Readers Respond

On the “Mission Meeting,” August 14, 2010:

…Our thanks for the very enjoyable afternoon at your Pietisten event. Ernie and I, both Pietists at heart, and both loving the Scandinavian culture (he Danish, I Swedish) felt very much at home. It was such a pleasure to see [the Blomgrens’] peaceful home and environment, very appealing in its simplicity and wholesomeness. You and your neighbors were warm and welcoming, and the food was perfect. We loved the music, the fine message by Mark Swanson, and watching the adorable children play. God bless you!

Barbara Hansen, Lacey, Wash.

Reading the obit on Dick Swanson, I was reminded of a funny “Dick Swanson” story. I was a student at Andover Newton in 1968-69. I worked with Don Njaa in Waltham. Dick was pastor in Boston. Someone would ask Dick if he could go to a meeting or something three weeks or a month out, and he would reply “Nope, I’ve got a funeral.” I’ve used that time and again in forty one years of ministry.

John Cedarleaf, Fairport, N.Y.

As one who may have given Craig “a kind of sideways look” regarding these matters, I think he has made an excellent case for honoring and preserving the work of Sallman. I will even add some grist for his mill. He suggests that some of the great artists portrayed Christ akin to their own ethnicity. I would suggest that these artists (I’m thinking particularly of the 14th and 15th century Italian) used people that they found on the street to pose for their paintings, and I would not be surprised (although I have not done the scholarly work required to verify this) that some of the images of Christ that they painted or sculpted were patterned after specific fellow countrymen. It is well known that some of the folks painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling were people that he knew—those whom he didn’t like he put in Hell!…So I wish to “strike from the record” any negative comments that I might have made in the past about Craig’s association with this quest for preserving the works of Sallman. Good work! I really enjoyed Craig’s article.

Alden Johnson, Belfast, Maine

I want to express my deepest thanks for the wonderful, moving report you gave from the gathering of the Augustana Heritage Association. The warm acceptance of Pietisten was more than we could ask and bids well for our continuing work. I am so grateful for the step we have taken in making our journal more inclusive of all who share the pietist vision…Six years ago I was invited to lead a sessions on the relationship of Covenant hymnody to that of Augustana hymnody at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Attending my session was Ronald Englund, with whom I had some correspondence following the event. A warm, gracious person. I must say that meeting with these Augustana folks, some of whom I had known from my earlier ministry, Jane and I felt we had come home. While a student at North Park Junior College, I recall Conrad Bergendoff saying about the Covenant that it was the Lutheran vine that had grown over the wall. It is unfortunate that a wall of separation was built on misunder-standings from both church bodies. Guds frid,

Glen Wiberg, New Brighton, Minn.