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THE MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION.
Statistics for the Year ending May 1, 1871.
Rev. James Reed, Pastor 625 266 400 37 29 36 26 25 150
90 49 130
51 6 Rev. S. S. Seward, Minister 83 53 2501 5
72 Rev. T. 0. Paine, Pastor 63 53! 130
11 93 Rev.W.H. Mayhew, Minister 29 25 90 1
28 Mr. M. W. Kidder, Leader 26 12 30
2 2 21 Mr. Nathaniel Cook, Leader 12
40 Mr. F. Pratt, Leader
34 20 40
20 Mr. J. Westall, Leader 25 18 45 Mr. N. Foster, Leader
23 32 30
29 Mr.J. Thompson, Leader 9 10 12
6 Rev. L. G. Jordan, Minister 32
41 Rev. J.'Worcester, Pastor: 35 30 701 5 3
24 Mr. B. Worcester, Licentiate 25 45 125
60 Mr. W. S. Davis, Leader
25 Rev. Abiel Silver, Minister 50
Number of Members.
S. S. Scholars. !! or coco!!! 20-101
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The ministers not mentioned above are occupied as follows:
Dr. Worcester and Rev. T. B. Hayward as instructors in the Theological School; Rev. Warren Goddard in preaching at various places; Rev. J. P. Perry in connection with the boarding-school at Waltham; Rev. C. A. Dunham and Rev. Charles Hardon as missionaries, and Rev. Messrs. S. H. Worcester and F. McIntyre in secular employments.
The increase in the number of church-members and Sabbath-school scholars, since the last report, is to be accounted for by the fact that two societies have been added to the Association.
The society in Contoocook, N. H., which has twenty-five members, transferred its connection from the Maine Association, and united with us last autumn. At a meeting of the New Church people of New Hampshire, held at Contoocook August 6, 1870, “ After full consideration ". we quote from the record of the meeting — “it was unanimously believed that, as the means of communication with Massachusetts are more direct and convenient than those with Maine, the interest of the Church would be better served by discontinuing the connection of New Hampshire with Maine as an Association, and uniting it with Massachusetts."
This plan was carried out agreeably to all parties, and New Hampshire was thus added to the field of our missionary operations. At Contoocook there is an academy under the control of the New Church. It offers an attractive field to one who could, for the present, unite the offices of pastor and preceptor. It is understood that they have arranged with the Rev. Charles Hardon to preach for them from the first of October, 1871.
The Boston Highlands Society, which was admitted to our membership in April last with fifty members, is the growth, apparently, of about three years' labor. In the spring of 1868, a few New Church people, residing in the vicinity, secured the services of Rev. Abiel Silver for Sabbath afternoons, his forenoons being devoted to the Brookline Society. A Sabbath-school was formed in the following autumn. Mr. Silver also instituted an adult class, and held evening inquiry-meetings at private houses during the week.”
In these three years forty-two persons have been baptized, a large majority of whom were adults. The society was instituted December 18, 1870, with forty-nine members, and one has since been added.
It has been Mr. Silver's habit, for the past year, to hold a meeting for inquiry immediately after the worship, and to answer any questions relative to the scrmon, or on any other points in the Doctrines.
Since May 1, Mr. Silver has ceased to preach at Brookline, and devotes his whole ability to this young and promising society.
The Boston Society bas met with some changes during the year. Mr. George J. Webb, who, for nearly forty years, has had charge of the music of the society, has removed to Orange, New Jersey. The society adopted resolutions expressive of hearty affection for Mr. Webb, and regret at the separation, expressing the unanimous sentiment as follows: “ We cannot fail to recognize the kind providence of our Ileavenly Father in the fact that Mr. Webb was led to leave his native land and come to this country, and to this city, and almost directly to this society, and to take charge of our music, and, by his experience and eminent ability, not only to supply a want so important and essential to our public worship, but to render a most valuable service to the New Church throughout the country.”
In the Sabbath-school Mr. F. A. Dewson has been appointed superintendent in place of Mr. Sampson Reed, who resigns the office, which he has held since the commencement of the school.
The pastor, Rev. James Reed, is spending the summer in Europe.
The Bridgewater Society has erected a new house of worship, and adjacent vestry. In this step a long-felt want has been supplied, and a degree of interest has been exhibited, which promises well for the future.
The Yarmouth Society reports the resignation of its pastor, Rev. J. P. Perry, who, on account of his impaired sight, has been unable to perform all the duties of his office for some time, though he has been able to be of great use to the society. Rev. William H. Mayhew succeeds him. The new house of worship at Yarmouth was dedicated December 27, 1870. In its erection the people have endeavored to produce a building worthy of the New Church, and have done all that could be done to produce a tasteful, thoroughly-built edifice. It is said to be the best church in that section of the State. A very liberal contribution, on the part of the members and others, has enabled the society to dedicate the church free from debt.
In Mansfield, a small society of only twelve members has, with the assistance of friends in Boston and elsewhere, erected a small house of worship, which will soon be dedicated.
The Providence Society are engaged in building a church, which, in method of arrangement, is stated to be an improvement upon the usual form. The unusual feature is this, that the building has a Mansard roof, which will contain the Sabbath-school room. The plan, and the manner of its execution, in this case, have been very highly spoken of.
In Salem, efforts to obtain a church are making with such energy and courage, that there can be no doubt of final success.
The other societies report an even course, and no marked changes are to be chronicled. Of the nine that have not been mentioned, the Abington, North Bridgewater, and East Bridgewater Societies have pastors, or acting pastors; the pulpit of the Brookline Society is at present supplied by Rev. Warren Goddard; the Lowell, Pawtucket, Fall River, and Springfield Societies have services regularly with a leader, and occasionally with a minister; and the West Bridgewater and Taunton Societies have discontinued to hold public services, it being found more convenient to worship with neighboring New Church Societies.
The Massachusetts New Church Union, the secular arm of our Association, continues in charge of the missionary work, upon the same general plan as was indicated in last year's Report.
During the year from April 1, 1870, to April 1, 1871, $5,200 was raised and expended in support of this and other uses of the Association ; Rev. Charles Hardon and Rev. W. H. Mayhew being employed as missionaries, and Rev. C. A. Dunham as librarian and general agent, at the rooms in Boston. Mr. Mayhew's labors with us extended over the first six months of the year only, as he removed to Yarmouthport, Oct. 1, 1870, to become the minister of that society.
During the year over two hundred towns and villages in Massachusetts were visited, and several in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Several of our smaller societies depend upon our missionaries for regular monthly visits, and an important part of this work is performed by Rev. Joseph Pettee, as was indicated by our last report.
Twenty-nine public libraries have, during the year, been supplied with the works of Swedenborg.
With the new year commencing April 1, 1871, several changes were made; Mr. Richard Ward, of Boston, taking the place of Rev. C. A. Dunham, as librarian and general agent at the rooms in Boston, and Mr. Dunham taking the field as missionary and colporteur during the summer months. Rev. Charles Hardon will continue in our employ until the first of October, when he will go to Contoocook, N. H., as before mentioned. Detailed reports may be found in connection with the Journal of our Association's meetings.
The Massachusetts Sabbath-school Conference of the New Jerusalem continues its organization with unabated interest, and increasing vigor and life.
At its annual meeting held in Boston, February 22, 1871, there were present seventy-nine delegates from fifteen societies, also a large number of persons not delegates. Reports were received from seventeen Sabbathschools. Morning and afternoon sessions were held, and much interesting discussion of important subjects was carried on.
An address upon the subject of “ Week-day and Sabbath-school Instruction,” was delivered by Rev. L. G. Jordan.
The officers of the Conference are Rev. Joseph Pettee, of Abington, President; Rev. John Worcester, of Newtonville, Vice-President; Mr. F. A. Dewson, of Boston, Secretary and Treasurer.
The Journal of the Conference is published in pamphlet form, and contains all reports and addresses. At the meeting of the Association, held Oct. 13, 1870, it was un
unanimously voted: “That the Association insert, in its next report to the Convention, its opinion that the Convention should continue to hold its meetings annually." Respectfully submitted,
THEODORE F. Wright, Secretary.
THE MISSOURI ASSOCIATION.
The Missouri Association comprises five societies and parishes, with an aggregate membership of about two hundred and fifty, together with about one hundred and fifty islolated members.
There are four ministers and six licentiates belonging to the Association, located and employed as follows:
The Rev. J. P. Stuart, ordaining minister in the missionary work, and in the pastorate of the First Parish in St. Louis.
The Rev. C. L. Carriere, pastor of the German Society in St. Louis. The Rev. Adams Peabody, pastor of the parish in Jefferson City. The Rev. Gustave Reiche, of Warrenton, Mo., without charge.
Of the Licentiates, Mr. Charles Wieser preaches in Chicago. Mr. John E. Bowers, of Jefferson City, has done missionary work near that city, and bas for the last month served the Minnesota Association. Mr.J.J. Lehnen, for the last six or eight months, has preached for the New Church in Clarington, Ohio. Mr. Thomas B. King, of Clarkesville, Mo., who recently came to us from the Methodist ministry, is preparing for the New Church ministry, and preaches in Clarkesville, and in the other villages round about, where his former associates in the Methodist Church have frequently invited him to explain the New Doctrines, and his reasons for embracing them. Mr. Joseph W, Bilbie, of Manton, occasionally preaches and lectures to the people in that place and vicinity.
The parishes and societies belonging to the Association are as follows:
The First Parish of the New Church in St. Louis has seventy-five members, of whom about twenty are non-resident. Sixteen have been added during the year. There is regular service at the hall of the parish every Sunday, which, in the absence of the pastor, is conducted by a reader. The average attendance is about fifty. An extended course of Sunday evening lectures was delivered, beginning last fall and ending in the spring. Some of these lectures were reported in the daily papers, and they seemed to make a very favorable impression on the community. A large number of tracts was distributed at these lectures; and many resorted to the free library, which was thrown open at the close of the lectures. These lectures were attended by audiences varying from fifty to one hundred and fisty, and they were mostly composed of those who were comparative strangers to the New Church.
The German Society of the New Church has about one hundred and twenty members. There are regular services morning and evening in this church during about six months, beginning in October, in which the pastor, Rev. C. L. Carriere, preaches and lectures. Through the rest of the year there is but the morning service. The attendance averages about one hundred and fifty.
The First Parish of the New Church has regular service and preaching every Sunday morning. Rev. Adams Peabody, the pastor, preaches. The parish has twelve members.
The German Society in Boonville has been much reduced by removals, several of its leading members having gone into the colony in Olivet. The society has discontinued its meetings for the present, but those who remain expect soon to resume their meetings.
We have no report from the society in Pana.
The State of Missouri is singularly open as a field for missionary work. Dr. Peabody recently went into several of the country towns south and west of Jefferson City, for the purpose of lecturing on the Doctrines of the Church, and distributing tracts. Churches were open to him in the towns and villages, and the people were ready and anxious to hear, and to read. There was little or no opposition. Mr. Bowers found the same condition of things among the people where he has preached; and Mr. Stuart, in his extended missionary tour last autumn, found that churches could be had for the asking in many of the towns and cities of Southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, and the people are ready to hear.
Mr. Stuart gave it as his opinion that a dozen of New Church missionaries could find open churches and good audiences continually within the limits of the field indicated above. But while all this is true, the means for doing the work are wanting — we have neither the men to do the work, nor the money to support them. And in our Association we have sad