I’ve landed in the midwest, and am spending the week at North Park University, aka the bastion of all things Swedish. There are Swedish Fish in the vending machine, lutefisk has been threatened more than once, and the Vikings are dressed in the colors of the Swedish flag. While meatballs can be had at a number of venues adjoining campus, I’m here not entirely of my own volition, but also to fulfill one of my last requirements for ordination. I’m here for a Covenant Orientation class called the History of the Evangelical Covenant Church, aka Swedish Assimilation 101. On coming back from this class, Pastor Eugene joked a few years ago that his name had been changed from “Cho” to “Chohaansen”. As my eyes glaze over in 8 hours of daily lecture, a similar feeling is taking over.
So far, we’ve hit the highlights: the founding of Sweden as an independent nation-state by Gustav Vasa in 1523, Coming to America to flee poverty and the State Church of Sweden, and sometime soon we’ll reach the 20th century. I have 800 pages of history if you’re curious, and was able to give a speech as early Covenant rabble-rouser J. G. Princell the other day, not that you could imagine me in that role. Yesterday and today, we took a break to hear what was going on in one another’s congregations, and I shared a video of Quest’s history from YouTube. Let’s just say we’ve got people thirsty for Seattle coffee here in Seattle!
Gotta go, someone said it’s Swedish meatballs for lunch today. You can see how well I’ll fit in here. I’ll be home on Friday.