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Church Cooperation In Community Life by Paul L. Vogt


In the preceding chapters the effort has been made to outline some of the conditions and principles involved in organizing the rural church for community service. The field has been limited by distinguishing between that type of service which has to do with man's relation to his Maker and that which has to do with his relations to his fellow man. The latter service has been chosen as the field for the present discussion, and the effort has been made to keep within the field, regardless of the desirability of discussion of the other phases of the work of the rural church. The field itself both as to size of community and the scope of the entire field has received attention. An attempt has been made to present the philosophic basis justifying the church in giving large attention to community service. Some of the more general aspects of rural life demanding attention on the part of the church have been discussed and the reasons for assuming that certain phases of rural social activity properly belong to the church rather than to other agencies have been presented to the reader.

The problems of adjustment between religious denominations as such and between the parent religious organizations and so-called |arms| of the church have been outlined and methods of adjustment suggested. The relation of all religious forces to other rural life agencies has received some attention; and, finally, the missionary program of the church as the agency for strengthening the weak and of advancing the general cause of conquest of all life with principles of Christian living was discussed. It is hoped that the principles presented will at least be given careful consideration, and if they are not accepted in full, that they will at least provoke discussion that will eventually lead to some form of organization that will more nearly meet the demands of the time than the present unorganized, unrelated sectarian and other efforts that paralyze and discourage those responsible for service in the local as well as in more general fields of Christian work. If this object can be accomplished, the effort to point the direction organization should take will not have been in vain.

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