Church Cooperation in the United States: The Nation-Wide Backgrounds and Ecumenical Significance of State and Local Councils of Churches in Their Historical Perspective

By Ross W. Sanderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Appraisal and Testing, 1925-1931

Midway in the baffling twenties 1925 was significant for all of Christendom by reason of the Stockholm Conference on "Life and Work," but in America it marked an unquestionable slump in the promotion of state and local cooperation. On the other hand, these years were to show that state and local church cooperation involved a variety of existing national agencies. If Chapter II of this volume seems extraneous to the interest of some readers, and if the assumed centrality of ecclesiastical mechanisms is offensive to others, this is all of a piece with the frustration by which some of us, working enthusiastically at the grass-roots, were confused. But, out of complexity coherence and unification were already beginning to appear, first on the far horizon, soon in the foreseeable future.


Defining the Federal Council's Field Task

The Federal Council now voted to approve "the principle of a division between the task, on the one hand, of organizing, assisting, and maintaining relations with local councils of churches, and on the other hand, of promoting on the field the ideal and aims of the federated movement as a whole"1; and to secure a secretary to carry out the former task.

The 1925 FC Report on Field Organization, in the "Review of the Year", "proposed that the work of helping to organize and sustain local and state councils of churches will in the future be a direct responsibility of the Federal Council itself, under the immediate supervision of the Administrative Committee."

Here was explicit recognition of two facts: (1) Whatever the responsibility of the Federal Council might be for the wider integration of all federative efforts in the community, it had an unavoidable responsibility for state and local councils; and (2) in the light of the accumulated deficit, which presumably had to be absorbed, it might be wise to make this concern less peripheral, and subsume it under the general work of the Council so that fiscal as well as program policies could be more closely supervised. The depression was nearly four years away, but the field work of the Federal Council had already temporarily crashed.

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Church Cooperation in the United States: The Nation-Wide Backgrounds and Ecumenical Significance of State and Local Councils of Churches in Their Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • Preface 9
  • Some Interdenomination Abbreviations 11
  • Chapter I The American Scene 12
  • Reference Notes 28
  • Chapter II The Sunday School Movement In the United States 31
  • Reference Notes 52
  • Chapter III Federative Progress, 1900-1908 54
  • Reference Notes 75
  • Chapter IV Shakedown Voyage, 1908-1915 77
  • Reference Notes 98
  • Chapter V First Period of Expansion, 1915-1924 99
  • Reference Notes 123
  • Chapter VI Appraisal and Testing, 1925-1931 125
  • Reference Notes 149
  • Chapter VII The Merging Thirties 152
  • Reference Notes 179
  • Chapter VIII The Expectant Forties 182
  • Reference Notes 204
  • Chapter IX Since 1950, Solid Growth 205
  • Reference Notes 231
  • Chapter X Meanings and Expectations 233
  • Reference Notes 252
  • Appendix I 259
  • Appendix II 262
  • Index 267
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