« PreviousContinue »
Rev. Warren H.
To give vision to the common life and to inspire men for a service
Warren H. Wilson.
churches, efficient schools and happy homes. T it became ob- The task before the country church, there
vious that the fore, is one of self preservation. In order country church had its to defend itself the church must become an back to the wall and advocate of the farmer's actual welfare. The was fighting for mere business of the country church is to make existence. It was poor
country life worth · while. A new type of in resources and pov- country church is arising. In communities erty stricken in spirit, where the church is a confessed center of with no share in the the social and economic life of the people, great plans
of the the church leaders become the promoters of Christian Church in gen- better farming. They improve the schools. eral. Except in favored They minister to the social needs of the young sections, the country people. They even improve the labor condi
church was a weak in- tions. Wilson, Ph.D. stitution, losing ground
The country church is therefore building in so marked a degree as to call for the sympathy of educators and
a new rural civilization. Without this social
culture religious life in the country is fleeting statesmen.
and its values are lost. It is necessary to Today it is evident that it is the farmer
maintain the status of the farming populawho has his back to the wall. That which
tion on an equality with any other class of the appears in the church is deeply hidden in the
population, in city or in town. social and economic life of the farmer. Generally throughout the country the tiller of the
The work of the Department is in the insoil is restless, unsatisfed and eager for change
terest of a better Christianity. Federation because his rewards from his work are small
of churches is a spiritual experience. It is and the burdens laid upon him are increas
rooted in cooperative effort to get a living. ingly great. The effect of this strain appears
When farmers work together for a livelihood most of all in the country church, the country
they will consolidate and federate their churchschool and the rural household. The church
es. Denominations will remain. The backing thus becomes a register of the farmer's needs.
of a denomination is essential to an effective Prosperity among farmers is defined by an
country church, but union of spirit and where great agriculturalist as follows: "A farmer's
possible, organic union, are an essential part prosperity means a good income; an income
of the service of the country church to its that enables him to bring up a family well, to
community. give to the community and to maintain the fer- In the readjustment of church life in the tility of the soil so that at the end of his country under the present strain and pressure use of the land it is more fertile than at the many churches are being closed, because they beginning.” In some sections of Pennsylvania are unfit. The type of country church is and in one or two western states farmers are changing and the successful church in the prospering according to this standard. There country is the builder of the community. Its the country churches prosper also. Pros- minister is a statesman and its people are perous farming is pervasive and thorough- servants of the whole population in every going and registers its existence in strong
Our Ministry to the Immigrant
To weld the recent immigrant forces into the strength of an American Christian society is the task before us and a challenge to the Church,
HE recent immi
gration to this
country, largely out of southern and southeastern Europe and settling in the eastern and central states at the great industrial centers, is creating a new home mission field of tremendous and exacting proportions. It challenges the Church anew on the side of its
sympathy, of its real Mr. W. P. Shriver.
desire to minister in the spirit of Jesus Christ to the man on the margin. It makes demands upon the resourcefulness of the Church, upon its ability to readapt itself to new and changing conditions, and calls for a new leadership. The Department of Immigration is the medium through which the Board of Home Missions expresses its active participation. Work at twentysix different centers is maintained in the metropolitan district, with a force of forty pastors, visitors and assistants. Much of this work is on a large scale, as the American Parish, embracing the entire ministry of the Presbyterian Church to a community, largely foreign, of three hundred thousand. Cooperation is also extended to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis and San Francisco in developing projects of large significance. Rural immigrant communities, particularly the Bohemian communities of the Central West and of Texas, are not overlooked. Work is conducted among Italians, Bohemians, Poles, Ruthenians, Hungarians, Scandinavians, Syrians, Armenians and Jews, and the social and religious conditions of all these people are carefully studied. The Department co-operates in making such surveys as are now under way in Baltimore, where the immigrant population in seven wards is being studied. On the opposite page, one of the Presbyterian Churches in this city is shown. The read
justment of such churches to the new conditions at their very doors is a phase of the work of the Department. A survey of the great coke regions of the Presbytery of Redstone, Pennsylvania, is also in process. The Department is committed to a policy which contemplates the large and worthy handling of this new ministry of the Church in the seething centers of immigrant and industrial life. It maintains, that the typical "Mission in a store" is an utterly inadequate and impossible solution. It advocates well equipped and intelligently manned centers of the best American Christian life, as presenting the type to which our new population may tend to conform. It points to the Gary Southside Chapel and Neighborhood House at this great center of the steel industry as a worthy sort of undertaking. It advocates as a most effective approach to city immigrant communities the Daily Vacation Bible School. Seven of these schools, enrolling 2,000 children were conducted last summer in New York. Similar groups of schools are being projected for Baltimore and Cleveland next summer. As the crux of the question today rests in the leadership, the Department is at once concerned. It announces for immediate appointment two Immigration Fellowships, the first of a series, of $1,000 each, for resident study abroad; the holders of these Fellowships will engage in home mission work in this country. Summer scholarships are also offered to Seminary students. An informing literature is at the disposal of our churches upon request.
The following are among recent leaflets : Italian Traits; The Discovery of the Pole; The Bohemians of Texas; The Old and New Immigration; from the brief statement of the conclusions and recommendations of the Federal Immigration Commission; A Typical Building for a City Immigrant Community; What is the Presbyterian Church Doing for the Immigrant; Gary; Our Ministry to the Immigrant, a symposium; and a large illustrated sheet of Typical Buildings employed by the Presbyterian Church in its work among recent immigrant populations.