News & Notes

August 2018 Update

August 01, 2018

Around 3500 guests gathered for LLC Summer Services this year at the Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, Washington. The weather was beautiful, and the school is in a wonderful setting with views of the Cascade Mountains in the distance. Many families were able to camp within walking distance from the site, at Willis Tucker Community Park.

Most important was that God blessed the services with His Word. The motto, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10), was woven throughout the sermons. Services guests commented how comforting and uplifting it was to attend the services. We thank the Heavenly Father for this time of refreshment, and we also thank the believers in the hosting congregation of Seattle and the supporting LLC congregations in the Western Area for their service and labor of love.

LLC Board Meeting, July 5

  • Visiting speaker-brother, Ilpo Saukkonen, relayed greetings from LLC’s sister organization in Finland, the SRK. Saukkonen spoke of the importance of mutual work between the organizations and how it helps to foster unity. He also gave a glimpse of the magnitude of work being done by the SRK, with 48 confirmation schools and 2400 students scheduled to attend those schools in 2018, and an additional 292 camp events with 18,000 attendees at the various SRK camp facilities.
  • Veli-Matti Heikkinen also brought similar greetings from the SFC in Sweden. Although much smaller in number, Heikkinen mentioned how important the mutual work is between our sister organizations.
  • Board members reviewed planning updates for the current Summer Services and future Winter and Summer Services. The 2019 Phoenix Winter Services will be held February 21–24, with the services motto: “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). 2019 Summer Services will be at the Silver Springs property in Monticello, Minn., July 4–7, 2019, hosted by the Rockford Laestadian Lutheran Church, with the motto: “It is I; be not afraid” (John 6:20).
  • The Board officially recognized the application from the newly formed Coastal California Laestadian Lutheran Church (CCLLC) as the 34th LLC congregation. Currently they have 19 members and 25 children.
  • The Board approved the following personnel changes:

~ Matthew Keranen was welcomed as LLC Publications Director, taking over from Walt Lampi. We wish Walt and his wife Avis God’s blessings in retirement.

~ Jessica Nikula has assumed the LLC Coordinator position. We wish her God’s blessings and thank Rod Nikula for his time served as Christian Education Coordinator.

~ The Board approved hiring Maria Fredrickson and Brita Fredrickson, each working part-time as Administrative Assistants, replacing Jessica Nikula.

  • A draft agenda was reviewed for the May 2–5, 2019 meetings between SRK-LLC-SFC, in Sweden. The Board approved sending five brothers to Sweden, with additional plans being made for them to travel to Finland for continued meetings at the SRK office, and possible service trips.

LLC Annual Meeting, July 7

  • LLC delegates reviewed and gave support for the proposed 2019 LLC Operating Plan and approved a $2.00/month increase in LLC dues. This will allow support to all areas of LLC work as demands in the work continue to grow. Delegates also re-elected Steve Haataja, George Koivukangas, Keith Waaraniemi (Midwestern Area), Peter Kuopus (Eastern Area) and John Stewart (Western Area) to three-year terms on the Board.
  • Future Summer Services hosting congregations: 2019–Rockford; 2020–Ishpeming; 2021–Northern Minn.; 2022–Longview; 2023–Monticello; 2024–Saskatchewan
  • Delegates will be prepared to give a detailed report to congregations when meeting minutes have been finalized.

Updates on LLC Activities

  • Visiting minister, Veli-Matti Heikkinen from Sweden, who is traveling with his wife Elina and two daughters, served at Summer Services in Seattle, and at various LLC congregations in July. The Heikkinens made the trip from Spokane to Minnesota by car, giving opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery that is often missed when traveling by air. At the end of his trip Veli-Matti will travel with Jon Bloomquist to Ecuador before returning to Sweden in early August.
  • Saskatchewan believers are enjoying the fruits of their labor, when the first couples camp was held at Prairie Shores Camp in June. A full camp season is slated there this summer. Again, we marvel at God’s ways and blessings.
  • Work crews continue to pound away at Stony Lake Camp. The new bunkhouses and bathhouse are framed and dried in, and rough plumbing and electrical work are being done with plans for completion of the buildings this fall. Also, planned for completion this fall is a pavilion that can be used for outdoor dining and an additional teaching area.
  • The 2019 Summer Services planning committee is now in full gear making plans for next summer. The LLC property at Silver Springs will be utilized along with the Monticello church facility. A large tent has been reserved along with smaller supporting tents, so it is planned to be another outdoor service event. There should be ample camping possibilities, as plans are being made for 300 RV sites.

Remember to spend time with your families before school begins again!

Eric Jurmu


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