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cerns similarly affected. This is due largely to the fact that through the acquisition of our printing plant we have been able directly to control the costs of production and to effect certain economies that would have been difficult or impossible to achieve otherwise. In considering, therefore, the success of the Society's new manufacturing venture there should be added to the profits actually made by the printing plant, and the annuity paid, constituting an easy method of purchase, a very considerable sum saved in the actual costs of some $60,000 annually of the Society's work done directly by or under the supervision of this department. For this reason the Board of Directors, as noted in the two annual reports issued since the last Council, has not hesitated to go forward in the equipping of the plant to meet the full requirement of its own and the denomination's work.
From $12,000 to $15,000 have thus been added to the value of our equipment in improvements made either to better the conditions under which our employees work or to promote manufacturing efficiency. Competent authorities have recently characterized the plant as one of the best in Massachusetts and the Board of Directors is confident, from results already shown, that the money thus invested will return good dividends in the form of increased productions and a higher standard of work.
Some sixty books have been printed at the plant since its ownership by the Society and each of these furnishes a test of the foregoing statement. No better example, however, could be brought to the attention of the Council than the present Year Book of the denomination, which has been produced by the plant on a strictly competitive basis, with a large saving in money to the denomination, and with entire satisfaction to the Council's Committee on Publications.
Appropriations from the profits of the business department to the missionary and educational departments 1913 to 1915 amounted to $20,965.87.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MINISTERIAL
BY SECRETARY WILLIAM A. RICE
This October completes 29 years of the work of this Board. Not all the time a Board, but at first only a committee of the National Council, then a Board of Trustees and since 1907, “The Congregational Board of Ministerial Relief." This is the Board's first biennial statement to the Council. Heretofore its statements have been triennial. We are able, however, to make a comparison between the last two bienniums.
During the two years ending with July 31, 1915, the total receipts have been $121,895.69 as against $157.949.76 for the former two years. During those two years, a special gift to the Endowment Fund of $50,000 was received. Omitting this unusual and most generous, anonymous gift from the comparison, the total, usual receipts of the former period were $107,949.76, and the gain in receipts of the present biennium over the former was $13,945.93. In view of the financial conditions and the disturbances in the social and business world of the past two years the results are most encouraging. There has been added to
added to the Endowment Fund $28,140.77, which now is $315,046.43, at cost or book value.
There was paid to 240 pensioners or families, representing nearly 500 dependent persons, $64,701.53, and including amounts paid to State organizations for the veterans under their direct care, the total amount paid out in pensions was $65,544.72.
The number of pensioners and the amounts paid to them according to groups of states, were as follows: New England States
$ 2,883.43 Middle Atlantic States
8,155.00 Southern States
7,770.75 Middle Western States 95
30,136.12 Rocky Monntain States
3,116.00 Pacific Coast States
11,399.00 Hawaiian Islands
The reason why there are so few pensioners under this Board in the New England States, is because each of these States has a State Relief Society to care for those retired ministers and members of ministers' families, whose labors have been in the State.
The payments made to pensioners as compared with the former two years show an increase of $9,976.21.
The 240 families which have been under the care of the Board for a part or all of the time are pretty well scattered over the entire country, 42 States being represented in their homes. In addition to these the Hawaiian Islands, Canada and Germany are represented.
The average annual payment to each pensioner, or family, for the full two years was $177.91. This was made possible by the Christmas Fund, payments from which are special and in addition to the regular pensions. The amount of this fund for the two holiday periods was $6,129.50. If in the minds of any there has been doubt as to the value and wisdom of this fund, these facts in its favor must be convincing.
Of the 240 pensioners, 126 were men and 114 women. In the families represented were 122 minor children of whom 95 were sixteen or under and of these 42 were ten or under.
Some of the pensioners had attained a great age, one being in his 98th year when he died, and another in his 91st. Of those still living, one is in the 95th year and another in the 91st. The majority of the regular pensioners are over 70, and we are really surprised that so many of them are over 80. Lives consecrated to God's service and lived under the joyful privilege of blessing others, with an approving conscience and a serene faith, are apt to lengthen into the shadows and wait for the slowly setting sun. They do not, however, escape the perils of the long and laborious journey, and in the last mile or more they often require the steadying hand and loving good cheer which the Church furnishes in the ministry of its Board of Relief.
During the two years, 34 of these veterans finished their pilgrimage and are at home in the Father's house. They left our Churches richer, not only for the service they rendered them, but also from the fact that their long years of life gave to the Churches the opportunity for the cultivation of the tenderest affection and sympathy, in providing for their comfort. Every act of kindness or deed of love refines the soul, sweetens the disposition and makes one rich toward God. Doubtless this is one reason why God's providence puts in our way those who need our love and assistance.
The cause of Ministerial Relief can be made a means of grace in all our Churches and the “collection for the saints," one of the holiest and most joyful acts of worship. Its appeal can be so presented by the pastor as to promote devotion and worship and stir the noblest sentiments of the heart.
To provide for the aged ministers is a credit to the Church and is in no way dishonoring to the ministers. The financial rewards of the ministry must always be meager. It is really a greater reward to be able to say that “the poor have the gospel preached unto them," than that the minister receives a large salary. He proclaims “good news” that is "without money and without price." Therefore he cannot set a price on his ministry. It is true as we read, "that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel,” but living of the gospel is a very different thing from an income large enough to insure against the days of sickness, incapacity and old age.
Here is the holy call for the strong to bear the burdens of the weak and to reward with loving consideration those who gave their best when they could.
Our Churches need to increase their interest and enlarge their gifts in behalf of the men and their wives who after long years of devoted service and sacrifice linger with us in the period of old age.
REPORT OF THE ANNUITY FUND FOR
BY SECRETARY WILLIAM A. RICE
At the Fifteenth Triennial Session of the National Council held in Kansas City, the Rev. Samuel Lane Loomis, D.D., and the Rev. Frank J. Goodwin, D.D., reported on the memorial from Southern California which the Council of 1910 had referred to the Board of Relief, and presented in behalf of that Board a plan for Ministerial Annuities. It was voted by the Council “That the Board of Ministerial Relief be instructed to undertake this work and to create a department in accordance with this general plan to be known as the Department of Annuities: that, if necessary, an application be made to the Legislature of the state of Connecticut that the charter of the Board of Ministerial Relief be so amended that the Annuity Fund may be made a department of its work, or that a new charter be secured in Connecticut or some other State, to cover the field of Ministerial Annuities, and in the event of its being necessary to secure a new charter that the members of the Annuity Fund and the Board of Ministerial Relief be the same individuals, but that their funds shall be kept separate and distinct and all their meetings shall be held independently: that the Board of Ministerial Relief be empowered to secure such funds and to engage such assistance and to take other steps as in its judgment would be necessary for the efficient inauguration and prosecution of this undertaking and to carry out the will of the National Council.”. Among the "other steps" which the Council advised the Board to take were these: "To appeal to the Ministers of our Churches in the interest of their brethren and their families, to join the Fund at once -- to appeal to the Churches and individuals to make such generous offerings to the Fund, at the outset of the movement, as would insure that an earnest and united effort be made to