“Time Marches On” is no longer a catch phrase but rather a truism. Especially are we aware of this fact when we stop long enough to recall the past however short or long the span may be. Nationally and internationally changes have been taking place so rapidly that one man cannot comprehend what has taken place unless it is such an individual as H. G. Wells or perhaps Orson Wells . The purpose of our meeting this evening is to gather for the events of this past year in Williston to see how we have advanced in the building of the Kingdom of God. More than making a picture, we are here to see if we have made sound investments of our time and money.
The Pastor’s report will sketch for you what has taken place since we last met in this manner, rather than the conference year of 1938-39. If time permitted it would be of interest to tell the story of the past four years, such as the painting of the church, the creating of a parking ground, how the new hymnals had been installed both in the church and church school, what advances had been made in the place of worship, but we want to focus our attention on the last 11 months.
I know that statistics are cold and hard yet they have been of value in determining success or failure of institutions. The following accounts ought to give us a sense of achievements.
The average attendance has increased eight over last year for Sunday. This may be due to the very fine work done by the chairman of the various districts of our town. At our preaching Mission which was conducted for seven consecutive nights beginning with Nov. 14 we had an average attendance of 63 + per night. No doubt the able speaker/s we had for our missioners, such as the Rev. David Reid + the Rev. Horace Tatum, both of Burlington had much to do with this success, plus the fine co-operation of the members of the various committees.
At this point, I think I ought to report on the Daily Vacation Bible School, in as much as there is no one delegated to give the report. There were two weeks set aside in the latter part of July and the first part of August. The enrollment was 47 and there was an average attendance of 41.5. Special attention should be given to Miss Gertrude Merrill and Mrs. Ruth Mace as leaders of worship and to the Misses Ruth Wills, Ruth Fuller and Miss Lucia Chapman who taught the various classes. Miss Amy Metcalf served us well in providing us daily refreshments which was a vital part of the programs, especially during those hot summer mornings.
A glorious scene looms before me, when I think of last Palm Sunday when 15 persons stood before the altar seeking admission into our fellowship. Someone has said that “preaching is gathering up material through the week, setting fire to it Saturday so that it might warm the lives of people on Sunday.” Gathering material for my sermons has come from two sources in particular, that is , calling (and I have made over 600 since we last met) and from studying. This past year I haven’t been out of my pulpit but four Sundays which was my vacation period, tough we had two guest speakers, namely the Dr. George Dixon Greer and Mr. Albert Laing (?), at which service in subscribed $30.00 to the futurance of temperance education in Vermont.
During July and the first part of August we conducted two morning worship services for those who desired and earlier service. This meant that your pastor would speak as high as 3 times in one morning , while pastor of the Richmond Church besides. Not only has your pastor been at work in Williston but the demands on a pastor today are from many sources.
To meet such demands of cooperative religious enterprises twenty outside engagements were met, such as speaker at the Rotarian Club at Waterbury and the Lion’s Club of Burlington, six engagements as Radio Speaker at which time I assisted the celebration for National Air Mail, assisted at three preaching mission series, was the guest speaker at the 4-H round up at the county conducted —– young people —– in Burlington. At the Semi Annual Meeting of the Champlain Ass. of Congregational Church it was my privilege to be one of the speakers on their program. Moreover I was on the program at the joint meeting of the Federated Church of Vermont. I assisted at the ordination of a Baptist pastor and preached at the Church of the Nazarene Church School. A new Lecturn has been placed from money gained from the selling of a worn out table. No doubt one of the greatest improvements on the outside of our property is the shrubbery which was planted . This work has gone on under the supervision of Mrs. Jeannette May.
At the parsonage, a very much needed bit of improvements was done under the supervision of Misses Metcalf + Loggins. A very fine porch was built , all screened and furnished up to the minute. I am sure Mrs. Mackenzie and myself cannot be too loud in our appreciation for the hours we spent there last summer.
No doubt one of the most loyal groups of our work here is the choir. Through thick or thin, rain or snow, the faithful choir has come for practice during this year. There hasn’t been one Sunday that they have failed to function at the morning worship service with an anthem. One time we did get down to six, though that was the exception rather than the rule. Now, I would like to speak publically to the choir my deepest appreciation for the beautiful robe which they made possible a few Sundays ago. As the boys would say “It is a peach.”
A very interesting phase of the Christian Ministry has been enjoyed by your pastor this past year and that is, his work with the doctors. Four different doctors have called on me in on consultation, realizing that a ” spiritual surgeon” had a part in aiding people to enjoy good health. There were 20 calls at the study of counseltation during this past year. As most of you know there is a time spent with every couple that is married in pre-marital counseling and so interesting was this work that your pastor was asked last May to bring a paper before the Chittenden County Ministorial Group. Copies of the paper have been sought by pastors of the state. So as the fourth chapter of work comes to a close in advancing the Kingdom of God here in Williston. I trust that each one who has made a sacrifice of time and money may see that it has been an investment in the building of bigger and better personalities.
Submitted by F.G. Mckenzie
copied by A E Metcalf Dec. 12, 1938 Williston, Vt
Your pastor has officiated at 16 funerals, ten weddings. There were twenty six men, women and children who received the sacrament of baptism.