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3. That State Apportionment Committees be urged to use all possible diligence to bring the groups of churches served by them to the adoption of the standard proposed by the national Commission and to lift their giving to the amounts named in the schedules.
The Commission understands that in many cases the goal will be reached by gradual stages but believes that the ultimate amount of the Apportionment is well within the range of Congregational benevolence.
4. That the plan of an Every Church Visitation in the interest of Fellowship, Evangelism and Missions be approved, that state organizations be urged to carry out the plan within their respective bounds and that the Commission on Missions be instructed to render all possible aid by the use of printed matter and otherwise in promoting the undertaking.
5. That representatives of the Boards on the Commission be divided by assigning to the two year class a suitable number of those whose names begin with the earlier letters of the alphabet, the remainder being assigned to the four year class. Under this arrangement the terms of the following members of the Commission as a whole expire with this session: Messrs. Bassett, Butler, Jones, King, Leavitt, Prentice, Campbell, Noyes, Page and Miss Day.
6. That the Executive Committee and the Commission on Missions be instructed to confer as to the possibility of maintaining an Apportionment Secretary and if the way be open to join in selecting such an official to serve under the general direction of the Commission on Missions and its Secretary.
On recommendation of the Commission on the Welfare of Men Under the Flag the following was adopted:
Recognizing the value to the churches of the United States of the reports of religious bodies, statistical and descriptive, issued by the Bureau of the Census, the National Council of Congregational Churches now in session desires to express its gratification that another Census of Religious Bodies is to be taken during the year 1916, and to assure the Director of Census that the churches here represented. as well as the offi
cers of this Council, stand ready to assist the Bureau
taking the Census. On recommendation of the Board of Ministerial Relief the following changes, of which notice was given the previous day, were made in the By-Laws, viz.: The omission in Article X Preamble the words "and the Congregational Board of Ministerial Relief.” And in Article X, Section 2, paragraph B, the words "and the Board of Ministerial Belief."
Hon. Epaphroditus Peck of Connecticut gave notice of intention to move at the next meeting of the Council an amendment to the Constitution changing Article III by striking out Section 4 and changing Sections 1 and 2 so as to read:
1. At each stated meeting of the Council there shall be chosen a Moderator of the National Council and a first and second Assistant Moderator, who shall hold office from the close of the meeting at which they are elected until the close of the next stated meeting, and until their successors have been elected and have accepted.
2. The Moderator shall preside at the stated meeting of the Council following that at which he is elected and may deliver an address on a subject of his own selection.
Rev. Williston Walker, Connecticut, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, presented the following list of Directors for the Religious Education Boards. Voted, to approve and commend same to these Boards:
Rev. Clarence F. Swift, Fall River, Mass.
The Commission on Temperance submitted its report which was approved and ordered filed. (See page 315.) On its recommendation the following resolutions were adopted:
1. Whereas the effects of alcohol are notoriously injurious to all the circles of human life, and
Whereas the exportation of New England rum to the West Coast of Africa carries with it a decivilizing influence and is inconsistent with Christian America, therefore be it
Resolved, That the Council of the Congregational Churches of America hereby registers its protest against this iniquitous traffic and herewith petitions our national government to take such action as will abolish it.
2. And whereas eighty per cent of the geographic area of the Unites States. in now anti-saloon territory and on January 1st, 1916, more than half of our population will be free from the legalized liquor traffic, therefore
Be it resolved, that we request the Congress of the United States, in harmony with what is now a majority sentiment of the country, immediately to pass a statute prohibiting the beverage liquor traffic in the District of Columbia.
3. And whereas, since the adoption by our Kansas City Council in 1913 of a declaration in favor of National Constitutional Prohibition of the liquor traffic, ten states of the Union have enacted state-wide prohibition, and the Sheppard-Hobson Joint Prohibition Resolution received on December 22nd, 1914, a majority of eight votes in our National House of Representatives; therefore
Be it Resolved: That we rejoice in the rapid growth of public sentiment and the harmonious unification of the various temperance organizations in favor of definite legislation for the early and nation-wide abolition of the beverage liquor traffic, and
Be it Further Resolved: That we again appeal to the coming Congress of the United States speedily to submit to the states, and we further request the various state legislations promptly to ratify such a constitutional amendment as was embodied in the last Congress in the provisions of the Sheppard-Hobson Joint Resolution for National Prohibition.
And be it Further Resolved: That the Secretary of this Council be directed to forward a copy of these resolutions to every member of both Houses of the coming Congress of the United States, and that our Temperance Commission be instructed to do everything possible to make our action effective.
At 11 A.M. the Council took up the business of the Congregational Board of Ministerial Relief and Annuity Fund. The reports of the Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary for both funds were submitted and approved. Rev. Harry P. Dewey of Minnesota led the Council in a prayer of thanksgiving for the service of those who after many years of faithful labor have entered into rest.
The special committee appointed to report on the Board of Ministerial Relief and the Annuity Fund presented the following paper which was approved and the resolutions adopted:
In reviewing the report of the Board of Ministerial Relief and of the Trustees of the Annuity Fund, your Committee find that the total receipts in the biennium for both funds have been more than $163,000, besides $10,000 in subscriptions not yet due. Of this total nearly $122,000 was for Ministerial Relief. We note that the endowment fund increased more than $28,000, a greater number of pensioners being assisted and a larger amount paid them than ever before. While the fund grows steadily it should be very largely and speedily increased to meet the urgent need to keep step with our great sister denominations in their splendid advance in behalf of the veterans of the Cross, and to conform to our own noble traditions and ideals.
We note with special appreciation and approval the successful inauguration of the Annuity Fund as a further measure to guard the minister in his age; that it indicates sound and scientific principles of life insurance, guarding the minister's dues from loss; that it has already met a strong response from the ministers and gives promise of providing in addition to the return from dues paid in, a pension of honor for faithful service -- when the churches awake to the opportunity.
In this connection we note that about 270 ministers have now taken certificates of membership and have paid dues of over $32,000, and that nearly one-half of them receive salaries of $1000 or less.
We note also that the effort to secure contributions for this fund has in no wise lessened the interest in the Board of Ministerial Relief.
In view of these facts we recommend the passage of the following resolutions:
1. That it is the conviction of this National Council that the supreme duty of the years in which we approach the Tercentenary of the Landing of the Pilgrims is the securing of a fund of not less than $3,000,000 of which $1,000,000 shall be devoted to Ministerial Relief and $2,000,000 to the Annuity Fund.
2. To this end we request the Board of Ministerial Relief and the Trustees of the Annuity Fund to use all worthy means to hasten the completion of these funds.
3. Further we commend these causes to the special care of the Commission on Missions, requesting them to coöperate with these Boards so to adjust our method of offerings as to provide an adequate hearing for them.
4. Further we urge that particular stress be laid upon lifting the payments from churches and individuals to the Annuity Fund to provide that these shall match in the ratio of four to one the payments from our ministers and give promise that the full pension of $500.00 shall be provided.
(Signed) NEHEMIAH BOYNTON W. W. MILLS A. H. BRADFORD F. E. EMRICH E. G. GUTHRIE