December 2019 Highlights
Here Inside the Church and Life Christmas heart (on the cover) there is an array of thoughtful gifts beginning with a message from the 1843 Christmas Day sermon by none other than N.F. S. Grundtvig. –– And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice.
Christmas is celebrated with music and song, a melodious celebration from beginning to end. Sisters Sonja Knudsen and Lois Lund have written an essay on “Deljlig er den Himmel blå,” my favorite Christmas hymn! It was the first hymn Grundtvig wrote. He composed this beautiful hymn while recovering at his parents’ home in Udby after experiencing a terrifying night of hallucinations.(1) What a recovery!
We take a trip to Dagmar, Montana with Robert Hansen who was so inspired by his brother Erik’s tale of “Driving to Danevang,” that he wrote “Driving to Dagmar,” ably assisted with several photographs by his wife Cathy Mahaowald. We have a first for Church and Life: –– four Hansen siblings contribute their talents to this special issue! In addition to Bob’s article we have Sonja (Hansen) Walker’s lovely Danish Christmas Heart from one of her paintings; Erik Hansen’s look back at 175 years of Danish history through multi-year anniversary celebrations to see what can be learned from them; and reflections on the “Big Night” (Christmas Eve) by Carla (Hansen) Mortensen.
Continuing with Dagmar, MT, we have a “Home Christmas” story written in 1945 by Valborg Eve about childhood Christmases in Dagmar. The story was submitted by Valborg’s daughter, Marie Sorensen, who also provided a photo of the Dagmar community in 1914.
James Dontje, Director of the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation at Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN presented two lectures at the Danebod Folk Meeting this August. Jim’s address, “Climate Changed and Changing” focuses on the dynamic complexities of preparing for a constantly changing future.
Erin Thais Riley, of Kansas City, shares an unusual, highly creative story about nisse, where we have a literal Host! Thais is my niece (Karma’s daughter) who works for the US. Department of Agriculture, newly relocated to Kansas City.
Dick Juhl provides us with “The Almond Prize” written by his aunt, Esther Juhl, who recounts memories of Christmas from her long ago Danish American home in Minneapolis.
Hanna Broadbridge of Randers, Denmark, concludes our hymn theme with an inspiring exegesis of a Grundtvigian hymn replete with promises for the future: “Then the Wilderness Shall Bloom.”
In conclusion, we have a delightful biographical introduction from Bridget Jensen, Jr., your new Church and Life interim editor. Welcome Bridget!
Merry Christmas! Ji
1 NEWLY PUBLISHED: The Common Good, N.F.S. Grundtvig as Politician and Contemporary Historian, Edward Broadbridge, translator and editor, Ove Korsgaard editor, Aarhus University Press, 2019, pg.22.
Save the Dates
Danish Lutheran Church and Culture Center, Yorba Linda CA
Saturday December 14th, DAC Christmas Luncheon at the Danish Cultural Center 1 pm.
Tuesday December 24th Juleaften/Christmas Eve 2 pm. Danish Christmas Service (translation of sermon provided) followed by Coffee & Kringle.
Bethania Lutheran Church, Solvang, CA February 21-23. The Solvang Folk School Talks featuring Michael Gungor and Mike McHargue. See fmlectures.org
The Deadline for the January 2020 issue is December 20. Send articles, photographs, obituaries and Save-the-Date notices to the interim editor: Bridget Lois Jensen, Jr., 1920 W. Clay, Houston TX 77019. Phone: 713-524-1290, or (c) 713-417-2056, email@example.com
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Bridget Lois Jensen