The way it was… as seen by the Churchman

Published October 1, 1998

100 years ago: September 1898

Canadian Churchman reported that there is too frequently an entire misconception of the relation of the clergyman’s wife to the parish. She is looked upon by many as a kind of female curate from whom the parish has the right to expect all kinds of clerical and semi-clerical work. This is a mistake. The clergyman’s wife exists primarily as a companion, helper, counsellor to her husband, and in proportion as she fulfils these duties she will best serve the parish. Indeed it would sometimes seem that she would best do her duty to the parish by refusing to acknowledge that she had any duties … Dr. Geo. Parkin, principal of Upper Canada College, said that he was one of those teachers who believed it was not worth teaching unless the teaching could be made religious. While he could not conscientiously make his teaching denominational, as he would like to do, he yet found no difficulty in being on close terms with the heads of leading teachers of different churches and seeing that each of his boys got suitable religious teaching.

50 years ago: September 1948

Canadian Churchman reported that before the beginning of history men of many races made of the harvest an occasion of thanksgiving. Beneath the varied, and often strange, ceremonies and customs there is apparent a common sense of dependence. Among the Egyptians it was the custom in each community for a selected reaper to cut the first blades of the ripened grain. Beating his breast, he was required to sing a prescribed formula to the effect that no man is worthy of the fruits of the earth which the gods so liberally provide. … As never before hungry people of the world look to Canada for food. In amounts so great as to be almost incomprehensible we continue to supply grain, and fats and other indispensables. To serve in the role of benefactor is a favour bestowed upon our Dominion by One who provided us with fertile soil, favourable seasons, and the will to work.

25 years ago: September 1973

Canadian Churchman reported that since its beginning, the World Council of Churches has been a controversial body. This controversy is inescapable since, by its very nature, the council causes people to confront the conflicts of loyalties that exist in their daily lives. In its actions it has sought to express the belief that Christianity should not be the tool of any nation, bloc or system, but rather it should be the conscience of society, commending the good and condemning the evil in all systems and practices.


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