Sixteenth Annual Ministerial Convention.
The Sixteenth Annual Ministerial Convention of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, of the Pennsylvania Conference convened in the Ebenezer Church, Laurel Street,
Bethlehem, Pa., October 11, 1905.
The Chairman, J. C. Roth, opened the Convention at 9 a.m., with singing and prayer, followed by the roll call, after which the minutes of the previous Annual Ministerial Convention were read and received with few corrections.
Resolved, That the Convention bar consist of the two first pews through the church and the two amen corners.
Resolved, That all Annual Conference members be voting members and all workers present advisory members of this Convention.
Resolved, That no speaker be allowed to speak more than ten minutes and only once, except by permission of the Chairman.
Resolved, That the Chair appoint a Time-keeper and Reporter. He appointed J. F. Barrall and R. L. Woodring respectively.
Resolved, That we have a Committee on Publication, the same to be appointed by the chairman.
He appointed H. B. Musselman, Geo. A. Campbell and R. Bergstresser.
The following essays were then read, discussed, and received.
First, “Christian Courtesy to be shown among the Ministry,” by E. T. Shick. Courtesy, Webster says, is politeness of manner, especially politeness connected with kindness. There is no doubt a first cause why so little courtesy is manifest in the ministry. With many it may only be a careless and indifferent spirit, while with others it is envy or jealousy, and to treat them kindly would perhaps cause them to rank above ourselves, and such a thought would cause a lot of discomfort. Courtesy to be shown to young pastors. Young pastors who may not be able to interest their congregation as some others and yet say some good things, and when they speak at Camp Meeting then to see an old pastor study his Bible or look around so he does not need to hear what is being said, and some pastors do all their Amening when their man speaks or some one speaks that they can get rattled or excitable. There should be special kindness shown to the young pastors if they are expected to show kindness to others.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the Chairman to investigate the cause of some pastors being tardy at the morning session, and that they have power to reprimand with courtesy said pastors if necessary. And that said committee bring in their report at the afternoon session. W. G. Gehman, H. B. Musselman and E. N. Cassel were appointed.
Resolved, That all delegates be left over to above committee.
Second.- “Tact in Pastoral Work outside of the Pulpit,” by W. S. Hottel. This subject contains two main thoughts. First, The Pastor’s work outside of the Pulpit; Second, The Pastor’s tact in performing said work. Among one of the many gifts bestowed upon the Church through the gift of the spirit, is the gift of the Pastor, Eph. 4:7,12. His work is manifold and diversified. It is set forth under various figures throughout the scriptures: A Sower, Psa. 126:6; A fisher of Men, Matt. 4:19; A Watchman, Heb. 13:17; A Builder, I Cor. 3:10; A Steward, I Cor.4:1; A Shepherd, I Peter, 5: 2,4.
Resolved, That the motion of receiving the essay be laid on the table until the afternoon session.
Resolved, That a collection be lifted to defray the expenses of this Convention, printing of programmes, etc.
After which the session closed with the Benediction by H. B. Musselman.
Second Session, 1.45 p.m.
Opened by singing and prayer by L. Frank Haas. Followed by roll call, after which the minutes of the morning session were read and received.
Report of the Committee on Tardiness:
WHEREAS, A few of the ministering brethren arrived about an hour late, thereby causing somewhat of a disturbance in the Convention, therefore
Resolved, That we express our deepest sorrow and regret for their tardiness, and upon their earnest plea for mercy, recommend this Convention to forgive them, and that the Chairman welcome them in a courteous manner by a hearty hand shake, to a place in the Convention bar.
AND WHEREAS, A number of our Annual Conference Delegates were present at this Convention in good time, therefore
Resolved, That we appreciate their interest shown in the work very much and also express our deepest sorrow for those who were not present. Committee, W. G. Gehman, H. B. Musselman, and E. N. Cassel.
The essay that was laid on the table at the forenoon session was then taken up, further discussed and received.
First.- “Dangerous Characters among Christians, according to God’s Word,” by J. C. Roth.
This subject implies that there are Christians according to God’s Word and that according to the same Word there are dangerous characters among them. Some of the dangerous Characters are, first, Heretics, second, Disloyal, third, Jealous, fourth, Treacherous, fifth, Sowers of Dissension, and last of all are the most dangerous and these are the Dishonest·Ones.
An offering was lifted for the labor and expense of the Secretary, amounting to $4.54. (Thanks.)
Second.- “Suggestions and Plans concerning our Orphanage,” by W. G. Gehman.
The inspired essays and discussions at previous Conventions, the Conference electing a Committee on Orphanage, investing them with the power to buy a place, which power they exercised and bought a farm of eighty-five acres of fertile soil, good buildings and many other favorable features, situated near the Allentown and Philadelphia Traction line and still nearer to P. & R. R. Station at Centre Valley, Pa.
Concerning this home for orphans some plans and suggestions were given. First, The Temporal Economy; Second, Spiritual Economy.; Third, Trades Economy.
Resolved, That we hold another Ministerial Convention, to be held a day prior to the next Annual Conference and at the same place.
The following officers were elected: J. F. Barrall, Chairman, R. Bergstresser, Secretary.
Committee. to Arrange Programme: W. G. Gehman, H. B. Musselman and C. H. Brunner.
The questions were answered by H. B. Musselman and Geo. A. Campbell. After which the session closed with the Benediction by Geo. A. Campbell.
Third Session, 7.15 p. m.
Opened with singing and prayer by W. S. Hottel. After the roll was called, the minutes of the afternoon session read and received.
The following essays were then read, discussed and received:
First.- “Justification as Taught by the Word of God,” by E. N. Cassel.
By Justification, that is in the sense that we now want to examine it, that is theological, we understand the judicial or gracious act of God by which the sinner is declared righteous or justly free from obligation to penalty and fully restored to divine favor. It is the absolution of a sinner from the guilt of sin and death.
Second.-“Sanctification as set forth in God’s Word,” by C. H. Brunner. The term is applied in Scriptures, First, To Days; Second, To Annuals; Third, To Places; Fourth, To Worship.
Report of the Committee on Publication: We, the following committee, herewith recommend the essay on “Sanctification, as set forth in God’s Word,” by C. H. Brunner, to be published in pamphlet form.
H. B. Musselman,
Geo. A. Campbell,
Resolved That we tender a rising vote of thanks to the members of the Bethlehem class for their kindness and hospitality shown us during this Convention.
Resolved, That the minutes be printed in the Conference Journal.
Resolved, That the Secretary send a report of this Convention to the Gospel Banner for publication.
Resolved, That the matter of publishing the essay, “Sanctification, as set forth in God’s Word,” be referred to the Annual Conference.
Adjourned with prayer by H. B. Musselman and Benediction by C. H. Brunner.
J. C. Roth; Chairman.
W. J. Fretz, Secretary.
H. B. Musselman,
W. G. Gehman,
C. H. Brunner.