Inside Scoop – Getting to know Dan Wood, Board member and top Christian Scientist!
Listen to samples of Dan’s classical piano skills by scrolling to the end of this article!
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Dan Wood now resides in Los Angeles County and has ingrained himself into our Southern California community! Introduced to Christian Science by his father, he has been First Reader at 36th Church of Christ, Scientist, Los Angeles, a Sunday school teacher and a member of several church committees.
Dan joined the Broadview board in December 2012. “I would say that it is a privilege to be asked, and I think it is an honor,” said Dan, when asked about his role.
Broadview employee Ben Egwuenu took some time to get to know Dan better for this newsletter.
Ben: What was your experience like when you first began as a Board member?
Dan: Broadview has always been a first-rate facility which Christian Scientists feel is a great privilege to use. My view of it began to expand at the same time Broadview was expanding to have many events and workshops through the year [about the same time I joined] in addition to Christian Science nursing services. So, I never knew a Broadview that didn’t do this! It has really expanded my view of what the Christian Science community is – that we are all one, big family and not just a bunch of separate churches. My first sense of identity as a Christian Scientist is that of Broadview.
Ben: What do you love most about being a Board member?
Dan: I love that I get to sit at the same table and share ideas of inspiration with several top Christian Scientists and practitioners!
Being on the Board keeps me on my toes by being in the same discussions with several working practitioners who think metaphysically hour-to-hour as a living and career. The monthly meetings help to regularize and formalize my search for inspiration and to articulate [Christian Science] treatments for specific challenges (from funding to facilities to personnel) including issues that come up in the news like world beliefs about healthcare.
Ben: Sounds like a great foundation to work from. Of course, I’m sure you have some other interests, too. What else do you do when not “working” for Broadview?
Dan: In 1985, I was assigned to be the California correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor by then-Monitor Editor Kay Fanning. I only stopped working for the Monitor after 39 years in September 2015 and have devoted a surprising (to me) amount of regular, specific, focused time to prayer regarding the world and healing for my wife and family. I also recorded a CD of 13 classical piano pieces three years ago, and my goal is to do another. I have to mention that I met a group of sterling Christian Scientists on a Bible tour of Israel last year, and the same group is going to New Zealand this year.
Ben: You mention “top” and “sterling” Christian Scientists. How would you define a “top” Christian Scientist?
Dan: Someone who is highly dedicated to learning and demonstrating the teachings of Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy and furthering the cause of Christian Science in the world – and has translated that into working for the church(es), being a Journal-listed practitioner, writing for the [Christian Science] periodicals, giving testimonies [of healing], attending Christian Science lectures and workshops, and has a lifetime of experience in all of the above.
Ben: So, with all of your work in the Christian Science movement, can we consider you a “top” Christian Scientist, too?
Dan: I think the jury’s still out on that one!
Ben: Ok, we’ll let our readers decide. Can you tell us about your most interesting experience as a Monitor correspondent?
Dan: I was sent to Banda Aceh, Indonesia in 2005 to do a three-part series on how they were dealing with the aftermath of the tsunami which had killed 125,000 in that specific area. (In addition to bigger numbers elsewhere). I have given several talks on how I was prayerfully led to the right stories amidst untold chaos and a population dealing with severe loss of homes and family.
The way people were spontaneously forming new family units, praying and deriving inspiration from each other — such as building prayer facilities using rocks, nails and leftover wood fragments — has inspired me deeply for well over a decade. A comment that really embodied the spirit of the people was from an Acinese man standing in the rubble: “You can tell the world that we Acinese know the difference between what is eternal and what is temporal. We WILL rebuild.”
Ben: That sounds incredibly challenging and rewarding. What about your interest in classical piano? How did that come about?
Dan: I have a 6,000-word essay I wrote about this and gave to my daughter on her 16th birthday – basically that everyone, where I grew up (in Columbus, Ohio), took piano lessons, but I had always considered it to be somewhat of a “sissy” endeavor. Then, my mom brought home Vladimir Horowitz’ famous album of his return to Carnegie Hall (after a 12-year absence of touring.). After that, I always dreamed of either being a pianist or playing beautiful classical piano at home. I eventually studied at the New England Conservatory and the Kodaly Institute (both in Boston).
But…all came to a screeching halt when I had an accident involving the tip of my left, middle finger. I agonized about it for three years before prayerfully overcoming the challenge and producing a classical album of myself. I am currently working on a second CD.
Ben: Wow! We’ve learned a lot of new things about you, Dan. Is there anything else that might surprise us?
Dan: I am President of a local Toastmasters Club (a club that helps its members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills), which I joined about two years ago. I achieved the first certificate of competency and am aimed at the next level.
Thank you so much, Dan, for sharing a bit of your life story and personal interests with us. We are so grateful for your work as a Broadview board member and look forward to hearing you play piano at Carnegie Hall someday!