Rock River Conference Passes resolution Approving of Physical Examination before Marriage
Ask Federal Control
Tuesday the Rock River conference placed itself squarely on record as advocating radical reforms in the statutes regulating marriage. The following are among the reforms urged.
Federal control of the entire subject of marriage and divorce, insuring uniformity of laws.
Physical examination of the contracting parties to a marriage.
Wide publicity of the intention of the parties to enter the marriage state.
A law compelling the filing of a certificate by each party, setting forth all places of previous residence.
A statute providing that no divorce be granted except on scriptural ground. It should be provided, however, that there may be granted in certain cases the right of separation.
A statute making the abandonment of a wife by a husband a felony.
Rigid laws prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages, believing as we do from a close study of statistics that the use of liquor, directly and indirectly, is one of the greatest causes of divorce.
Recommendations in resolution - The recommendations were embodied in a set of resolutions and the adoption of these was one of the last sets of the conference at the First Methodist church.
The only objection raised was by the Rev. James Rowe, superintendent of the City Missionary society, who asserted the provision touching physical examinations was a blow struck at the sentimental side of marriage. "I think the report is pretty far fetched," he said. "It seems to be following the lead of sensationalists."
The Rev. Frank Sheets replied the report outlined a program for which the church stands. "Its provisions make for the welfare of the race," he said.
One of Most Vital Questions - The preamble to the resolutions is in the following language: "One of the most vital questions today before the world - if not the most important - is the perplexing question of marriage and divorce, and it behooves us, as Christians tactively and consistently to interest ourselves in the problems arising therefrom which so greatly have to do with the physical, moral, and religious life of the people.
"Marriage and divorce should be regulated by the state in the most careful manner. The safeguarding of the home is the state's chief business. The interest of the state in the family is paramount to the interest of the individual member of that family, because the citizens pf the state come from the home, are trained for citizenship, in large part, in the home.
"We hold that it is the bounden duty of both state and church to throw about the home every possible safeguard, not only for the physical well being of the nation, but for the spiritual welfare of generations unborn."
After setting forth the recommendations, the resolutions add: "We further believe all marriages of our people should be performed by our clergy and that the ministry of the church be diligent in the enforcement of the provisions of the church discipline governing marriage. "To all our members we would reiterate: 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, lest sorrow come upon you.'"
Changes Unusually Numerous - The conference began on Oct.1. Owing to several removals to other conferences and the expiration of the terms of office of two of the district superintendents, the changes in the pastorates of the churches were more numerous than for several years. The Rev. Frank D. Sheets was made the superintendent of the Joliet district, vacated by the expiration of the six-year term of Rev. Robert H. Pooley.
The Rev. John Thompson becomes superintendent of the Chicago western district. He has been pastor during the last four years of the Gary Memorial church, Wheaton.
No case for church discipline appeared. The only difficulty was the Trinity-Marie church controversy of ten years' standing. This contest over church property has been acted on by several annual conferences as well as by two general conferences.
The conference decided to take no further action, but to leave the settlement of the controversy to the courts, Bishop McDowell, District Superintendent, Dr. William Macafee, and the pastors and trustees of the churches concerned. What had the appearance of being a punitive measure was taken against Trinity church. The announcement was made by the bishop that the church pulpit would be "unsupplied" during the coming term. His only comment on this was that it was "in line with the action of the general conference."
Report Made by treasurer. - The following report was made by the treasurer, the Rev. J. K. Carpenter of Elgin, of benevolent money contributed for the year: Total benevolent contributions, $224, 276. Total for missions, home and foreign, $111, 809. Total increase over last year, $12,000. Increase in missionary offerings, $4,916.
Appointments - At the close of the evening session the assignments of pastors to the pulpits in the Rock River district were announced. The following are the appointments in the Chicago northern district: Louis F. W. Lesemann, superintendent. Antioch, A. O. Stixrud; Arlington Heights, Peter Jacobs; Barrington, O. F. Mathison; Cary, C. E. Spalding; Chicago - Albany Park, J. E. Putnam; Augusta street, B. A. Alexander; Avondale, G. C. Carswell; Berry Memorial, C. D. King; Bethany, J. J. Williams; Bethel, C. H. Putnam; Bowen, E. K. D. Hester; Diversey Boulevard, E. E. McKay; Edison Park, to be supplied; Erie Street, M. D. Cox; Epworth, J. H. Odgers; Evanston Avenue, S. B. Edmundson; Grace, E. L. Williams; Granville Avenue, A. L. Young; Gross Park, A. T. Stevenson; Hamlin Avenue, W. L. Clapp; Hermosa, W. E. Gross; Humboldt park, A. S. Haskins; Joyce, Roderick Murray; Mayfair, B. H. Fleming; Norwood Park and Niles, J. Frank Anderson; Ravenswood, R. S. Hyde; Rogers Park, D. M. Tompkins; Sawyer Avenue, W. M. Rease; St. Luke's, E. L. Hobbs; Sheridan Road, A. D. Thioodeau; Wesley, J. M. Phelps; Wicker Park, N. J. Harkness; Diamond Lake, C. F. Steiner; Desplaines and Riverview, T. H. Jorgensen; Evanston - Covenant, T. P. Frost and H. H. Harris; Hemenway, H. C. Harmon; Wheadon, A. L. Fisher; Franklin Park, G. E. Monkman; Gage's Lake, C. W. Leonard; Glencoe, H. G. Smith; Glenview, L. E. Cook; Gray's Lake, to be supplied; Hickory and Rosecrans, to be supplied; Highland Park, Vern A. Spicker; Lake Bluff, J.C. Yoker; Lake Villa, J. B. Lowrie; Libertyville, W. L. Whipple; Meacham, to be supplied; North Chicago, A. A. McCracken; North Crystal Lake, T. Atkey Brewster; North Prairie, Thos. Hart; palatine, J. E. Roberson; Park Ridge, J. L. Dickson; Wauconda and Volo, R. C. Hallock; Waukegan, J. W. Fimston; Wilmette, T. K. Gale; Yorkhouse, O. F. Jones, and Zion City, L. H. Sweetland. The conference decided to unites the Emmanuel and the First Methodist churches of this city, the Rev. T. P. Frost being the pastor assigned.