INAUGURAL NEWS LETTER - World Alliance for International Friendship Through the Churches
From our Archives: 100 for 100
October 25, 1922
Sponsored by the Church Peace Union (now Carnegie Council) at its first ill-fated international meeting in August 1914—interrupted by the outbreak of World War I—the World Alliance for International Friendship Through the Churches was created to bring churches together "to promote peace, disarmament, rights of racial and religious minorities, conscientious objection, arms control, and later, the League of Nations." At its head was Henry Atkinson, general secretary of the CPU for almost four decades. The Alliance was an autonomous body, however, and the relationship between the CPU and the Alliance was referred to as "parent and child."
The readers of World Friendship will be interested in knowing that the World Alliance is not satisfied with a monthly acquaintance only with the members of the World Alliance. Our magazine appears only once a month and sometimes not as often as that in summer. We want to keep in closer contact with our members. Furthermore great things are happening in the world at present so rapidly, so many great problems which need immediate solution are facing us that we want to have more frequent and direct contact with our readers. Consequently our Committee has decided that for the present we will discontinue the monthly magazine and will come into more intimate relationship with our readers by sending them a news letter which will appear more frequently than did World Friendship, but we believe that this change will be welcomed by you as well as giving us a better opportunity of bringing world matters to your immediate attention.
Great things are happening in the world. Great problems are before us for solution. The Church faces what is perhaps not only its not only its greatest crisis but also its greatest opportunity. All the world is looking to America and it is for us the Christian citizens to lead the nations in its world wide ministry. To do this we must be conversant with what is happening in the different parts of the world and at the same time must continually be seeking for that knowledge which will enable us to exercise wise and inspiring leadership.
In this news letter which we are to issue we shall endeavor to bring before you the outstanding events that are happening in our own land, in Europe, in the Near East and the Far East. Above all we shall seek to keep you in closest touch with what the Church is doing in these various parts of the world. For instance, during the month of August, four great international gatherings of Christian leaders were held in Scandinavia. Of these you have read in World Friendship. At present great changes are taking place in the Near East and the Church will have much to do with the solutions and perplexities that face the world there.
Dr. Jowett has issued a challenge to the churches of the British Empire. The churches are rising to this challenge and the British Council of the World Alliance is planning to undertake great things in answer to this challenge. The challenge has been reprinted in America and it has stirred the American churches. Our American Council of the World Alliance is preparing to undertake a great campaign this winter to to align the forces of the Church for international good-will. Concerning all such movements as this we will give you the latest information. We hope also to make this news letter the vehicle of your ideals and thoughts and should be glad at any time to hear from our members, especially we would be glad to hear of the action that the churches take in any part of our land.
Not only do we hope to make this letter a vehicle of information, but also we hope to make it an inspiration to all who shall read it. In it we shall print from time to time the inspiring utterances which come from our brethren of Europe and Asia as well as from our Christian leaders in America. Early next year we will announce the establishment of a research bureau. We will gather here in our office information from all parts of the world regarding books and pamphlets and the action of individual churches which have for their purpose the increase of good-will and the illumination of our minds. Also accurate facts relating to political and social workers. This research bureau will be for the benefit of our readers and members and we shall invite them to write to us for any information they may desire on any subject connected with internationalism. This ought to be of the utmost value to pastors preparing sermons and to leaders of Bible classes and study classes, also to young men and women in our schools and colleges who wish to write essays or debate upon this subject.
We will also publish in addition to this newsletter occasional pamphlets and leaflets dealing with the whole problem of international friendship, especially as it is related to the churches. Frequently there are great utterances like that of Dr. Jowett or like the sermon of the Archbishop of Canterbury before the league of Nations at Geneva which we would like to put into the hands of every Christian leader in America. Our purposes and intentions in this regard are bounded only by our resources.
Finally we want to make this newsletter a personal communication which will bind us still closer to our readers. We want your cooperation. We want 25,000 members in the World Alliance, not for their dues, but because of the service which they can render. We want a representative of the Council in every city, town and hamlet of the nation. We want to feel that you are working with us. We want your help and want to give all possible assistance to you. Through this personal letter we shall keep our members informed of whatever your are undertaking in your community. Together we must somehow see that our nation takes its place in the community life of the world. The one word which Christianity does not know is "isolation". Every problem is now a world problem. Everything that effects [sic] one nation effects all the others. We are all going to rise or fall together. We believe that there is no hope of ultimate justice, peace and good-will in the world except as all nations realize that they belong to the one great family of nations. Therefore we shall make as the fundamental object of our work this year the urging upon our nation to take its place in this great family; to become a leading factor in some association of nations, whether we call it League or Society or what, believing that only in this way will it fulfill its real destiny and contribute to the real peace and security of the world.
New York, Oct. 25, 1922.
P.S. Enclosed you will find a folder with samples of World Opinion regarding the Copenhagen Conference.