“It is ours now to put courage into fainting men”

Members of Maidenhead Congregational Church were challenged to join the National Service Scheme, but not to neglect their faith.

“God bless our native land,
May Heaven’s protecting hand
Still guard her shore;
May peace her sway extend,
Foe be transformed to friend,
And Britain’s power depend
On wars no more.”

NATIONAL SERVICE.

The days are upon us when we must prove to the utmost what manner of people we are. In fighting force, in food growing, in economy, in patience, in faith, in prayer, we are called upon to put forth our strength. There are not many more who can be summoned to the Army ranks, but there are some still who can serve in other ways. The Director of National Service is calling for volunteers, asking us

“to offer our services to our country, perhaps only for a few months, until Victory is secured. We are not called upon to fight, but to set free men who can fight, and to help them to the end of our powers. It may – and in most cases will – amount to no more than going on with our own usual work, working with all our might and avoiding all waste and extravagance. It may be that in cases of urgent necessity we are asked to work at some place away from our own homes- a trifling disadvantage, a tiny sacrifice compared with that of the soldier and sailor.”

No doubt many of us will give heed to this call, and consider whether we cannot serve the National cause in some new way. But we can all increase the National efficiency by putting fresh reality into our Christian and Church life. The pressure of things makes attendance at week-night meetings, and even at Sunday Services, less possible for some. But it ought not to follow that our Church vitality and working force is less.

We can be more earnest and intense, making the utmost of our lessened opportunities. We can test more fully the efficacy of prayer. We shall assuredly not help the country by letting the fire of our religion become dim, while we are attending to material things. Religion is no waste of time. It is ours now to put courage into fainting men, to console the sorrowing, to teach men to fix their hearts upon God. If ever the Ministry of the Church were of value, it is now, when tired souls are fainting; it is ours to turn the thoughts of men to Him who rules over all lands and seas, and who can make even sorrow a ministering angel of His love.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, April 1917 (D/N33/12/1/5)

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