, by 2000 the Clifton House facility was also in need of significant renovations and repairs to meet changing health care requirements.
The facility closed in 2003 and Christian Science nursing was at another crossroads.
Clifton House volunteers communicated with the Christian Science community and decided to “choose life” by creating a Visiting Christian Science Nursing Service to provide care without interruption as preparations were made for a new facility.
2009 – Beacon Haven:Freedom requires choice
Christian Scientists need the choice of Christian Science nursing if they are truly to have freedom to practice.
During the years of fundraising for a new facility, a Visiting Christian Science Nurse Service provided this choice of care for many , but the work of these Christian Science nurses also revealed the importance of having a facility for patients needing more care who would otherwise have to travel great distances to receive it.
Because of this need, even in the midst of national economic insecurity, the board of trustees chose to begin construction of a new Christian Science nursing facility in 2008. Facing this crossroads required a sincere focus on the ever-presence of good, rather than on scarcity.
During the Build a Beacon capital campaign, hundreds of gifts from donors raised millions to build a new facility. Beacon Haven opened in July 2009. Beacon Haven marked its fifth anniversary (2014) by paying off the last of the new facility mortgage.
There is no better testament to the wonderful benefit created by the donors and volunteers of Beacon Haven than the care so many people have received from our Christian Science nurses. The healings achieved have been a blessing to the entire community.