Post: Readers Respond

Congratulations to Pietisten and the Sturdys for the wonderful idea for a scholarship [The Soneson/Lindahl Scholarship Fund]! There is joy in stewardship when the cause is dear to the heart. The philosophy and religion departments and the seminary at North Park provided some of the richest times of my life.

[Also], I want to pass on to you and the Pietisten people a wonderful resource which I have discovered right here in Nebraska. It is the Library of Religious thought: actually the home of J. Beverland from which he operates a used bookstore featuring the largest variety and number of religous titles imaginable. Beverland is very knowledgeable and has a broad perspective. I have found many lost treasures there. His address is 3901 N. 54th St., PO box 4184, Omaha, Nebraska 68014. Phone 402-453-9808. Robert Greenwall, Walnut, Iowa.

A big thank you to all Pietisten Staff! Great reading! Especially I liked the picture of the Online Editor and his Bride! Lorraine Johnson, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Again, thanks to you and your editors for another issue of Pietisten. I read this one cover-to-cover at one sitting. You deserve our appreciation and, indeed, our encouragement for your great job in trying—and succeeding—to keep a traditon in our fast changing world. May God bless your efforts! Jane and Hobart Edgren. Manistee, Michigan.

One of the best parts of Pietisten is the lovely tributes to departed Saints. I was particularly moved by those for Les Strand and Phil Anderson in the Summer 2000 issue. I was privileged to be at the bedside of Les, along with his daughters and Bob Dvorak, the night he died. His daughter Ingrid described him then as a "wounded Lion" and it was apt. Having made the courageous and correct decision to forego heroic measures, Les died with the same dignity by which he lived. And Dr. Phil will always hold a special place in our hearts because he was the one who served as our Advisor in 1968 when Nancy and I went to work at the hospital in Indonesia where he and Irene were serving as Covenant Missionaries. He had a little 18-month-old boy all picked out for us when we arrived—now our cherished 34-year-old son, Nolden. So thanks for the memories. Tim Johnson, Wayland, Massachusetts.

Dear friends, I wish you a merry Christmas and God’s blessings in the New year. I am coming to Minnesota on December 22, will stay in Minneapolis for a few days, then to Willmar for a few days. Then my mother and I are travelling to Hawaii for a week of peace and quiet (not to mention warmth!).

I am thankful to God for the witness of the Pietist. Friendly greetings, Laura Klenk, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Stanley Walters, my O.T. Prof. at Knox College, U. of Toronto, was fond of saying "position is hermeneutic." In other words, a given passage in the Biblical Text is to be understood in relation to what comes before and what comes after, as well as in relation to where it comes in the overall structure of the text (including the larger canon). I would like to pass this adage on to David Hawkinson—I think that, among other things, he is saying much the same thing in his article. Marc Fullerton, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

A Pietist’s Graduation

Friday, October 13th, was not an unlucky day at all! In fact, it was just the opposite as the celestial choir had one more tenor added for the singing of "Trygare can ingen vara" and the soon to be practiced "Lyssna, Lyssna" for the annual julotta service.

Yes, my dad peacefully left the church vigilant to take his place in the church triumphant on what some people think is an unlucky day. He had gone to supper and had finished a moment of conversation with his beloved roommate at the Park Avenue Nursing Home in Arlington, Massachusetts. He thought he would rest a bit on top of his bed before preparing for the night…and quietly passed into the arms of his savior a few moments later. What a way to go!

I do not grieve his death, as some might who have no hope. Yet, I am profoundly aware that the mantle of Bengtson servant leadership which my dad lived in the life of the Covenant Church, both in Sweden and subsequent to his coming to America in 1929, has now been transferred to my two brothers, Rick and Carl, and me, and to our children and their children. I will miss my dad, who always had a song to sing or hum, usually from our Swedish heritage, and a cheerful word of humor or encouragement. He lived life to the fullest and always tried to make the best of any challenge. His love for the Lord, His Word, and his local church, Trinity Covenant Church of Lexington, Massachusetts, were faultless and consistent, and his daily prayers for each member of his family were valued by all.

Richard Helmer Bengtson Sr. lived just three days shy of his 99th birthday in earthly terms, but he will always live in the spirits of those who knew and loved him, not the least of which is "lilla Paul."

Peace be to his memory…I couldn’t have asked for a better dad. Paul Bengtson, Muskegon, Michigan.

We’ve visited the homes and museums of such Swedish greats as Jussi Bjorling, Anders Zorn, and Carl Larsson. Music—especially singing—is an important part of their present life as well as heritage. Their (our) heritage is also embedded in magnificent stone buildings and churches and log cabins in Dalarna. Several hundred years to build some of these churches—quite a contrast to Covenant Churches. New thoughts about the Covenant. Lutheran Church and State now severed. Heard Christina Ekström and Bo Harraldsson. Carl Blomgren, Vashon, Washington—writing from Stockholm.

The Latest issue of Pietisten brings back many good memories. 1) Henry Gustafson was my Confirmation pastor in Haddam Neck, Connecticut. 2) Art Mampel was "mentored" by Lowell [the late Pastor Lowell Johnson] years ago in Minneapolis and, because we had Lowell in common, Art and I became friends at North Park—’53-’54. 3) Glen Wiberg performed my wedding in ’54. 4) My daughter and son-in-law did mission work in Africa (for the Methodists!). 5) Steve Elde served in Haddam Neck! 6) Art Anderson’s comments on humor among pastors was great. I have many happy episodes of humor in the clergy (and wives) groups in which we were involved. 7) Les Strand was the Conference Superintendent when Lowell served the Bristol church—and of course—you [the Managing Editor] have connections to Haddam Neck. Janet Johnson, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.