Conference Directory Invaluable

In a conference as large as Michigan, with one hundred seven churches which have a combined membership of more than ten thousand, a comprehensive church directory is imperative if efficient and effective work is to be accomplished.

By MARJORIE NIXON-REY, Michigan Conference Office Worker

In a conference as large as Michigan, with one hundred seven churches which have a combined membership of more than ten thousand, a comprehensive church directory is im­perative if efficient and effective work is to be accomplished. Every year we issue a church directory, and invite constructive criticism from conference workers for its improvement. This directory comprises many features which are calculated to give the worker necessary information about each district, church, and isolated member in the Michigan Conference.

To secure the necessary information, blanks are sent out to the church clerks early in January of each year, asking for the location of the church, the time of services, a list of their new church and Sabbath school officers, and the leaders of the Home and School Asso­ciation. As rapidly as these blanks are re­turned to the conference office, the respective churches are checked off the list, and those who fail to reply promptly are again asked to sup­ply us with this information at once. As soon as the last church has reported, the blanks are taken out of their alphabetical order, assem­bled according to districts, and numbered with the district number.

It has also been customary in Michigan for the various departmental secretaries to send out cards asking for the new officers in their respective departments, such as the Missionary Volunteer officers, Home Missionary officers, etc. The information on these cards is then checked against the reports sent us by the church clerks. This often helps us to discover errors in the spelling of names, in the listing of addresses, and in verifying questionable penmanship.

The first page of our directory is an index of the churches, with the page on which the information regarding each may be found. The second page gives the office address and telephone number of the conference head­quarters, the executive committee, secretaries, and officers. The third page lists our educa­tional institutions and the addresses and tele­phone numbers of their personnel, together with those of the union conference officials. The next page lists the church school teachers, with their addresses; and the following page gives the names, addresses, and telephone num­bers of all conference workers.

Following this, the churches making up each district are listed, first alone, and then with details. In the first list, the membership of each church and the total membership of each district is given. We have found this data on memberships very helpful when fixing goals and assigning territory for campaign work.

Now we are ready for each district in detail. The upper right-hand corner of each page contains the district number and the serial page number. The churches are arranged alphabetically according to districts. Follow­ing the district number, the district leader's name, address, and telephone number, and the churches of that district are listed alphabet­ically. First the name of the church is given, with its membership in parenthesis, then its location and the time of services. Following this come the names of the church officers, with their addresses and telephone numbers. After the last church in that district has been listed, the conference church and isolated members in that district are added. This en­ables a worker to visit these isolated believers while working about in the district, and makes it possible for him to add new names, cross off the names of persons who move away, and keep the addresses up to date.

At the end of the sixteen districts are two lists of conference church and isolated mem­bers. One is arranged according to cities, and the other alphabetically by names. Wherever a worker may happen to be working, he can turn to this section of the directory and learn whether there are any isolated believers there on whom he should call. Or he can thus locate the homes of our believers where he may seek lodging or information relative to the needs of that particular locality. Every quarter, con­ference workers are provided with a supple­ment to their list which gives the names of members added and of those dropped, and in this way they keep their list current. This list includes every member of the various families listed, whereas our addressograph list includes only heads of families, to save postage.

When the stencils have all been typed, we work out a color scheme whereby every section of the directory and every district appears on different-colored paper. The pages are mimeo­graphed, and the cover page is designed. When this directory is received by the worker, he has complete information about every church and member in his district, and every other church in the conference. When a worker from another conference comes into our field to promote various campaigns, a copy of this directory gives him valuable information that will assist him in reaching the people in the various churches and districts.

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By MARJORIE NIXON-REY, Michigan Conference Office Worker

December 1939

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