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Hawkinson Award goes to the Erdahls

Former bishop of ELCA’s St. Paul Area Synod and his spouse will be honored

This year’s Honorary Award of the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice will be awarded to a retired ELCA bishop and his spouse. Lowell Erdahl, bishop emeritus of the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangeli-cal Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and his wife, bookstore owner Carol Erdahl, will be awarded the prize at an October 7 ceremony in Minneapolis.
Given annually to individuals demonstrating outstanding dedication to the cause of peace and social justice, the award is aimed at furthering the work of the late Rev. Vincent L. Haw-kinson, who served as pastor of Grace University Luther-an Church in Minneapolis for 30 years.
Previous Award recipients have included Mulford Sibley, Polly Mann, Marv Davidov, Lynn Elling, Joel Mugge, Louise Pardee, Larry Cloud Morgan, Gene and Mary Lou Ott, Eleanor and John Yackel, Marie and John Braun, Marianne Hamilton, Stanley and Martha Platt, Arthur and Martha Stern-berg, Eleanor Otterness, Joseph Schwartzberg, Don Irish, Brigid McDonald, Jane McDonald, Kate McDonald, Rita McDonald, Luther Gran-quist, and Kay & Ralph Hilgendorf.
The October 7 ceremony begins at 4 p.m. at University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 13th Avenue SE, Minneapolis. The presentation is open to the public and is followed by a reception.
Nominated by Eleanor and John Yackel, the Erdahls are being recognized for their lifelong commitment to, and activism in, peace and social justice causes and their outspoken pursuit of global understanding.
“Carol and Lowell Erdahl have devoted their entire careers to the Twin Cities, while also working for global peace with justice. We are immensely grateful for their unshaken love for all God’s people and the great possibilities offered to those who practice this love in pursuit of peace and justice,” said John Yackel.
Lowell Erdahl is a pastor, author and frequent speaker on peacemaking as a counter-action to war. He serves as chairman of the board of World Citizen, a nonprofit organization that empowers the education community to promote a just and peaceful world through activities for children and youth including the Peace Education Program, the International Peace Site Program, and the Nobel Peace Prize Festival. Besides peacemaking, he has championed the civil and human rights of gay and lesbian persons.
Lowell (and his twin brother, retired Minnesota congressman Arlen Erdahl) grew up on a farm near Blue Earth, Minnesota. He graduated from St. Olaf College, where he met Carol, a native of Elizabeth, New Jersey. He attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, and earned a master’s degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
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Three St. Olaf College students involved in peace and justice causes are among the seven young scholars selected for 2007 scholarships awarded by the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice. They include:
* Chloe Stull-Lane, a 2007 graduate from Atas-cadero, California. She ma-jored in American racial and multicultural studies and designed a second major in sustainable international de-velopment. She is enrolled in the Masters Program in International Development and Management at Lund University (Sweden).
* Vera Belazelkoska, who will graduate in 2009. Hailing from Greenfield, Wisconsin, is majoring in economics and political science and coordinates the college’s peace and justice group. Belazelkoska is a native of Macedonia (her family emigrated to the U.S. five years ago).
* Laura Groggel, Omaha, Nebraska, graduates in 2008. Majoring in music and women’s studies, she was an intern working in an orphanage in India with Volunteers for Peace. She’s president of St. Olaf’s Amnesty Inter-national chapter.
Four other stipends will be awarded, to Jennifer Cornell, Minneapolis, active in Friends for a Nonviolent World; Katherine Jares, Council Bluffs, Iowa, former coordinator of a prison program; Jacob Olzen, Roselle, Illinois, working with models of nonviolent lifestyles; and Daneen Bergquist, Maple Plain, Minnesota, an intern with Thirdway Hu-man Rights in Holland.
Scholarships will be presented on October 7 (see above story).