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God for the progress that has thus far been made. The amount paid in cash to the credit of the Endowment Fund is $20,000; the total of cash and pledges to date is over $35,000. In due time Indiana will take her place among the large number of sister Dioceses who have made permanent provision for the support of the Episcopate.
AGED AND INFIRM CLERGY FUND. This fund is slowly but steadily increasing, and has increased, since I came to you, from $400 to more than $2,000. Its increase would be much greater if every clergyman would comply with the requirements of our Canon and make an annual collection on Christmas Day, or on some other occasion, for this fund. I must insist upon compliance with this law of the Diocese. We owe it to those faithful men who spend their lives in the service of the Church in this Diocese, that, when age and infirmity overtake them, and incapacitates them for their work, the Church shall be in a situation to relieve their necessities and render comfortable their last days. “
ORPHANAGE FUND. The children of the Diocese contributed the means for the purchase of a lot adjacent to the Cathedral site and have made a good beginning on a fund for the erection of the building. My hope is to secure at least $10,000 for a double building that shall serve for an Orphanage and a Home for the Aged. It is high time that such an institution was founded by the Church in Indiana. There are many to whom God has entrusted the means, who should esteem it a privilege and a pleasure to aid their Bishop in accomplishing this purpose. I ask such to send me their voluntary offerings or pledges for this blessed work, and to remember it, with other Church work in the Diocese, in their wills. I ask from every adult Churchman in the Diocese a contribution large or small as God has blessed them, for this work.
ST. STEPHEN'S HOSPITAL, RICHMOND, Has been going quietly on through its fifth year in its work of mercy. It still occupies a hired house. This should not be the case. The Church and citizens of Richmond should deem it a privilege to make its work permanent by purchasing its present buildings or by raising a fund for building a suitable home for it. I sincerely hope that ere long this may be accomplished. I trust that generous offerings may be contributed throughout the Diocese on Thanksgiving Day for its current expenses, as an evidence of our sympathy in its work. The Child's Cot Fund, contributed by the children, amounts to $276.
The whole subject of our Diocesan Missions, the most important Church work in the Diocese, will be presented at the meeting to-morrow evening, when a full report and review of the work for the year will be made. I trust all will remain through that meeting.
I would recommend that the Board be authorized to apportion equitably upon the parishes and missions the full sum required to carry on this work for the ensuing year, with the request that every reasonable effort be made to meet this apportionment. Two cents a week, contributed by every communicant of the Church, would enable the Board to double its working force and in a comparatively few years occupy every county in the State for the Church. Shame it is, that this comparatively insignificant sum is not cheerfully placed at the disposal of the Board. $250 to $500 secures a church building and fron five to ten times the amount in Church property, and the permanent services of the Church in a county seat of from two to five thousand inhabitants. There are laymen and laywomen of this Diocese who could readily contribute this every year and do a work for the glory of God and the extension of His Church that angels might envy them. Oh, laymen and laywomen of this Diocese, when will you realize your stewardship and that you can not carry away with you your wealth. How much wiser and better to invest some of it for God and His Church, rather than all for self. In the missions of Knightstown, Hammond, Anderson, Mount Vernon, and Huntington, the ladies' guilds are collecting sums to build mission churches. The gift of $500 to either
of them would secure its speedy accomplishment. May God put it into the hearts of Indiana Churchmen to realize their obligations, and the splendid opportunity that offers them, here at our own doors, for the extension of the Kingdom of our Adorable Redeemer.
GRACE CATHEDRAL. I have been exceedingly gratified with the steady growth and development of this Cathedral Church. Beginning with nothing but an almost dismantled building, in October, 1884, as a simple venture of faith, at the end of two years it became a self-supporting congregation, and has made its church building beautiful and attractive, with an orderly and beautiful service, with one hundred and twenty-five communicants and one hundred Sunday-school scholars, and has drawn together an earnest band of Churchmen and Churchwomen, who promise in time to be a power for good in our See city and Diocese. Its liberal contributions for the work of the Diocese and General Mission work, and for its own support and improvement is an approval of the judgment that suggested its opening and a vindication of the advantages of the free church system in the support of our churches. A generous member of this congregation has deeded to the Trustees of the Diocese twelve hundred acres of land in Arkansas, which, when disposed of, shall be the nucleus of a fund for the permanent endowment of the Cathedral. The same person proposes to give, this year, a $2,000 organ for the Cathedral. Another has signified to me that he has made his will leaving $5,000 for the endowment of the Cathedral. In its new location, remote from the other churches, a wider field opens before it, which, I trust, may add greatly to the number of its worshipers.
. FREE CHURCHES.
I am a firm believer in the free church system. Whilst a Priest I would never serve but in a church where the sittings were free. I would never, as a Priest of the Church, be prevented from inviting all sorts and conditions of men to come to God's House, at the same time urging each and every one to give as God had blessed them, for the support of the sanctuary. I would never consent to farming out the seats in God's House for so much money. To me it is a source of thankfulness that the greater proportion our churches are free to all comers, and I pray God to hasten the day when all shall be so.
CONVOCATIONS. The Convocations of the Diocese in their quarterly meetings have been doing a good work. It is always a pleasure for the Bishop to meet with them.
WOMAN'S AUXILIARY. The report of the Diocesan Woman's Auxiliary for the year will be published in the Journal It is a most useful assistant in our parishes and Diocese in cultivating a missionary spirit and gathering funds for missionary work. Its boxes carry joy to our missionaries' homes and help supply the deficiencies in their support. Every one of our missionaries could tell of the comfort that has come from this generous source. I hope an Auxiliary may be established in every parish. We are blessed in this Diocese in having for our efficient Diocesan Secretary the daughter of our first Bishop, who has given careful attention to promoting the work of the Auxiliary throughout our Diocese and who holds herself ready to visit any parish for furthering its work.
RECOMMENDATIONS. Our Diocesan Canons need a careful revision, and I recommend that a committee be chosen at this Convention to take them into consideration, and report at the next annual meeting such changes and additions as may seem wise.
I wish to call the attention of the clergy to the Clergyman's Retiring Fund Society as a provision for old age. Its principal is now $40,000, every dollar paid in going to increase the principal, the interest of which is divided proportionally among the members who have attained sixty years of age, and been five years members, paying quarterly $3 to the principal of the fund, and the division of interest is in proportion to length of time of membership. I feel sure that this is one of the most practicable effort for provision for the clergy in their old age.
I close my annual record with thankfulness to Almighty God for His goodness and mercy towards us and our Diocese, and for His many blessings of health so freely vouchsafed, and for the generous friends He has raised up for our work. Asking your continued prayers and hearty cöperation, let us go forth to the work of another year with strong faith in God, and determined to do what we can, whilst it is day, for the advancement of His Kingdom in this our goodly heritage.
The summary of statistics is as follows:
SUMMARY OF STATISTICS. Comfirmation services—Private, 1 ; public, 49. Total.......
In 39 parishes and missions in Indiana.
In parishes in Ohio.