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Him. Jimmy would go now. He must leave his place before our Altar, but it will be quite easy to sing the same dear hymns "with angels and archangels and with all the company of Heaven."
That is the faith of our people. They honestly reckon that "the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed." And these simple souls are so much wiser than the children of light when they let themselves go in a frank and free enjoyment of the little glimpses of that glory which Holy Church allows us here below. In the antechamber of Heaven they have learned to make themselves at home. Not once or twice on Sunday only, but three or four times a week, they are in and about the church. The transition from the pool-table or the dancing class to the Altar, is merely a matter of opening a door, so that the sanctuary of God becomes as a room in their home. Often the smell of coffee and incense mingles in the hallways. The Church of God is not less holy because familiar, but more holy because the dear God is in truth the Father of our big family, and His House is our Home.
The obvious question of how it is done still remains unanswered; unless indeed you will accept the answer that God does it. The clergy, the workers, and the people simply take the Church's well worn Bible and Prayer Book, and equally well worn traditions at their face value. Probably our use of these things would at times shock the intellectuals and the liturgical experts. But in the old familiar things of our gay and solemn religion, in a happy combination of faith in God, in Sacraments, and in common sense, we somehow find such pedagogy and psychology and sociology as will help us over all the problems that confront us. Almighty God seems to know His sciences very well. Yet because He is not so much a theorist as a Father, He makes the best possible Rector for the great parish of all mankind.
Charles David Fairman.
The Pastoral Neglect of the Immigrant
A Call to Action
E have left undone those things which we ought to have done." To confess thus is hypocrisy unless we immediately try to do them, unless we proceed to change our neglect to action. Contrition and Confession are of no avail without Amendment. Our American Church sadly admits failure to care for the immigrant, and then officially and generally does practically nothing. Why? Two reasons are the strangeness of the problem and hide-bound conservatism. Thank God the Church is beginning to realize the opportunity, but we are disgracefully and harmfully tardy.
Almost unthinkable numbers of peoples of various races from over the seas, of alien birth, language, and predispositions, have come to our free Republic, have settled here, and will continue to come. The State is studiously attempting to train them for American citizenship. Social settlements and the like are accomplishing much. Protestant denominations are working most seriously on the problem. The Roman Church is striving strenuously to keep hold of its own. The Russian Church in America is doing the most thorough work of all. Our own American Church has done and is doing either nothing at all or at the most making isolated and sporadic experiments. Our official Board of Missions, whence the initiative might have been expected - and they have been sufficiently urged by Bishops and others- have failed to act. General Convention adopted a policy and centralized a work on Religious Education and on Social Service. These two somewhat indefinite categories are obviously the everyday familiar work of priest and parish, and yet we needed specialized study and expert advice. But here is a definite task, laid upon us by God, because of a vast and complex migration, a kind of work the like of which is without precedent in Church history. The solution of this problem can be found and provided for only by careful study, by truly scientific methods, by complete correlation of knowl
edge and experience, by definite and wide-spread policies. The time for haphazard experiments should be over.
The Baptists, the Methodists, the Congregationalists and other denominations are going about the matter in a whole-hearted way. The meagerness of their results is not because of lack of zeal or expenditure of time, money and men, but only because of the meagerness of their Christianity. We have what the majority of immigrants look upon as essential to the Christian Church: the full Faith, the definite authority, the sacramental reality. To certain races we are the natural and only hope for religious nurture. The excellent results of even our haphazard methods show clearly what we could do, if only we went about it whole-heartedly.
Take for example the Congregational work. Their central Home Mission Board has its studiously planned and well equipped Immigration Department. This has its special national superintendents for Slavic, Danish-Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, and other sub-departments; a hard working port chaplaincy; colleges and schools for immigrants; publications and periodicals in various languages; and above all a little army of ministers and trained lay-workers of various nationalities, established in mission stations all over the country. Each of these missions is manned by a "native" minister, so to speak, ministering to his own race in its own language, Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Swede, Finn, German, Swiss, Italian, French, Slovak, Bohemian, Portuguese, Welsh, Persian, Turkish, and others. An attractive pamphlet, one of their many publications on this work, contains on each page two pictures of these ministers, one of each nationality above mentioned and others, and beside each picture a little signed letter in the script of each language. These "native" ministers preach in twenty-three different foreign languages. A great deal of money is spent on this work.
This and the other denominations doing their utmost in their partial way for the saving of souls are like the Good Samaritan; and we are like the Priest and the Levite. Forgive me, if to emphasize the point I carry the Parable a little further and change it to suit.
The Good Samaritan took the wounded man to an inn, and left him there to the tender mercies of a strange landlord. He had done as well as he could, but the man may have died at that lonely inn for want of understanding sympathy and proper treatment. If the Priest and the Levite had stopped to care for their brother Jew, they would have known fully what to do. They would have given him not amateur first aid but expert treatment. And they would have taken him to Jerusalem itself among his own people, where he would have obtained full treatment and a sure home for the rest of his life.
Yet we, ordained of God for this very purpose, though it is our own baptized brother who lies near us, stripped of his early Faith by the robbers of a misunderstood freedom and the examples of surrounding American irreligion-we pass him by on the other side.
Bishop Burch in a report on "Work among Foreign Peoples," read in Albany before the Synod of the Province of New York and New Jersey, says:
"Released from the restraints of autocratic governments, from various restrictions and exactions which they regard as oppression, they come to us as to a land of complete freedom, in which all restraint, political, social, or religious, may be cast aside, all subjection to constituted authority. Too often they become, at the outset, at least unconsciously anarchistic, impatient of, if not disobedient to all governance. They readily abandon the faiths of their earlier years and unless met at the very beginning of their life here by impelling, or at least, inviting religious influences, all too quickly drift into utter unfaith, becoming openly and unblushingly irreligious.
"The seriousness of the problem becomes apparent the moment one gives it consideration; the danger of inaction is increasingly emphasized as one proceeds thoroughly and whole-heartedly toward the heart of the issue. Out-and-out infidelity, neglect of all religious restraint and exercises, famine in the realm of the spiritual life, without God and hope in the world these evils and lacks and losses are to be the portion of the larger number of our adopted sons and daughters from over-seas if the present policy of the Christian Church continues.
"It is not a question of pressing a campaign of proselytizing-it is the bald responsibility for the saving of vast numbers of souls from irreligion and immorality which is the burden of the Church's duty today."
We are at War. Have we the time or the money to take up such work adequately now? I hold that the time is now; that this is one of our foremost present duties as patriotic citizens
for our beloved Country: to establish, before it be too late, these our brethren in the only sure foundation of true democracy, the religion of Jesus Christ. War has awakened our nation to the fact of unpreparedness. Let the Church learn the lesson also. Here is a crying need for energetic preparedness. Let us not fail to do our bit in this matter for our Country. This will be an essential part of the reconstruction after the war. We must work quickly, understandingly, definitely and together.
Now there are four great classes of immigrants who are our particular wards, who naturally turn to our Church when they understand what she really is, who are indeed our fellowchurchmen that are wandering astray for lack of shepherding. These four classes are: the Eastern Orthodox; the members of the Separated Churches of the East; the Scandinavian Episcopalians; and the lapsed Roman Catholics. The first two we can help to save by thoroughly cooperating with their own clergy, ministering the Sacraments only when their own clergy cannot be had; the last two we must take wholly to ourselves and provide for them pastoral care.
I. The Eastern Orthodox, whose lives we can help to save from growing neglect of God are the Russian, Serb, Greek, Syrian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, and Albanian. Also we can lend a hand to the Polish National Catholic Church in our midst, which is practically recognized as Orthodox by the Eastern Orthodox. These have come to learn that we are honest in our desire to help, that we do not wish to proselytize, but to assist their regular clergy to reach their people. The War has turned our thoughts to the near East, unseated our foolish prejudices and warmed our hearts toward our new sister Christian Republic, Russia. It is time we realized the fundamental fact that Russia's very soul and motive power is the real religion of her great Church. Everyone of our church people ought to try to learn something of this great section of Christendom. Such knowledge will make us understand our own Communion better. The Russian Church has a well manned mission in America with its object to keep to the Faith the seven millions