St. Matthews August 1 1914 Tribune

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St. Matthews August 1 1914 Tribune - 57. MATHEWS TELLS MARVELOUS STORY Church Which...
57. MATHEWS TELLS MARVELOUS STORY Church Which Began in Kitchen Eighteen Years Ago Now Leads Western Canada Sweltering Sunday Finds 721 at School Rev. R. B. McElheran Makes Church Noted for Young People and Missions Nobody who spent last Sunday In Winnipeg will have any trouble In re-rulilng re-rulilng re-rulilng what a hot, suitry day It was. Yet exactly Til boys und girls and young people turned out that sweltering sweltering afternoon to attend St. Mutthew's Sunday school. One might bo disposed disposed to question that remarkable figure were the records not on hand to verify verify it. The Sunday school is only one of several marvellous features about St. Matthew's church. It Is the largest Sunday school in Western Canada, having a membership of over 1.0U0, in addition to a cradle roll of 230. During During these dog days, with a great many out of the city, the average attendance is running from 700 to 750. Before the hot weather came the average ranged up to SoO, while after the summer va-lation va-lation va-lation the actual attendance la expected expected to pass the 1,000 mark. Only a year ago, 400 was reckoned a fair average. Began in Kitchen It Is singularly appropriate that the Sunday school should be the outstanding outstanding feature of St. Matthew's church. The whole work began In a Sunday school held in a kitchen. In 1836 Holy Trinity church realized the need of nn Anpllcun cause in the vicinity of Sherbrook and Portage. Mr. and Mrs. H. Buley. still members of St. Matthew's, Matthew's, threw open their house on Sherbrook street. The first sessions were simply Bible studies, the handful of children perching themselves on boxes arranged around the kitchen stove. Some of these youngsters are now teaching classes In the champion suriduy school which has grown from that humble start. Their First Church As more and more joined the Infant parish, Sunday evening services were started. Students and other Iny workers workers from Holy Trinity were In charge, A. O. Cheney being leader In the earliest earliest days. A small wooden church was bully oil Sherbrook and Klllce corner, corner, the site being given by Mr. and Mrs Buley. In May, 1SU7. Archbishop Machray opened this first little church. Waited for Student J.mong the students assigned to take service ut St. Matthew's chanced to be R. B. McKlheran. For two full years he was volunteer worker In charge of this mission while keeping up his studies. Under his guidance the cause became very robust, considering considering its youth. His theology and arts j courses, however, called him to Toronto, Toronto, university In October, 1900. St. Matthew's people, however, resolved not to lose him. They were merely waiting the next six years for him to finish his studies. In the interval tl.e church seemed to mark time. Certainly not much progress progress was made, for when Rev. Mr. McKlheran returned In 3906 as a full-fledged full-fledged full-fledged clergyman and was Inducted as rector, he found less life and heartiness heartiness through the congregation as a whole than six years before. A Transformation Lethargy and apathy cannot exist in the same church as Rev. Mr. McKlheran. McKlheran. A new look came over the church. Outwardly the changes noted were the tearing down of the old church in 190S, and the building of a larger red brick church on the same site. That was only an outward expression expression of an Inner transformation. The whole congregation were catching the zeal, the optimism und the hard work habit fro mtheir rector. St. Matthew's Matthew's was no longer a mission, nor a feeble, young parish. It was a church to be proud of, a church to work for. The Problem Solved The problem of the churches Is to get the membership actively interested, interested, feeling a personal responsibility and anxious to do each his own share. That problem solved, that aim realized, realized, all minor difficult I readily give way. The people of St. Matthew's have proved It. The "workers" In most churches are a mere handful. Here they are. if not the full membership, a very large proportion. In the sun-day sun-day sun-day school lust Sunday, fifty-five fifty-five fifty-five of them were in their places. There was not n single absentee except those out of town. That is an Illustration of how Keriy'isly they take their work. A corps of church visitors, who regularly regularly round up absentees missed from some meeting or other, are Just as! systematic. Finding Weak Links "What is our weak link?" That Is what .Mr. McKlheran keeps asking. hen the weakest link is strengthened, strengthened, the whole organization Is that much stronger. By this process of fortifying the vulnerable points, a un-; un-; un-; iform and aggressive force has been , gathered together. A harmonious family in their relations with each other, they are a veritable army In . ' . c - v -:. -:. :. '' C'i ' ." . 'v - "?',.: v : - i . ,t i. .:(.-,' .:(.-,' .:(.-,' --i --i --i - . t v - -ijf -ijf ;5 : : ; t : w i ' r. r .... -; -; i'. : : I tf. ''' ''l';"' "'.' ;--'.- ;--'.- ;--'.- ;--'.- ;--'.- 1 . r-Xf r-Xf r-Xf '''f'j ' i r -;l-"'.'e -;l-"'.'e -;l-"'.'e -;l-"'.'e f - i REV. W. B. McELHERAN Rectar o' St Watthsw's Cbureh the way they have captured and occupied occupied their territory for Christianity. Missions were the weak link when the present rector came eight years ago. The people apparently thought that until they were well on their feet It was ridiculous to talk of helping foreign missions. The church did not give a nickel a year for missions. Mr. McElheran startled his people with the new watchword, "Missions first." For every dollar given a tenth was devoted to foreign missions. "1 believe our prosperity was the result of our missionary policy." said the rector recently, quoting, "The light that shines farthest is brightest at home." Today St. Matthew's supports two missionaries of Its own. One Is Dr. Archer, a medical missionary In Kan-gra, Kan-gra, Kan-gra, India, and the other Is Miss Robbing, Robbing, In Honan, China, supported entirely entirely by the Sunday school. Miss Robbtns Is a St. Matthew's Klrl herself, herself, having taught in the Sunday school as well us In the Winnipeg public public schools. Training Ministers A missionary church seems to produce produce missionaries. Others besides their own Miss Robbing have gone out from St. Matthew's. The ministry', too, Is richer by reason of the quota sent out froia this single church. In a time when watchmen upon the walls of Zlon are complaining about the dearth of ministers, St. Matthew's is training five young men for that high office more than many whole synods and conferences are furnishing. From not believing In missions to founding a mission church under St. Matthew's auspices Is the big leap taken within seven years. What will some day be a magnificent church has been started on Cambridge Btreet, River River Heights. Every Sunduy night some layman from St. Matthew's conducts service und preaches at this mission. Half a dozen of them take turns; their willing devotion will be recognized when this child of St. Matthew's arid grandchild of Holy Trinity assumes the importance which Its strategic position assures. Use the Church "The church must serve Its generation generation all week and not one day a week," says Rev. Mr. McElheran. "My own Idea is that the church should be used all the time. If the church qoes not do something for the young man between between Sundays, he will be lost to the church and the church will be lost to him." Certainly the new church, opened lust November, carries out the rector's rector's idea. In the basement are boys' and girls' club rooms, men's reading room, gymnasium and shower baths, besides Sunday school and class rooms. A ventilating plant Insures fresh air to the large auditorium seating seating 1,400. Young People's Church If the plana for the new church contemplated contemplated a young people's religlouo and recreative centre, these, expectations expectations have been more than realized. The young men's clubs have three teams In the Sunday School football league, a team In the Federal football league. In the city Intermediate; baseball, baseball, besides competing In various other contests. In baseball and football football they are champions. The tennis club has 125 paid-up paid-up paid-up members, who keep eight courts fully occupied every evening. The Anglican Young People's association of the church has the remarkable remarkable paid-up paid-up paid-up membership of !i50. If having 1,250 in the Sunday school and H50 in the Young People's society does not constitute a young people's church, these young folks want to know what would. Young Men a Challenge "The young men pouring into the city are a challenge to the church," states Mr. McKlheran. We can neglect neglect them except on Sundays, closing the church six days a week. Or we can take them, welcome them. Interest, Interest, them and hold them. We do not believe In merely entertaining them or giving them opportunities for play. We mean to use these men. Through athletics 1 have found leaders of men. These we can train for service. Our athletics are part of our general program program of upbuilding character, and the young men respond nobly to the high and serious call. Children's 8ervice When the rector set out to make St. Matthew's the young people's church, he did not restrict the term to grown ups. The children have their own service every Sunday night in the basement, while the regular service Is going on In the church proper. This novel arrangement, an Idea of Mr. Mc-Elheran's, Mc-Elheran's, Mc-Elheran's, has been a pronounced success. success. The youngsters enjoy having "church" all for themselves, and they practically run It themselves, under leaders. Besides, It gives 100 extra eats, for the church U normally crowded. How to Raise Money With all the remarkable things already already given, St. Matthew's is a church where one never hears "begging sermons'" sermons'" or appeals for money from the pulpit. No bazars, concerts, or money -making -making sideshows ure ever given here. Minister and people don't believe In them, either as a matter of principle or from a business standpoint. All Is free and all the church revenues are given direct. Systematic giving, they contend. Is the only way. In harmony with the policy of letting everybody do his share, a large number of envelope envelope subwrioera give a certain amount every Sunday. In 1900 the collections ran about 12 a week. Even In 1S0 the average collection for both services Sunday amounted to $10 or 112. Today the normal weekly glvlngs are J2'Mi. Thanks to this steady income (not fluctuating, according to how the appeal appeal huppens to strike the "pocket book nerve") the people are not appalled appalled by the Idea of paying for their I new S130.UUU churih as well as car-jrying car-jrying car-jrying on the regular fundi. Even the children In the Sunday school are being being trained In systematic giving by becoming regular envelope contributors. contributors. Capacity for Werk What his church has done and what It la now doing and planning gives one a better idea of Rev. Mr. McElheran than a long personal description. Except Except for the six years' Interval while at college, he hum been practically Its only shepherd. Ieplte its atupendous growth, he remains the only mlniater, although smaller parishes find two men necssary. When one finds that he is a.o superintendent of the Sunday Sunday school, no more need te said about Mr. McElheran s fondness and capacity capacity for work. Without the big band of lav workers, the devotion of the general membership and the splendid esprit d corps of the .cnngrgat.on. St. Matthews could m4 have made anything like the record It has. a'tend-I i i Ci.I-! I I

Clipped from
  1. The Winnipeg Tribune,
  2. 01 Aug 1914, Sat,
  3. Page 21

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  • St. Matthews August 1 1914 Tribune

    cassidy540 – 27 Nov 2013

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