August 2020 Update
The motto chosen for the 2020 LLC Online Summer Services, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God” (Isa. 40:1), promises that God will always care for His own. Although we were unable to gather at Summer Services in Marquette Michigan, as previously planned, God provided a way that we could be refreshed around His Word. More people than ever before were able to join Summer Services in its online format.
Already in August, 2019, when SRK reached out to ask if the LLC could provide resources to create English language programming for SRK’s Summer Services radio broadcast, little did we know that God was also preparing us for our 2020 online Summer Services. From that request a small committee was established and work began. Not knowing what the future holds, I again marvel how God in His infinite wisdom prepares us for what lies ahead.
Coverage about these services and those instrumental in making it happen are covered in this month’s Voice of Zion issue. Many thanks to all involved in making the online services a possibility. LLC Summer Services in 2021 are now scheduled for July 1–4, in Marquette. Welcome!
LLC Board Meeting, July 2
- Board members reviewed planning updates for the current Summer Services and future Winter and Summer Services. The 2021 Phoenix Winter Services will be held March 18–21, with the motto: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). 2021 Summer Services will be at the Superior Dome in Marquette, Mich., July 1–4, hosted by the Eastern Region, with the motto: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
- The Board approved the hiring of an LLC Facilities Manager. It is a full-time position which will oversee all LLC-owned facilities, including Silver Springs. The position will also work in support of camp boards with planning of events and staffing. Notice for the position was posted in late July with a hiring date of September 1.
- The Board heard a report of work done by the LLC Sexual Conduct Policy and Program Review Committee (SCPPRC). Work and recommendations of the committee will be shared more broadly to LLC congregations in coming months.
- The Board approved the Bible Translation Evaluation Committee (BTEC) in bringing their work for discussion and review to the 2021 LLC Ministers Camp.
LLC Annual Meeting, July 4
- We are very thankful for the gifts that Sarina Siljander brought to the office in preparation for the LLC Annual Meeting. In April we decided to move forward with the meeting, even if it meant being an online event. The meeting was held via Zoom, which allowed discussion between delegates and staff. Sarina researched a voting app which was used to allow secure voting during the meeting. Sarina has worked for some time on LLC’s recording committee, and it was a blessing to have her help on a part-time basis leading up to services.
- LLC delegates reviewed and gave support for the proposed 2021 LLC Operating Plan.
- Delegates re-elected Ken Wuollet (Western Area), Sam Roiko and Carey Simonson (Midwestern Area), to three-year terms on the LLC Board. Delegates also elected Rick Nevala and Dean Simonson (Midwestern Area) to replace retiring Board members, Randy Herrala and Duane Pirness.
- Services dates were confirmed:
~ 2021 LLC Phoenix Winter Services, March 18–21
~ 2021 LLC Summer Services, Marquette, Mich., July 1–4
- Delegates will be prepared to give a detailed report to congregations when meeting minutes have been finalized.
Updates on LLC Activities
- A heartfelt “thank-you” to parents of 2020 LLC Confirmation School students, for your patience as we worked through the many details in planning confirmation schools this summer. As you’re well aware, due to the uncertainties of COVID-19, there were many starts and stops to planning. In the end plans were made and we pray for God’s blessings as students take part in this important milestone in their lives.
- At this time, foreign mission trips are still on hold. Trips will be scheduled as it is deemed safe to do so. Online services are kept regularly for those in many foreign countries.
- Helen Hillukka retired from her work at the LLC office on July 31. Helen has worked closely with the Pastoral department, in support of pastors, and also in organizing the many foreign mission trips in her 12-plus years of LLC work. We wish Helen and her husband Elmer God’s abundant blessings in retirement.
- Due to complications and changes to immigration policy, shared LLC and Phoenix pastor Harri Vahajylkka, moved his family back to Finland. Although we were sad to hear of his leaving, we are thankful that Harri will now work in the SRK office as Communications Director. This position is in regular communications with LLC office staff so it will bring the connection between organizations even closer. We thank Harri and Elina for their time of serving here in North America and wish them and their family God’s continued blessings.
- Keith Waaraniemi has left his everyday responsibilities at the LLC office to work on researching and writing the 50-year LLC History book project.
- The plan is to have the book published and ready for release at 2023 LLC Summer Services.
- Due to the uncertainties of COVID-19, notice was sent to LLC congregations announcing the cancellation of summer youth and pre-confirmation camps at SLC and HLC. Camp boards will continue to monitor the situation in their respective areas and make scheduling adjustments as needed.
- As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the LLC Update Tour to congregations will continue in late summer and fall.
- The planning committee for 2021 Summer Services in Marquette, Mich. remains intact and will resume planning this winter in preparation for the event.
Remember to take the opportunity to spend extra time with your families and friends before school and fall activities begin next month, God willing.