The Major part of the instruction at the ministerial institute in connection with the Pacific Union session, held in Fresno, Calif., March 6-15, was given by Elder C. K. Meyers, of, the General Conference. The theme of his series of studies was, " The Privileges of the Ministry in Relation to the Power Promised by God." The instruction was clear and emphatic, and created deep longing and determination on the part of the workers to experience fuller currents of divine life, first for themselves and then for the people.
The studies culminated in a remarkable outpouring of God's Spirit. It had been the plan all through the series to folloNt the Bible study by a brief personal testimony service. At the close of the study on the last day, the usual testimony meeting followed, but could not be controlled so as to close on schedule time. A heavenly atmosphere was in the meeting, and etery one present was greatly refreshed by the presence of God's Spirit Made so manifest to us in this wonderful service.
Elder Calkins related the experience of a remarkable case of healing which had occurred two weeks previously. This led other workers to make mention of similar experiences; and then some of us, who were carrying heavy burdens in behalf of loved ones, requested the united petitions of the men and women assembled, for the healing power of God. We shall never forget the earnest petition of Elder E. W. Farnswerth, as he referred to his own experience of healing and pleaded that other memorials of similar character might be established to the glory of God throughout the Pacific Union.
While I appreciate the great value of discussions on the standards of the ministry, methods, et cetera, still I a firmly convinced that such an experi ence as came to us in the culmination of our ministerial institute and conference session is of far greater value. We hope and trust that this experience marks the beginning of a new flow of divine life and power in the work of God on the Pacific Coast, which will merge into the full power of the latter rain in our midst.
Mention should also be made of the Bible workers' meetings in connection with the union session conducted by Sister Jennie Ireland, who will give separate report. (See page 24.)
H. M. Bluden.
For weeks before the time appointed for our union session, there had been a profound conviction resting upon us as workers that the time had come when we must gain a deeper experience in the Christian life, and rise to far higher attainments in victory over sin, in order to measure up to God's standard for the remnant church. Many ear nest prayers ascended to God that thi meeting might be the occasion of a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our ministry. In this I feel that we were not disappointed. The testimony of many of our workers gave evidence of having gained an experience of personal victory which they had not before realized.
It was our privilege to have with us a number of workers from the General Conference. Elder J. L. McElhany, vice-president for North America; H. H. Hall, of the Publishing Department; Elder C. S. Prout, of the Home Missionary Department; and Elder C. L. Bond, of the Missionary Volunteer Department, rendered efficient help in our convention work and the business sessions. We were especially grateful for the instruction and inspiration received through the daily studies by Elder A. G. Daniells, dealing with the great problems which we face as ministers and workers. These studies brought us to our knees in humble supplication for divine grace, as we came to sense more keenly our great lack in reaching the high standard which God expects of us.
For the sake of brevity, the conclusions reached in the discussion of the various convention topics, as summed up in a nutshell, are as follows:
Clearness, earnestness, and directness in the presentation of the third angel's message are vital essentials.
Discard worldly methods, and bring into use those employed by Christ and the apostles, adapting them to modern conditions.
We must Lead — not drive — the flock.
Efficiency in campaigns depends on keeping them on a soul-winning basis.
Patient perseverance, is a necessary qualification in efficient ministry.
Prayer cannot take the place of study; both prayer and study are essential to success.
The person who desires to reform the church should begin in his own heart.
One word of encouragement is worth more than a paragraph of criticism.
The person who is on fire with the message will not find it difficult to set others on fire with it.
Taking an extreme position injures the cause one is trying to promote.
Level-headed enthusiasm is a most valuable asset to a preacher.
The church that works is the church that grows.
It is impossible to kick and work at the same time.
Faultfinding never fails to back-fire.
Unless your message is received fresh in your own heart, it will be stale to your hearers.
B. F. Kneeland Atlanta, Ga.
Elder J.L. McElhany led out in the ministerial institute held in connection with the Southwestern Union Conference, the instruction being presented in the form of round table discussion, in which all workers took part. Special attention was given to the topic of qualifications for the ministry, with specific reference to the minister's equipment, his spiritual needs, and supplying the essential spiritual food to the people. Instruction was also given on church organization, and the opportunities and responsibilities attending church membership. Deepest interest and appreciation were apparent throughout the meeting, and every worker testified that he had been greatly benefited.
M. B. Van Kirk.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
This meeting opened Monday evening, April 2, in the Municipal Auditorium of Springfield, Mass. At this first meeting the keynote of the conference was clearly sounded in a stirring address by Elder E. K. Slade, president of the union, as he set forth the supremacy of the spiritual in all deliberations to come before the delegates.
The daily forenoon program was as follows: At the 8:30 to 9:30 hour a series of studies were conducted by Elder L. E. Froom on the subject of " The Place and Work oV the Holy Spirit in the Church." The next hour, from 9:45 to 10:45, was, occupied. by Elder 0. Montgomery, who for the first few days dwelt on the theme, " The High Calling of the Ministry," and later gave studies on " Church Organization " in its broadest scope. These spiritual studies were followed by a round table hour, Elder Froom acting as chairman, in which the delegates participated in free discussion covering a wide range of vital topics, such as:
Deepening the Spiritual Life in Our Homes
Requirement of Spirit-filled Messengers to Give the Message Necessity of Study, Reading, and
How to Secure a Public Hearing—advertising, radio, moving picture Importance of a Clear Presentation of the Message
Binding Off the Interest
The Use of Music in Worship
The Sermon, Preparation, Length, etc.
Shall the Sermon Be Illustrated? Proper Indoctrination of New Converts
Minister's Relation to All Departments of the Work of the Church Co-operation of the Minister and Bible Worker
Place of the Radio in Our Work Enlisting the Laity
The Ideal Sabbath Service
The Place of the Health Work in Our Message
Deportment of Workers
Courtesy Toward Our Opponents
Each Worker's Relation to the Debt-Reducing Movement Public Prayer
The last item on the list, " Public Prayer," called forth considerable discussion as to proper posture in prayer, and it seemed to be the unanimous conviction that there should be a return to the old advent standard, of kneeling. A recommendation covering this matter was passed as follows:
"In view of the recognized need of fostering a spirit of greater reverence in the house of God, and that as a means to this end more specific attention should be given to educating our people to adopt uniformity in the matter of proper posture in prayer,
"We recommend, (1) That there be a return to the standard of pioneer days, of kneeling in prayer; (2) That ministers in the pulpit kneel facing the congregation; (2) That members of the congregation, wherever possible, kneel facing the pulpit.
"We further recommend, That after the benediction is pronounced, the entire congregation be seated for a brief period, and with bowed head await the signal from the organist for dismissal."
The import of this recommendation became immediately effective throughout the remainder of the union session.
"The Place of the Radio in Our Work " was another topic which received special attention, and resulted in a recommendation reading thus:
"Recognizing that there are multitudes who will never be reached through our hall and tent meetings, and that through the radio we have access to multiplied millions of homes,
"We recommend, That, as far as possible, arrangements be made in each of our conferences to broadcast the message, such arrangements always to be made in counsel with the conference administration."
Excellent papers were presented on a number of the round table topics, and it is hoped that these will appear in print through The Ministry in due time.
The business sessions of the conference occupied the afternoon and evening hours. All departments of the work were represented, and a clear note of progress and courage was sounded all along the line. Prof. W. E. Howell's talks on " Christian Education " were especially timely and impressive. All the conference meetings were of a deeply spiritual tone, and added to, rather than detracted from, the devotional studies and institute work of the forenoon.
Elder E. K. Slade was unanimously re-elected president of the Atlantic Union, and but very few changes were made in the working force of the union. Two special features entering into the work of this union session are worthy of mention: First, the daily meeting of the Bible workers representing all conferences in the union (concerning which further report is made on page 24) ; and second, the excellent provision and planning of those who had charge of the musical part of the daily program.
The Sabbath sermons were heart-searching presentations of the need of reparation to meet our soon-coming Lord and Saviour. Elder F. M. Wilcox preached the sermon on Friday night, Elder O. Montgomery on Sabbath morning, and Elder L. E. Froom on Sabbath afternoon. Following the afternoon service, two candidates were ordained to the gospel ministry,— C. O. Perkins, of the Southern New England Conference; and J. E. Jervis, of the Greater New York Conference.
The annual meeting of the Review and Herald Publishing Association was held in connection with the Atlantic Union session, and this brought in a large number of leading men connected with the Publishing Department, and added much to the interest of the occasion.
On Sunday afternoon a mass meeting was held in the main auditorium, to which the public was invited. At this time, Elder F. D. Nichol, associate editor of the Review and Herald, preached a sermon on Religious Liberty which rang clear to the call of the hour.
All Bible studies and sermons throughout this quadrennial union session tended to awaken in the hearts of those in attendance a deep yearning for a fuller and richer experience, and for greater power in the work of the ministry. Waves of light and blessing passed over the assembly, and many of the workers expressed joy and gladness for victories gained. On the last morning of the conference, following the concluding study on the Holy Spirit, a call was made for those only who felt that they could not return to their fields of labor without a renewal of the power of the Holy Spirit, to signify this desire by standing. Every effort was made to make this call specific, and not general; and yet, in response to the invitation, nearly the entire congregation arose and pressed forward to kneel while an earnest season of prayer was engaged in. Then followed a praise service,— praise for blessings received, for the assurance of victory over sin, and for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
The ten days spent at this meeting will long be remembered by all who were in attendance; and we believe the results will be apparent in the speedy advancement of the work throughout the borders of the Atlantic Union Conference.
A. T. Robinson.