Volume XXXIII, Number 2
In This Issue
Truth and Promises by Donna Ahlberg
Truth and promises can be in harmony with one another, or in disharmony. Promises built on a foundation of truth will flourish and be honorable. Promises built on a foundation of deception will ultimately wither and die. I want to talk about these two themes from this text – truth and promises.
If they build it, they will come by Mark Safstrom
“Churchmanship” appeared in the 1600s in the Church of England as a word indicating a strong supporter of the church as an institution. A churchman weighs tradition heavily, but is neither “high” nor “low,” and may be progressive, but not necessarily. Churchmanship has also been used in other denominational contexts and within Pietism to mean a builder of church institutions or a pillar of Christian community and congregational life. When it includes laypeople, churchmanship has a congregational, democratic ring to it.
Fearlights by Penrod
Is there anyone who would debate the assertion that much human activity is guided by fear? I’m not saying that is bad. After all, it has been proclaimed that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Prayer for the journey by Mary K. Surridge
This past summer, Mary Karsten Surridge became North Park University’s tenth president, and the first woman to hold that office. This reflection was shared on All Saints’ Sunday at the nearby North Park Covenant Church, as her congregation prayed for her new ministry.
Music that makes community by David Bjorlin
Of all the tired debates of the so-called worship wars over the past 30 years, one that I have grown particularly exhausted with is the hymnal vs. screen debate. Each side trots out the usual arguments. For hymnal supporters, it’s the ephemeral nature of projected words, the lack of musical notation for part-singing, and the aesthetic drawbacks of a screen in a sanctuary. Conversely, screen supporters note that hymnals don’t allow the use of your hands while singing, present unfamiliar songs to a public who on the whole doesn’t read music, and implies a closed canon of songs. As with most of these arguments, both sides have merit and both tend to overstate their case.
Chocolate Icebox Cake by Bonnie Sparrman
Imagine a cake that becomes a family legend. It all began for me when I agreed to marry Eric over three decades ago. I was informed by my husband-to-be that this cake has been the center of birthdays in his family for two generations.
On telling the truth to others and oneself by John E. Phelan, Jr.
The two authors and books I have chosen to review have little in common. Yossi Klein Halevi is a distinguished American/Israeli journalist and Senior Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Parker Palmer is a renowned Quaker educator known for books like Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach.
Cascades Camp and Conference Center: A Century of Covenant Camps in the Pacific Northwest reviewed by Ryan Eikenbary-Barber
This is a wonderful book for anyone who ever went to church camp. It is a particular treat for people with fond memories of Lake Sammamish, the Beach, Circle C, Driftwood Point, and, of course, Cascades. You might just find some old camp friends in the many colorful photos.
The College Line: Over forty years of friendship and cultural exchange by Charles Peterson
The Sweden exchange program between North Park University in Chicago and Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola (SVF) in Jönköping, Sweden, has provided students, faculty, families, and friends with life-changing experiences and significant learning opportunities since its beginning in 1976.
The Readers: The cultural and educational legacy of Pietism
As part of the filming for the documentary, ”God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good,” we interviewed Gunnar Hallingberg, former rektor at Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola (SVF) in Jönköping, Sweden, to ask him about the cultural and educational legacy of Pietism, which he documented in his book “Läsarna” (2010) (“The Readers: The 19th Century Folk Awakening and the Modern Breakthrough”). Recorded by Tim Frakes, translated and edited by Mark Safstrom. May 21, 2015.
More hymns for the Swedish people!
As part of the filming for the documentary, ”God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good,” we interviewed Ove Gotting, teacher of music and choir director for the Music Line at Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola (SVF) in Jönköping, Sweden, to ask him about the school’s musical heritage. Recorded by Tim Frakes, translated and edited by Mark Safstrom. May 21, 2015.
How do Pietists vote? by Tom Tredway
We live right on the Mississippi about twelve miles north of Moline, Illinois. Next to our home is a Rock Island County park, with plug-ins and outdoor grills for motor campers. The campground is right along the water’s edge, and there are hiking trails running through the wood-covered bluffs above the river. Late one evening this summer a big, slick $175,000 motor camping rig rolled into the park. It had a huge Stars and Stripes painted on its sleek aluminum side. I saw “Old Glory” from where I was walking up in the woods, but curiosity brought me down to see what was written on the side of the camper, right below that flag. There were three lines, painted in big blue letters: “I love my Lord and my Country! / I’ve fought for both! / It’s government I fear!”
Post: Readers Respond
Please God by loving one another by Dan Collison
From a sermon preached in the First Covenant Church of Minneapolis in June, 2018.
My journey to “Finding Common Ground” by Randall Wilkens
I’m grieved to admit that not long ago I viewed gay and lesbian people as my enemies. What they stood for seemed opposed to all I was taught in my conservative Christian upbringing. Back in my college days I was often outspoken in my critique of the “homosexual lifestyle.” I now realize with great sadness that my words caused others harm. I believed I was just trying to rescue people from behavior that was contrary to the word of God. But all the while, my own behavior was contrary to the word of God, because I failed to love my LGBTQ brothers and sisters as Christ taught by his words and example.
Tribute to George P. Magnuson