From The Australian Christian Commonwealth – July 14, 1916…
A report from the Conference Executive on Evangelism
“The Conference Executive, at is meeting on Friday evening last, decided upon an AUGUST EVANGELISTIC MISSION, along the following lines :-
(1) That during the month of August all our Sunday evening services be made distinctly Gospel services, preceded by a Prayer meeting and followed by an after-meeting for the purpose of securing decisions for Christ.
(2) That in as many places in each circuit as possible Gospel services e held during the week nights following, such services to be conducted by the ministers of the circuit, in conjunction with the local preachers
(3) That during these missions our people be specially urged to engage in house-to-house visitation and canvass, with a view to inducing and encouraging those who do not attend any place of worship to come to the mission services.”
Spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ has changed a bit in 100 years, but our Methodist predecessors were certainly quite earnest in getting the word out!
From The Australian Christian Commonwealth – July 7, 1916…
Letters from the Front
“Smith Street in Egypt.” by Chaplain Rev. T. C. Rentoul
Captain Gault and I are in neighbouring training battalions in this great canvas city. We unite as far as possible in our work, and our combined efforts are being blessed. In order to reach a large number of fellows who do not frequent the Y.M.C.A halls – of which we have three – we decided to commence open-air services on a couple of nights a week…
On the first night… the soldiers gathered round as curious and yet as shy as colts. Evidently they thought we were going to sell razor paste or mechanical toys, or start a gambling school. When the hymn books came out and a tune was started, one fellow groaned, “Good Lord, it’s religion@” and the crowd commenced to evaporate. But they soon came back. The are attracted by singing like flies to bread and jam (to full appreciate the force of the simile one needs to live in Egypt)
From The Australian Christian Commonwealth – front page, June 30 1916… (so the language is not what we would use today)
“The Bible leads its student into God’s great out-of-doors. It enables him to find the symbols of spiritual truths in things material. The works of God and the word of god are interpretative of each other. In the lover of nature God finds His best-qualified messenger.”
The author of the article goes on to talk about the Shepherd & His sheep, the vineyard and The Vine pruner, etc.
‘The Australian Christian Commonwealth’ was a weekly newspaper of the early Methodist Church in South Australia, and can be found online at the National Library’s Trove website (trove.nla.gov.au), or print versions can be read at the History Centre.