Out and About

by Phil Johnson

Annual Meeting Report

This Covenant Annual Meeting report is offered from the point of view of one non-delegate editor of Pietisten. The writer has no other authority, although, as Paul was a citizen of Rome, he is a member or citizen of the body the meeting represents.

First, North Park College was a gracious host. Hospitality was evident everywhere. President Horner, Jim Bragg, Cal Katter, and the rest of the North Park staff and students deserve congratulations and thanks. I was glad, as were many others, that North Park was again the host of the Chicago edition of the Annual Meeting.

About the business sessions I have nothing to report. For me, the week was highlighted by the birthday party for Dr. Karl Olsson. As many of you know, Dr. Olsson was presented a festschrift in honor of his 75th birthday. The title of the collection of essays is Amicus Dei — "Friend of God." It is a wonderful title and the 12 essays contained in it live up to the title. If you do not have a copy, I encourage you to get one through Covenant Press, 3200 3200 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625. The price is $13.95. It may still be possible to get the Covenant Quarterly edition by subscribing to the Quarterly. The annual subscription is $8.00. For that price, if it is still available, you will get the festschrift, which is a double issue of the Quarterly, and 2 more issues. The Quarterly is well worth getting. Orders can be placed by phone. Just call 1-800-621-1290.

Other than the gathering for Dr. Olsson and meeting the old friends one meets at North Park and at an Annual Meeting, my main purpose was to promote Pietisten. I'm happy to report that we gained 16 new subscribers at the meeting. In addition to these subscriptions, we were happy to provide the 42 ordinands a gift subscription for one year. We love every reader we can get.

One person who subscribes to this journal remarked that he enjoyed it. "It's fun," he said. "I hope you guys have fun doing it. It represents a part of the tradition." I, of course, was too slow-witted to give a thoughtful response then, but I have thought about his remarks since.

We do have fun doing it and we are pleased if we represent something of the tradition, but we claim to speak only for ourselves. The Apostle says, "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mold." I think that is good advice for everyone, but it is not easy to follow. To think of ourselves as having authority beyond ourselves is to begin to be squeezed.

I was pleased to be reminded how many small churches there are in the denomination. The Covenant may not be unique in this, but if not, all the better. It's good to think of well-educated young men and women who are pastoring these little churches, and it is good to think of the human beings who create, partake in, and are these communities. They bear much fruit.

As I stood in the hallway at the conference, playing a tape of Swedish hymns and occasionally selling a subscription to Pietisten, I was thankful, and I am now, too, that I am a citizen of a free country and a member of a free church. P.J.

Sport Report

Text: "Bodily exercise profiteth little." Paul of Tarsus

Motto: The real game is the game you're in.

As most people who follow North Park College football, even slightly, know, the football Vikings have been suffering hard times. North Park won an exciting Homecoming victory in 1986, but they have been blanked since. Not often is North Park football discussed joyfully or at length. Compare your response to talk of North Park basketball, with five national championships to your response to talk of North Park football.

Greg Fouhy, the new football coach as of 1987, is acutely aware of this imbalance in our conversation and he, his staff, and the football players at North Park are working very hard to change this. Someone from Minneapolis suggested that changing the team name to the Pietist Vikings might carry some influence where it counts. There is no word of any action on this suggestion.

However, Coach Fouhy and his staff — Tim Heintzleman, Tony Quinn, Mark Nelson, Drex Zimmerman, and the student assistant coaches — have been thoughtful and persistent in recruiting football prospects. They are looking for young men who are good students and good citizens as well. We wish the Vikings well as they face the stiff competition of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, we mourn the passing of our fine, former coach, Yank Swanson. Yank died this June in Alabama.

Yank began coaching at North Park in 1942. One of his linemen that year was Burton Nelson, an All Conference center from Princeton, Illinois. Yank left North Park for a time to coach in Indiana, but he returned to direct the Blue and Gold. Coach Swanson is especially remembered for the excellent job he did during the transition from Junior College ball to four-year competition. In the first season of playing four-year colleges, 1958, without any seniors, Yank led his Viking squad to a 7-1 record. In 1959, he hoped for an undefeated season. Unfortunately, the best his charges could do was 6-1-1. Coach Swanson resigned after the 1960 season for other pursuits. Among other endeavors, he managed Mayflower Lodge at Pilgrim Pines in Lake Swansey, New Hampshire.

This writer had the privilege of playing four years for Yank and to take the hygiene class he taught, called Biology 7A. I will not forget his theme: "Objective living (that is, living with the interests of others and of one' s community in mind) is hygienically sound." His contribution to the lives of many at North Park was of great value. Yank will continue to live in the memory of his colleagues and ball players. P.J.