In this issue of the Ministry are presented résumés of the recent North American union sessions and the ministerial institutes that followed or paralleled the sessions. It would be impossible, of course, in the space available here, to do justice to the many subjects set forth, but it was a constant source of gratification to notice how anxious the workers were to take advantage of all the instruction given. There was no difficulty in securing full and steady attendance.
Different teams of General Conference men attended the different union meetings. In the sessions which it was my privilege to attend, a deep interest was manifest in all phases of the message. In the field of general instruction, Elder Spicer's talks on the rise and work of the Spirit of prophecy in the remnant church were inspiring and helpful. The presentations were constructive, inspirational, and confidence-producing. It was with satisfaction that we learned this material is to appear shortly in book form. All our workers as well as our laymen will be helped by the facts thus set forth.
Elder Christian's portrayal of the conditions under which our brethren in various parts of Europe are compelled to labor, awakened the deepest sympathy on the part of the listeners. We were sobered by the thought that similar conditions will erelong become worldwide, and it was felt that what we do in days of peace and liberty we must do without delay.
J. L. McElhany, W. G. Turner, and M. N. Campbell gave studies designed to build up the spiritual interests of those present, and to make for a stronger and more effective ministry. Special study was given to the paramount place of the Holy Spirit in our work and its consummation.
L. E. Froom's studies on the history of the advent hope and expectancy were a source of special delight to the workers. It was a matter of significance to learn of instances—even in the most somber portions of the Dark Ages, after the loss of the early advent hope by the fourth century—when men caught clear glimpses of fulfilling prophecy as revealed in indentifying the man of sin, following the division of Rome. Thus they were led into the great Protestant awakening of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on the prophecies climaxing in the advent. And finally there came the great advent awakening and revival of the nineteenth century, culminating in the blessed threefold message committed to this movement.
In the round-table discussions of the ministerial institutes proper,* the workers went to the very heart of evangelistic, pastoral, and administrative problems. Some of the outstanding topics for discussion were the life and influence of the minister, his time for devotion and study, maintenance of denominational standards, the Spirit of prophecy, dangers threatening our churches, the evangelist's responsibility, work for our youth, pastoral duties, use of the radio, health interests, finances, religious liberty, divergent movements and how to deal with them, how to improve our prayer meetings, better business meetings, etc.
Consideration of the various subjects was characterized by freedom of expression and good will. There is not a shadow of doubt but that these institutes brought light, blessing, and courage to our ministers, fitting them for more effective service for God in the days to come.
By arrangement, reporters were appointed by the nine North American unions to present general surveys of the respective institutes through this issue of the Ministry. In addition to these general summations, three of the leading contributions from each union, as presented by local men at the round-table hour, will appear in this and subsequent numbers. Thus our world body of workers may share in the benefits of the major presentations.—Editor.