100 years ago: October 1899
Canadian Churchman reported that the aim and object of every religious paper should be to place before its readers the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, with regard to the church it represents: to chronicle its successes in a spirit of thankfulness, but not of exultation; to confess its failures in a spirit of humility, but not of despair, that is of course if it places its reliance on the sure promises of God’s word; and to write on all matters of controversy with the aid of the best intellects that can be called in; treating all opponents with courtesy and fairness, and studying to discuss all topics with due reverence.
50 years ago: October 1949
Canadian Churchman reported that as a rule the Report of the Committee on Statistics and the State of the Church receives little attention. It is nevertheless one of the most interesting and valuable. That presented in 1943 is remembered as the most gloomy. Happily the tide appears at last to be coming in. “The number of Church members is 100,000 more than ever before reported…the number of baptisms, of men and women in our University Colleges is the largest ever recorded…the decline in Sunday School attendance has been checked. The number of Deacons ordained and of students in our Theological Colleges is improving though still behind those of the late ’20s and ’30s.” In light of these encouraging facts it is not easy to understand why “confirmations are stationary at a much lower level than 20 years ago.”
25 years ago: October 1974
Canadian Churchman reported that the first steps towards incorporating the Diocese of Alaska into the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and consequently, into the Anglican Church of Canada, were enthusiastically taken at the 23rd (B.C.) provincial synod. Alaska, an enormous northern diocese with 1,000 miles of border on Canada would withdraw from the Episcopal Church in the U.S. as part of the proposal. Delegates heard a fascinating description of talks and dreams for Alaska to join more closely with Canada from a nine-person delegation. A memorial from the diocese was presented outlining the similar features that Alaska has with the province and especially Yukon diocese such as common life and geography, similarity of peoples “with the same needs, dreams, visions,” basic doctrine, theology, liturgy, worship and holy orders and the need for new working relationships. “We have much to gain from an association with the Canadian church but we also think we have much to offer you,” Rev. Bob G. Jones of Anchorage told the delegates.