Volume XXI, Number 2
In This Issue
I was asked by the editors of Pietisten to be the new poetry editor. It would be presumptuous and impossible for me to replace Bruce Carlson, but I do agree to tell why I think poetry is a necessary emphasis and should continue in your wonderful periodical.
Today, several of us Covenant friends in Seattle, with compassionate hearts for helping the poor in other countries, are working with Water 1st International—an organization providing clean water to impoverished people in Bangladesh, Honduras, India, and Ethiopia.
If you’ve had any interaction with North Park over the course of the last 42 years, chances are you have met, or at least heard of, Mel Soderstrom. He may have been your classmate, your dorm parent, your financial aid advisor, or, more recently, he may have asked you to donate to the school. No matter what type of interaction you had, chances are, two things are true. You remember Mel well, and you think he’s a pretty good guy.
Anne Lindahl and Jed Bassett, both North Parkers, were married on Sunday, July 9, 2006, in Libertyville Covenant Church in Libertyville, Illinois. Pastor Peter Hawkinson of Winnetka Covenant Church officiated; Pastor Dwight Nelson of Libertyville Covenant Church, and uncle of Karl Nelson, webmaster of www.pietisten.org, led the service. Youth Pastor Chris Gredenius assisted. Anne and Jed’s beautiful, classic wedding brought many North Park University students and alumni together.
There has been a heavy toll of friends who have left us. Their lives blessed and cheered us, we miss them very much, and we celebrate their victories. The Lord taketh away and the Lord giveth. Consequently, there is much joy in the arrival of God’s fresh people—God’s Youth Movement.
While enjoying a summer season river-boat cruise on the Rhine, the Main, and the Danube rivers, we stopped for a brief visit in the Bavarian city of Nuremburg, the site of the historic trials of Nazi leaders following World War II, a city I hadn’t visited before.
Here’s a ditty to turn over in your mind as you walk. Written by W. H. Davies it goes: “Now shall I walk or shall I ride?” “Ride,” Pleasure said; “Walk,” Joy replied. I owe many things to my parents, not the least is my love for walking. I would rather walk than ride any day and I want to invite you to come along. But before we go too far down this trail together, I need to tell you up front that walking can become an addiction as deadly as that of any crack-addict, as time-consuming as that of any stock-market trader, as wasteful as watching soap-operas. But even when driven to these extremes, it is a glorious madness, and I recommend it with a passion. “Ride,” Pleasure said; “Walk,” Joy replied.
It sometimes happens that decisions formed collectively are wiser than those made by a single individual, that a committee is smarter than a solitary person. That was the case with the recent move made by the mavens who guide Pietisten. They split the responsibilities held by the Poetry and Navigation Editor into two parts and assigned these parts to separate individuals.
It is unfortunate that in the Christian Church the idea of hope is most often associated with the end rather with the beginning of life’s pilgrimage. Unfortunate, I believe, because as a consequence hope as a present-time orientation is often ignored or degraded.
Although I had been informed of Bruce Carlson’s athletic prowess when he was a scholar-athlete at Minnehaha Academy, until two summers ago when this Journal sponsored the First Ivar Wistrom Memorial Golf Championship at Bay Lake, Minnesota, I had never had the opportunity to witness it personally. The two competing threesomes in this event had a distinctive Pietisten flavor. Editor Phil Johnson and frequent contributors Ralph Sturdy and Willie Pearson were matched against then Navigator and Poetry Editor, Bruce Carlson, Poet Laureate Arthur Mampel, and myself, recently appointed Philosophy Editor.
The following is the homily preached by David Hawkinson at the Memorial Funeral Service for Bruce Carlson at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, August 6.
Dorothy, a long time friend and supporter of Pietisten passed away on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at the age of 99. She was the mother of three, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of seven. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank and her brothers Gilbert and Wallace Swenson.
Excepts from the Memorial Service homily at North Park Covenant Church, Chicago, Saturday, October 7, by Pastor Douglas Johnson
In mid-October an old friend of mine, George Costas, died of apparent heart attack. He would have been 76 in December and lived in semi-exile in Beloit, Wisconsin, too many miles from his beloved Chicago.
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.
Sedum grow in tough conditions and offer handsome foliage all season and loads of beautiful-attractive flowers in late summer to fall. Lots of newer varieties are coming along all the time. Below are eight of my favorites.
One Friday evening during my teens, our little country church in Mahtowa, Minnesota had an auction. No cows or heavy beef cattle, just “stuff” one could take home in the car. The spirit this night was hilarious—just 11 degrees short of bedlam. What drew this Friday night crowd was not the merchandise, but the auctioneer himself. I will never forget Charles Lindberg—“Old Man Lindberg,” as he was called. A local 95-year-old Mahtowa favorite, yes, and member of this church. When he brought up an item, and described its worth, it was jolly time. He told old stories, new and old country jokes. Laughter and hooting broke out all over, and most of the items brought up had to be challenged with good-natured rebuttal. Wise cracks in the sanctuary were really outbreaks of love and affection for this venerable old gent. Not many comedians on present day television could have matched his soil-grown wit!
In the month of October in which I am writing, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is publishing a new hymnal. The last hymnal—the Lutheran Book of Worship (commonly referred to as “the green hymnal”)—was published in 1978. It has been in use 38 years which exceeds the average life of denominational hymnals by 18 years. Work on the 1978 hymnal began with the cooperation of The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod but the Missouri Synod dropped out of the process before publication.
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.