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800 {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\uc1 \deff0\deflang1033\deflangfe1033{\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fcharset0\fprq2{\*\panose 02020603050405020304}Times New Roman;}{\f2\fmodern\fcharset0\fprq1{\*\panose 02070309020205020404}Courier New;}}{\colortbl;\red0\green0\blue0; \red0\green0\blue255;\red0\green255\blue255;\red0\green255\blue0;\red255\green0\blue255;\red255\green0\blue0;\red255\green255\blue0;\red255\green255\blue255;\red0\green0\blue128;\red0\green128\blue128;\red0\green128\blue0;\red128\green0\blue128; \red128\green0\blue0;\red128\green128\blue0;\red128\green128\blue128;\red192\green192\blue192;}{\stylesheet{\fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright \fs20\cgrid \snext0 Normal;}{\*\cs10 \additive Default Paragraph Font;}{ \s15\qc\fi432\sb240\sa60\widctlpar\outlinelevel0\adjustright \fs28\kerning28\cgrid \sbasedon0 \snext0 Title;}{\s16\fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright \f2\fs20\cgrid \sbasedon0 \snext16 Plain Text;}{ \s17\fi432\li360\ri360\sb100\sa100\nowidctlpar\adjustright \sbasedon0 \snext17 Blockquote;}}{\info{\title Surely They Are My People}{\author Michael Nyman}{\operator Michael Nyman}{\creatim\yr1998\mo11\dy18\hr11\min3}{\revtim\yr1998\mo11\dy18\hr11\min3} {\version2}{\edmins1}{\nofpages16}{\nofwords7676}{\nofchars43756}{\*\company Salem Covenant Church - WORC}{\nofcharsws53735}{\vern89}}\widowctrl\ftnbj\aenddoc\formshade\viewkind4\viewscale94\viewzk2\pgbrdrhead\pgbrdrfoot \fet0\sectd \linex0\endnhere\sectdefaultcl {\*\pnseclvl1\pnucrm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl2\pnucltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl3\pndec\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl4 \pnlcltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl5\pndec\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl6\pnlcltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl7\pnlcrm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (} {\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl8\pnlcltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl9\pnlcrm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}\pard\plain \qc\sa12 2000 0\widctlpar\adjustright \fs20\cgrid {\fs36 Surely They Are My People\line }{ \fs24 Copyright 1980, Salem Covenant Church\line Text by E. Malcolm Parkinson\line Forward by Roger W. Palmquist \par }\pard \sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\b\fs24 Foreword \par }\pard \fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\fs24 History may be measured by many means, and frequently in a volume of this kind the decision is made to mark the passage of y ears by showing pictures which are primarily of buildings or artifacts, and by delineating events as they occurred within the periods associated with specific ministers of a church. \par In preparing an historical survey of the life of our congregation we have chosen a different route. Believing that history is essentially the record of }{\i\fs24 people}{\fs24 , that time itself is meaningless apart from the manner in which people make use of it, and that the life of any church ought more be indexed by the pilgrimage of its memb ers than anything else, we have elected to report on the first 100 years of our history by showing how God has worked in the lives of those people who have comprised our particular family of faith. \par By so doing we stand in a good tradition, for we are a fa mily whose nourishment comes directly from the Holy Scriptures, and as one reads the Bible he must be impressed by the fact it is singularly the story of people and their relationship to the Father. From the time when God covenanted with Abraham to form t h e Hebrew nation until the day of the Christian community which emerged after Pentecost, the Scriptures bear appropriate witness to landmark places and loyal leaders of the faith, but most of all to the many souls who, by their commitment of trust, became known as special \ldblquote children of God.\rdblquote \par We are honored to think of ourselves as the children or }{\i\fs24 people}{\fs24 of God, and whereas our tale is brief when measured against the longer years of the Church-at-large, we count ours to be a significant story because of this. As you read, we hope you will sense the sometimes strong, sometimes gentle manner in which God has dealt with us in love striving always to mold us after the image of the Savior in whose spirit we were formed and continue to live. \par }\pard \sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\b\fs24 Surely They Are My People \par }\pard \fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\fs24 The Swedish Evangelical Free Church of Worcester was founded during the first large wave of Swedish immigration into Worcester in 1879 and 1880. The church began officially with 28 charter members on September 6, 1880. \par Many Swedes coming to America had been attracted by farming in Maine and the Midwest, but the wire mills and machine shops along the Blackstone River ended the long trek for many from the fjords, remote villages, and towns of the far-off Scandinavian peninsula. The shop of Frank B. Norto n which burgeoned into the ceramic grinding wheel firm of Norton Emery Wheel Company welcomed Swedes as employees, many with skills in pottery they had acquired in their youth. Ichabod Washburn, through his son-in-law Philip Moen, who traveled to Sweden wh e re he learned Swedish and offered employment to prospective emigrants, attracted hundreds of mechanics to the wire industry of Worcester. Many of these men settled with their families in Quinsigamond Village. Washburn and Moen, later named the American St eel and Wire Company, became the largest employer of Swedes in Worcester, many of whom came from the mining and iron-working districts of Sweden, bringing their metalworking skills with them. \par Piano wire, telegraph wire, and wire for hoop skirts were already being manufactured here, and by the 1880\rquote s tens of thousands of miles of barbed wire emerged from Worcester shops to fence the western United States. The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 precipitated a demand for copper wire, as did Thomas Edison\rquote s electric light some years later. Worcester produced wire for a myriad of tasks ranging from suspension bridges and Atlantic cables to overhead lines supplying electric power for streetcars. Thus when the Swedes began to pour into the city in the 1880 \rquote s, Worcester was developing as a nationally important industrial center known for its iron and steel products, emery grinding wheels, looms, envelopes, carpets, firearms, hydraulic elevators, railroad carriages, and the diverse products of over a hundred manufacturing businesses. \par In its founding, the Evangelical Free Church of Worcester combined two traditions: a largely Swedish heritage drawn from the Mission Friends, and the long-established norms of the New England Congregationalists. T he Mission Friends derived from the immigrants who had broken away from the Swedish state church yet who had retained much of Lutheranism in their religious life in America. In the 1870\rquote s the Mission Friends with their revivalistic fervor yearned for a mor e vital form of Christianity than they found within the confines of the Lutheran synods. Gradually they parted company with the Lutheran churches in America, at the same time emphasizing the personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as an indispensable requireme nt for church membership. \par Despite being united ethnically, the Mission Friends harbored under their wing some congregations that were almost Lutheran in theology and in the daily practice of Christianity. Others believed in total independence of congregati ons, refusing to subscribe to the concept of a denomination formally uniting groups of congregations into one body. Still others wished to be joined to the American Congregational churches. When the Mission Friends formed \ldblquote The Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America\rdblquote in 1885, the Worcester church had already affiliated itself formally with the Congregationalists, a decision that was common in New England where the Congregationalists were strong, and willing to help new and struggling immigrant churc hes in every way, including financially. \par For its first minister, the fledgling church had called the Rev. A. G. Nelson, who had been instrumental in its establishment. After he declined the post, George Wiberg, a Congregational minister from Iowa, accepted. It was in 1381, during Wiberg\rquote s pastorate, that the church joined the fellowship of Congregationalists, apparently the second Swedish church in the country to do so. At first, services were held in a large rented hall which held 250 people. The hall qui ckly proved too small, and the growing congregation moved for a brief time to the Warren block at Washington Square. \par The congregation, although not wealthy, soon bought land on Providence Street where, at a cost of $9,395, a church building was erected. T he first services were held there in January, 1883. Over half of the total cost was loaned by the other Congregational churches in Worcester. But many members lived in northern Worcester, and in Quinsigamond Village in the southern part of town, both area s where Swedes clustered. Since neither area was near Providence Street, which was not centrally located, church members began to talk about looking for an affordable site near the heart of Worcester. \par As the church grew, a new chapel was opened in Quinsiga mond Village in 1891 for holding prayer meetings, a Sunday School, and for preaching the gospel to the Swedish population in that part of town. From that venture, the second Swedish Congregational Church of Worcester sprang in 1895, known today as Bethleh em Covenant Church. \par The congregation was close to the Covenant Church of America in its attitude toward foreign missions and was anxious to bring the Christian message to distant lands. Thus the church saw its first missionaries go to the fields of most co ncern in China and Alaska. In the treaties imposed upon the Chinese as a result of the Anglo-French hostilities which lasted from 1856 to 1860, foreign and Chinese Christians were granted freedom to follow their faith and proselytize. Consequently, the nu mber of Protestant missionaries there 2000 increased so rapidly that by 1890 about 1,300 were scattered across the country, many of them American. Christine Anderson and Anna Nordstrom went from the Worcester church to China in 1890. \par Christine Anderson eventually ran a school for girls and young women, where she was joined by her niece Dorothy Anderson in 1925. Both women refused to leave China in the political turmoil of the late 1920\rquote s. Instead, they remained at the school where they both died in 1930 from typ hus which they contracted while nursing some of their students who were already suffering from the disease. The Worcester church continued to support the school financially until 1952, when it became impossible to send funds into the newly founded People \rquote s Republic of China. \par Hanna Svenson, who was closely associated with the Worcester congregation, went to Alaska in 1890 as a Covenant representative. There she married another missionary, A. E. Karlsson, and together they ran the Children\rquote s Home in Unalakle et. Alaska had been transferred in 1867 from Russia to the United States, a gigantic wilderness with a tiny population of 30,000. Missionary work then passed from the Russian Orthodox Church to Protestant denominations. \par Unfortunately, the involvement of most of the Covenant missionaries in northern Alaska in feverishly prospecting for gold, disrupted their original single-mindedness in evangelization. One missionary prospector struck it rich in 1899 with his claim \ldblquote Number Nine Above.\rdblquote The legal suits that then dragged on for years over possible Covenant ownership of the missionary\rquote s mine wrought havoc with the work of the entire mission effort in Alaska. The remoteness of the land, its hostile climate, and the pervasively harsh life there were formidable ob stacles to any missionary without the added twist of getting caught up in the gold rushes. Consequently the Karlssons left Alaska in the debacle following the discovery of \ldblquote Number Nine Above.\rdblquote Undeterred, however, they soon returned to continue their work. \par When a fine building on Salem Square was offered for sale by its occupants, the congregation pondered on whether or not to buy it. Some members of the congregation in Providence Street balked at the idea of purchasing a massive building at $40,000, but f aith and daring prevailed as the First Swedish Evangelical Congregational Church of Worcester moved into its new building in 1896. Originally with an imposing Corinthian facade, it had been completed in 1848 as a Congregational Church at a cost of more th an $27,000, and then had been remodeled in 1871 at a cost of $30,000. The sanctuary could seat 1,100 people. \par When the congregation moved into its new home, it was primarily a Swedish church for Swedish people, as this one bylaw stated in English: \par }\pard\plain \s17\fi432\li360\ri360\sb100\sa100\nowidctlpar\adjustright {\fs20\cf1 This chu rch is a union of men and women who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who or most of whom also understand the Swedish language and desire to worship together in brotherly love and unison, for the upbuilding together in the most holy faith, to lead and encourage each other during the life\rquote s sojourn and as co-laborers for the spreading of the gospel both far and near, and especially among the Scandinavians in and about the city of Worcester. \par }\pard\plain \fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright \fs20\cgrid {By 1900 the Salem Square church was only one of roughly a dozen that had sprung up to serve the spiritual, social, and ethnic needs of the Scandinavian community. The immigrants worshipped mainly in Swedish churches belonging to the Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist, as well as Congregational, denominations; Worcester w as also served by two Swedish corps of the Salvation Army. The oldest of these churches was the Methodist Episcopal in Quinsigamond Village, founded in 1878. Some of these congregations catered to the needs of small, well-defined groups, such as the Swedi sh speaking immigrants from Finland, who attended their own Swedish-Finnish Lutheran and Congregational churches. \par }{\fs24 At the turn of the century it was possible for churches to build up huge Sunday Schools. From a modest beginning with six children, ten adults , and two teachers, the Sunday School grew rapidly to include branches scattered throughout the city to reach a total of 512 pupils, including 35 adults, who were taught by 39 teachers. Swedish was the language used, and over 500 of 700-odd volumes in the Sunday School library were written in the mother tongue. However, only about 250 of the pupils could actually read Swedish, a problem not peculiar to Salem Square, but one that numerous Swedish churches faced nationwide. Children who were taught English a t state school, yet who heard Swedish spoken at home and in their social circle at church, lived in effect in two worlds. \par To preserve the mother tongue, a Swedish School lasting about five weeks each summer was introduced. For many, the only time they had any formal training in the language of their parents was at the summer school. Achieving oral and written fluency among second-generation immigrants is always an elusive goal, for a language can easily become stilted and cease to evolve when the community speaking it is separated from its country of origin. Thus by World War I Swedish was in danger of becoming for many people no more than a liturgical language. But if the summer Swedish School soon vanished, the weekly Sunday School remained with its Chris tian message adapted for presentation to people in all stages of life from earliest childhood to adulthood. \par Of all the men who have pastored the church, the baritone singer Johannes Alfred Hultman was the only one known internationally. Born in Sweden in 1 861, he came with his parents to Iowa in 1869 where he worked as a shepherd. After studying and teaching music, he spent 14 years as a pastor in Omaha, Nebraska where he composed and sang gospel songs. From l900 to l906 he was pastor of the Salem Square c h urch. Well-known in the Worcester area, he could pack the church with 1,200 people for his song services. Today some members of the congregation still recall those services vividly when, as children, they were moved around the packed church to make room f or adults. Although no longer pastor of the church, he returned to live in Worcester during World War I. \par Affectionately called "Solskenss\'e5ngaren," the "Sunshine Singer," he is reputed to have conducted over 12,000 services in the United States and Sweden f rom 1897 until his death in 1942. He had his own portable organ which he often took to his services. Some people still remark on the fact the he gave away the money collected at his singing services. The house in which he was born near S\'e4vsj\'f6 in J \'f6nk\'f6ping still stands, an official memorial to a magnificent singer. He is quietly remembered in the Salem church today through his tunes in }{\i\fs24 The Covenant Hymnal}{\fs24 . \par Initially industrial workers, the Swedes in Worcester and at the Salem Square Church soon branched out to other occupations. While some immigrants rose to the rank of foreman or superintendent, others left the mills and machine shops to start their own businesses. G. A. Sponberg, for example, abandoned drop forging to open a successful shoe store in 1899. Sometimes the newer immigrants and the younger natives of the city became salesmen or launched out on their own. Emil Jacobson came from Sweden about 1890, at first finding employment in mill work and then going into partnership in a grocery and provision s store. One chairman of the church, O. G. Hedlund, started a coal company, selling most of his fuel to the local Swedes. One family owned a jewelry store, another manufactured glass showcases and store fixtures. The women, too, found employment, often in domestic service or as saleswomen or dressmakers. \par The opportunities for work in Worcester and the sense of community among the large Swedish population acted like a magnet to attract Swed 2000 es who had settled in other parts of America. August Berg typifies su ch restless nomads. Landing in America as a young man of twenty, he worked in Michigan in logging and lumber. Then, after spending some time in Brockton and Worcester, he returned to his homeland only to sail across the Atlantic again to Alberta, prospect in British Colombia, work in lumber camps, and cut railroad ties. Attracted back to Worcester in 1896, he settled in the city as a carpenter, rose to foreman in a lumber firm, and then in 1906 started his own business. In 1909 he entered a partnership wit h another lumber dealer. August Berg was one of the many enterprising and hardworking Swedes who made the Salem Square Church their spiritual home. \par Some members of the congregation left Worcester permanently. In 1891, when Iver Johnson moved his firearms a nd sporting goods company, lock, stock, and barrel 20 miles north to Fitchburg, about 20 members of the congregation migrated with him to retain their jobs. It was from that group the nucleus was formed of the church that became the Pilgrim Covenant Churc h in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. \par Swedes in Worcester have always viewed music as an important part of their lives. Apparently the first Swede to settle in the town was a musician and singing clubs quickly formed in the Swedish communities. The church saw its first choir formed in 1882 under the directorship of Eric J. Hedlund who worked hard to ensure that the members learned their parts by heart, for most of them could not read music. The choir rapidly became an indispensable part of the church, its music w oven into the worship of the congregation. Some of the early directors studied music in Sweden, as did Axel Francke, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Francke published }{\i\fs24 a S\'e5ngalbum}{\fs24 which he used with his own choir. \par During the tenure of Pastor Hultman, the organist and choir director was Oscar MessIer. He had graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and had studied with Hultman in Nebraska. He enjoyed the music of the Swedish composer Gunnar Wennerberg which he often used for settings for the choir\rquote s renderings of the Psalms. Under Messier, the choir had over 40 members and set up its first bylaws. \par Interest in music was not confined to the choir, for the Young Peoples\rquote Society started a string band about 1898. Neither radio nor record player existed at that time, so young people did not hesitate to play instruments to make their own music. Led by the enterprising E. I. Hedlund, who had organized the church\rquote s choir, the members played a wide variety of instruments including guitars, mandolins, violins, clarinets, and zithers. \par The band often played at open-air meetings and at the Swedish Chapel in Chaffins, now the Congregational Church. As in other youth activities, the band swung between enthusiastic periods of playing and t otal inactivity. The string band eventually stabilized after 1910 under the direction of William Nord, performing frequently at services in Salem Square and other churches. \par William Nord epitomizes the truly skilled and inventive craftsman found in the ind ustries of Worcester. He not only made bellows for Simplex player pianos to earn his living, but also constructed musical instruments for his own pleasure. When she was a member of the string band, Emma Nord played a mandolin that her father had construct ed. It is tempting to call someone such as William Nord an artist-craftsman because he played the zither, mandolin, violin, coronet, and flute and he taught music. \par After William Nord, Petrus Lundberg led the band until he was forced by illness to give up the position in 1947. Unfortunately, the string band no longer exists. \par Pehr Gustav Holmes is the only United States congressman to have belonged to the First Swedish Congregational Church. Members of the church usually did not become deeply involved in pol itics, some even looking askance on the pursuit of any political position. City councilman was the limit of political involvement for the few who ran for office. Thus Pehr Holmes\rquote political career in Worcester and Washington formed a unique exception to th e pattern of political activity at Salem Square Church. In contrast to his political life, however, his activities in industry, especially the setting up of his own firm, resembled much more closely that of other men in the congregation. \par His father came t o Worcester from Sweden in 1885 as a steel worker with experience in smelting and puddling. Pehr was then just a boy of four. He left Millbury Street school at the age of 14 to spend a year tending machines at Reed and Prince Screw. He then spent two year s as an errand boy and clerk in a store before learning the trade of electrotyping, engraving, and electroplating in Brunell\rquote s electrotyping plant. After remaining as a journeyman until 1909 in the plant, he bought out a company and set it up under the name Holmes Electrotype Foundry to manufacture electrotypes and various printer\rquote s items. \par Joining the city council in 1909, Pehr Holmes soon became an alderman, served on almost every major municipal committee, and then held the mayorship from 1917 to 1919 whe n the United States was at war. A Republican, he represented Worcester in Congress from 1931 to 1948. \par A man who retained his links with his Swedish background throughout his life, Pehr Holmes served on the boards of virtually every Swedish-American societ y in Worcester. His favorite pastime, which he pursued passionately, was the breeding and racing of pigeons. \par By the beginning of the 1930\rquote s radio stations dotted the United States, broadcasting everything from yodeling and agricultural hints, to medical t ips and the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Toscanini. Rival networks jostled for listeners, and everyone listened to }{\i\fs24 Amos \lquote n\rquote Andy}{\fs24 . \par For the first time people could hear foreign dignitaries and the notorious speak from thousands of miles away. In 1931 listeners were scandalized by G. B. Shaw viciously berating the American people in a broadcast relayed from abroad. Americans could tune in Pope Pius XI, Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian pacifist, and Leon Trotsky, the political exile. Radio offered an op portunity to listen to messages available in no other way. \par Religious broadcasting too was common. Salem began to broadcast over WORC in Worcester with a service at 5:30 A.M., on Christmas morning, 1929. Sunday services went over the air until 1944. Wedged between the endless variety of radio programs, the services reached those unable to attend church and those who did not wish to attend regularly. \par To continue the work of the Church through successive generations, new pastors, ministers, missionaries, and other workers are always needed. Playing its part in transmitting the Christian gospel from one generation to another, the Salem Square congregation has seen a number of its members enter the ranks of the ministry. Most of its ordained members have become pastors of churches in America and Sweden. \par Others have been led by their faith to emulate the missionary zeal that dates back to the founding of the Church almost two thousand years ago. As missionaries, representatives from the Worcester parish have take n their faith to South America, to the northernmost reaches of the American continent, and to the Far East. One member of the congregation, Sigfrid Mosby, who was ordained in 1927, spent most of his life in Venezuela until poor health compelled him and hi s wife to return to the United States. \par The experiences of a congregation cover the spectrum of life from happiness to tragedy, from poverty to wealth, from sickness to health, from war to peace, from birth to baptism, from marriage to death. Not all who ca me to the Salem Square church were willing to risk sacrificing their lives in one of the great upheavals of the twentieth century, World War I. To avoid military service in wartime, some emigrants left Sweden, settled in Wo 2000 rcester and attended the Salem S quare Church, only to leave the United States after the war had ended to avoid military service in America. \par Yet some traumatic episodes in the life of a society cannot be so easily avoided. The Great Depression of the early 1930\rquote s hit Worcester and the Sal em Square Church. During that difficult time, people helped each other quietly and unobtrusively. Even the pastor volunteered to take a cut in his salary, a reduction which was difficult for him to get back in later years. \par Despite the Depression and the o minous political events in Europe that succeeded it, life went on at the church. The Alert Circle run by the young women enjoyed its Halloween parties; Sigfrid and Amanda Mosby continued to represent the church as missionaries in Venezuela; links with the Swedish Covenant denomination strengthened; few suspected that war would soon engulf most of the world. \par Although many members of the congregation still spoke Swedish fluently, the language was no longer the primary tongue of the children of immigrants. In some cases, parents spoke in Swedish only when they did not want their children to understand what they were saying - a welcome luxury for bilingual parents. Pastor Brunstrom, in the 1920\rquote s, knew that Swedish should give way to English as the language of the church. As a former educational administrator, and as a keen world traveler attuned to the disadvantages of not speaking the native language of countries through which he passed, he understood the shortcomings of continuing to emphasize Swedish at the expense of English. \par By 1928, under Pastor Brunstrom, the church board had decided to have two Sunday evening services in English each month, a move welcomed by young people who wanted to bring non-Swedish friends to services and by the increasing number o f people who were marrying outside the Swedish community. Not surprisingly, the transition to English occurred gradually, for France Ericson, pastor from 1929 to 1944, used Swedish regularly. Reluctantly he wrote his annual report for 1939 in English, a s ymbolic gesture belatedly acknowledging a trend he considered unavoidable, but apparently no one objected to the transition. Thus the pastoral report to the church for 1938 was the last in the mother tongue of Salem\rquote s founders. \par Despite the fact that armed hostilities erupted in Europe in 1939, consciousness of World War II became acute at the church only after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Soon more than 60 people from Salem, most of them young, left for training or active duty. The absence o f so many affected the choir and seriously cut into the activities of the young people\rquote s groups. The demanding schedules of wartime production and a decrease in car driving reduced attendance at services, while trial blackouts occasionally prevented people from coming to the church. Even the topics of talks to the adult organizations were sometimes directed toward the war effort. Lectures were given on Japan, on precautions to be taken during air raids, and on decorating the home with patriotic materials. \par To allow the church to keep up regular contact with the many members in the armed forces, the Young People\rquote s Society eventually started a monthly newsletter, }{\i\fs24 The Home Front}{\fs24 , in April, 1943. Since many more men than women saw military service, the task of editing }{\i\fs24 The Home Front}{\fs24 fell to Ruth Palm and Virginia Peterson. The newsletter was sent to everyone in military service. Issues carried news about the church, mainly the Young People\rquote s Society, crosswords, puzzles, poems, sometimes sermons by the pastor, a s ection entitled \ldblquote Chatter\rdblquote , that bordered on harmless gossip, and inevitably a list of mailing addresses. Salem\rquote s members, scattered throughout America, and across Europe, North Africa, India, and the Pacific, welcomed the regular news about their friends back in Worcester or serving in some remote part of the world. \par }{\i\fs24 The Home Front}{\fs24 also recorded the rushed comings and goings of those who were able to snatch a few days leave at home. We read that in 1943, Verner Carlson arrived home in time to lead the Easte r sunrise service. Yet real motivations are frequently hidden, for }{\i\fs24 The Home Front}{\fs24 does not mention that he and Mildred Allen had intended to get married that Easter, but were unable to do so because Verner had to rush back quickly to his unit. Such is love; such is war. \par The tradition of a male chorus separate from the choir goes back to 1888 when the church was situated in Providence Street. Like other church groups, the chorus changed its name occasionally. Fyrb\'e5ken, the lighthouse, stood firmly as the na me until persistent misspellings such as Frybaken persuaded the members to choose another title. They replaced the Swedish Fyrb\'e5ken with the Latin }{\i\fs24 Te Deum}{\fs24 , a reference to }{\i\fs24 Te Deum Laudamus}{\fs24 , a fifth-century hymn, one of the most magnificent in the Christian tradition, and the subject of numerous musical settings. \par Some of the finest portraits churches possess are of their choirs and choruses. The portrait of the }{\i\fs24 Te Deum}{\fs24 members reveals the pride they experienced and the pleasure they derived from singing at c oncerts and special services. But sadly, striking though the photograph is, the absence of young men betrays the presence of war when it was taken in the early 1940\rquote s. \par Among the immigrant children brought up and confirmed at Salem Square Church, Brigadier General Oscar Solbert became the most renowned internationally. Coming as a boy to the United States in 1893, he soon showed that keen interest in engineering exhibited so frequently by Swedes in Worcester. After attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute , he studied at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1910. A member of the Corps of Engineers, he then served at the military school as an instructor from 1914 to 1917, one of his students being Cadet Eisenhower. \par Solbert\rquote s abilities and personal characteristics, especially his strong self-assurance, showed themselves not only when he served as military aide to President Coolidge but also as honorary aide-de-camp to European royalty on their American tours \emdash to the Prince of Wales, later titled the Duke of Windsor, in 1924, and to the Crown Prince of Sweden in 1926. \par As a man who relished a challenge, Solbert returned from civilian life during World War II to become chief of the Psychological Warfare Branch of the Army and to chair the Joint Psychological Warfare Committee of the Army and Navy. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1944. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit, he was also honored by the governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France , Holland, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, and his native Sweden. \par In civilian life, Solbert worked with George Eastman the photographic inventor, and later, as director of the George Eastman House in Rochester, he contributed to establishing the photographic museum there as one of the finest in the world. \par In 1947 the church was invited to join the Evangelical Mission Covenant Church of America, and in the following year the congregation voted to join the national denomination. In some ways the shift in affiliation from the Congregationalists was natural; firm links with the strongly Swedish Covenant had endured since shortly after the founding of the Worcester church, and the more conservative theological stance of the denomination appealed to many of the members of Salem. Tenacity of ethnic ties and a tradition of conservative theology composed an attractive combination, resulting in the eventual union of the Salem Square Church with the national representatives of its Scandinavian heritage . \par In 1949, after the congregation had adopted its new name, Salem Square Covenant Church, little of substance had altered and life in the parish cont 2000 inued much as before. But such a major step, however strongly supported in a congregation, is never taken w ithout pain or sadness on the part of those members, however few, who retain ties of loyalty to their traditional home denomination. \par Congregationalists had helped many Swedish groups establish churches in New England. It was natural for them to assume tha t the Scandinavian immigrants would quickly be assimilated into their denomination, so they probably underestimated how staunchly the Swedes would retain their links with each other. Thus, although the Worcester church did join the Congregationalists, rem aining part of their denomination officially until 1949, it had gradually strengthened its ties to the Covenant, some of its members believing the Salem Square Church to be Covenant in all but name. \par Strong traces of the Congregational legacy still linger in Salem, partly explaining the control of the church\rquote s decisions by the congregation, and the frequently low consciousness of being part of a national group. Some members even think of Salem as if it were an independent church. Autonomy is still prized in Worcester. \par The }{\i\fs24 National Geographic Magazine}{\fs24 carried an article in its February, 1955 issue entitled \ldblquote Cities Like Worcester Make America.\rdblquote To illustrate the article, the magazine reproduced lavish color photographs of Worcester \rquote s museums, colleges, and industries, as well as a superb picture of the Salem Square Church taken from the Worcester Common. The caption attached to the picture mentioned that the city contained almost 140 places of worship. \par The article paid tribute to Worcester as a manufacturing c enter that had fostered inventors and industrialists. At that time about 700 manufacturing firms operated in the city, some having been founded by members of the Salem Square Church. A prominent industrialist from Salem who died in 1955, aged 82 years, wa s Viktor J. Johnson. Born in Sweden, he settled in Worcester as a young man about 1890. After working as a cabinet maker, he organized the Worcester Wind Motor Company to manufacture wind motors for player pianos. The company also produced vacuum cleaners. When the steadily increasing popularity of radio cut into the market for player pianos, Johnson quickly turned to making radio cabinets and furniture. By 1921 he had organized another firm, the Viko Shoe Company to make corrective shoes for women. When Am erica entered World War II in 1941, the firm was turning out 2,000 pairs of shoes every day. Footwear manufacturing was then an industry important to Worcester. His son Helmer succeeded him as president of the company. \par Viktor Johnson believed strongly in a ssuming both social and spiritual responsibilities. He had been a founder and trustee of Fairlawn Hospital, a director of the Skandia Bank and Trust Company, and a director of the Guaranty Bank and Trust Company. At the Salem Square Church he had held var ious offices and had acted as Sunday School superintendent. Unquestionably, he typifies the generation of Swedish immigrants who came to Worcester in the early years of the church and who left their mark on the industrial map of the city. \par The church receiv ed its campground, a generous gift, in 1947. Less than 20 miles from Worcester and consisting of waterfront on Charlton Reservoir with an adjoining open field, the site promised unlimited possibilities for the church. Ironically, the most intense use of t h e camp site coincided with the first few years of its existence before extensive facilities were constructed. Use of the camp had already fallen off somewhat when a large log cabin was erected by the men of the church in 1954, after which services held at Charlton proved popular. Summer vespers became a regular feature, Vacation Bible School was held at the camp, and splash parties, picnics, and overnight stays were enjoyed year after year. Probably the youth groups have benefited most from having a camp c lose to Worcester, though the annual church picnic on July 4, Independence Day, still stands as the major event of the year at Charlton. \par From the 1950\rquote s onward, with plenty of cars and unlimited supplies of gasoline available, members of Salem, like so man y Americans, were undaunted by having to drive long distances to beaches or private vacation spots. Thus the camp was not used as much as it could have been, people preferring to travel farther afield. However, with gasoline prices high and supplies uncer tain, more people are turning to Charlton for recreation in the summer. Maybe the camp has yet to see its heyday. \par Salem held its first St. Lucia Festival in 1961. Traditionally in Sweden on Lucia Day, December 13, a daughter in a house rises before dawn to act as Lucia. Wearing a white gown and crowned with a wreath surmounted by lighted candles, she and her attendants waken her family to serve them in bed with pastries and coffee. She symbolizes the slowly returning light after the longest night of winter , which in the old calendar was the night ending at dawn on December 13. \par The introduction of a modified version of the traditional celebration betrays perhaps an unconscious attempt to rescue and keep alive the slowly fading Swedish background of the churc h. The festival is an excellent way of getting people of Swedish origin together with those who are not of Swedish background to join in an ethnic celebration that does not demand a detailed knowledge of Scandinavian culture or an acquaintance with the Sw edish language. Today the festival is a popular event on the church calendar. \par After World War II the church faced problems arising largely from its location in the center of the city. The Sunday School, for example, suffered from the church\rquote s being situate d in a commercial and industrial zone with no community existing around Salem Square for the school to serve. All the pupils traveled long distances to reach their classes. Members of the church seemed reluctant to attend evening services on Sunday and du ring the week, and by the 1950\rquote s attendance was discouraging. Some members of the congregation began to wonder if the church should move to a new location. \par By 1959, discussion of the future of the church was in full swing, especially since urban renewal wa s about to change the face of the downtown area around Salem Square. A representative of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority even addressed the Brotherhood, the men\rquote s society, on future plans for the city center. But the congregation decided to stay in its building, resolving to remain an inner-city church and to try to face realistically the needs of the small population that lived near Salem Square. \par In 1960 a long-range planning committee began its work of mapping out the future. However, a congregatio n will not decide on a major move if it can simply set aside such a decision; so as late as 1965 the church was unsure whether to refurbish its building or construct a new one at a location that would have to be decided. Uncertain of the future, the churc h went about its business until 1966 when the congregation decided definitely to forfeit its building to urban renewal in the shape of Worcester Center. \par Once the congregation had decided irreversibly to change location, events moved rapidly. In December, 1 966, the church voted to buy Hill Farm on East Mountain Street at the outskirts of the city. A building committee was organized and a number of architects interviewed. The architect who was chosen then consulted with approximately 60 members of committees before drawing up his final designs. Groundbreaking took place as early as October, 1967. A spirit of excitement soon spread through the congregation, many members working hard, if not furiously, to prepare for the move to the suburbs. When the cornerston e was laid in June of 1968, people were already anticipating the mission the congregation could pursue in its new building in a new community. \par To take care of the hundred details clamoring for attention, committees were 2000 organized for building, worship, mus ic, church school facilities, fellowship and recreation, the kitchen, administration, finance, promotion, and memorials. Everything from kitchen equipment to burglar alarms had to be chosen. The congregation even balloted to choose a name for the church. A fter the second round of voting, Salem Covenant Church emerged as the winner. Briar-Mountain Covenant, the next most popular choice, identified the church by its geographical location, the junction of East Mountain Street and Briar Lane. The third choice in the balloting, Covenant Congregational Church, harked back to the original denomination with which the church had been identified for almost the first 70 years of its life. \par Even though the Salem Square Church and the Roman Catholic Notre Dame church sto od side by side in the center of Worcester for decades, little formal contact had been established between them. Salem had been active in the Worcester Council of Churches for some years, but the ecumenical winds did not blow strongly enough until the mid 1960\rquote s for direct contact to occur between the neighboring congregations. \par In 1967 Salem enjoyed a pulpit exchange with Notre Dame Church during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Then in 1968 pulpits were exchanged again, and the Salem choir combined with those of Notre Dame and another Catholic church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to sing at morning worship in Salem and at an afternoon mass in the Notre Dame church. \par Unfortunately, the mutual understanding and cooperation developed just when the Salem c ongregation was about to leave its downtown location. The plaque given by the Notre Dame clergy and parishioners to their old neighbors now hangs in the Narthex of the new building as a witness to the friendship between the two Christian churches. The mem bers of Salem Square, too, presented a plaque to the Notre Dame church. \par When 1969 began, a half-million Americans were fighting a war in Vietnam, and the world was anxiously awaiting one of the most stunning and difficult achievements of all time, the send ing of men to the moon and their safe return from outer space to the earth. Such were the monumental contrasts of modern life when the newly named Salem Covenant Church held its first service in February of 1969. With the move to a new building, the churc h entered a new era. At the same time, John E. Nilson succeeded John Wiens as pastor. \par Upon settling into the new building, many members of the congregation maintained a low profile on the Swedish component of the church\rquote s cultural and ethnic heritage, enco uraging people of other backgrounds and traditions to become members. By 1969, the Swedish language and the consciousness of links to Scandinavia had faded noticeably. Although a substantial fraction of the congregation were of Swedish descent, no young p e ople spoke the language fluently, and no services were held in Swedish. Today even the very menus at social events tend to be more Italian than Swedish. Most new members were born in America; few are immigrants. The last emigrant from Sweden to join the c hurch came to Worcester in 1946. Recent immigrant members come from Ireland and Yugoslavia. \par The first few years of the 1970\rquote s brought a resurgence of interest in adult education. This facet of the church\rquote s mission had been interrupted in the hectic activit y of planning the move to the new building. New programs were set up and curricula forged for weekly adult classes to encourage the systematic nurturing and enrichment of parents, church leaders, and witnesses to the faith. \par Major changes were introduced i n the administrative structure of the church. The large board of trustees that handled church business was replaced by a set of small committees, called commissions, with specific tasks to perform. The heads of the commissions, together with the pastors, chairman and vice-chairman of the church, now constitute the church council, a body of about twelve people. \par The ministry of serving the community that had been talked about for so long was begun, for the church was now situated in a residential area and co uld reach out to people who lived in its vicinity. After some time, a community worker was hired whose task was to cultivate links with local people. \par Among the few furnishings brought from the old church that a visitor to East Mountain Street will see are the stained glass medallions from the windows. The ten symbols expressing traditional Christian beliefs and doctrines stand at the back of the nave. The star represents divine guidance, and the anchor, hope and steadfastness. Lilies traditionally symboli z e purity, while the red rose recalls the martyrdom of those who died for their faith. The dove with an olive branch clasped in its beak recalls the Hebrew story of the Flood, and is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The letters IHS are derived from the Gr e ek name for Jesus. Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, represent God the Son as the first and last of all things. The cross and crown imply victory through the crucifixion of Christ, and the bunch of grapes and ears of grain portray the wine and bread of Communion. \par When the United States embarked on a course of economic and military aid to the Saigon regime after the partitioning of Vietnam in 1954, few people suspected that America was entering its longest war. By 1964, havi ng gradually become entangled more and more deeply in South Vietnam\rquote s affairs, the United States was engaged in a major conflict with the Viet Cong, the guerrillas of the National Liberation Front. Continuing relentlessly to intensify, the fighting reached its fiercest level in the Tet offensive at the beginning of 1968, the Americans then increasing their troop strength to more than a half-million men by April, 1969. \par Hostilities continued throughout Indochina until 1973, when the United States, both North and South Vietnam, and the Viet Cong signed a peace agreement in Paris. Soon afterward, the American forces withdrew completely from Vietnam. The formal peace settlement then quickly fell apart, the capital, Saigon, surrendering in April, 1975, after whi ch North and South Vietnam were reunited. \par It was in 1975, when South Vietnam collapsed completely, that enormous numbers of people fled the country, tens of thousands coming to the United States. Churches in the Worcester area agreed to sponsor Vietnamese families, helping them to adjust to new lives in America. Working through Catholic Charities, Salem cared for a family that had lived outside of Saigon. Arriving in Worcester in November of 1975, the family stayed with the assistant pastor, James Ecklund, and his wife until they were able to rent an apartment of their own. Members of the congregation helped them materially, aided them in shopping, drove them to job interviews, to English classes, to the doctor and the dentist, and befriended them; one pers o n in a church in Alaska sent a generous check to help them. But the severe New England winter proved unendurable, and the lure of relatives in Mississippi and Alabama too strong for them to settle in Worcester, so by the end of 1976 the entire family had moved south. \par Far fewer men went from Salem to Indochina than went abroad in World War II. One of the few members of the church who saw front-line action in Vietnam was Bruce Roseen. During his year there the massive Tet offensive was launched, giving plent y of work to the Army Medical Corps in which he served. Bruce still lives in Worcester. \par Throughout the hundred years of the church, the ladies of Salem have engaged in fundraising efforts and in helping members of the church. As early as 1882, a Sewing Circle was formed in which groups of ladies met regularly at each other\rquote s homes to crochet, knit, and sew while drinking coffee. Such groups were common amongst Swedish immigrants. Each spring and fall, the ladies auctioned off the articles they themselves h ad made and donated the proceeds to the church. They also helped new 1760 immigrants both materially and spiritually. One of the groups eventually met in the church building on Providence Street, though the others continued to meet in homes on Belmont Hill and in Quinsigamond Village which were closer locations for mothers who brought their children with them to the Circle\rquote s meetings. \par The Ebenezer Society grew out of the Sewing Circle in 1907, continuing its devotional and fundraising functions. The society voted in 1910 to concentrate its efforts on reducing the church\rquote s mortgage, and helped to see it paid up in 1929, a project in which the ladies faithfully persisted. They also provided equipment for the kitchen, furnishings for the church, money to support th e Mosbys who were missionaries in Venezuela, and sent gifts to the congregation\rquote s missionaries in China. They visited those who were ill or confined to their homes, and helped people in innumerable ways. \par The younger women of the church founded their own s ociety, called the Alert Circle, in 1915. The purpose of the society resembled that of the Ebenezer group which consisted of the older women. At least one understandable difference between the generations persisted for a long time: as late as 1944, the an nual report of the Ebenezer Society was printed in Swedish, when for years the Alert Circle had presented theirs in English. Both societies combined in 1962 to form Covenant Church Women. \par The tradition begun by the Sewing Circle of making items for gifts o r for sale endures in the White Cross Workers wing of Covenant Women. In their commendable endeavors, they still roll bandages, and cut squares for Foreign Missions, make slippers, washcloths, and utility bags for state hospitals, and sell aprons and quil ts to donate money to the church. \par As in any other church, recent changes at Salem have been precipitated by outside forces and circumstances as well as by its own members. At Salem, as in many Christian congregations, women now assume roles previously rese rved for men. Today a person is just as likely to be ushered to a seat in a service, or to be served communion, by a woman as by a man and women frequently form the majority of the Church Council. Such changes are the climate of the times, and affect the church as it bends with the social and cultural winds irrespective of whether it stands downtown or in the suburbs. However, one massive undertaking did result directly from the move to the edge of town. In the early 1970\rquote s the church initiated a study of o ptions for the development of its 55-acre site. Out of this study emerged the possibility of constructing middle-income housing for the elderly. The church then set up Salem Community Corporation in 1974 to plan the housing project, and the First Baptist Church of Worcester joined in the venture. The project continues to go through the planning stages. \par As Worcester industry has changed in the past one hundred years, so have the occupations of the congregation. The wire-drawing firms have almost vanished fr om the city. Few now work with iron or steel; only one or two people are engaged in drop-forging metal. However, grinding-wheel and abrasives manufacturing that initially brought Swedes to the city ,remains a major industry in Worcester and still attracts members of the church. Domestic service has long since collapsed as an important female occupation. Women in the congregation now tend to find employment as nurses, teachers, and secretaries. Now jobs are represented that did not exist when the church was founded: the high technology of the computer era has its specialists, while the modern emphasis on social services, including counseling and rehabilitation, finds its way into the working lives of the congregation. \par Beginning with the Swedish community, th e Salem Church has witnessed to the Christian faith for a hundred years. Like other churches in Worcester, its origins lie in the great trek of immigrants from Europe and around the world. Worcester is built from groups of Armenians, Blacks, Chinese, the E nglish, Finns, the French, Germans, Greeks, Hispanics, Hungarians, the Irish, Italians, Jewish people, Lebanese, Latvians, Lithuanians, Pakistanis, Poles, Swedes, and people from most parts of the world. Many of these groups brought their own religious tr aditions to America. With its witness to the Christian faith, Salem Covenant Church takes its place amongst the endless variety of a society that in its diversity and unity is a microcosm of the world itself. \par }\pard \sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\b\fs24 Acknowledgements \par }\pard \fi432\sa120\widctlpar\adjustright {\fs24 The archives and publications of Salem Covenant Church, and personal interviews with many members of the congregation formed the major sources for the history. Obituaries in }{\i\fs24 The Worcester Telegram }{\fs24 and }{\i\fs24 The Evening Gazette}{\fs24 provided additional information on church members. \par The author gratefully acknowledges the help of the chapters of the Salem Square Church in Carl W. Larson, }{\i\fs24 From Nordic Tradition to Covenant Aspiration}{\fs24 . Worcester, MA: By the author 1969. Information on the history of the Evangelical Covenant Church was based partly on Karl A. Olsson, }{\i\fs24 By One Spirit}{\fs24 . Chicago: Covenant Press, 1962. \par Most useful among the sources on the history of Worcester were: Thure Hanson, }{\i\fs24 Swedish-American Souvenir}{\fs24 . Worcester, MA: 1910; James E. Mooney, editor, }{\i\fs24 Worcester Massachusetts Celebration}{\fs24 , 1722-1 972. Worcester, MA: Commonwealth Press, 1972; Charles Nutt, }{\i\fs24 History of Worcester and its People}{\fs24 . (4 volumes) New York City: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1919; Anton H. Trulson and W. Elmer Ekblaw, }{\i\fs24 Who's Who in Viking Industry and Craftsmanship in Northeastern United States}{\fs24 . Worcester, MA: Svea Publishing Company, 1946. \par }} 0
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