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;B INTRODUCTION ^ This conference has come to be almost a necessity. Four years ago we brought together representatives of various interstate agencies something like one hundred peo- ple to exchange ideas. It was the first meeting of its kind and we have since noted with great satisfaction the continuous welding together of feeling and vital interest. That distrust, suspicion and even antagonism which was so evident in the first meeting will not appear today. Of that I am certain, for we believe in each other and we understand that nobody here has any axe to grind. It is a great joy to those of us who are giving our lives to work in the country that the individ- -ualistic spirit is reappearing >,nc[ the country people and institutions^ are rapidly feeling^^ that they__jTvust get together if thecojintry is ever to come to its^own.
4 UNIFYING RURAL We are coming to realize that the city cannot exist without the country, nor the country without the city; that there is a working rela- tionship, and we are keenly anxious to find We out what that relationship ought to be.
COMMUNITY INTERESTS 5 ment of the Young Men's Christian Associa- tion can work to advantage with the church, the home and the school those institutions which are established and are fundamental and eternal. If we are doing some things we ought not to do, it is because we have not had the friendly counsel and advice of other agencies to such a degree as to show us the We error of our ways. are hoping today to face some things very squarely. Four We years ago we could not do it. said very little about the Young Men's Christian Asso- ciation at that time. Some of us believe that the Rural Young Men's Christian Associa- tion is built not alone on quantitative lines, but on qualitative lines a permeating and coordinating agency helping the church, the home and the school in doing each its specific work. One of the objects of the conference is to discover the views of representatives of We other agencies for rural betterment.