Resolved, That the General Synod of the Church of England in Canada would desire to place on record its appreciation of the work that is being done by the Lord's Day Alliance of Canada in guarding Sunday as a day of rest for the people of the Dominion.
It recognizes that during the past 43 years this service has been rendered in spite of the inadequate support by the Christian public and it commends the work of the Alliance to the sympathetic interest of the whole Anglican Church in Canada.
Believing that the importance of the work during a time of unsettlement is of vital concern to the well-being of the Canadian Nation, and that it is being conducted with ever increasing wisdom and tactfulness, it commends to the Church the suggestion that the first Sunday after Easter should annually be observed as a day upon which the claims of the Alliance should be placed before Anglican congregations and collections made on behalf of its work.
It expresses the hope that arrangements between the Lord's Day Alliance and our own Ecclesiastical authorities may be placed upon a basis whereby the really valuable work of the Lord's Day Alliance may be more effectively presented to our people throughout the Dominion. The arrangement recently concluded between our Ecclesiastical authorities and the Canadian Bible Society leads this Synod to believe that a similar arrangement could be concluded to our mutual advantage.
"It is strange that the Reverend J.B. Silcox [an ordained Congregational minister], a typical social gospeller, has not attracted the attention of historians, especially since he was so popular in his time. Silcox preached a theology of individual regeneration. Ideally, he hoped to reach the soul of every citizen with his message. He had no elaborate plan, but believed that the kingdom of God on earth could be achieved through effective preaching of the gospel, and so, with charisma, vitality, and sincerity, he dedicated his life to delivering a Christian message of social reform. That Silcox filled his church every Sunday indicates that he was certainly popular in his day, and that he had a following. His influence is confirmed by the fact that his ideas were published in pamphlets and newspapers with readers even commenting on them. Few dared to criticise the Silcox's 'higher' purpose of purifying hearts. If he was unsuccessful at defeating the 'evil' forces of the industrial order, Silcox was successful in raising public consciousness to what he considered the ills of society" (p. . "Silcox did not work to establish social missions, settlement houses or workers' unions, but laboured to alter people's attitude. His idea of direct assistance was to bring Christ's message to people's heart. The industrial system which fostered greed, competition and materialism caused the ills of urban life. Through the gospel, however, citizens could learn of Christian principles, and be metamorphosed to then learn to live according to the Golden Rule. Since there is nothing original in his discourse, nothing to distinguish his message from that of other social gospellers of the time, one has to conclude that his popularity as the greatest social reformer of his day was due to the messenger rather than to the message (p. 64).
Article divided into sections: Why Should We Study Silcox ? -- A Revered Entertainer -- The "Industrial System" is Flawed -- Sabbath Observance, Temperance and Social Purity -- Silcox's View of Women -- Silcox's Master Plan: The Gospel -- Silcox's Impact -- Conclusion. Includes one illustration.
That this Sixteenth Session of the General Synod of the Church of England in Canada desires to place on record their appreciation of the work of the Lord's Day Alliance in preserving the Lord's Day from commercial exploitation, and in safeguarding the right of our people to the rest and spiritual opportunities of Sunday. We wish to assure the Lord's Day Alliance of our continued sympathy and support of their work. CARRIED in both Houses.
"The occasion of this Bulletin is the Sixtieth Anniversary of the establishment by the Christian forces of Canada of the Lord's Day Alliance: its object us to hold afresh before our Christian people their responsibility for the protection of the sacred rights of the Lord's Day and to recall to the `pleasant pagans' of our land the great danger they are bringing to our national life by their careless disregard of it. This object will be furthered by other literature published by the Alliance and by other Communications, and, above all, by the co-operation of all clergy and ministers in Canada. The Lord's Day Alliance came into being on April the Twentieth, in the Year of our Lord 1888. It is hoped that all ministers will, if possible, make the week of Sunday, April 18 to Sunday, April 25 a time of special thought and challenge to our Christian people, to recall the inestimable gift of the Lord's Day to us, and the responsibility of Christian example for both the protection and the proper use of it." "We thank our contributors, and the Reverend T.F. Summerhayes who collected some `Items'." -- Foreword.
Contents: Foreword / W.W. Judd -- In the Spirit of the Lord's Day : A Message from the Primate ... George F. Kingston -- [A Message] From the Metropolitan of Ontario ... / Charles Seager -- [A Message] From the Metropolitan of Rupert's Land ... / L. Ralph Sherman -- Lovest Thou Me ? : A Sermon preached on Quinquagesima, 1948, at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, British Columbia, by the Dean / Spencer H. Elliott -- Part 2. The Protection of the Lord's Day : A Day of Rest and a Day for Worship: Protecting Freedom in Worship / R.L. Taylor -- Items -- Part 3. The Church of England in Canada -- Recent Books in the Council's Library.
This General Synod, recognizing that there is a wide-spread agitation in most parts of Canada for the extension of the privileges of commercial trading on Sunday and for commercialized sports and public entertainment at which fees are charged or at which other devices are employed to raise money,
And believing that most of this agitation has its origin in organized financial interests,
Urges the authorities of Governments on all levels, and the people of Canada generally have to regard for the long-range dangers to our society and of the well-being of our people in this attempt to lessen the respect for a uniform day of rest for the people of Canada and to deprive many of them of the opportunity to join in the corporate worship of Almighty God in the Churches:
And further calls upon clergy and laity alike to set a worthy example at all seasons of the Christian duty of regarding the Lord's Day as set apart for rest and for recreation of spirit as well as of body, by their regular attendance upon worship in their Churches. CARRIED in both Houses.
That this General Synod recognizes with thankfulness the service of The Lord's Day Alliance in its efforts to preserve for the people of the Dominion the weekly day of rest, and urges that the Church people of Canada give it their fullest possible co-operation. CARRIED in both Houses.
(a) That the General Synod of the Church of England in Canada has learned with deep concern of the legislation enacted during the past Triennium whereby Sunday sports and games on a commercial basis are permitted within the Province of Ontario, representing as it does the greatest legislative change of its kind since the passing of the Lord's Day Act of 1906, and
Convinced that this statute constitutes a distinct menace to the observance of the Lord's Day as a day of rest, the Synod calls upon church peoples and citizens generally to do all in their power to see that this retrograde action is not extended either by legislation or by default of police oversight in the enforcement of the present law.
(b) The Synod realizes with grave concern that an increasing number of companies are operating their plants on a seven-day week basis and "staggering" the weekly-rest day of their employees thus undermining the maintenance of Sunday as the traditional day of rest;
The Synod recognizes that this development is occurring under normal conditions quite apart from emergency or war-time pressures, and asks that Governments concerned refuse to acknowledge the legality of the practice and that they take appropriate steps to bring it to an end.
(c) That above and beyond these legal considerations the Synod prays that all our Canadian people will aid in the preservation of the Lord's Day from secular uses and as a public acknowledgement of our personal and national belief in the one God and Father of all, and that by their presence at public worship will bear witness to faith in and dependence upon Him. CARRIED in both Houses.