Heirloom Donated to University Archives Tied to Early Covenant Church Leader
CHICAGO, IL (February 12, 2007) – Last winter Mrs. W. A. (Esther Elizabeth) Haynes from Arlington, Tex. contacted Academic Dean Charles Peterson C'73 regarding a family treasure that she wanted to offer to North Park University.
The cut glass bowl Mrs. Haynes donated to the University was not only beautiful in its own right, but also rich with theological significance. Mrs. Haynes' aunt, Julia Elizabeth Anderson, was born in Chicago in 1888 to a family attending the South Side Covenant Church. Julia was baptized in that church, using the cut glass bowl, by P.P. Waldenström, a Swedish Covenant pastor who played a significant role in the establishment of the Covenant Church in Sweden and in America in the latter half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
The bowl made its way from Julia to her sister and later, her niece, and is now housed in the University's F. M. Johnson Archives along with other Waldenström items. The photo shown at left was taken Friday at a Center for Scandinavian Studies "high coffee" arranged in honor of the acceptance of the piece.
P.P. Waldenström was a university intellectual, theologian and biblical scholar. He was also a deeply committed Christian affected by the Pietist movement that swept through the Swedish Church during his era, leading him to ask fellow Lutheran pastors, in the midst of a heated discussion about the meaning of the Atonement, "Where is it written?" He took them to the text in search of the answer and his famous question, "Where is it written?" is used to this day to express the central importance of the biblical text for faith and life together in the Covenant Church.
Waldenström visited the U.S. several times, including the trip during which Julia Anderson was baptized, and wrote several travel books about his journeys. He also authored many commentaries on the scriptures and other books, many of which can be found in the University’s Brandel Library
. Special thanks to Steve Elde C'72 S'89 for much of the historical information included above.