RHIND JOY: INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN 1885-1978
(Photo Courtesy Boston Public Library Print Department)
the 25th anniversary record of the Harvard College
Class of 1908 published in 1933.
Boston, Mass., Dec. 5, 1885. 1885. Robert Joy, Arabella
Sophia Parke. PREPARED AT: Roxbury High School, Boston,
Mass. YEARS IN COLLEGE: 1904-1908. DEGREES:
A.B., 1908; S.T.B., 1911 (Andover Theological Seminary). OCCUPATION: Minister. MARRIED: Lucy Alice Wanzer, Cambridge, Mass.,
June 29, I9II. Children: Alice Parke, Lucy Parke
(twins), Feb. 23, 1912; Robert Arthur, Apr. 13,
1922; Nancy, Oct. 16, 1925
majored in English literature at Harvard College,
and from the College entered the Divinity School.
It was my ambition in those days to combine theology
and literature in one career as Stopford A. Brooke
had done in such a signal way. That ambition has
never been realized, and never will be realized
now. The ministry, I have found, is too exacting
a profession in these modern days to look with favor
upon such divided loyalties. For a few years I did
serve as Literary Editor of The Christian Register,
but this is the nearest approach I have ever made
to the realization of the old ambition, which is
now dismissed, I am sure, for good.
It was in 1908 that the Andover Theological Seminary
came to Cambridge and I registered in both schools,
as one could under the rules existing at the time.
Simultaneously I pursued studies in both schools
and received upon graduation S.T.B. degrees from
I was married in the Chapel of the Divinity School
the day after Commencement to Lucy Alice Wanzer,
Dean Fenn officiating. In the fall of that year
I was settled in the First Parish of Portland, Maine,
which had had none but Harvard men as its ministers
from the time of its organization more than two
hundred years before. Among them was Thomas Hill,
predecessor of Charles W. Eliot as President of
Harvard College. The First Parish was an important
church, the largest and strongest of the Unitarian
fellowships in Maine. It was only the unfortunately
prolonged illness of the minister of the church
that opened the doors of this parish to an inexperienced
young chap like myself. But to Portland I went,
first as the acting minister, and then as the settled
pastor of the parish. There I was ordained in 1913.
My resignation from the Portland church was precipitated
by the outbreak of the World War. I was opposed
to the war. I shared Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig's
opinion that "it is the business of the church
to make my business as a soldier impossible."
My preaching became unacceptable. I resigned. I
did not, however, desire to escape from the duties
of that terrible period in our history. I sought
service overseas with the Y.M.C.A. in order that
I might help in some little way in assuaging the
wounds of the great conflict.
Joy, left, during his tenure as Unitarian Service
commissioner for Europe, with Rev. Dana M. Greeley
of Boston's Arlington Street Church.(Photo,
courtesy of Boston Public Library Prints Department)
I spent a year and a half overseas, six months with
the French Army at the front. For this service I received
later from the French War Office the Medaille Commemorative
de la Grande Guerre, a strange decoration for a peace
worker to possess, perhaps. From the French Army I
was transferred to the 42nd American Division, the
so-called Rainbow Division. With this Division I went
through the Champagne-Marne Defensive and a part of
the Chateau-Thierry Offensive. Then I was transferred
to northern France. I became a Divisional Secretary
with headquarters at Rouen; later Regional Director
of all the Y.M.C.A. work in France north of Paris,
and in Western Belgium, with headquarters at Le Havre.
Returning to America I resumed my work in the ministry,
taking a little church in Pittsfield Mass., where
I remained from December 1919 to January 1922. The
first minister of this church had been William Wallace
Fenn of the Divinity School.
In the early part of 1922 I was called to be minister
of the First Church in Dedham, which had been established
in 1638. There for five happy years I tried to serve
the needs of that community. It was at this time that
I began to be active in denominational affairs, for
the headquarters of the Unitarian fellowship to which
I belong was nearby in Boston. I became Literary Editor
of The Christian Register, and Secretary of
the Unitarian Ministerial Union.
Joy presenting a CARE package, containing twenty
tubercular pills as well as sanitary supplies,
to a young Korean. CARE, a nonprofit relief
agency led by Dr. Joy, distributed such packages
in war-torn Korea in the late fifties. (Photo
credit, Boston Public Library Print Department)
January 1927 I became minister of All Souls Church
in Lowell, a union church which started as a federation
of Unitarians and Congregationalists. Since the
merger began, however, men and women of many diverse
religious backgrounds have joined the church. In
the beautiful building designed by Ralph Adams Cram
I became interested in the effort to solve in a
practical way the troublesome problem of church
unity. My association with the denominational work
continued. I became Secretary of the Committee on
the Supply of Pulpits for the Unitarian Ministerial
Union. The task of the Committee was to bring together
churches seeking ministers and ministers seeking
churches. This work led directly to a call from
the American Unitarian Association to become an
Administrative Vice President of that organization,
through which the Unitarian churches of the United
States and Canada function as a single group of
The last summer in Lowell I spent with my wife abroad
on the only pleasure trip I have ever taken in Europe.
We took our car with us for a memorable summer,
the chief event of which was my climbing of the
Matterhorn, a foolhardy exploit, of which I ought
to be ashamed, but of which I am inordinately proud.
January 1930, I have been an officer of the American
Unitarian Association. I have just been nominated
for the next four years' term. My work is administrative,
with much preaching and speaking. I have travelled
all over the United States preaching, lecturing,
and visiting churches. My interest in Church unity
has increased during these recent years, and I am
now enthusiastic over the new plan for the Free
Church of America, under whose banner we are hoping
to gather the liberals of the United States and
Canada, whatever their name.
I have just heard that the Pacific Unitarian School
for the Ministry at Berkeley, Calif., has voted
to confer upon me the honorary degree of Doctor
of Sacred Theology in April of this year. So I am
about to start west for a lengthy trip along the
Pacific Coast with two preaching engagements at
Stanford University, and other engagements in churches
Here is the record to date. In the world's goods
I am just as poor as ever, unless we count our wealth
in terms of children. But it has been a full, happy,
and eventful life.
50th ANNIVERSARY CLASS BOOK REPORTS:
Joy has received the following honors: S.T.D., Pacific
Unitarian School for the Ministry, 1933; Cruz Vermelha
de Dedicacao, Cruz Vermelha de Merito, Cruz Vermelha
de Benemerencia (all Portugal); Medaille Commemorative
de la Grande Guerre, Palme Academique (both France);
honorary life member, Portuguese Red Cross; Officer
of the French Academy. His publications include:
Topical Concordance of the Bible; One
Great Prison; Police State Methods in the Soviet
Union; Coercion of the Worker in the Soviet
Union; Albert SchweitzerAn Anthology;
The Africa of Albert Schweitzer; Wit and
Wisdom of Albert Schweitzer; A Psychiatric
Study of Jesus (translation); GoetheTwo
Addresses; GoetheFour Studies (translation);
Animal World of Albert Schweitzer; Music
in the World of Albert Schweitzer. Joy writes:
Joy reviewing an issue of "Stars and Stripes"
which includes information about his CARE program.
(Courtesy Boston Public Library Print Department)
life since the happy Cambridge days in college and
Divinity School seems to have fallen into three distinct
periods. From 1911 to 1940 I was in the active ministry
of the Unitarian Church, for seven years as administrative
vice president of the American Unitarian Association
From 1940 to 1954 I was engaged in international relief
work. This work took me all over the world in such
posts as executive director of the Unitarian Service
Committee, European director and associate director
of the Save the Children Federation, international
representative, chief of the Korean Mission, and executive
consultant for African affairs for C.A.R.E. In the
course of these first two periods of my life I found
time to write, translate, or edit a dozen books: Topical
Concordance of the Bible, three books on labor
and political conditions in the Soviet Union, and
eight books on one of the truly great men of all time,
Albert Schweitzer. The third period of my life began
in 1954, since when I have been devoting my whole
time to speaking and writing. Three more books of
mine, People of the African Equator, AfricaA
Handbook for Travelers, and a Tolstoy Anthology,
will be published in the spring of 1959, and I am
committed to the writing of eight or ten more during
the next few years.
"I have served overseas in Europe and Korea
during the three wars that have punctuated my life
story, but I have found all the years to be a rather
exciting pilgrimage and never more so than now.
I have wandered about the world in more than a hundred
different countries and everywhere I have found
friendly people with whom it has been good to associate.
I am now trying to make these many peoples better
known in America and to promote in some small way
a world understanding on which alone enduring peace
may be built. Traveling, speaking, writing, these
are the three foci around which my life now turns.
I could not ask for any activities more interesting,
more rewarding. I am not much concerned with the
past, though I know the future has its roots there.
I am eager to see the burgeoning and the fruitage
of the years that are to be."
CHARLES JOY 1930-1978
by Greg Halpern, Writer and Photographer
1930 American Unitarian Association (AUA) President
Louis C. Cornish appointed Charles Joy as Vice President,
a role he filled for the next seven years.
In 1936, Frederick
May Eliot, minister in St. Paul, Minnesota,
and a cousin of the Boston Eliots, rose to national
prominence as chair of the Commission of Appraisal.
The Depression had been a hard time for the Unitarian
Church, bringing huge losses in funding and revenue,
and bringing with it new tensions and internal fissures.
Eliot's Commission issued a report designed to reassess
the current state and future of Unitarianism. The
report, Unitarians Face a New Age, was highly
critical of American Unitarian Association President
Louis C. Cornishand by association, his vice
president, Charles Joy. Throughout his career as
vice president, Joy loyally defended Cornish; when
Eliot issued his report and subsequently announced
his candidacy for president, Joy responded by announcing
his own candidacy. Less
than two months after declaring his candidacy, Joy
withdrew his name as a candidate. The campaign left
Joy without a job.
During the search for a pulpit, Joy used the time
to finish his enduring book, Harper's Topical
Concordance, though he grew increasingly uneasy
about his joblessness. He had begun, even, to search
for work in the secular world, assuming his career
as a minister had ended. Then, in March 1938 Germany
annexed Austria, and Joy joined the newly-formed
Service Committeean organization
founded in Boston to assist Eastern Europeans, among
them Unitarians as well as Jews, who needed to escape
Nazi persecution. Joy began work immediately, proving
himself determined and effective as an organizer.
In 1940, he was asked to direct all Unitarian aid
in Europe. Thus began a career bringing aid to displaced
and suffering people worldwide.
felt that because the USC was a new, unknown organization,
it would need some visual image to represent Unitarianism
to the world, especially when dealing with government
agencies abroad. Agents working in such high-risk
areas needed to convey their authority and their
political and religious association, as it could
mean life or death. As a result, Joy asked an artist
and an employee of the Unitarian Service Committee,
Hans Deutsch, to design a symbol that would be placed
on all Unitarian documents. Deutsch was a refugee
from Paris who had been a successful painter and
musician. Living in Paris during the 1930's Deutsch
drew critical cartoons of Adolf Hitler. When the
Nazis invaded Paris in 1940, he abandoned all he
had and fled to the South of France, then to Spain,
and finally, with an altered passport, into Portugal.
It was there that he met Joy, who, was then European
commissioner of the Unitarian Service Committee
and was busy overseeing a secret network of couriers
On January 31, 1941, Joy wrote to Robert Dexter,
then the Unitarian Service Committee executive director
I happen now to
have an artist working for me. . . . Recently I
asked him to work in his spare time on a symbol
of our committee, which could be placed on a seal,
and used in our documents. When a document may keep
a man out of jail, give him standing with governments
and police, it is important that it look important.
. . . So Hans Deutch went to work to design something.
. . . The result is as follows:
I have made it up into a seal,
not because I have any idea of forcing this upon
the committee without consulting them, but because
these things cost very little here, and at least
it will serve as a temporary expedient for us
to use in our papers until we get something better,
assuming that the committee does not like this.
Personally, I like it very much. It is simple,
chaste, and distinctive. I think it might well
become the sign of our work everywhere . . . .
The holy oil burning in it is a symbol of helpfulness
and sacrifice. . . . The fact, however, that it
remotely suggests a cross was not in his mind,
but to me this also has its merit. We do not limit
our work to Christians. Indeed at the present
moment, our work is nine-tenths for the Jews,
yet we do stem from the Christian tradition, and
the cross does symbolize Christianity and its
central theme of sacrificial love."
Soon the symbol was approved and voted to be the
official Unitarian seal. Today, at the opening
of Unitarian Universalist worship services, many
congregations light a flame inside a chalice.
This flaming chalice has become a well-known symbol
of Unitarian Universalist faith in action.
worked tirelessly to bring relief to refugees and
others war victims in decimated towns throughout
Europe. Fighting hunger and starvation, providing
food, clothing, X-rays, blood tests, infectious
disease treatment and countless other forms of aid,
he wrote of the Unitarian Service Committees
work in regular installments in the Christian
Register, repeatedly telling stories of refugees.
Charles Joy co-authored, with Melvin
Arnold, The Africa of Albert Schweitzer
and edited Albert Schweitzer, an Anthology.
He translated from German other works by Schweitzer
such as A Psychiatric Study of Jesus and
essays celebrating Goethe. Joy also photographed
countless stages of Schweitzers work at his
hospital at Lambarene on the Ogowe River in French
Equatorial Africa. The hospital, as of 1949, already
comprised some forty structures.
Here are some of the photographs taken by Charles
Joy, with captions from The Africa of Albert
Africa is in many respects a woman's world,
to a degree not even dreamed of Western feminists.
Dr. Schweitzer chuckles when he tells of members
of his audience, on his lecture tours, expressing
horror at the servitude of native women. In
some areas of life, there is servitude; but
in other areas the women are more free than
civilized women. In general termseconomically,
they are in servitude; socially, they are free.
villages such as these come those who bear the
mark of pain. In Equatorial Africa no one escapes
disease and pain. Until Dr. Schweitzer came
and established his Hospital, the sick and lame
in a wide area had no one to turn to but their
native medicine men. Now some five thousand
men, women, and children come each year to the
hospital, from an area four or five hundred
miles in diameter.
Grand Docteur" at his desk in the crowded
consultation room of the main hospital building.
Here he attends to patients' needs, and here
he snatches, when he can, some spare minutes
to do a little more work on a manuscript.
of the jungles of Africa, black and mysterious,
he comes. Those who know him and work with him
are close behind; but back in the night others
come, more and more of them, a growing multitude
in endless processionsimple, untutored
souls who have been touched by his hands of
mercy, blessed by his words of love.
Charles Joys long life of human service ended
in Albany, New York in 1978.
Roots and Visions: Fifty Years
of the Unitarian Service Committee by Ghanda
Di Figlia (Cambridge: The Unitarian Universalist
Service Committee, 1990).
The Africa of Albert Schweitzer, by Charles
R. Joy and Melvin
Arnold (New York: Harper and Brothers,
Andover-Harvard Library at Harvard University holds the
archives of the American Unitarian movement. One symbol
of this fact is the 21 page itemization
of the papers of Charles Rhind Joy. There are sermons (1909-1967),
addresses (1909-1966), printed articles since 1928, as well
as writings, book reviews, church papers and worship materials,
correspondance and other documents related to his life and