Home Department

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Home Department

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In October of 1942, National Council created the Home Department, which inherited the work of the pre-existing Department of Domestic Missions and combined that work with four other pre-existing divisions of the National Council: Christian Social Relations, Christian Education, College Work, and the Youth Division. In December of 1945 the Army and Navy Division was added, and in December of 1948 the Town and Country Work Division was created.

Because it oversaw the entire domestic missionary program of the Church, the work of the Home Department was wide-ranging. Ethnic ministries were led by secretaries for Native American, African American, and Japanese mission work. It also focused on providing financial support and competent clergy for African American and Native American parishes, which were often neglected or underfunded by their dioceses.

Rural work was carried out by the Town and Country Division until 1962, when the work was returned to the oversight of the newly-formed Division of Domestic Mission. The Army and Navy Division (later renamed the Armed Forces Division) primarily supported chaplains in the Armed Forces. Other domestic work included Braille books for the blind and support for clergy serving deaf Episcopalians. The Home Department also sent women workers out into the field in various capacities. In the 1960s, most of the department’s resources was directed towards urban ministries.

In 1968, a complete restructuring of Executive Council dissolved the Home Department. The work formerly grouped under the Home Department umbrella evolved into a series of “Program” groupings, under the direction of the Deputy for Program and the Presiding Bishop.

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