The annual business meeting of the Harvard Christian Association was held in Phillips Brooks House last night, and the various committees reported on the status of their work. These reports, for the most part, set forth distinct advances in the devotional and philanthropic work of the association and in the energy and effectiveness with which it has been pursued.
Perhaps the most satisfying instance of the general improvement in the condition of the association lies in the removal of its debts. In February, 1900, debts amounting to about $178 were outstanding, and the running expenses for the year had of course to be paid. The association has met these liabilities and now has a small balance in the treasury.
The membership last year was 155. Eighty-five new men have joined the association this year and the total enrolment now is 195. The average attendance at the weekly prayer meetings has been somewhat greater than it was last year, but at the same time, the larger part of this increase must be accounted for by the number of well-known visitors who have addressed the meetings; the problem of making the meetings conducted solely by college men interesting and effective is yet to be solved.
The philanthropic work of the Christian Association has been steadily successful. The work at T Wharf, at the Chinese Sunday School, and at the Denison House Settlement has been carried on in the same way as heretofore, and, in general, with results that have been satisfactory. The boys club and the free reading room in East Cambridge, which were started in place of a thorough college settlement at first proposed, have been, since last fall, enlarged in their equipment and scope of work, and are exerting a strong and beneficial influence in the district where they are located. The work of the philanthropic organizations in general is tending to strengthen the whole charity system of the Christian Association by bringing home to its members the co-relation of religion and social service.