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[62] him, but when the parish meeting was held, on January 16, 1899, Mr. Maxwell's name led all the rest on the informal ballot, and he was at once unanimously elected to the pastorate. He began his labors in Somerville the first Sunday in March, 1899.

During the first two years of the new pastorate, the debt pledges were loyally paid by our people. On the evening of April 16, 1901, thirty years from the time the mortgage was placed on the church building, Stephen W. Fuller, who signed the original note as parish treasurer, had the honor of burning the ancient document in the presence of a large gathering of parish members. This event aroused the people, and since that time the parish has steadily grown stronger, until to-day it pays its bills from its regular income, and has no debts of any kind.

Some of the minor organizations have been given up, and the strength of the parish centred on the strongest and most necessary, like the Sunday School, the Sewing Circle, and the Men's Club. The Mission Circle, a new society, formed by Mr. Maxwell's request, has made a place for itself in the parish, and is doing good work along philanthropic lines.

Mr. Maxwell has made a feature of special Sundays. Many new people have become interested in the church by being invited to attend on Friends' Sunday, Men's Sunday, Old Home Sunday, Young People's Sunday, or Family Reunion Sunday.

He inaugurated our present system of combining all special collections into the Easter offering. Now all calls for charity, convention quotas, etc., are made at Easter, and the people give, in a lump sum, what formerly they contributed in small installments on various Sundays during the year. Thus they are saved the annoyance of special pleas and importunate pleaders.

Our present system of pew rentals—a weekly contribution on the free — will offering plan—was also introduced

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