Highlights for May 2020
Erling Grumstrup, known for his love of singing, is on the cover, greeting us with a smile while the Solvang hospitality team, including songleader Suzanne Hollrah, huddles in the background. The singing theme continues with Edward Broadbridge’s English translation of En Lærke Leddet, a song about the liberation of Denmark in 1945, commemorated each year on May 4 by Danes putting lights in their windows, as in the photo by Anders Boll. He and his wife Gudrun, relatives of Else Nygaard Martin of the Danish colony of Granly, Mississippi, own this former schoolhouse in Kattrup, Denmark where German soldiers stayed a few weeks before stealing away under cover of darkness on May 5 seventy-five years ago.
Eric Jul and Birgit Højer, kin to Richard “Dick” Juhl, describe how the tradition of community singing in Denmark has had a resurgence while people have stayed at home to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. Hanna Broadbridge describes the creativity of Danish churches during this extraordinary time. Our pandemic experience is not unprecedented. We are reminded of that in the second part of the series looking at Manistee, Michigan as it endured the 1918 Spanish flu.
Continuing to look at archives, we find Danish folk school inspirations in newsletters of Community Service Inc., founded by Arthur Morgan, a supporter of the Americanized version of Ashland Folk School, which appeared in the last issue of Church and Life.
Before world travel came to a standstill this year, Marianne Gaarden, bishop of Lolland-Falster and Danish Churches Abroad, and her husband Michael Schelde, former director of the Grundtvig Study Center at Aarhus University, visited the Danish churches in Argentina. She shares her understanding of the churches role in those communities.
A few photos by Dan Mikel take us back to where we started on the cover to the Solvang Folk School Talks and people savoring time together to sing and visit. Little did we know at the end of February how precious such an in-person gathering would be.
The West Denmark Family Camp, held annually on July 1, 2, and 3 in Luck, Wisconsin, has been cancelled for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to welcoming our campers back in 2021.
Danebod Folk School in Tyler, MN is closed to all on site activities for the summer of 2020. due to COVID-19. However, The Folk Meeting is planning a virtual abbreviated on-line experience. Continue to save the dates August 19-21 and look for more information to come. In the meantime, stay safe and well. Keep singing.
On page 2 of the April 2020 issue in the notice about the former Danish Lutheran Church in Manistee, Michigan, the name of the church should be Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and it is Our Savior’s Historical Society that is preserving the building and increasing its accessibility. The term “old” was mistakenly used instead of “our.” The museum in the structure is called the Old Kirke Museum, which may have led to the confusion.
Upcoming Danish Celebrations
After Grundlovsdag, Constitution Day, on June 5, commemorating the establishment of Denmark as a constitutional monarchy in 1849, comes Gunforeneningsdag, Reunification Day, on June 15. This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the return of North Slesvig (Southern Jutland) to Danish control when the border with Germany moved to its present location from the Kongeå River where it had been since 1864.
Bridget Lois Jensen