Volume XV, Number 3
In This Issue
A few weeks ago, Muriel and I received a phone call from Cibola General Hospital in Grants, New Mexico, telling us that my sister Carol had collapsed at a gas station off I-40 and was in intensive care.
It’s a short walk from Mel Soderstrom’s house to his office in Old Main. He has taken that walk for more than 30 years. Although the challenge of crossing Foster Avenue hasn’t changed much over time, other things have. It’s a different North Park today than it was when he first joined the staff in 1964, but it is the same Mel.
"I want a job," Lonnie demanded, his lips tight in the precise medium between a smile and frown. One could imagine his teeth grinding to splinters behind those taut lips. Lonnie’s hair was combed over his rather large forehead, arousing suspicion that he was losing his hair at a mere twenty-six years of age.
One of Minnesota’s finest citizens just published his memoirs. In A Man’s Reach, 91-year-old Elmer Andersen looks back with humor and wisdom on a full, rich, and wonderful life.
It would be noble to say this in the postlude of our vocation andlife. For me, as I grow older—am older—the postlude is very real. I realize that life is abundantly full of saying "hello" and "good-bye" many times and in many places.
A few weeks ago, my first Bible teacher died. He was the Rev. Douglas Cedarleaf. I was fortunate to be in his confirmation class at the time when students had to memorize and then recite in front of the whole congregation, without notes, large portions of scripture. I still take some pleasure in telling new confirmands the rigors they have missed.
I spent Christmas Eve, 1998 in Cameroon, West Africa, with another Peace Corps volunteer, watching a Nigerian "home movie." These movies are products of studios in Onitsha, about 250 miles from where I lived. The plots often involve fashionable young urbanites who use love medicine or cast evil spells to get their way. In one, a victim is brought home to his village for funeral rites.
I recommend Borg’s stories to all readers, especially those who see that the stories are not only a path to good faith but also a way to "Meet Democracy Again For The First Time."
Tyra Andersen (my Aunt T.T.) died on December, 21 at the age of 92. She was a member of Quincy, Massachusetts Covenant Church, a long-time reader of Pietisten, and a true pietist.
We gathered on the first bitter cold day of the Minnesota winter to bid farewell to Doug Cedarleaf. A looming high-pressure center had driven away every hint of cloud that Saturday, leaving only the yellow sun, low slung even at its zenith, and the clarity of a blue sky found only in the chill of a northern December. The memorial service was conducted on the last day of the church year; the sanctuary, caught in the transition, was already bedecked with the golden angelic banners and evergreen boughs of Advent.
C. Cassius (Cash) Sturdy, Covenant Pastor and Military Chaplain, was one of a great generation of Covenant pietists. A person of the Word and of prayer in the best sense, he had an open and inquiring mind.
When I arrived as a green Intern Pastor at Salem Square Covenant Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the Fall of 1962, one of the first persons I met was Ing Rehnberg, Church Sexton. He immediately befriended me and it was always a joy to see him. He would say: "C’mon, Buddy Ruff, let’s go see the Greek for some coffee."
Unbreakable is the latest work from acclaimed writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. It stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Like Shyamalan’s last film The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable is wonderfully-crafted and well-acted, but it doesn’t come close to its predecessor. Audiences hoping to see a movie as good as The Sixth Sense may walk out of Unbreakable a bit disappointed.
Wedding Bells for Joy Peterson and Thomas Hubler; New Library at North Park; Cooper Riley Johnson Comes to Light; Philosophy Scholarship Fund Report
"Blood in the hymnal" seems an odd theme to pursue until you encounter a person with furrowed brow or someone with tongue-in-cheek asking a member of a hymnal commission: "Have you taken the blood out of the hymnal?" Given the near earth-shaking significance in Covenant history of the doctrine of the atonement, it is not a question that should be passed over lightly or answered in a defensive manner.
Why is it that we seem to get the most credit for what we least like to do? For example: Church visitation.
I miss the 1900s. I wish I were writing the date 1973 for example rather than 2000. Does that mean that I want to be back in 1973? Not really, I just pulled that year out of the hat. It’s the 19 that I miss and with it the idea of my life in that century.
Football in the Mid-Century; The Story of Some Heroic Survivors; In the Rockies.
This year, against all odds, the trophy goes to another Twin Cities native—Chris Weinke of Florida State University. After leading the FSU Seminoles to the national title last year, it appears that he will again quarterback his team in the championship game. If that argument fails to sway the reader, the 33 touchdown passes he has thrown should be enough.