Post: Readers Respond

Dear Friends at Pietisten:

Thanks so much for the work on this most interesting newsletter! I recently found out about Pietisten through a friend at First Covenant, Wilmar (Minnesota), Lowell Tornquist. A 1981 graduate from NPU, I had classes with both Profs Lindahl and Soneson. Lowell loaned me some of his old issues of Pietisten and I have enjoyed reading through them. I was especially interested in the three-part series on J.S. Bach which was submitted by Dr. Don Franklin. I have two out of three, so I will look for the third one on your Internet site! Thanks—and I look forward to receiving my first issue. Beth (Vogt) Nordstrom. Willmar, Minnesota.

Thanks for the current inspiring issue of Pietisten. I especially appreciated David Hawkinson’s and Peter Sandstrom’s reflections on my old pastor Doug Cedarleaf. I remember following Doug in a peace march, struggling to write a meaningful Confirmation essay for his class, and listening to some of those passionate sermons he preached. If it is available, I would love a copy of Doug’s Amos reinterpretation. I first truly encountered those words from Amos while writing a paper for Dr. Sebestyén in a North Park religion class. We are fortunate to have met these modern prophets form our tradition.

Thanks, to for the inclusion of a poem by my good friend, Andrejika Hough. Pietisten includes a wealth of diverse pieces! Your faithful reader, Ingrid Nelson, Chicago, Illinois.

I just want to say that I enjoy reading Pietisten very much. David Hawkinson’s article on Doug Cedarleaf is very interesting. Doug and I enrolled at North Park the same year, 1934. His dorm room was on the same floor as mine—third—and he already had a head start on a library. While some of us enjoyed visiting and fellowship with each other, Doug could usually be found in his room reading the O.T. Prophets. His dedication and discipline really paid off in the years to follow. I would appreciate if you would send me a copy of his rendition of the book of Amos. It sounds really fascinating.

Keep up the good work. Thanks for doing this for us. George H. Schermer, Bettendorf, Iowa.

Thanks! It is one way I keep in touch with my roots. Roman A. Swedenburg, Spring Valley, California.

I consider Mel Soderstrom to be one of the real stalwarts of North Park. Given his years of service here, his loyalty to the school is obvious. What is less obvious but even more impressive to me is Mel’s embodiment of so many of North Park’s ideals: lifelong learning; compassion for those in need; integrity; commitment to the Church, to name a few. On the downside, honesty compels me to note that at least in one area Mel falls short of North Park standards—his whistling will never earn him a place on the stage at Orchestra Hall. David G. Horner, Chicago, Illinois.

I deeply appreciated your article about Douglas Cedarleaf. His family were long-time friends of mine. I would like to add a tribute to Doug’s folks of Rockford, Illinois. There were exemplary examples of a true Christian spirit. Jane Swanson Bowman Jacobson, Turlock, California.

I would like to thank Pietisten and Sandy Johnson for the loving—and delicious—tribute to my mother, Tyra Andersen ("Remembering T.T.," Winter 2000). Although Sandy mentioned Ma’s delectable foods and her firm belief in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour, there is one important consideration that was overlooked in "Remembering" which was presented by Dr. Milton Ryder of the First Baptist Church of Boston in his eulogy to my mother at the Covenant Church in Quincy, Massachusetts. To Quote Dr. Ryder, "T.T. was the consummate ‘back seat driver’ when in an automobile. Indeed, she founded the art of back seat driving and wrote the book and theory of such an art." Uncle Donald [T.T.’s brother-in-law] laughed. Alan C. Andersen, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thanks again for the issue. We agree entirely with the article on Mel Soderstom. Appreciated also Sandstrom’s tribute to Doug Cedarleaf, a most able pastor and friend! Hobart Edgren, Manistee, Michigan.

Thanks for the last issue. I particularly appreciated Art Anderson’s article on visitation ministry. We need to be reminded of the validity and power of face-to-face contact.

I’m serving Redeemer Covenant Church in Carnditon (Dallas area), Texas. I’m enjoying it very much. Allan F. Johnson, Portland, Oregon.

Dear Pietisten Family,

I greatly enjoyed reading Bob Bach's article on Mel Soderstrom whom I called "Dad" during the year I lived with the Soderstrom family as an exchange student. The article mentions his ability to keep in touch. The Soderstrom family and I have kept in touch over the years (since 1989) and continents (I now live in Istanbul, Turkey) largely thanks to his constant letters, e-mail messages, cards and newspaper clippings. The comment about his whistle also reminded me of the time when I visited the Soderstrom family after a four year break: he was still whistling the same tune!

Pietisten has been a great point of contact and source of information about my host community. Thank you for including me in your international readership. Please keep up the professional work with the personal touch. Regards, Ahu Latifoglu, Istanbul, Turkey.

Syaloom,

Thanks Lord through this Pietisten website I can get much information on pietism. I live in Jakarta, Indonesia where most of the population is Muslim. I go to church under German pietism. Missionaries from Rhenish Mission came to my home town (in North Sumatera or Batak People in 1861) led by Ingwer Ludwig Nommensen. Therefore, a lot of hymns we sing are taken from the work of Zinzendorf.

Therefore, if it is possible, I am very interested to have a hymnal from abroad in English. We have hundreds of languages in Indonesia, but we communicate in Indonesia as our national language. If you don’t mind, could you or your church donate me—for free—your hymnal book you use in worship, pietist or Moravian hymnal. I say this because the US dollar is too expensive for me. If you can donate the book, please send it to me. [Pietisten sent a Covenant Hymnal.] Ronald L. Toruan, Jakarta, Indonesia.

My appreciation for Pietisten grows with each succeeding issue so I thought it’s about time to break into the conversation among friends. It’s like old home days! I want to greet the family through Pietisten which does a great job in warming up old friendships and creating new ones. Some are gone—the esteemed Doug Cedarleaf, what a man, and Les Strand, seminary intern in our Seattle First Covenant Church and friend at North Park later. Others, too, with NP connections are Elder Lindahl, Carl Lugn, a classmate and roommate, Glen Wiberg, pastor for a while at North Park Covenant Church, and Art Anderson, long-time friend. My greetings also to wives, Helen, Jane, and Bernice. Beatrice and I enjoy the good life at Covenant Shores together with the Markusons, Metcalfs, and Hansons. It’s good to see Art Mampel and Jackie occasionally. I appreciate his poetry readings and remember when he was a lively high school student and I was his pastor. Greetings, too, to Mel Soderstrom with whom we enjoy a regular touch via e-mails. Paul V. Bjorklund, Mercer Island, Washington.

Dear Phil et al:

Just a note to thank you for the reliable inspiration that arrives with every issue of Pietisten. Winter 2000 was no exception.

Doug Cedarleaf confirmed Julia while he was in Spokane and married us during his pastorate at North Park. He was always inspiring, provocative, and prophetic in the pulpit as he gave contemporary issues Biblical connections. I never missed a Sunday at North Park Church whenever I was in the Windy City. David Hawkinson illustrated Doug’s legacy very effectively in his eulogy. It is hard to lose one’s heroes, no matter when the end comes. Of course, we are only temporarily in each other’s company in this life anyway and these events and memories just reinforce this reality. Just one more reason why your work is appreciated.

Marcus Borg was in Worcester [Massachusetts] last Fall to deliver the Beck Lectureship of the Massachusetts Bible Society, so it was refreshing to read Tom Condon’s review of Borg’s manifesto, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. This synthesis of the author’s pilgrimage is an elegant example of how faith and intellect can both illuminate and empower the Christian life, a must-read.

Thanks you and the Editorial office for your inspiring productions. Sandy Mark, Westborough, Massachusetts.