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dantly developed in certain other denominations than in our own, it has had sufficient test among us to prove its permanency and usefulness. It would seem clear, therefore, that steps should be taken to secure an adequate force of trained women, to open the way for their employment under encouraging conditions, and to give them such recognition as the nature of their work suggests.
CONSERVATION OF CHÚRCH PROPERTY
By vote of the Council of 1913 the Executive Committee was asked to take under its care the question of conserving Church property for denominational uses. In undertaking this task your Committee has entered into the results of many years of study and effort by Council Committees.
Definite effort in conservation of church property for denominational purposes began in 1898 by action of the National Council appointing a committee charged with that duty. The incentive to such action was found in the fact that here and there valuable properties had been transferred to other denominations by decision of local churches.
At each National Council since that time elaborate reports have been made embodying information on the matter and indicating the lines upon which the Committees have sought to improve conditions.
As a result of the seventeen years' effort the following results have been obtained:
1. An increased consciousness on the part of many pastors and church officers that the disposition of a local property is something in which the denomination as a whole has an interest.
2. Most State Conferences have been incorporated and thus prepared to accept title to abandoned church properties.
3. In a large number of cases state missionary societies and conferences hold in trust, funds devised to them for the use of specific local churches, a certain discretion being vested in such state body as to the conditions under which income will be paid over.
4. The business side of church life is placed before theological students somewhat more fully than in former years.
5. In certain states special legislation has been secured facilitating the taking over of unused properties by denominational bodies.
6. In several states local churches have been encouraged to deed their properties to the State Conferences, receiving in return a deed with a reversionary clause operative in case the church ceases to exist or to be Congregational. No small number of churches have taken
In response to inquiries made of State Superintendents in recent months it has been learned that no considerable amount of church property has been lost lately to the denomination. The only prominent case of loss is in the city of Denver where a church nominally connected with our denomination changed its relation to the Baptist denomination, carrying a property worth $65,000 into that fellowship. The circumstances in this case were, however, unusual and it may be doubted whether anything which the denomination might have done either earlier or at the time of transfer would have altered the result.
There appears to be a growing feeling that denominational equities should be protected not only as above described and by the liens of the Church Building Society, but that state and national home mission organizations should arrange that their grants should constitute a lien in like manner.
It is desirable that at this meeting of the Council instructions be issued to your Committee to prepare a plan for suitably observing the three hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. Considerable thought has been given the matter and with the light at present available it appears wise that such observance should occur in connection with the fourth meeting of the International Congregational Council and that the time fixed be the summer of 1920. As this matter will be reported upon by a
special committee having in charge arrangements for the International Council no extended reference is made to it in this report.
REPORT OF THE CORPORATION FOR THE
The first meeting of the Corporation during the biennium was held at Hartford, Conn., April 14, 1914. The following officers were elected:
The treasurer was instructed to pay the income of securities in his hands in so far as the use of said income is not otherwise determined by the corporation or needed for its purposes to the treasurer of the National Council.
The second meeting of the Corporation was held Oct. 20, 1915, in New Haven, Conn. At this meeting the officers of the previous year were re-elected and the treasurer's report approved.
The treasurer's report for the past biennium as so approved is as follows:
Securities in hand as received from Joel S. Ives, Treasurer, May 14, 1913:
Two Chicago Rock Island and Pacific R. R. Co. Gen'l Mtge
4% bonds, for $1000 each due 1988, quoted Sept. 21, 1915
at 79 .. One Missouri Pacific Ry. Trust 5 % bond for $1000 due Jan.
1917 quoted at One Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham R. R. Co. Gen'l
Mtge 4 % bond for $500 due March 1934, quoted at...
National Council of the Congregational Churches of the U. S.
$ 75.00 1914 Jan. 29 Rec'd Coupons, Chicago, R. I. & Pac. Ry.... $ 40.00 Mar. 28 Missouri Pacific Ry....
25.00 Mar. 30
Kansas City Mem. & Bir.
10.00 Dec. 28
Chicago, R. I. & Pac. Ry.. 40.00 28
Missouri Pacific Ry..... 25.00
Kansas City, Mem. & Bir.
Chicago, R. I. & Pac. Ry.. 40.00 May 25
Missouri Pacific Ry.... 25.00
Kansas City, Mem. & Bir.
10.00 Sept. 24
Kansas City, Mem. & Bir.
$350.00 Apr. 15 Paid Joel S. Ives, Treas. refund of premium
on bond of Treasurer of Corporation
12.50 June 6 Joel S. Ives, Treas. balance of accrued income...
Joel S. Ives, Treas. balance of accrued
$350.00 Respectfully submitted,
H. EDWARD THURSTON, Treasurer. I have examined the within account with the vouchers and find it to be correct.
John H. WELLS, Auditor.
The attention of the Council is called to the importance of making it widely known that in this Corporation Congregationalists have an agency with liberal and perpetual charter powers which is able to receive and administer trust funds designated for the benefit of any Congregational church or other purpose within the scope of our denominational interests.
CHARLES R. BROWN, President.
It is a year and eight months since I entered upon the duties assigned me by the Council of 1913. My activities have in very large degree been connected with and under the direction of the various Commissions and Committees of the Council.
This accords not only with my understanding of the intent of the Constitution but with my definite conviction that anyone appointed to be the servant of a body of people should to the utmost degree possible carry on his work under the guidance of definite agencies of that body. No man is wise enough to justify the assumption of individual responsibility in matters of importance where corporate wisdom is available. The executive efficiency which as a denomination we are seeking must be the product of decisions carefully reached by representative groups and vigorously executed by those appointed to various tasks.
It naturally follows that in the main the report of what I have done and tried to do is merged in the reports of the Executive Committee and the Commission on Missions. I may, however, add a supplementary word indicative of the departments of effort in which I have been occupied.
1. In the compilation of the Year Book, arranging for the Council meeting and the like, there is a large amount of routine work with which the Secretary is charged. The Executive Committee has used every effort to lighten this portion of my duties and has plans on foot as indicated in its report to decrease still further my care of office details. I cannot speak too warmly of the helpfulness of Secretary Atkinson in the work of editing and issuing the Year Book. But although my duties have thus been lightened it has been necessary in this initial period of service to familiarize myself item by item with the routine demands upon the Council's office and to initiate