* MARTIN GALSTAD, 1909-1999 (Pastor Rollin A. Reim, Reporter)
Just short of his 90th birthday, Martin Galstad of Lake Hamilton, Fla., received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College, where five of his former students sit on the board of directors.
This recognition will seem appropriate to many, including numerous CLC constituents who benefited from his distinguished teaching and pastoral ministry.
After teaching at Dr. Martin Luther College for five years, Galstad withdrew from the Wisconsin Synod and helped in the formation of the CLC. He became a founding member of Faith in New Ulm. In the transition period that followed, he supported his family (spouse Eunice [“Phoebe”], Gudrun, Marie, and John Martin) as a real estate agent. When the CLC founded Immanuel Lutheran College, he was called to teach a wide range of subjects with a major emphasis on philosophy of education and educational methods, a subject of life-long interest.
In 1964, at the age of 55, Galstad was called to the parish ministry of Immanuel congregation, CLC, in Winter Haven, Fla., where he served for 12 years. During the subsequent retirement time he affiliated with a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the church of his youth.
By any measure, Martin Galstad was a true scholar in the tradition of his namesake. Like Luther he was bold to examine any assumption in the spirit of the biblical text, “Test everything. Hold on to what is good.” His hungry mind sought insights wherever they could be found, and his facile pen applied them with skill.
The first of a series of titles published by Haven Books is called FINDINGS (available at the CLC Book House). The title says much about his educational philosophy.
It also well sums up the spirit of this man who served his Lord among us those many years.
[From the Editor:
At the time the above was written, Martin Galstad lay seriously ill. Born at his parent’s farm near Currie, Minnesota on July 30, 1909, he passed away on June 1, 1999 in Winter Haven, Florida. The funeral was conducted at the ELS church in that city. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, and one son.
Having sat at Galstad’s feet in the classroom and for essays on the conference floor, I was one who appreciated his scholarship, approach toward teaching, and writings on educational philosophy. At the same time I was among those who regretted that he left the fellowship of Immanuel congregation and the CLC.]
* ESSAY SYNOPSES
Essays presented at delegate or pastoral conferences are the fruit of hours of study and preparation. Often attendees come away from these presentations saying (or thinking): “If only more of our people could have heard this essay!”
“The next best thing to being there” is a printed version, in full (preferably) or in part. Some pastors give synopses of conference essays for their Sunday bulletins or congregational newsletters. The bulletin of Berea Lutheran Church, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota (David Schierenbeck, Pastor) contained synopses of essays delivered at the Minnesota Delegate Conference and the CLC General Pastoral Conference (both of which took place in June). We give you four of them:
HOW CAN WE RETAIN MORE OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUR CHURCHES (by Mr. Tom McLaughlin, Berea Lutheran Church, Inver Grove Heights):
One of the difficulties facing CLC churches (and we are not alone) is the retention of our youth–not only because they represent the future of our church, but especially out of love and concern for their souls. Such things as the ungodly world and its allurements, societal and peer pressure, and a view of Confirmation as an “end” in itself, all militate against their tender faith. Both faithful Christian parents (and faithful churches) need the comfort and motivation of our Lord’s promise: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The author then focuses on ways to encourage our youth in church (and Bible Study) “involvement”–including the development of Christian education materials and programs involving modern computer technology.
A STUDY OF EPHESIANS 5:22-33 (by Pastor David Reim, Vernon, British Columbia):
This familiar and beautiful section of Scripture is read at most weddings and holds the key to a God-pleasing and blessed Christian marriage. Were this “divine counsel” followed by every husband and wife, the need of the incredible volume of words spoken and written on this subject by human experts and counselors would immediately disappear. The key is found in v. 21–a believer’s general attitude and life of humble submission to one another in the fear and love of God. Such a loving, caring, unselfish, and sacrificial spirit is produced alone by the Gospel and by the example of Christ Himself in His attitude toward and relationship with His beloved bride, the Church. Where the Spirit’s spirit prevails between husband and wife, both will in love carry out their respective roles in God’s marriage order with God’s blessing and in marital happiness. The Christian husband will in love “nourish and cherish” his wife as his own body (which she is), and the Christian wife will lovingly submit to and honor her husband with the same spirit with which the Church submits to Christ.
AN EXAMINATION OF GOD-PLEASING MISSION STRATEGIES (by Pastor Andrew Schaller, Watertown, S.Dak.):
With the popularity of the current “Church Growth Movement,” which emphasizes outward mission methods and numerical church growth, we do well to reject such a focus in favor of the Spirit’s calling and counsel for Christ’s Church: “Go and make disciples of all nations”–by baptizing and teaching God’s Gospel Word (Matthew 28:19) which alone can make one “wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). We dare not abandon God’s Word and the Means of Grace as God’s way of reaching and converting lost sinners to the faith. At the same time the “wrapping” of the Gospel gift (our services, approach toward visitors, evangelism programs, upkeep of the church building, reputation in the community, bulletins, use of technology, etc.) will, we pray, in no way hinder the Holy Spirit in His work or obscure our Gospel witness.
MAKE HIS PRAISE GLORIOUS (by Professor John Reim, ILC Music Instructor):
Without specifically spelling out the precise forms of worship, the Bible has many passages which speak of the importance and nature of true Christian worship–including praising, preaching, teaching, singing, communing, and praying (Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:41-42, Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19, Hebrews 13:15, 1 Timothy 4:13). These passages are best summarized in John 4:23-24: “Those who worship the Father must worship Him in spirit” (from a heart of faith) “and in truth” (according to His Word). Much of our current worship form is solidly based on–even quoted from–Holy Scripture, and constitutes a tradition in use for many generations. Our current hymnal and liturgy (The Lutheran Hymnal) were adopted by the Synodical Conference (Missouri and Wisconsin Synods) in 1941. Basically they reflect our formal European (German) worship heritage. While treasuring this heritage and blessing, we do well to recognize that a changing language, a changing culture, and changing faith-responses to Christian life have led to new and changing poetical and musical expressions of God’s unchanging Word in our day. Rather than dismissing them all as being “modern” (and therefore, wrong), a better approach would be to evaluate them on the basis of Scripture, as well as evaluating how much they edify and touch the heart of the hearer, and how well they communicate Gospel truth. Prof. Reim has undertaken an evaluation of various Lutheran hymns and liturgies and is in the process of personally preparing a hymnal supplement to include alternate liturgies as well as many quality and favorite hymns already in use in our midst today. This supplement should be ready by Convention next summer.
If you were not present to hear these presentations, the essayist or your pastor may be contacted for unabridged copies.