APRIL 18, 1944
HYDE PARK, Monday—Yesterday, Miss Thompson and I came up to Hyde Park. Mr. Charles Keen Taylor is our guest here. This morning we are visiting the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and I shall spend a good part of the morning listening to school problems and hearing Mr. Taylor discuss and, I hope, demonstrate his ideas on vocational guidance.
Signs of spring here in the country are not as evident as they are in Washington, but nevertheless, every time I have a glimpse of my own home surroundings I am conscious of a great longing to stay and watch the gradual unfolding of spring. It is so many years since I have seen the lilac bushes bud and the lilies of the valley push up through the ground.
In Washington, spring suddenly seems to burst upon you. Here it creeps, but it is nevertheless a miracle of beauty and hope. With so much death and destruction going on throughout the world, the fact that the seasons follow their course, that there is rebirth when the time comes, must bring comfort to many sad souls in the world.
Dean Eleanor Grady of Hunter College came to see me in Washington on Saturday to talk about what the college could do for the returning girls as they are discharged from the military services. I am sure the college will do its part, for one always finds Hunter thinking ahead on the problems of the day where girls are concerned.
Just now I have before me the notice of a conference to be held in the Hunter College Auditorium on April 19th, on "Religion at Work in the Community." Some 2000 leaders, educators and laymen will hear specific programs discussed, and I am sure that this coming together of the various religious leaders with the laymen is a valuable and necessary step.
The churches must lead in the spiritual regeneration of our time, but they cannot lead unless the laymen will accept a fundamental truth—that the ideas which they hear spoken from the pulpits of their churches must be translated by all into action in their daily lives. Otherwise, these ideas will have no influence on the life of the times. Sermons may carry inspiration, but they may be completely sterile if they cease to have any effect when the members of a church group pass through the doors of the House of God and out into the world.
This is true of all our religions, and so I am glad that this meeting brings together representatives of various groups—Catholic, Protestant and Jewish—for all of us must work together or there will be no religious leadership of great influence in any community.