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days for school purposes but it has proved too small for the increased enrollment. An addition to the church has been recently built.
This field among the Latin races of the Southwest of our country is broadening every year and is promising large returns.
The Education Society stands for a great ideal — the molding of the religious life of our young people in colleges, academies and in the mission schools of the Southwest. Believing that soon these youth are to become citizens and leaders in newly formed communities, it seeks to win them over to the broad service of church and state. This is the end sought and as such appeals mightily for the prayers and gifts of our Congregational fellowship.
The Society also seeks closer fellowship with our churches and offers itself as the instrument in consummating the great task to which our denomination is called.
The Rev. Frank M. Sheldon, formerly state superintendent of missions in Wisconsin and pastor of important churches of the West, came to the secretaryship of this Society in September, 1914, and he brought to this position a broad knowledge of the Western field and its needs, a high order of executive ability and a broad comprehension of the educational problems that face the denomination.
REPORT OF CONGREGATIONAL SUNDAY
SCHOOL AND PUBLISHING SOCIETY
No period in the history of “The Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society” has been marked by greater activity than that covered by the last report made to The National Council covering the years from 19101913, and the present report 1913–1915. This period of five years marks an epoch in which the Society has taken a greatly broadened conception of its work in every department and in addition has sought to serve the denomination in a number of new and interesting fields.
1. In the department devoted to Missionary and Extension work the growing need of our schools in small and missionary fields for more advanced educational work and ideals has been met by the appointment, as opportunity has permitted, of men especially capable of leadership in educational matters and competent to introduce the best teaching and educational methods. It is a significant fact that "graded lessons” have been adopted more widely in the territory often thought of as “Missionary” than in the larger and supposedly advanced Churches and Sunday Schools. This has been due in a very great degree to the work of the seventy odd field workers of the Society acting in the closest co-operation with our publication and selling agencies. In a sense each of these workers has been an advance agent for the propaganda of the educational, editorial and business departments with which it comes in direct contact through many thousand transactions yearly. Even though there would appear to have been some diminution in the number of new schools started by our field workers on account of changed conditions, it should be remembered that greater emphasis has been placed on the bettering the Sunday School along our entire front and the services of the Society in this as in every other department are needed to meet our teachers and workers in their own communities for popularizing the best educational ideals while advanc
ing the practical missionary and evangelizing standards. The unity of the whole Sunday School field has become so apparent that the new phases of our educational work established by Dr. Winchester have been incorporated in this department and the work is being carried on under the immediate direction of the Society's educational secretaries located at various strategical points such as Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco, etc. The situation demands that the extension and educational field work be not severed, but more closely united as a unit of denominational effort; and moreover, it is scarcely less important that this work of “planting” and nurturing" Sunday Schools should be kept in closest contact with the source of supply.
2. The high standards which have been reached in recent years by the editorial and publishing work of the Society have been maintained during the past two years. The attention of the last Council was called to the publication of the “New Pilgrim Hymnal” which is being generally adopted by our Churches. Attention is now called to the splendid book for the Sunday School, “Worship and Song," which has recently been issued, giving our Sunday Schools an equally good book for their purposes.
3. The business department shows an increase in volume of sales. Changes made in our Chicago office and the appointment of Mr. Vernon M. Schenck as manager will add to the efficiency at that point.
Appropriations from the profits of the business department to the missionary and educational departments 1913 to 1915 amounted to $20,965.87.
4. As was pointed out at the last Council the acquiring and equipping of our new printing plant has proved of great importance and definitely commits the Society to the policy of printing and publishing its own supplies whether missionary, educational or otherwise. The developments of the past few years also show that no backward or temporizing steps are now possible and make entirely clear the imperative necessity of building up a larger working capital. Large improvements have already been made in the plant up to the present time and it is the purpose to
add other accessories from time to time until the Society shall manufacture its product complete from cover to
The permanent housing of the very valuable machinery and product of the Society would suggest the husbanding of the greater portion of the profit until such time as the Society is enabled to purchase or erect a building of its own. It has already been pointed out that the past few years of the Society have constituted a period of great undertakings and there is only one solution to the various problems confronting the Society and that is to move forward along a well-defined line of action that will ultimately place all departments of the Society on a plane of at least equality with similar institutions of other denominations.
MISSIONARY AND EXTENSION DEPARTMENT The policy of the Society in extending its field work to the Eastern, as well as the Western parts of the country, in response to earnest demands, has continued to meet with hearty approval. This is made clear by the active co-operation of the churches and by their generous support. Opportunities are found in all parts for Sunday School extension. The new states still have multitudes of communities waiting for the planting of religious institutions. While the needy districts are not as vast geographically as in former years they seem to be as numerous. The changes of population and foreign immigration give ever increasing opportunities, and make earnest .appeals in the older and Eastern states.
During the two years since the last meeting of the National Council there have been organized 524 new schools, and in accordance with the custom of years, with scarce an exception in places where there was no other Sunday School. This is 47 less than for the two preceding years, due in part to the closer co-operation of the different denominations by which it is possible to cover the ground with fewer organizations, and in part because of the larger service given for strengthening and improving the work already in hand. There were reorganized 198 schools, which is ten more than for the preceding period. During, the first year 592 schools were aided with grants of literature, and in the second year 665. The total number of grants of literature was 2,396. The number of schools aided was twenty-three in excess of the preceding period, while it is hopeful to note that the number of grants was 178 less. This is a slight indication of schools coming a little more quickly to self-support.
But the greatest advance has been in responding to the calls for aid in the adjustment of schools to the use of graded literature, and in improving the teaching ability and whole character of religious instruction. The institutes and conferences have increased in the two years from 1,150 to 2,053. The educational demand of the churches has called for workers of the best possible attainment, and for an increase in the number of thoroughly equipped men who become specialists. The number of these workers has increased from 62 to 67. The number of temporary workers has decreased from 22 in 1913 to nine in the present year.
The entire income for the two years has been $170,850.99, which is $896.75 in advance of the previous biennial. In yielding to the undiminished call for extension and the enlarged demand for educational work, including for the last year the financing of the Educational Department to the extent of $7,500, there has been expended in the two years $9,561.70 more than for the preceding period; thus leaving a deficit of $7,515.44, which required to be borrowed from the equalizing legacy fund. When returned, this fund will be $744.47 in excess of the amount at the beginning of the biennium. There has also been a slight increase in the permanent funds of the Society and in the conditional gifts. The Society has had notice that it is remembered in a number of bequests. The financial outlook for sustaining the extension and educational work was never more promising.
THE EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT
Large service has been rendered during the two years by Secretary Winchester and those associated with him. The Pilgrim Teacher has been strengthened and made a