Post: Readers Respond

This day after Christmas I read my copy. As a child I was often homesick, but the meaning of the word as it pertained to immigrants did not hit home to me until I read about the Swedes who really were miserable. I will read about Hultman in a new light now.

I also appreciated the article about slowing down. I think we Americans should also slow down our speech. Good thoughts in the article and especially with regard to making decisions. Peace, L. Victoria Peterson, Omaha, Nebraska.

Got your envelopes in the mail today. Wow! Quite some exciting mail! Its great to see the finished book finally: I'm amazed at how nicely it [Hotplate Hotel] turned out, the cover and the inside. I put it on my shelf, it looks great. Wow, very nice.

The little ad in Pietisten is funny. It makes the cover of the book look like it’s a little painting instead of a drawing. It’s a neat ad. I told Nathan about many of the stories while we were biking, so he's excited to read it, too. Thanks for sending the book! Matt Bergstrom, Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Phil: May you and your staff have a great new year. All of you do an excellent job with your articles.

Being a thoroughly brainwashed and dyed-in-the-wool Wisconsin Lutheran Synod member, I’m amazed at how much others have contributed to the Reformation and to Protestant theology. Your quarterly publication has really enlightened me in many areas, including wooden boats, the NFL, etc. Happy Days, Bob Florin, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I accepted a call as Pastor of Adult Ministries at the Forest Park Covenant Church of Muskegan in July of last year. As a result of my own faltering memory, I neglected to let you know of our address change!

Cheryl and I love living two blocks from Lake Michigan with its gorgeous sunsets and wood-lined sand dunes. In some ways, it reminds me of good old New England…land of our youth, Sandy.

Gud välsigna dig och ett Gott Nytt År! Paul Bengtson, Muskegan, Michigan.

Keep us locked into the best quarterly [now thirdly] around. Hans and Steph Blomgren, Seattle Washington.

I appreciate all the time and effort you people put into producing this fine paper. Keep it up. Aaron Markuson, Mercer Island, Washington.

Thanks for all your work in making Pietisten possible. It’s a great read! Dean Erickson, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The last issue was very interesting to me—especially the article “Here and There” by Elder Lindahl. Having grown up in an emigrant family (both parents were born in Sweden), I can relate to many of the pains of adjusting to a new land. I knew Mrs. Asplund, as I am a native of Kingsburg and have read the book about her, written by her daughter.

I am enclosing a story about Young Song (John) Kim, an emigrant from Korea. He will be speaking at the Covenant Midwinter Conference in Chicago in February. Our readers might be interested in the story. Very Truly Yours, Wallace Anderson, Carmichael, California.

Thanks for your good periodical and continued interest in our history. Carl Janson, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thank you for sending Pietisten last Spring. We moved up north at that time and went to Sweden for five months, just getting back before Christmas. I find it very interesting. I appreciate Kathy and Chris Christenson giving you my name. Bruce Johnson, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin.

How marvelous to look back on fifty years of ministry! [Jane Wiberg, “Revisiting the Past,” Fall, 1998] Tim and I set out from seminary to Rochester, Minnesota back in 1990. Our two children were born there, we lived close to both sets of my grandparents and we learned some of the ins and outs of pastoral ministry. In 1993, we ventured east to North Haven Covenant in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio were Tim began his first solo pastorate. Many memories fill my heart and soul from those years. One month ago, we arrived here, in the beautiful hills of New England (close by your old hills, Jane!) to begin what we hope and pray will be a long and joyous journey of faith with the fine congregation at The Covenant Church of Thomaston. How spectacular for the Wibergs to study where they have been; the path God has sent them on and the way He has been glorified through the tragedies and the jubilations. Phil, perhaps after the year 2040, I could submit a “Revisiting the Past” piece? May God be praised! Lisa Sundell Olsen, Thomaston, Connecticut.

Dear All: As I read Peter Sandstrom’s tribute to the Cedarleafs, it was as if I had written it myself. I, too, was one of those junior high kids singing in the choir, and to this day my fondest memories of Easter Sunday are those in the North Park church, being part of the huge combined choir singing the Holy City.

Those memories were rekindled this past October when I was lucky enough to be at the 100th anniversary celebration of the North Park Church, attending with my wife and children, and also with my parents, Jane and Hob. Of course, we sat in the usual pew as we did years ago. What a service! It was surprising the walls did not come tumbling down during the singing of the processional hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Oscar Olson has of course moved on to a heavenly choir, but son Chuck is up in front to carry on the tradition of an Olson leading the choir. Doug Cedarleaf was unable to attend, but Carolyn and three of their daughters were there to participate in this wonderful event. Jeanine had been my French teacher at North Park Academy, Becky’s husband Ralph (Anderson) had been my basketball coach at church, and Melanie was in class with my older brother, Alan. At dinner that evening, I ran into Elder Lindahl whose son Wesley and I were always concocting some science experiment in their basement, while it (now) appears that Elder must have been upstairs honing his writing skills for all of the wonderful articles that he now contributes to the pages of Pietisten. The many “old friends” and faces there made it a memorable day, not only for me, but also for my children who (unfortunately) did not grow up in the North Park Church. What a treasure! Nostalgia is very underrated!

Thanks for the great work you all do on Pietisten. I so look forward to reading it, although I do have to agree with a recent reader who feels at times that you need some secret “code” to get the meaning of things. However, mental gymnastics are good! Roger C. Edgren, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Two checks: (1) Subscriptions and order as indicated, (2) Support of, and to honor as a remembrance, the Zenos Hawkinson Covenant Heritage Fund. Remembrance? The Rev. J. Stanley Dahlman, NPC C39, S43, quoted Aunt Carolina in his 1998 Christmas letter: “Remembrance is sufficient of the beauty we have seen.” In the present cauldron of current events, I can imagine (almost hear) what Zenos would have to say. No, I won’t repeat it. To do so would invade the sanctity of personality, leading to conjectures and the desecration of friendship of over 50 years. Suffice it to say, that the memories are sufficient and are props to my faltering thought. The gift is scant token of the value of a relationship that has become sacred. Do I miss him? Yes, but death’s drastic separation spurs memories that span the void and companionship (visits, letters, chance meetings, phone calls, mutual interests, agreements, disagreements, laughter) is replaced with communion (memory, reflection, remembrance). Closure will never occur!

Your quotation of Jay Phelan’s reminder (Pietisten, Summer, p. 18, 1998), “If we forget our past we have no future,” is all the more reason to support the Fund’s mission statement: “To continue teaching, study and discussion of Covenant history and tradition with a focus on the relevance of this tradition to the on-going life of the Church.” Thanks, Pietisten, for the continued reminders of the past, the news of Covenant Church life (especially the glimpses of the thinking and activities of former colleagues and introduction of new friends), and the challenges of the future. And thanks, Zenos, for the gift subscription. L. Edward Nelson, North Park College, C39, S43, Longview, Washington.

Good reading! Especially since I know most contributors or those they write about! Mrs. Everett C. Mord, Hilmar, California.

…I sure enjoyed Ed Mampel’s Hotplate Hotel. It just so happened that the next book I picked up was John Grisham’s The Street Lawyer. If you haven’t read it, it’s a perfect follow-up. Vern Johnson, Grayslake, Illinois.

As always, thanks for such a wonderful periodical. It’s always a great day when we see the white Pietisten envelope in the mailbox. We have one question and an invitation. 1) Will the “Out and About” reporter be at the Covenant Annual Meeting in Green Lake, Wisconsin at the American Baptist Conference Center? 2) Any pietist visiting central New Jersey is welcome to join us for worship at Pilgrim Covenant Church in South Plainfield. With infinite hope, Cathy Stanley and Jim Erickson, Co-Pastors, South Plainfield, New Jersey.

[With respect to the question, I regret to say that the answer is no. With respect to the invitation, thank you. I hope many of us can take you up on it. The Out and About reporter.]

The censors who call themselves he editors of this tabloid said there was no room for my column in this issue. Good luck trying to find anythin in these pages that is theological, therapeutic, or practical. Penrod.