Ministerial Institute in Britain
By W.T. Bartlett
The workers of the British Union assembled at Stanborough Park, Watford, for a ministerial institute during the last ten days of July. This was a very enjoyable occasion, and one of deep profit. At the opening meeting, Elder W. H. Meredith, president of the union, called the attention of the workers to statistics setting forth facts as to actual situations in the progress of the work, and used these statistics as a fitting basis for the call to deeper consecration and more thorough endeavor. We found that our loss by apostasy presented sobering figures, and were also startled to find that only about one fourth of the cities in the union having a population of more than ten thousand, have been entered with the proclamation of the message. Under the spur of these facts the workers gave serious study to planning for more effective effort.
Two periods each day were allotted to round table discussions, in connection with which talks of a stimulating and practical character were given on such subjects as advertising, securing names, bringing people to decide for the truth, preparing for baptism, and organizing the church. One of the general decisions reached through round table discussion was that of returning to the former custom of conducting tent efforts during the summer months. For various reasons, tent efforts have been abandoned in this field during recent years, but after considering the arguments for and against the employment of tents, it was unanimously recommended to the union committee that this method be revived. The principal reasons in favor of the tent effort were these: (1) To attract the attention of people and secure a fair-sized audience in a hall for the purpose of listening to an unknown speaker, requires a considerable expenditure of money; but the pitching of a tent does a great deal to advertise itself, and thus lessen the advertising expense. (2) Some questioned the propriety of holding meetings in a cinema (theater), on the basis that people who are attracted to such a place may not prove to be the best material for developing genuine Seventh-day Adventists.
Two meetings were held by the Bible workers, for the consideration of their special problems.
The program of the institute was a very full one, and incorporated the help of a number of general workers, whose instruction was greatly appreciated. Elder F. M. Wilcox, the editor of the Review and Herald, gave a series of studies on the subject of the Spirit of prophecy, and in his sermons set forth the perils of our people and called for a revival of true godliness; Elder J. H. Schilling, of the Northern European Division, presented the subject of the high calling of the ministry; while Elder L. H. Christian and Elder W. E. Read took up various phases of the sanctuary doctrine. We were also stirred and edified by three talks by Mrs. L. Flora Plummer, on the Sabbath school work. The interests of the Fireside Correspondence School were represented by Prof. M. E. Olsen; and the basis for effective co-operation between evangelist and nurse, in public efforts, was set forth by Miss Kathryn L. Jensen.
Watford, Herts, England.