Post: Readers Respond

What a bonanza to find your web site !!!

I was born on Staten Island, New York in 1922. My immigrant grandparents were founding members of the two Swedish Covenant churches (Port Richmond and Tompkinsville) and the subsequent merged church, Immanuel Covenant/Congregational 1929. My mother and father, Esther and Andrew Clauson, were active members of this church until its demise, caused by fire, about 1975. They then joined Faith Methodist Church which was served by Lowell and Janet (Christianson) Johnson. My father was very active in the East Coast Conference, and also…with North Park College. As youngsters, my sister, Barbara, and I spent many summers in the lower Connecticut River Valley at places I’ve seen mentioned in your web site. Arthur Johnson, a young graduate of North Park…was serving the merged Immanuel church at the time of its incorporation…

My sister and I were confirmed and married by Arthur Johnson in 1936. Leslie Strand was East Coast Superintendent during a great portion of the remaining life of the church. I remember pastors such as Carl Phillip Anderson, John Carlson, Romain Swedenberg, Kermit Sundberg, Paul Dahlstrom and Jim Dahlgren.

I would like to subscribe to your publication “The Pietist” and, if available, purchase past issues. Ralph Clauson, Grainger, Indiana.

Keep up the “good work!” I’m always ready to sit down and read it upon its arrival. Val Rogers, Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Dear Mr. Editor:

Upon receiving the latest edition of Pietisten, I thought it might be a charitable gesture to cover, at least, your cost of postage. With that, I began writing a check for two dollars for the purpose, while silently intoning to myself that this will be done, for God’s sake.

At that moment, a great voice from somewhere above said, “Well, for Christ’s sake, add another zero.” So here enclosed is my check for twenty. Pleased with Pietisten, I remain, Earl Faulkner, Sr, penitent, Edina, Minnesota.

I enjoyed the Summer 2006 issue of Pietisten immensely. Fine work! Best regards. Henry Gustafson, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Every time I receive a Pietisten, you send a letter advising that it is not a renewal letter and that my subscription is not due. I can’t recall the last time I made a subscription payment, so it must have been a long time ago. Enclosed is our check. It is a great publication. Keep up the good work! Thanks. Don and Carolyn Wahlquist, Bellvue, Washington.

Thanks for sending me the recent edition of Pietisten, Summer, 2006. Forgive me for being such an on-and-off member. I guess I am one of your 251 Reverse Subscribers! As a token of my repentance I am trying to make restitution, so I can be reconciled as a member in good standing (Now there’s a good, 3-point, alliterative sermon outline, eh?). So, enclosed find my check.

I enjoyed the recent articles by Craig Anderson and Tom Tredway. Art Anderson is always a tonic to my soul, and I appreciated Tim Johnson’s remarks about CP. I never had CP as a teacher (Ralph Lowell taught me Zoology). I have memories of Elder Lindahl, who not only was my Introduction to Philosophy teacher, but who, as a seminary student, led our Hi-C group at Lake View High School, when I was a sophomore there.

I am a third generation Swede, so I didn’t grow up with the language, but our family did carry on the traditions of food and family gatherings. And somehow my father saw to it that we went to Sunday School at the Lake View Mission Covenant Church in Chicago. I have always been sinfully proud of my Swedish heritage. (I fly a big Swedish flag outside our home in Wheaton!)

I retired from the regular ministry in 1996, but was called back into service in 1999 to be the “permanent, part-time pastor” of St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove, Illinois. I just began my eighth year. It’s small suburban church, mainly older people, and a real joy. Not bad for a 74-year old guy who never expected to live to see the age of 40!

Enough for now. Thanks again for your faithfulness to me, even when I didn’t deserve it! That’s grace—and maybe the seed of another sermon! We preachers are incorrigible.

Love and Good Cheer! I still keep in contact with a few of my old Covenant friends—George Elia, Craig Anderson, Luke Englund, Bud Swanson, and Vern Wettersten. Raymond W. Nyquist, Wheaton, Illinois.

Just a quick note to let you know I read your fine Article [Phil J’s Sunday School talk at First Covenant in Seattle on the web site], and though my 79 year old brain may not grasp everything as well as some young Christian lad, it left me with a feeling of warmth and love. My forefathers, Nils Frykman, Magnus Frykman, Paul Frykman, Andrew Theodore Frykman have all played a roll in the lives of you fine people. It is gratifying to read the works and know about all the fine Hymns written by these Christians, as well as knowing the message they brought forth to so many. God Bless you All. Dolores Frykman Froemming, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

To Phil and Others, What a treasure is Pietisten! In every issue I read names that trigger numerous memories—some of which go back more than 50 years. The Summer ’06 issue begins with an article by Tom Tredway. He was at North Park when I was!

Page 4 has an article by G. Timothy Johnson (fellow Massachusetts resident)—at North Park in my sister’s class. The article is about “Carroll Pete” beloved residence counselor in the men’s dorm when “Maggie Pete” did the honors for us at Sohlberg Hall in the 50s. Both Petersons had to “campus” a bunch of us for daring to have a large group of fellows and girls celebrate Stan Holme’s birthday together in the men’s dorm in 1954. Glen Wiberg will always be part of my life since he was my pastor during my teen years in Haddam Neck, Connecticut (and officiated at my wedding to Lowell B. Johnson 52 years ago). Editor, Phil, knows all about Haddam Neck! The name Hawkinson evokes delightful memories of Dean Eric, Professor Zenos (best history professor I ever had!), and Jim, once, a very young intern who served the neighboring Middletown Covenant Church when I was a teen. Jim’s wife, Alice, was a friend during my North Park years! Other names “leap out”—Art Mampel, friend of my husband when Art was a kid, friend of mine at North Park. Your frequent contributor, Bob Bach and his beautiful wife, Marlene, became friends when I discovered their musical talents on their CDs (and later met them face-to-face). I remember Chaplain Ed Nelson when he was a young pastor in New London, Connecticut from the 40s and visited our Haddam Neck church. Thank you for keeping alive those wonderful “ties that bind our hearts in Christian love.” Accept the enclosed donation as a small token of my very large appreciation. Janet Christianson Johnson, Concord, Massachusetts.

John Carlson [long time subscriber and Covenant Pastor] died on September 30. He always enjoyed Pietisten. When his sight failed, we enjoyed it together as I read to him. Betty Carlson, South Bend, Indiana.

What a treasure your Pietisten news is. Every time it comes into my home, and I read it all, I am inspired, I am deeply moved with nostalgia, and I am intensely proud of the heritage we all have in the Covenant roots! I am proud to have been born into the Covenant with parents active in many areas of life and service at Bethlehem Church, Salem Church, and Minnehaha Academy and of having four grandparents born in Sweden who were involved in several Covenant churches there.

The roots then grew to eventually include my being married to Wayne Balch [NP Choir Director 1959 To 1966]. He “grew” to love the Covenant and Swedish heritage…His great pride was in being at North Park College. And out of that experience we, as a family were able to have our roots and branches extend to innumerable contacts and relationships across the country and around the world.

Finally, as often happens, events come around “full circle” by that I mean, now my (our) son-in-law, Dan Tepke, is the current Senior Vice President at North Park University. …Dan’s loyalty to NPU is sincere and valued. God is good, and I am happy to know that He plans and guides all of our lives, our roots, our growing, our branching out, and hopefully producing fruit unto eternal life. God bless you all at Pietisten headquarters. Dorothy (Do) Lundstrom Balch, Seattle, Washington.

Why I think so much of Pietisten? To go beyond just saying so, it is possible to tell why. The editor was my dorm counsellor, who by his example demonstrated that it was possible for an ordinary Swede kid to make it at North Park and in the Covenant (and dream of the extra-ordinary). Of the regular contributors, Elder Lindahl was my faculty advisor, teacher, and example.

Art Anderson was both Chaplain and teacher of Hebrew Prophets, my first religion course. …my best memory of his teaching was the positive and convincing way he spoke about the experience of marriage! That, so few male role models, had done

While on internship in Princeton Illinois, senior Pastor Ron Lagerstrom demonstrated his irenic spirit by allowing me to play recorded sermons of his predecessor, Glen Wiberg, on visits to shut-ins. In that way I was privileged to hear quite a number of Wiberg messages…and was duly impressed. His appreciation for the hymnody, words cannot express.

Our library contained three volumes of Booth Tarkington’s Penrod series, and I rotated checking them out to read and re-read. I spent hours and filled pages in my own notebook emulating Penrod’s authorship of the Jasper detective series. Who can explain this?

Craig and Dottie Anderson provided the opportunity for Eleanor and me to work briefly with the children of the Oakdale Covenant Church neighborhood of Chicago, an unforgettable experience. His tribute to Jack Lundbom was heartwarming and we share in his pride. He mentions Ed Newton. Ed, Jack and I were all drywall sanders also.

Carroll J. Peterson, head counsellor at Burgh, offered some memorable illustrations of how not to be patronizing. As fellow member of the Albany Park church with our landlady, Hazel Johnson, C.P. looked after her as would a son. Ed Nelson was Burgh Hall counsellor when my brother attended NPC. Tredway was teaching then, and Niebuhr’s insights received with glad hearts. Yes, I surely could go on. Frankly, I hated to leave NPC. The people whom I had not yet met can now also become my friends and acquaintances through the pages of Pietisten. Their children and grandchildren can now also be known to me. That is why I think so much of Pietisten. Robert Greenwall, Walnut, Iowa.