Post: Readers Respond

What is Pietisten?

Pietisten – we do it for the boat ads and, of course, the “On The Aisle” column. Keep it coming! Peter and Vanessa Johnson Wildwood, Illinois.

Keep up the good work! In an age of slick journalism it is refreshing to have the “hands on” approach of Pietisten. Blessings on you. Tim Heintzelman, Columbus, Ohio.

Dear Phil: Just a quick note of appreciation for the latest issue of Pietisten–the much appreciated report from your correspondent in Rock Island, the perfect tribute from your son, the clear note about Glenn’s election, etc. You do a great job and it is much appreciated by those of us separated by many miles from the heartland of Pietism. G. Timothy Johnson, Wayland, Massachusetts.

Hi Pietisten Editors: It’s a joy at 90 to receive, read, and to be reminded of our spiritual heritage. It is part of our Christian fellowship through the printed page, Phil and Kay Christenson, Eagan, Minnesota.

Dear Editor,

Having just finished the second copy of the Pietisten, a gift subscription from Curtiss Johnson, I must again offer my thanks to him, and then thank you for the good work you are doing with this publication. Keep us returning to our ROOTS!

Many of the articles in these two issues have renewed for me the contact that I have had with the writers–and in some instances with those whom they write about–from North Park days and from Conferences attended. I could comment on many of them.

However, the tribute to Doug and Carolyn Cedarleaf by Peter Sandstrom included an incident which brought to mind a similar incident of mine. During the last year at North Park, in 1944, Dorothy and I lived in a room, a private home, with kitchen privileges, about 2 blocks southeast of the campus.

One afternoon as I was walking across the Kedzie Avenue bridge I met a man who stopped to ask if I was Jewish. “No,” I said, “I am sorry, but can I be of help to you?” Now, many of the readers of Pietisten who are of that era will remember his little store on the North side of Foster Avenue, somewhere in the vicinity of Wasies’ Restaurant and Pete’s Barbershop. He could be seen quite often coming out of his store pulling a coaster wagon in which were piled grocery orders he delivered to the homes in that neighborhood – leaving his store unattended and the door wide open. That man, “Snappy Service,” as he was called, in response to my offer of help said: “We are nine men at the Synagogue who have met to pray but we need to be ten before we can have a meeting.” Then–he walked away. I guess I did not look like a good substitute–nor did I look as “tenish” as Doug looked “twelvish.”

Pietisten! Waldenström! I never had the privilege to see a copy of the original publication. But, I did often turn to Waldenström’s Nya Testamente med Förklarande Anmärkningar, feeling that I could not go wrong with his explanations.

Thank you for your good work! You encourage and challenge us all. C. Cecil Osterberg, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Please explain to us what Chris Craft denotes or signifies. Is it a spoof or a humorous conotation? We are perplexed.

The variety of subjects columists write about–do we need a sixth sense or a special spiritual gift to discern the Pietism connection?

We enjoy Pietisten as far as we understand it. God bless you and the staff. Bertil Lovain, Moose Lake, Minnesota and Arthur, Iowa.

[Dear Bertil: Thank you for the questions. As to Covenant Chris Craft, etc., we know very little other than the fact that it is our biggest advertising account. We showed your letter to their representative and requested a response. This is what we got. “Chris Crafts are mahogany boats made in Michigan between 1922 and 1960. Some are still around; useful and beautiful…able to soar over the water.” I don’t think this is a very direct response to your question. The advertising revenue is not a joke, though.

As to a “sixth sense,” even that may not help detect a connection to Pietism in this journal. But we do aim at personal connections and personal stories which we think are at the heart of Pietism. Thanks for your blessing. We appreciate it very much. – Ed.]

Thank you for the recent gift of “Sounds of Sweden” tape. I have enjoyed it a lot, although the reproduction on my equipment is not the best. I do think Bo is a fantastic guitarist. Some of my fondest memories are of my mother singing the old hymns from Sions Basun to me as a child. I still treasure very much both the Swedish and English of “Children of the Heavenly Father.”

I was confirmed in 1922 at Salem Covenant Church, and read my catechism in Swedish. I don’t have much opportunity to practice my Swedish now as there is only one person I know who can understand it. Our Swedish club is gradually disintegrating due to the age of most members.

My wife and I now attend Central Evangelical Presbyterian Church here in Clayton. It is a large church, three Sunday services, and has a large impact on the community. We are presently without a Senior Pastor. Any suggestions for the search Committee?

One of the reasons I enjoy Pietisten is that I like to think that many of the staff as well as others mentioned are descendents of our old friends at Salem Church. As you might guess, I am quite old, almost 89, and cannot travel any long distances easily.

God bless you and keep up the good work. Sincerely, Earl Swanson, Clayton, Missouri.

We are thoroughly enjoying our gift subscription from Mel [Soderstrom]. I would like to read the article about Carl Philip Anderson mentioned in the issue we just received. Would it be possible to get a copy of it? I went to North Park with Carl Phil and Hazel and worked with him on The North Parker.

I have been a Covenanter since birth and my great grandfather was one of those who started churches in Dalarna which became the Swedish Covenant. So, I’m more interested than my husband who has only been in the Covenant 57 years although teaching at North Park College, he knows more Covenanters than I do. Esther Hansen, Fort Myers, Florida.

Yes, I am happy to get Pietisten. Pietisten gives the forgotten folks who made the Covenant at least some recognition. Paul Bergstrom, Cromwell, Connecticut.

The last issue was great. The Cedarleaf tribute so well done and truly earned by them. I was, of course, charmed and delighted with Glen’s tribute to Irv. Thank you. Myrtle Erickson, Chicago, Illinois.

The Summer 1998 issue celebrated some of our heroes–Carolyn and Doug Cedarleaf, Phil Johnson at 60, and Glenn Palmberg. What a legacy and what a great time to celebrate Covenant possibilities! Thank you for your prophetic ministry where faith, spirit, and humor intersect to nurture our potential. Sandy and Julia Marks, Westborough, Massachusetts.

Greetings from Santa Barbara, California

I just finished reading the Summer issue of Pietisten. What a joyful experience. The article about Doug & Carolyn Cedarleaf was especially meaningful to me because they were also a pastoral couple to me when I was at North Park and again after my family moved to the North Park Community. Bob Bach’s article about Glenn brought tears to my eyes as I thought about our Schnitzel. Your son did a great job in toasting you. It is hard to believe that we have reached that age of 60 and beyond.

Joyce and I have moved to Santa Barbara where we are enjoying somewhat of a retirement. However, we seem to be busier than ever. Our main purpose for coming here is to help Rev. Jon Ireland and Rev. Chuck Wysong start the Ocean Hills Covenant Church in downtown Santa Barbara. So far it has been a very spiritual experience. I am also employed by the Pacific Southwest Conference as their interim business manager.

Enclosed is my check for a two-year subscription even though it is not due.

You are welcome to visit us in this great community. Allan and Joyce Anderson, Santa Barbara, California.

It was my (step) son-in-law Ralph Sturdy who first gave me the subscription. I’ve had several family members “involved” in the Covenant. 1) Brother–Edward L. Olson (Swedish Covenant Hospital), 2) Uncle–Louis Person, North Park College, 3) Cousin–Don Njaa [Secretary of the Ministry for the Covenant Church], and 4) a few others–but they are all retiring and even, passing on. Charlotte M. Gran, Gresham Oregon

Thanks for all your good work! I enjoy Pietisten. The Fall/Winter issue is fine–give yourselves a break! Ingrid Nelson, Chicago, Illinois

I find every issue of Pietsten enjoyable and provocative. Thanks! Enclosed is my check for renewal.

I appreciated Elder’s [Lindahl] article on Waldenström and especially his emphasis on PPW’s recovery of the biblical picture of God as the loving, ever gracious Heavenly Father– the picture which lies behind his understanding of atonement. The memorial plaque to PPW in Bethlehem Church in Gävle, Sweden, reads: “He gave our people a purer picture (en renare bild) of God.”

I attended worship at North Park Covenant Church a few Sundays ago–a profoundly moving service and powerful preaching by Arthur Nelson on the Prodigal Son. The name of Waldenström was not mentioned, but his understanding of God was everywhere present in the service. Had Wadenström been there, he would have been deeply blessed and completely at home. I find that encouraging. Thankfully, Donald Frisk, Batavia, Illinois.

Thanks for your kind words in the Summer 1998 issue of Pietisten. The seminary community is very excited about working with President Palmberg and is anticipating great things in our future. The support and prayers of the whole “Pietisten community” are greatly appreciated. Thanks for the wonderful work you do in Pietisten. In this issue I especially enjoyed the tribute to Carolyn and Douglas Ceadarleaf and Ryan Eikenbary-Barber’s “Pietism and the Future” (and not just because he quoted me!). May God’s grace go with you. John E. Phelen, Jr., Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Phil: Thank you so much for sending me the back copies of Pietisten. I really don’t know why I never did subscribe before this, but now that my sister-in-law, Myrtle, did it for me, I shall continue until my dying day.

I have a little retreat in my loft in our cabin on the lake and have enjoyed reading the back copies, especially articles written by some of my seminary comrades (1946-1948) and colleagues in the ministry. The tributes to Irving Erickson, my brother, and his article about our Covenant hymnody were especially meaningful.

I was moved by your tribute [Fall 1992] to your brother, Reggie [Reginald Johnson]. When I was Pastor in Glen Ellyn [Illinois], Reg and Betty were members. I recall vividly when he was burned in the furnace explosion. I visited him in the hospital in Saint Paul and was impressed by his faith and great courage in the face of such a serious injury. He didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but lived a quiet, positive Christian life.
God’s continued blessing on you and your staff as you keep up the good work of producing a refreshing publication. Bob Erickson, Hagerman Lake, Michigan.