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est in the Bible Society on the part of all our Churches. The Commission is informed that the contributions of Congregational Churches to the Society have been pitifully small during recent years, amounting to only $1,136.53 in 1914, and not having reached the sum of $2,000 in any one year since 1909. These figures do not cover contributions which may have been made to Auxiliary Bible Societies, but they surely indicate a state of affairs which should make a strong appeal to the self-respect and missionary zeal of our Churches.
We therefore recommend that the National Council urge every Congregational Church in the United States to send an offering, however small it may have to be, to the American Bible Society before the Centennial next May, or if that should not be possible, before the close of the Centennial year, -- the year 1916.
. We also recommend that the National Council request all our ministers to recognize in some worthy way the Centennial of the American Bible Society, informing their congregations of the Society's great and growing work, of its splendid generosity to our Missions, of its unique place among the agencies which are at work for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and of its continuing claim upon our liberal support.
LIVINGSTON L. TAYLOR
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON INTER
The American Section of the Committee appointed at Edinburgh in 1909 to arrange for the next International Congregational Council consisted of the following members: President W. Douglas Mackenzie, D.D., Hartford, Conn.; Colonel C. A. Hopkins, Brookline, Mass.; Rev. S. Parkes Cadman, D.D., Brooklyn, N. Y.; Hon. Thomas C. MacMillan, Chicago Ill.; Rev. Asher Anderson, D.D., ex officio. At Dr. Anderson's request Dr. Herring succeeded him ex officio as a member of the Committee. Feeling that they were too few in number and too scattered to carry out so important a task, the Committee agreed to invite the Executive Committee of the National Council to co-operate with them in arranging for the next International Council. To this the Executive Committee heartily agreed. Rev. Hubert C. Herring was invited to act as Secretary of the Joint Committee.
The following Draft of Proposals for the next meeting of the International Council was drawn up and approved. It has been submitted to the Congregational bodies of other countries and approval either formal or tentative has been signified by the Congregational Unions of England and Wales, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Australasia and Victoria.
THE PLAN PROPOSED
In the ordinary course the next meeting of the International Congregational Council would be held in the United States, and in the year 1918. A forecast of the meetings of the National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States shows that it would be very difficult for the churches of that country to entertain the International Council in any year prior to 1920, which is the Tercentenary of the arrival of the Pilgrims. It is suggested that the Council should take advantage of that celebration, and that its meetings should be related to those which will be held in celebration of the Tercentenary.
It is suggested that the session of the Council last nine days, the first part being given to historical subjects connected with the earliest settlements and the later developments of life in the New England states, and the place of Congregationalism in the history of this country. This review would occupy say from Wednesday to Sunday. From Monday to Thursday the program might take the ordinary form of a survey of the place of Congregationalism and some of the problems which concern it as a denominational movement and as part of the Church of Christ throughout the world.
It is proposed for the second part of the program that the plan adopted at the World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910, should be carried out, and that a certain number of "Commissions” should be appointed to consider various large topics very fully and to present printed reports on these several topics for exposition and discussion before the Council. The members of the several Commissions should be carefully selected, so as to be representative alike of the various countries which are represented in the Council, and the various shades of opinion represented in world-wide Congregationalism. Each Commission should have its Chairman and Secretary, and should be responsible for the development of its own methods of investigation, for the preparation of its report, and for presenting the same to the Council. A central Committee should be appointed to stimulate the work of the Commissions and to arrange for the uniform printing of their reports. Perhaps this Committee may find it possible to make suggestions as to the general form which these reports should take, if such a form can be devised.
The evening sessions of the Council would be addressed in a manner calculated to interest the public in the topics covered by the reports.
The following are suggested as subjects which the Commissions would be appointed to investigate and to report upon:
1. The History of Congregational Polity, with an Estimate of the Meaning and Values of Current Tendencies.
2. The Contribution of Congregationalism to Modern Missions.
3. Congregationalism in its Relation to the Evangelistic Spirit and Evangelistic Methods.
4. The Place of Congregationalism in the Movement toward Co-operative and Organic Relationship between Protestant Churches.
5. The Relation of the Church to Education and Present Day Congregational Obligations in this field.
6. The peculiar Obligations, Possibilities, and Responsibilities of Congregationalism in Modern Social Development.
7. The Modern Intellectual Readjustment as Affecting Congregationalism and as affected by Congregationalism.
Many difficult questions are certain to arise in the working out of this plan. Hence your Committee would recommend that you empower it to consider the questions involved in the organization of these Commissions and to appoint the American members of said Commissions, if it is found necessary to do so before the next meeting of the National Council. Also it will be necessary that the Council at this meeting authorize and empower the Committee to determine with the other international bodies the exact date of the International Council. The other necessary Committees need not be appointed until the next meeting of the National Council in 1917.
W. DOUGLAS MACKENZIE
MEMORIALS TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
(A) To the National Council of Congregational Churches to be
convened in New Haven, Conn., October, 1915, the
State Conference of Illinois sendeth greeting: FATHERS AND BRETHREN:
The National Council in session in Oberlin in 1871, voted that “all ministers in our denomination ought to be in orderly connection with some ministerial or ecclesiastical organization, which shall be able to certify to their regular standing in the ministry," and urged churches not to employ unsettled ministers without such evidence of their good standing in the ministry.
The National Council in Chicago in 1886 voted “That standing in the Congregational ministry is acquired by the fulfillment of these three conditions, namely: (1) Membership in a Congregational Church; (2) ordination to the Christian ministry; (3) reception as an ordained minister into the followship of the Congregational churches in accordance with the usage of the state or territorial organization of churches in which the applicant may reside; and such standing is to be continued in accordance with these usages, it being understood that a pro re nata council is the resort in all cases of question.”
The National Council in session in Portland, Oregon, in 1898, voted that in the judgment of that body, a minister could not belong to two Associations at once and that “the beginning of new membership is ecclesiastically impossible until the applicant shall be fully released from his previous ecclesiastical membership.”