Pietisten Holds Two 2005 Annual Meetings

Minnesota, January 20, and Washington, April 30, 2006

by Phil Johnson

The meetings were held at Art and Barb Bowman’s Home, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Gordon and Chris Johnson’s Home, Snoqualmie, Washington.

Gord and Chris Johnson relax after hosting Pietisten Meeting

This report for 2005 is a blend of the Minnesota and Washington Meetings held to comply with our non-profit corporate status.

I. A bird’s eye view of unfinished business. This is but a hint of things in this category (the list is extensive).

A. Put an ad in the Covenant Companion offering free sample issues.
B. Use our website more effectively. Karl Nelson has ideas about how to improve the great website which he created and manages. He has ideas it. Karl and I were able to talk about this some in Seattle. See his report below.
C. Train editor in use of Indesign (the publication software recently acquired and employed—the last issue was inefficiently prepared with that program).

II. Financial Report for calendar year 2005

Income: $4561.29
Expenditures: $7123.50 (see note 1)
Note 1. Purchases are usually made with our First Bank Visa card. We pay the full balance each month.
Cash on hand December 1, 2005: $64.79
Debts: $2498 owed to Citi-Business Card interest-free loan (cash advance transfer—see note 2)
Note 2. Incurred primarily by the purchase of a Macintosh Power book G-4 and by acquiring Indesign software needed for continuing to produce a print ready edition. The cost of the Laptop (G4) plus accessories totaled about $3000. The cost of Indesign—$349. This was a reduced price for those converting from PageMaker.

Sources of revenues for Pietisten include

1. “Membership subscriptions”­ (Regular, Booster, Donor, and Sustaining that are either new, renewing, or gift subscriptions)
2. Sale of Pietisten products—tee-shirts, Sounds of Sweden CD, The Noble Lectures (2004) by Tim Johnson; and books by the Mampel brothers, Hotplate Hotel, and Antlers in the Treetops are examples
3. Donations from friends
Thanks very much to all who contribute to our income. After people receive a new issue, orders and checks begin arriving in the mail. When the flow gets going, there is a steady stream of four or five “orders” with checks a day. The income from subscriptions and Pietisten products pretty much cover postage and printing. Add Donations and so far Pietisten has been able to make ends meet.

III. Circulation report

700 Regular Subscriptions (Members who pay to subscribe for three or six issues.)
251 Reverse Subscriptions (Persons who haven’t purchased regular subscriptions but who, in our judgment, need Pietisten. People in this category are expected to pay $10 if they want Pietisten to stop coming—this has been a minor source of income.)
951 Total Subscriptions

IV. Mailing report, XX, 1

893 Pieces Domestic mail
35 Overseas envelopes
928 Total

V. Production Report

Issues produced in calendar year 2005 2
Issue produced in Volume XX 1 (This issue is the first of Volume XXI. Productivity has slipped. In 1991 Pietisten produce four issues. Pray for improvement.)
Cost of printing last issue: $910 (U of M Print Shop)

VI. General Report

Good news:

1) The volunteer work of David and Marion Swanson. Swanny is the editor’s high school classmate and a teammate on the International Falls Broncos football teams of ’54 and ’55. A student at Augustana Seminary in the 60s, Dave recently completed reading the complete works of Charles Dickens. Marion owns and manages The Swanson Art Gallery and is Director of the Family Ministry program at Elim Lutheran in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. These graduates of Gustavus Adolphus College strengthen Pietisten’s Lutheran front.
2) Increased participation by some old friends.
3) Increased conversation using electronic mail.
4) Articles continue to flow in from our regular contributors and a variety of other writers.
5) Regular contributions by veterans Art Anderson, Glen Wiberg, and Elder Lindahl. It is difficult to estimate how valuable they are. Their identification with us trumps the suspicion of some that most of the rest of us are renegades.
6) Bruce Carlson, Poetry and Navigation Editor, (prognosis improved) interviewed Paul Holmer (Spring, 1994) about C.S. Lewis and the movie Shadowlands. In light of the Narnia movie, Karl has posted the interview on Pietisten.org. It’s great, well worth reading.

VII. Other issues and agenda items

Glen Wiberg reported on the international impact of Pietisten (mainly Sweden). He said Gunnar Hallenberg is writing a book on the influence of the conventicle movement and revival on Swedish literature. Glen will contact Dr. Hallenberg to explore an article on this intriguing subject.

VIII. Greetings, Absentee Reports

Greetings from Methodists:

Leonard Hill, four generations descended from George Scott, from Victoria, Australia, sends greetings as does
Mark Bengtsen, Methodist Pastor in Deerwood, Minnesota.

Others:

Tom Tredway, Galena, Illinois (Episcopal, Lutheran, and Covenant)

Dear Editor:

I sure wish we had been able…to be at Pietisten’s Annual Meeting. I would like to meet the dramatis personae, some of whom would be faces I have loved long since and lost the while and others persons I don’t (yet) know personally. All I can say to you all is that your work means a great deal to me (and to many, many others) and that the happy blend of the serious and the merry (which I first knew at Mission Meadows and then at NPC) seems, at least to me, to be what any pietist worth a kroner would hope for on the other side of that wide river toward which so many of us seem to be careening. Jag haelsa er och hoppas att allt aer bra med Pietisten, nu och i framtiden!

(Rev. Paul Bjorklund read and translated the Swedish at the West Coast Meeting.)

David Hawkinson, Vice President (the Hawk)

To the gathered fellowship of Pietists—from the frontier of Vermont

Grace and Peace

When I think of your meeting, I am reminded of another day and another gathering that was occasioned by the death my grandfather, Eric Hawkinson, of blessed memory. He was a pietist, still sucking the original milk from the mothers and fathers of whom we are heirs. As we held his ashes, Rev. Donald Frisk spoke of the pietist as the bluebell...an image he received from Eric, his teacher. From that day, I fell in love with that flower because it seemed a true association: the bluebell growing on the edge of the road, nearly trampled every day in the passing of ordinary life, yet vigorous in its own way. Overlooked and underplayed. Much like the kingdom of God. And shall we not say it? Nothing has changed, thanks be to God, who has preserved our essential being by calling the likes of us, to carry on as best we can.

So to each of you, Susan and I send our love and our heartfelt prayer that we may return to the conventicle.

Shalom aleichem, Hawk

Reports:

From our Poet Laureate, Art Mampel, Seattle, Washington

Yes, indeed, I have a poem; the perfect poem for a group of fearless journalists like yourselves. It is by Yevtushenko who says in his poem “Lies”—

Telling lies to the young is wrong,
Proving to them that lies are true is wrong.
Telling them that God is in His Heaven
and all is well with the world is wrong.
The young are people;
the young know what you mean.
Tell them difficulties can’t be counted.
And let them see not only what will be,
But see with clarity these present times.
Say obstacles exist they must encounter;
hardships happen, sorrow happens, the hell with it.
Who has never known the price of happiness will not be happy.
Forgive no error you recognize;
it will repeat itself, increase.
And afterwards our pupils will not forgive
in us what we forgave.

(Art recited this poem at the West Coast Meeting.)

Bhutan Travel Report, Bob Elde, St. Paul, Minnesota

Bob hiked through this Himalayan country. He reported, among other things, that the country’s new constitution establishes “Gross National Happiness” as Bhutan’s measure of national health. Bob will write a report soon for a coming issue.

Sport Prophet, Eric Ecklund-Johnson, Clarks Summit, PA

During the past year, I have paid the least attention to sports that I have in many years. This is the result of a combination of being very busy, tired, and uninspired about the teams I normally cheer for. I hope that the editorial staff will consider keeping me on though and, if so, I will make an effort to pay more attention to sports and/or pretend to have something intelligent to say/write on the matter during the coming year. Thanks.

Action: Retain the Sport Prophet and double his salary.

Associate Editor, Nels Elde, Seattle, Washington

It is always a pleasant surprise to hear that the Pietisten is still operating. It appears my plans to give you folks the slip by moving west have failed. I guess the Managing Editor’s patented reverse subscription plan applies to editorial positions as well. All is well on the rainy western front. Wishes of peace, happiness, health and love.

Online Editor, Karl Nelson, Seattle, Washington

Pietisten can be found online at www.pietisten.org. The site contains all issues since Fall, 1998. Articles are indexed by author and column. Also, we occasionally publish special features, including selected articles from older editions.

Although the exact numbers of readers is difficult to determine, the website receives thousands of visitors each month. Some contact us with all manner of correspondence. Fortunately, comments on articles and requests for information outweigh sales pitches. Look for further improvements in the website in the coming year, and send comments or critiques to the Online Editor.

IX. Awards

Volunteers of the Year: Dave and Marion Swanson and Karl Nelson

Hosts and Hostesses of the Year: Art and Barb Bowman and Gordon and Chris Johnson

Music Reporting, Glen Wiberg

Translating, Tommy Carlson

Free Lance Reporting: Bruce Carlson, Bobby Bach, and Michelle Anderson

Distinguished Service: Sandy Johnson

Distinguished Philosophical Writing: Elder Lindahl (“Face to Face” Summer, 2002 and “Gravity and Levity” Winter 2004-05)

Barb Bowman displays both Hostess Award and loyalty to her brother-in-law Mike's team.

X. Closing poem by Bob Bach, Roving Reporter.

At 3232

To the Pietisten faithful few
Who gather at thirty two-thirty two.
Most everything they write is true
Lots of lessons for me and you.
Often deep reflective thought
Sometimes mirth and sometimes not
Reporters who are on the spot
Hoping more issues will be bought.
Annual meeting time is here
A little coffee, a little beer
Lots of words for all to hear
And to them all, I send this cheer.

Phil Johnson is Editor Emeritus of Pietisten.

See all articles by Phil Johnson