Post: Readers Respond

I read with great interest the article by David Gustafson in the Spring/Summer Pietisten. My grandmother lived at the Phelps Center orphanage from the time she was 2 (born 1897) until the age of 16. My mother didn’t speak of her mother’s early years very much, so we know very little. Since I read the article, I wrote to the nursing home in Holdrege to see if they had archives of their history that might shed more light. I have been in contact back and forth since then, and have been given info that we didn’t have before. I would like to know more, even if my grandmother is one of the children in the picture. I didn’t know that the Children’s Home had such a Christian base, and was especially touched by the quotes you included. My grandparents raised eight children in a Christian home; my mother being the oldest. Your quote about the “children’s testimonies” and the “long-awaited harvest” are so meaningful to me as I know they will to my extended family members when I share all this with them. We are the harvest of that little girl and the good people that took care of her. I belong to the Covenant Church, I attended North Park College in Chicago. I have other family that went to school there, too, as well as to Trinity (a small world). Thank you so much for writing the story of that home. It has meant so much.


Whenever I read of the Covenant Church’s aversion to creeds, I am reminded of the process by which holy scripture was canonized. I frame the issue this way to those who like to subsume anything that is not perfectly scriptural to historical relativism: Which came first, the Bible or the church?


I very much appreciated Tom Tredway’s article, “Covenanters, Lutherans and creeds,” and look forward to his new biography of Conrad Bergendoff, whose name always immediately brings the following memory to the fore. During my junior year at Augie [Augustana College], then senior Carl Blomgren sent out Christmas gift subscriptions in my name (using the tear out cards nestled in magazines) to either The Covenant Companion or Playboy magazine. So after my return from Christmas vacation I was standing in the lobby of Old Main when President Bergendoff somberly approached me to “thank me for the gift subscription to Playboy magazine.” Now that’s a “creed” that probably united most Covenanters and Lutherans in opposition – at least in the 1950s.