Report from the March 7, 2009 Pietisten Annual Meeting.
Bruce Carlson, Pietisten’s Poetry and Navigation Editor died Friday, July 28.
Henry Gustafson biblical scholar and outstanding Professor of New Testament died Monday evening, September 1, 2008.
Michael Groh (Mike) was a superb student, athlete, and consultant. He was honest, reliable, open, and he met and valued everyone as a person.
A short tribute to Sandy Johnson, who died May 17.
Pietisten Managing Editor Phil Johnson addresses a Seattle First Covenant Sunday School class and speaks about the history of Pietisten and the principles behind the journal.
Review: Swimming in the Congo by Margaret Myers (Summer 1997)
"How many times have you been saved, Grace?" The answer was eleven. "'Is that all?' Carrie tossed her head with an air of virtuous suffering. 'I've been saved twenty-four times.'"
National Crises: King David and Abraham Lincoln (Summer 1997)
If you have taken part in a study led by David Hawkinson, you know what a special experience it is. If you have taken a class or heard lectures by Zenos Hawkinson…, you know how imaginative and gripping his teaching is.
Introducing Karl Nelson, Online Editor (Winter 1999)
The loss of a beloved friend, Curtiss Johnson, has become the occasion for a new infusion of youth. The editor had the good fortune to meet Karl Nelson, Curt’s grandson, at the funeral home and again at Salem for the Memorial Service.
There has been a decade of trouble in this part of the world. Efforts at reconstruction are happening simultaneously with destruction. The following is an interview done last Fall with long-time friend, Mike Groh, a consultant and community organizer, who has been working in this part of Europe.
A Tribute to Curtiss Johnson (Winter 1999)
Curt made many friends, and he was committed to Christian faith and ministry. He was a lover. He loved his family, he loved history, he loved his country, he loved his church, and he loved sports. We salute him and his well-lived life.
An Old Ball Player Takes His Final Break (Winter 1999)
The magnificent memorial service in Salem Covenant Church, New Brighton, the home church of Curtiss Johnson, reflected the wide range of his friendships and influence.
To Pietisten Members: Annual Meeting Challenge (Winter 1999)
Tribute to Milton C.R. Carlson (Summer 1999)
Even Milton Carlson could not go on forever. No one saw Milt die so maybe, as son Bruce suggested, he was taken up by a chariot of fire. That is how he wanted to go.
Tribute to Muriel (Molly) Elizabeth Nelson (Summer 1999)
Molly grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota while the rich iron mine there was on its way to becoming the biggest open pit mine in the world. She graduated from the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Soon thereafter, she met and married Barton Nelson. In 1930, the two of them set sail for China on the President McKinley to become Covenant medical missionaries at the Bethesda Union Hospital in Siangyang.
Tribute to Paul Sebestyén (Summer 1999)
Paul Sebestyén died not long after Rev. Wesley Nelson read Peter Sandstrom’s article to him from last issue of Pietisten.
This book in Dr. Nelson’s honor is a treasury of essays by distinguished scholars.
Theodore Hedstrand (Fall 1999)
We canoed the boundary waters together. We went cross-country skiing together. We flew on the last flight into Bass Lake before the government declared it a wilderness, confiscated all the cabins there, and burned them to the ground. It is the only time I saw Ted cry.
Melba Ann Teed (Fall 1999)
Melba Teed, Sandy Johnson’s mother and my mother-in-law, never presumed to have authority outside the family, but she exercised considerable power through appreciation and positive reinforcement. She thought of ways to give and to support—twenty-five- dollar checks now and then in the mail for no particular reason and always a check in a card for a birthday or an anniversary. She looked for ways to help, tasks that her children needed done in their respective homes, and she worked hard herself to help complete the jobs.
Out and About (Fall 1999)
Watching the Red; New Freedom in Kansas
News and Notes (Spring 2000)
Engagement; Ivar Wistrom; Per-Lars Blomgren, Pietisten Reader, Wins Wrestling Title; North Park establishes two biology prizes to honor Profs; Pietisten Crew at Work; Elizabeth Johanna Katter; On-Line Report
Out and About (Spring 2000)
Mission Meeting; Wiberg Birthday
Tribute to C. Leslie Strand (Summer 2000)
Why was it that Les Strand was widely and deeply loved? Why was he so valued by many? Memories of his kindness, gentleness, good humor, gracious manners, and personable presence come immediately to mind.
Tribute to Evonne Stenberg (Summer 2000)
The range of her impact and influence became quickly and dramatically clear. More that 600 persons flooded Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis for the memorial service.
Out and About (Summer 2000)
How Coya Came Home; A Night of Poetry; Cutting the cake again for the first time
A Tribute to Chaplain Sturdy (Winter 2000)
C. Cassius (Cash) Sturdy, Covenant Pastor and Military Chaplain, was one of a great generation of Covenant pietists. A person of the Word and of prayer in the best sense, he had an open and inquiring mind.
A Tribute to Ingvar Rehnberg (Winter 2000)
When I arrived as a green Intern Pastor at Salem Square Covenant Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the Fall of 1962, one of the first persons I met was Ing Rehnberg, Church Sexton. He immediately befriended me and it was always a joy to see him. He would say: "C’mon, Buddy Ruff, let’s go see the Greek for some coffee."
Out and About (Winter 2000)
Football in the Mid-Century; The Story of Some Heroic Survivors; In the Rockies.
To Smile or Not to Smile (Spring 2001)
The other day Wally Bratt told me that he was reading By One Spirit by Karl Olsson for a second time—a good book, he acknowledged. Several days later he reported that after finishing the book he went back to look at all the pictures. "There was not a single smile on any of the faces of those old Covenanters," he said. I began thinking what this might mean.
Tribute to Ruth Holbrook (Spring 2001)
Ruth was not one for sentimental talk. She disdained tears she sensed were not authentic but she responded with love and generosity to those in need or in pain. She was a person with a tough mind and a tender heart. We hope this poem portrays her spirit and liveliness.
Tribute To Mel Soneson from a Student (Spring 2001)
I first encountered Melburn Soneson as a Freshman at North Park College. That was 1956, his first year at North Park, too. He was teaching Introduction to Social Science. I was intimidated as well as fascinated by both the teacher and the course. Mel stood there at the podium talking, smiling occasionally, and sometimes breaking into a hearty laugh. He was discussing things that I, a Freshman from International Falls, Minnesota had never thought about.
Out and About (Spring 2001)
Six people were inducted into the Viking Club Athletic Hall of Fame at Anderson Chapel on the North Park campus. This writer had the privilege of presenting his favorite two—Bob Bach and Ivar Wistrom.
Considerations (Summer 2001)
Our vulnerability is extensive. Our recent experiences give new clarity to the hazards of living in a society that functions on trust and relies on powerful, high-speed technologies. The destructive possibilities of these technologies are readily available to almost anybody. This may be the most significant development of recent human history in relation to our human future.
Carl Philip Anderson (Summer 2001)
Carl Philip Anderson was a Covenant man of letters. After a number of years of Pastoral Ministry, he became Editor in Chief of Covenant Publications (1948-1970). Subsequently, Carl Phil and his wife, Hazel, owned and managed a Christian bookstore in Fargo, North Dakota, from 1970 to 1974. Then he served as an administrator of the Covenant community, Samarkand, in Santa Barbara, California (1974-1980), and, after working in several capacities for the Board of Benevolence, he became a resident at Covenant Manor in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Pietisten published an interview with Carl Phil in the Winter 1998 issue—"Carl Philip Anderson: An Editor's Story." If you do not have a copy, you may get one upon request from Pietisten.
"Praying the Psalms" — John Weborg at Bethlehem Church. (Winter 2001-2002)
The Bethlehem Covenant Winter Seminar featured John Weborg from North Park Theological Seminary. John is a veteran professor at NPTS, one of the giants who, as the years pass and the culmination of a career comes into view, makes one ask, "How can there be a North Park Seminary without him?"
“Shall We Gather at the River?” (Summer 2002)
The well-planned dedication—an Interfaith Service and a Gala Concert by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra—included poetry, prose, and music written for the occasion as well as the elaborate recording equipment of Minnesota Public Radio. All this planning, as Bruce pointed out in 1988, makes rotation problematic.
Out and About (Winter 2002-2003)
A Winnetka Summer Wedding; The Waters of Baptism
Out and About (Summer 2003)
Mountain View Wedding; The Mending of Creation—Krister Stendahl at North Park Seminary, February 25, 2003; North Park Basketball Reunion, March 1, 2003.
Report to Subscribers (Winter 2003-2004)
As I pondered my concern about Pietisten’s institution identity, it dawned on me that some readers and bone fide institutions like library subscribers have other concerns. For example, we have received inquiries about missing issues and questions like, “Is Pietisten still being published?” Given the time between issues, you may question the existence and reliability of this journal yourself.
Review of O Clouds, Unfold! Clara Ueland and her Family (Winter 2003-2004)
People who have been inspired by the books If You Want to Write and Me or have enjoyed Mitropoulos and the North High Band or Strength to Your Sword Arm will be delighted to hear that the manuscript of another great piece of Brenda Ueland’s writing has been discovered and published.
Leo Vetvick 1919-2003 (Winter 2003-2004)
Leo Vetvick was a pioneer. He grew up near Foley, Minnesota, northern pioneer country, and he was a Covenant Church pioneer pastor in social gospel. He was a Norwegian-American in a church filled with Swedes and married Bette Ekblad, a Swedish-American girl.
News and Notes (Winter 2003-2004)
Gold Medal Morning for NPU Crew; Kristen Prescott and Michael Pietro Wed; Anders Peter Johnson Arrives; A Life of Academic Commitment at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; St. John 24 Mount Union 6
Mission Friends (Fall 2004)
Dr. David Nygaard, Ph.D., is Director of Rural Development for the Aga Khan Foundation. His office is in Geneva, Switzerland. David, Mary, their dog Suki, and cat Murph live on the trolley line in the community of Carouge. David and Mary are "Mission Friends" extraordinaire.
An Evening with W. Harry Davis (Fall 2004)
At 81, Harry Davis, author and veteran Minneapolis civil rights leader, retains the energy of a man who was a Golden Gloves boxer in his youth. His stories about his personal life and about the people and institutions of the African-American community in Minneapolis riveted the group gathered at the home of Carolyn and Glenn Ayres to meet the author.
Moving On (Winter 2004-2005)
The Heart of Christianity (Winter 2004-2005)
Dr. Borg described two paradigms of Christianity in America. He named them “Earlier Christianity” and “Emerging Christianity.” There are significant differences between them. Borg believes that Christians need to look for ways to build bridges between these groups that can lead to shared Christian faith and fellowship.
Harvard’s Noble Lectures (Winter 2004-2005)
Dr. Timothy Johnson, Medical Editor of ABC News, delivered the 2004 William Belden Noble Lectures at Harvard Divinity School in November. This report is based on a recording of the three lectures.
Heloise and Abelard, A New Biography (Winter 2005)
Heloise and Abelard is about two great historical persons. Heloise (1095-1163), a person of integrity and intelligence, loved Peter Abelard deeply and was unwavering in her faithfulness as a wife and a lover. She was 20 when she fell in love with the great scholar Peter, the 46-year-old master of the school of Notre Dame in 1115. She loved Abelard both physically and intellectually the rest of her life.
Out and About (Winter 2005)
North Park Homecoming October, 2005
Pietisten Holds Two 2005 Annual Meetings (Summer 2006)
Pietisten West Coast Tour (Summer 2006)
For ten days (April 26 to May 6) Sandy and I visited the Seattle, Washington area as Pietisten editors. We were guests of Carl and Marcia Blomgren on Vashon Island, of Associate Editor, Nels Elde and Ann, and Jackie and Art Mampel in Seattle, Gordon and Chris Johnson in Snoqualmie, and my sister, Adele Stone, in Longview, Washington. I talked to the Adult Sunday School Class at historic First Covenant Church in Seattle (text available at Pietisten.org) and Sunday afternoon Sandy, Nels Elde, Karl Nelson, and I represented Pietisten at the West Coast Annual Meeting (more than 30 attended) hosted by Gordon and Chris Johnson.
Shoulder to Shoulder (Christmas 2006)
A heart-felt tribute to two fine gentlemen, Glen Anderson from Princeton, Illinois and Arvin Anderson from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nearly a half-century ago these two stalwarts vigorously attacked opponent defenses and opened holes for the North Park College Vikings.
Pietisten Bruce Carlson Memorial Weekend (Christmas 2006)
Many readers know that Bruce Carlson, Poetry and Navigation Editor of Pietisten and Executive Director of the Schubert Club of Saint Paul, died July 28, 2006 (same day and month as J.S. Bach). Bruce was a very close friend. I spent more time with him than any person other than my wife during the past forty-plus years.
Amazing Grace, The Movie (Spring 2007)
The movie Amazing Grace is about William Wilberforce and his colleagues who fought to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire and about John Newton who wrote the song and to whom Wilberforce went for spiritual advice. In 1807, 200 years ago, parliament passed the bill outlawing the slave trade.
Ella Christianson, a Century of Living (Spring 2007)
From a distance we join the many who gathered at Haddam Neck Covenant to honor and bless Ella Christianson who, as her daughter, Janet Johnson, points out, has been a Covenanter for a century. Three cheers and more for Ella!
The Producer and the Pastor (Spring 2007)
On a pleasant day on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, the Reverend Arthur G. Mampel happily drove his recently acquired 1931 Model A Ford pickup along Koloa Road. The seller had taken $400 from the Pastor for the pickup plus another $400 for a Model A convertible. He liked to tell folks at a local watering hole how he saw the minister coming. If Mampel knew of this talk at his expense, he merely enjoyed the more the exhilaration of tooling along behind the wheel of his own Model A pickup.
Tribute to Arthur Peterson (Spring 2007)
Arthur (his given name rarely passed my lips) picked up the nickname “Squeaky” at North Park Junior College in Chicago. “Squeaky Pete” is a little poem on its own. To understand the origin of the name, one only needed to hear Pete speak a few words.
Krister Stendahl (Spring 2008)
Doctor Bishop Krister Stendahl, knowing God’s Kingdom includes people of every faith and walk of life, was a friend to all in the spirit of Jesus. He was a friend of Pietisten and our fondness for him is great.
In Praise of Higher Education (Spring 2008)
When John Johnson of North Park University, son of my old football teammate at North Park, Gordon Johnson, called, a rare opportunity fell into our laps. John is in Development and he asked if I could arrange a meeting between North Park University President, David Parkyn, and Dr. Bob Elde (North Park ’69), Dean of the School of Biology at the University of Minnesota, while the North Park choir was in Minneapolis.
Ruth Wold (Spring 2008)
Ruth was there to serve the Lord and to be the best helpmate she could be to her husband George, the Pastor. In that spirit, Ruth was always young and true. She lived simple, pure graciousness.
Annual Meeting Report (Spring 2008)
Our host this year was the Schubert Club of St. Paul. They opened the second floor of their Rare Instrument Museum for our festivities. In sense, our host was our departed brother and colleague, Bruce Carlson. It was a festive time.
Henry Gustafson (Christmas 2008)
Henry Gustafson, outstanding Professor of New Testament and theologian, died September 1, after several weeks of treasured hospice time with family.
Michael Groh (Christmas 2008)
Michael Groh, as his daughter, Alicia, said, “…was all about making a positive difference in the world. He had a very strong sense of social justice. He was a ’60s activist who continued to be an activist his whole life.” By consulting with non-profit organizations whose goals he shared, he carved an independent way vocationally.
Marian Anderson in Minneapolis (Summer 2009)
As I write this story, I am listening to Marian Anderson sing “Spirituals.” The songs are terrific, amazing, from the heart, remarkable, fun, and filled rich beyond imagination with metaphors of human life and the life of the spirit.
The Pietist Impulse in Christianity Conference at Bethel (Summer 2009)
Phil Johnson and Mark Safstrom report from the Christianity Conference at Bethel.
Though improvement has been desired, degeneration has continued. This in spite of a great deal of encouragement and support. A fine crowd of about 50 folks gathered for Pietisten’s Annual Meeting at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul.
Surely God’s word includes the creation of the lives of us human people. Marlys Johanson was one of God’s best words ever and we can see the fulfillment in the life and legacy of Marlys. In her, God’s creation did not return without giving all that is meant by watering the earth and making it yield seed for the sower and bread for eating. Marlys has returned to the love out of which she, and all of us have come. She returns after delivering about all one could expect of actual human life and human love. It is this, her victorious life, that we have the opportunity to praise and bless this day as we celebrate Marlys Johanson.
Short of a Quarter Century (Epiphany 2010)
In the Summer 1992 issue, the editors of Pietisten admitted their failure to take Skogsbergh Point on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. The point was once owned by Rev. E. A. Skogsbergh and was a gathering place for Swedish Pietists in the early part of the 20th century. We planned to sail to the point in the dead of night and plant a Pietisten flag firmly in the soil. In the article “Editors Face Their Failure,” we sought to analyze the factors that prevented our success. If you read it, you will understand more clearly the present situation. Now more than 18 years have passed since that plan was conceived. The current Board and soon-to-be-replaced Managing Editor have missed the mark again; they have fallen short of a quarter century of publishing what is becoming known as “Pietisten 2.0.”
Tribute: Deborah Swanson Webster (Epiphany 2010)
Deep sadness and unbelief overwhelmed the husband and family of Deborah Webster at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota when Deb, the new mother, wife, daughter, and beloved relative died 12 hours after giving birth to Kelsey Marie Webster.
BOOK REVIEW: Angels, Worms and Bogeys: The Christian Ethic of Pietism (Spring/Summer 2010)
This somewhat odd title requires explanation. “Bogey,” for example, is one shot over par in golf. Dr. Clifton-Soderstrom points out that through the years, critics have characterized Pietism as below par with respect to sound Christianity on a number of counts. Our author challenges that notion and shows that Pietism’s performance has been miss-scored. Being a person for whom a bogey is my par, a “double bogey” is needed before I think it bad. After reading Clifton-Soderstrom’s book it is clear that Pietism scores a better than par “birdie” as does her book.
Carol McNaughton (Spring/Summer 2010)
On Saturday, March 20, friends gathered at the Cromwell Covenant Church to celebrate the life of Carol (Conklin) McNaughton, prophet of grace, straight-talking friend to many.
Gordon Nelson (Fall/Winter 2010)
Dr. Gordon Nelson, an elected member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation for the city of Minneapolis for 32 years, joined the staff of Martin Sabo, Minnesota Fifth District Representative, in 1978 and served for 28 years. Gordy knew virtually everything, especially about politics and theology. Congressman Sabo said: “He was a quiet person with an incredible knowledge of the history of Minneapolis. He had a deep interest in city government and wanting to make it work.”
Jesus Weighs In and Lightens Things Up (Fall/Winter 2011)
Jesus was a practical person. I suspect he had some principles.
"Pietisten Digital Reunion" Web Project Is Underway (Fall/Winter 2011)
Phil Johnson introduces the project to digitize all the back issues of Pietisten.