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 VII
The Merging Thirties

When Money Was Scarce

The depression that began in late 1929 was at its worst in the early thirties. National bodies were as hard hit as local, perhaps ever harder; church organizations were as much hampered as secular, perhaps even more so. In 1932 the AES interrupted its series of annual meetings for the only time in its history, omitting a session already scheduled for Detroit in June. "All our councils and federations are having financial difficulties which would greatly limit the attendance.1 By March it was clear that the AES ought to concentrate on getting state and local executives to attend the Indianapolis FC Quadrennial in December. June 28 Dr. Guild wrote to the field, "If you are having difficulties in the financing of your work . . . we are all in a large and splendid company . . . (splendid because) the secretaries are courageously meeting the issues that are at hand." September 23, 1932, Dr. Guild reiterated to Dr. Cavert, "The whole federation movement is in a very serious condition." Extension cost the Federal Council only $9,851.36 in 1932,2 and the Field Department budget for 1933 was fixed at $10,000--obviously a depression figure.3

In the autumn Dr. Guild said again, "The first nine months of this year have tested the councils of churches severely. (But) of the 50 councils with employed leadership, only two have temporarily given up that policy."4 Yet 1932 saw the publication of three significant volumes: Zahniser's Interchurch Community Programs,5 Hartshorne and Miller's Community Organization in Religious Education,6 and Rethinking Missions (the Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry).7

From 1933, when in many ways the depression was deepest, to 1937 there was drought on the Great Plains;8 the cities also in the middle thirties saw rough days. But in 1933 it was said that "only three (council of churches) secretaries have resigned with the knowledge that a full-time successor would not be employed." "Other secretaries have wondered how they would carry on, but while wondering, have carried on just the same."9 This was the first year of "The New Deal."

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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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