The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., June 24, 1921, page 1
BODDY DEFENDS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Two directly opposite views as to the practicability
of the "community church" was presented on Tuesday by two speakers in addresses
before the Oregon Social Workers' conference.
Rev. Wm. H. Boddy of Hood River, defended the community church, taking issue with Father E.V. O'Hara, of Eugene, who declared in his talk that he believed such a church was impossible since different theological ideas could not be harmonized in one church.
Father O'Hara made a plea for colonization. His plan for building up strong churches in communities was to encourage persons of a given denomination to settle about a church of their own creed and thus build up definite church communities. He suggested this plan as desirable rather than the present system of having a number of dead or dying churches in every community. He declared that practically all of the churches in rural communities are dead.
Community Church Much Alive
In reply, Mr. Boddy said: "Father O'Hara's idea that
the community church is impossible is based on the medieval idea that there
could not be a difference of opinion and spiritual unity at the same time.
The success of community churches everywhere has been proven. Every community
church is a socialized church. Its first loyalty is to the community. The
community church is founded on the principle of inclusiveness, that men and
women of the same ideals and principles can join in comradeship of worship
and service even though they have differences of opinion.
Mr. Boddy cited the example of his church in Hood River in which Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Lutherans and Unitarians join in worship together.
"The multiplication of churches in a community does not as commonly supposed bring more people into the church. The more churches there are the less people attend them, said Mr. Boddy.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer