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tian colleges fifty years ago. In fact, generation. The greatest need of the many of the central western colleges period of reconstruction is Christian are still soliciting aid from the East- leadership. The Polytechnic's suern states, for endowment and enlarge- preme desire is to be able to train ment.
these young people of the Northwest.. The great Northwest, the last fron- Is there a cause more necessary or tier, has been sadly neglected in more worthy? Christian education. In the two great The present year must witness the states of Montana and Wyoming, with raising of at least $100,000 for the 1:early one million of population, there Polytechnic. are only two weak struggling Chris- After careful consideration it has tian colleges. Neither of them would been decided to make this a Memorial be recognized in the East or Middle Fund for the boys of the Polytechnic West as first class academies. The who offered their all to their country. same territory in the eastern part of The fund is to be raised in their memthe United States has a hundred well ory because it is the sort of a meequipped and splendidly endowed col- morial which those who are living, and leges. The same population in Ohio, those who can not tell us of their Iowa, or Illinois could turn to a dozen wishes would certainly want. fine colleges and universities for the One hundred and twenty-six Polyhigher education of their boys and technic heroes offered themselves, and girls.
six of the boys who paid the price beThe East and Middle West are de- longed to the self-help department pending upon the great Northwest for while in school. They would not want the strong, virile blood needed in lea:l- showy monuments, triumphal ership. Twenty-five years ago when arches, or memorial gates built in their the East was helping institutions in memory, but they would want the the Middle West it did not understand money used in a practical way to do to what extent it would make use of the greatest good to the school that the products of those colleges in later helped them to an education, and that years. What would the United States will give the largest number of the and the world have done without a young people of the region a similar John R. Mott, a General Pershing, chance of training for life. and scores of other strong men of The board of trustees has released the present day! Yet without the Director Lewis T. Eaton from his acaid of Eastern friends of these tive duties in charge of the teaching frontier colleges of the Middle West forces of the Institute, and he will these men would never have had the spend several months in the Middle opportunity of training. Hundreds of West and East. He plans to visit the young men and women of the North- friends of the Polytechnic and to car. west ask for a chance to have their ry on a general campaign for the place in the world's work of the next Memorial Fund.
6, 198.42 9, 153.82
SCHOOL EXTENSION SOCIETY
A Happy New Year to the friends of the Sunday School Extension Society. We have indeed many things for which to be thankful at this time. The year 1919 has been one of steady progress. The work has been carried on enthusiastically and with unabated zeal in all parts of our country. This is due partly to the very encouraging condition of our finances, which has made possible an enlargement of the work. We have now fifty-one on our field force. Everywhere emphasis has been given to improving the quality of the work, and therefore the things accomplished have been of paramount value. We again ask for the loyal support which has been ours in the past, that nothing may interfere with future development. In the training of the child lies the foundation for character, so the Sunday School, which proves so large a factor in this work, must produce the leaders from this generation. We must look ever to the future, and it is most helpful to find that Sunday School activities are becoming more and more largely recognized all the time. Calls are coming for greater service in literature both at home and abroad, and for material and spiritual help along all lines. There is a multitude already being ministered unto, but there are many yet to be reached. So we pray that it may indeed be a New Year in the growth and development of those things which make for Christian fellowship and love, for peace on earth and good will among men.
South Dakota is to be congratulated on its fine progressive work of this past year. As recorded before in these columns, this state is in the lead with the greatest number of newly organized Sunday Schools. Several interesting reports have recently come in from South Dakota workers. One writes as follows: “Several times through the year it has been a pleasure to hear of those who may possibly give their lives to the ministry. On one day in a single parish three families expressed to me a desire that one of their sons might be led into the work of the pastor. One of our University boys preached for us a few times during the summer and has about determined to study in the seminary after this year. Upon telling his story in a nearby farm church a few weeks ago a farmer was moved to come to me after service and offer himself for work. Since he had always felt drawn to the work and had proven very effective in Sunday School, Young People's Society, and community work, I arranged for him to begin as soon as he could settle his other affairs. Last Sunday he opened his new life by preaching three times, visiting two Sunday Schools, and driving his Ford thirty miles. At another time, I was in a home where a young son of the family was for some minutes busily engaged in calling up the members of the Sunday School orchestra to arrange the practice. Later he had it all to do over again, as the leader must have a change of hour. The beauty of it was he was getting just the training in that way that would make him not only more interested in that school but would help to teach him as well to be a Sunday School executive. Once I tried using the stereopticon in a county convention, and found it very easy indeed to get the people to talk right out in meeting. And sometimes we got some very real opposition to plans shown which were being used elsewhere satisfactorily. In the dark they seem to lose their fear of speaking up. It is worth trying further.
A GLIMPSE OF LIFE ON THE FRONTIER N the heart of the frontier coun- with a dirt floor. We all realize, I
try, several miles from the near think, that after all it is the spirit
est railroad, stands a small that counts, and if the spirit is there pioneer town. It is not unlike hun- it doesn't matter so very much where dreds of other small towns of the a service of worship and prayer is Middle West, except perhaps that it held, but nevertheless we like to is more progressive. “At the begin- think of communing with the Father ning of its history it was over thirty in a house which is consecrated to miles from a railroad, and stood Him, and kept sacred to his worship quite alone on the vast gray-blue alone.
vast gray-blue alone. You can just imagine the prairie which stretches for miles and eager questioning of the children miles, until it seems to merge into the when the work was started. “Oh, are cold, clear sky.
we to have a Sunday School ?” “And The little homes of this village do will it meet every week, and will we not nestle up close to one another in have Sunday School papers with the neighborly fashion of our larger stories and pictures in them?” towns and cities, but stand ont dis
The young people for miles around tinctly each from the other, separated
came to this little Sunday School, and oftentimes by a large tract of farming land. So sometimes one has to travel finally became Congregational in its
as time went on it grew and grew, and three or four miles without passing thought and ways, the older people a human dwelling of any kind, and feeling that in Congregationalism then when a house is reached, it is there was the true spirit of America often just a small log cabin or even
which they had not found before in a sod hut which is made of logs and
their religious life—the spirit which earth.
our Pilgrim fathers brought with The town's population is made up
them from across the seas three hunof many nationalities, each with its
dred years ago, and for which they own language and form of religious service. There were not enough peo- self.
were ready to sacrifice even life itple to support several churches, so an
Under competent leadership, more English speaking union Sunday School was started, in which all the and more children were gathered tochildren of the village were privi- gether from all the country side, and leged to join. Those of our children
at the same time the parents became who have always lived within easy
interested until they began to plan reach of some church or Sunday for a community church. About that School can have no conception of the time, however, there was a general treat these services were and are to
failure of crops, and then the great those little children of the frontier, world war put a temporary end to
their plans. even though they were held, not in a beautiful building erected especially But the good people of the comfor the purpose, but in the little log munity are still working and prayschoolhouse—just such a school as we ing for their church which must have always imagined that Abraham surely come to them before long. It Lincoln trudged to and from when is a worthy cause, and it is for just he was a lad out in the backwoods of such communities that our missionarKentucky.
ies are devoting their lives. May the Oftentimes these mission Sunday New Year speed our work to greater School services are held in a sod hut victories !
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR NEW SCHOOLS \HROUGHOUT the past year we farmers have come and proved up
have received many special on much of the land, but a great deal
contributions for organizing of it has gone back to pasture, and and maintaining new schools in our one sees large herds of cattle, horses mission field. This is a most inter- and sheep wherever one goes. esting form of giving, and those aid- The new state highway is being built ing are thereby enabled to keep in near the town, which will add not a touch with their adopted school and little to its importance, being next to watch its development and progress. that of building a railroad through it. We are telling here the story of one When on a trip to Thrall Academy, of these little schools of the Middle while our missionary was stopping at West which has recently been the hotel in Strool, a couple of ladies, signed to a progressive set of young one the landlady, asked him why he did people here in the East. The school not start a Sunday School in Strool. is in the little village of Strool. Strool He said that he understood that there is an inland village in the northwest was other work in the town, but was part of South Dakota. The nearest told that there was none, and that station is that of Hettinger, forty-five the children were running wild and miles to the north. It is connected up knew nothing about Jesus Christ. And to the place with a stage which runs the landlady he knew was a Catholic. daily, and it takes only three lcurs By the assistance of this lady he was for passengers to go from Hettinger finally able to organize that Sunday to Strool. There is also a truck line, School. It was organized with about running two trucks nearly every day, twenty-five members, and not a little draying back and forth. Strool is in interest, and with the postmistress as the heart of the ranching country. The superintendent.
THE CONGREGATIONAL BOARD
OF MINISTERIAL RELIEF
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 1919 CHRISTMAS FUND WHE methods used for securing quickly and gladly extend the help
the Christmas Fund for 1919, ing hand. And they have. In behalf
consisted in sending about of the several hundred homes into 3,000 letters to pastors suggesting which the Christmas checks brought four plans by which a gift might be light, warmth and gladness, we exsecured without greatly increasing tend hearty thanks to the pastors and the pastor's or the church's burden. churches, the Young People's SocieThese were as follows:
ties, the Sunday Schools, the Bible (a) “Speak of it from the pulpit and classes, the women's organizations and ask for voluntary gifts to be made the hundreds of individuals who made through you your Treasurer of
this beautiful ministry possible. We Benevolences.
have never had anything more upon (b) Devote a Prayer Meeting to the subject of “Our aged ministers—what
our heart, for we knew the need. they did for us and what we are doing
Every gift was like the pure manna for them,” or some other subject, and which falling from heaven would nourtake a special offering for the Christmas ish and strengthen the wayworn pilFund.
grims passing through the wilder(c) Ask your Young People's Society or Sunday School, or both, to make
ness of need toward the Promised an appropriation.
Land. (d) Would your Board of Deacons be
We sometimes tell the old people pleased to vote a special gift from their that we have more joy in sending funds, so often gathered for the poor of them the Christmas checks than they the church? Let the term "the church" include the old preachers, poor in this
have in receiving them. As a rule world's goods, but rich toward God.
they disagree with us. We also sent out about 10,000 gen
Anyway, it is a blessed ministry. eral letters of appeal to individuals.
It is Christlike. It must please the We wrote a number of very per
Angels in Heaven. It makes the sonal letters.
donors' Christmas all the sweeter. It We used the Ministerial Relief gives the cup of cold water to the pages in THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY weary traveler. It helps to reward and three half pages, and three full lives well spent. It smooths the pathpage illustrated advertisements in way toward the setting sun. It is as six issues of The Congregationalist. a beacon light for those who trudge The appeal was strengthened by cor
merrily on through the thickening dial editorial comments in The Con- shadows. gregationalist.
The raising of the Christmas Fund All of these methods
well involves a large amount of extra worth while and bore rewarding fruit. work. While it has its compensating Their aim was to be informing, to and comforting side, it is in a sense tell the story to convince the Congre- a nerve-racking endeavor. After it gational people that the weary march- is over we often wish we could go way crs on the last lap of “the long, long back somewhere out of sight, sit down trail” needed and deserved their help and rest. But it is only one incident and good cheer. We knew that when in a never ending task. One must they realized this fact they would ever keep at it. After the Christmas