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REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
In the endeavor to discharge the duties assigned by the Constitution and by vote of the Council, your Executive Committee has held nine meetings during the biennium with an average attendance of 95. It has canvassed with care the field of service in the Council's behalf “not belonging to the Corporation and not otherwise provided for," and has sought to create for itself such methods of procedure as will promote the effective conduct of the Council's business. It submits the following report of things done and considered with recommendations concerning the same.
THE ENDS SOUGHT While the Committee has sought to conduct with detailed care the Council's business affairs and is thoroughly persuaded of the importance of vigorously prosecuting the routine tasks of the denomination, it has striven to keep in full view the spiritual ends for which the whole exists. It would feel itself derelict if in its concern for economical financial arrangements and effective organization it were to have no conscious share in those activities which bear directly and visibly on the Christian transformation of human lives and human society. With this in mind it has throughout the year sought conference with the various Council Commissions in the endeavor to reach a sympathetic comprehension of their tasks and to be of service to them as opportunity might offer. In January, 1914, such a conference of an extended nature was held with the Commission on Evangelism, in April of that year a briefer one with the Commission on Religious and Moral Education, and later still with the Commissions on Social Service and on Comity, Federation and Unity. These conferences have been of the greatest advantage to the Committee, enabling it both to feel the significance of the various departments mentioned, and also to discharge its own immediate duties with clearer apprehension of their bearing.
Through the field activities of the Secretary and his monthly reports the Committee has been brought into contact with the life of the denomination at large and has been able to share at least fragmentarily in the experiences of success and defeat which attend that life.
The Treasurer's Report has been placed in your hands, covering in formal way the years 1913–1914 with a summary of the condition of the treasury for the portion of the year 1915 which has expired. The decision to place the Council's finances on the basis of the calendar year was reached because of the desirability of making the reports published in the Year Book and those submitted to the Council cover the same period. Moreover, the fact that the Council in its financial relation with the churches has always proceeded on the basis of the calendar year suggests that the same course be followed in the remainder of its accounting.
As to the future outlook of the treasury it should first of all be remarked that by action taken in 1913 the Council placed in its budget most of the cost of three departments of work, two of which were previously carried from other sources of revenue than Council funds. The average expenditures of these three departments for the years 1910–1913 were as follows in round numbers:
Council office, comprising editorial care of the Year Book, cost
of meeting of the Council, expenses of Commission of Nineteen, etc.....
..$18,000.00 Brotherhood and Social Service work covering the interests of men's organizations, printing and field service. ..
6,000.00 Apportionment Plan, including the salary of a Secretary, office help, printing, travel, etc...
The first of these charges had been met by the per capita contributions of the churches; the second by per
sonal subscriptions; the third by pro rata grants from the mission boards. While While under the
arrangement it was contemplated that the miscellaneous expenses of the Social Service Secretary should come from personal gifts, his salary together with the amounts needed by the other departments named were made chargeable to the Council treasury. It seemed probable that the sum thus called for would equal or exceed the receipts expected from the contribution of four cents per member asked of the churches. This left no provision for the cost of the marked enlargement of the functions of the Council Secretary outlined in the new constitution. Your Committee felt no slight anxiety over this situation.
This anxiety was still further heightened by the fact that during the year 1914 there was an enlarged expenditure incident to the necessary overlapping of service between the outgoing and incoming administration of the Council's office. In view of the whole case thus outlined the mission boards were asked to make a grant of $2,500 per year for the biennium to cover the cost of promoting the Apportionment Plan. The grant was made and the sum paid for the year 1914. Your Committee, however, is glad to report that it has been able by effecting certain economies, whose nature will appear in subsequent statements, to offset the added burdens laid upon the treasury and has, therefore, not been obliged to draw upon the societies during 1915, and has every reason to expect that the fundamentally necessary features of the Council's work can be carried forward for the coming biennium on the proceeds of the four cents per capita contribution now asked for.
The Committee believes that lines of effort previously in force have been carried forward with efficiency and that the new demands of the existing form of organization have been met so far as is possible at this stage of development.
ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNCIL'S OFFICE The combining in the Council office of the various functions above described has created a clerical task of considerable dimensions. The chief factors of this task are as follows:
(a) Collecting, collating and editing Year Book material. (b) The printing and shipment of Council literature.
(c) Work incident to the care of the Apportionment Plan.
(d) Multigraphing, addressing envelopes, etc., for the various Council Commissions.
(e) Stenographic work for the Secretaries, including the Social Service Department.
(1) Routine correspondence in answer to inquiries, etc.
(9) Creation and maintenance of card catalogues, reports, files, etc.
(h) Carbon duplication of addresses, reports, dockets, minutes, etc.
For the discharge of these and miscellaneous kindred duties four regular members of the office staff have been needed throughout the last eighteen months with additional help at times of special pressure. This entails for the current year a cost for clerical work of a little over $3,000.
THE OVERSIGHT OF THE COUNCIL'S OFFICE
It is manifestly undesirable and impossible that the Secretary shall be burdened with the oversight of the detail of office activities. His release from this burden has been effected in part by assigning to his private secretary the direction of office routine. But it was not feasible to ask her in addition to take full responsibilty for issuing the Year Book. Your Committee, therefore, in the interest of economy and the compact organization of the work, asked the Social Service Commission to permit Dr. Atkinson to give half his time to editing the Year Book, the Council treasury assuming in return his expenses in addition to his salary, which was already paid from its funds. This request was granted and Dr. Atkinson undertook the work with fine spirit and great efficiency. Although this plan has served excellently for the past biennium it is clear that it should not be continued. On the one hand such continuance would mean serious impairment of Dr. Atkinson's usefulness in the important department of Social Service and on the other hand would not adequately meet the office problem, since it is essential that there shall be unbroken and responsible conduct of all the detail business of the office throughout the year. Your Committee, therefore, is purposing to secure an assistant for the Secretary to whose care will be given the oversight of office matters above outlined. A little less than half his time will be needed for the work of the Year Book, the remainder for the manifold tasks relating to the Apportionment Plan, to co-operating with the various Commissions, printing, routine correspondence, etc. In addition to this it is the judgment of the Committee that the detail of collecting and disbursing the Council's funds may well be assigned him, acting under the direction of an unsalaried treasurer of the Council. It is believed that such a treasurer can discharge the duties which would thus fall to him without much expenditure of time. The practice of certain of our mission agencies confirms this belief. The net addition to the Council's expenditure through the introduction of such an office assistant will be trilling in case the Social Service Commission resumes the payment of the miscellaneous expenses of its Secretary, and only $1,700 or $1,800 in case those expenses continue to be borne by the Council Treasury.
THE YEAR BOOK
Prolonged attention has been given to the production of the Year Book. In the fall of 1914 a questionnaire was sent out to one hundred and fifty persons especially familiar with the subject, asking their advice as to various questions of form and contents, and soliciting their aid in securing the issue of the volume prior to the spring meetings. There was a hearty response to the suggestion and through the co-operation of many hands, the energetic leadership of Dr. Atkinson and the effective work of the Pilgrim Press, the mailing of the volume began May 12th. It is believed that similar effort the coming spring will result in the appearance of the book by May 1st. The