December 2019 Update
An angel came from God above / to tell of Jesus’ birth. / The fearful shepherds saw the light / that shone from heaven to earth.
The angels said: “Be not afraid, / there’s joyful news for men. / The promised Savior has been born / this night in Bethlehem.”
“For this shall be a sign to you, / in swaddling clothes you’ll find / a baby in a manger laid, / God’s gift to all mankind.”
The song of praise grew louder still / as angels filled the sky: / “Good will to men, and peace on earth, / glory to God on high.”
The angels’ song is with us still; / through faith we yet believe, / We, too, shall sing the angels’ song / when heaven’s shore we see (SHZ 33).
On behalf of the LLC office staff, I wish each of you a joyous and peaceful Christmas season. Scriptures relate how many years ago the heavens opened and angels announced the birth of the promised Savior. The same joyful message resounds today. It comforts the weary traveler and gives hope of eternal Christmas in heaven. May this message of God’s perfect gift to humankind be centermost as we gather with loved ones this Christmas season.
Updates on LLC Activities
- 2023 will mark the 50-year anniversary of the AALC-LLC. With that date in mind the LLC board has committed resources for a book written covering the
events of that period of AALC-LLC history. Keith Waaraniemi has been named as author and Matthew Keranen will serve as project manager.
- Information has been sent to LLC congregations outlining plans for the 2020 LLC Tour. Congregation delegates have requested this type of communication
as it brings the work of the central organization closer to each congregation. The last tour happened in 2017. Local and regional areas will work
with LLC representatives to work out details.
- Ninety-seven ministers joined the annual ministers teleconference originating from the LLC office, November 7. Russell Roiko opened the conference
by summarizing current joys and concerns in North American Zion. While God’s children have felt the attacks of the enemy, God has continued to
protect His kingdom and has given strength to servants of the Word to continue the work.
- In recent years much development has happened at LLC camp facilities, and it’s not always possible for all of us to visit each location in person.
Thus, the camp boards decided collectively to prepare a video presentation to share with LLC congregations outlining development and expansion
of camp facilities. Look for this in the spring.
- The HLC board along with the LLC board hired Eric Mattila as HLC camp caretaker. Eric will move his family from Alaska to Michigan as he begins work
at HLC in December. We wish Eric, along with his wife Katrina and family, God’s abundant blessings.
- Representatives from the Eastern Region congregation boards met in Toronto, November 2. Similarly, Midwestern Region boards met in Rockford, November
23, where Ray Waaraniemi kept an introduction on endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) as basis for the spiritual
discussion. In addition, the meetings addressed terms for LLC Board members, camp board members, and area mission committee members.
- In early October, we asked for input from parents who have a 2020 confirmand to indicate their first and second choice for Confirmation school. Based
on those results, and due to expansion and renovation at Stony Lake Camp, 6 camps instead of 7 will provide enough spots for the anticipated number
of students. Signup for confirmation will open January 2.
- Dates and locations of the 2020 Confirmation School are as follows:
– HLC, July 18–26
– KK, July 11–19
– PSC, July 11–19
– SLC 1, July 11–19
– SLC 2, July 25–August 2
– WC, July 17–25
- A notice advertising for Kitchen Manager at HLC and SLC has been sent to congregations. Interested parties should contact HLC Camp Director Peter Kuopus,
or SLC Camp Operations manager Mike Glynn, for additional information. Application deadline is December 31, 2019.
- Watch for announcements regarding core staff openings for the 2020 camp season. Notices will be sent to congregations in the December–January time
frame. There will also be openings for paid kitchen staff at HLC for the months of July and August.
- Subscription renewal notices have been sent out for the 2020 Voice of Zion and Shepherd’s Voice. Due to an increase in mailing cost
and an expansion from 16 to 20 pages, a small increase in subscription rates will be seen in 2020. Once again, we thank you for your subscription!
It helps to support LLC work.
- In December, the Humanitarian Aid Committee sends an annual Christmas gift package to congregations in Ecuador, Togo and Ghana. It is a needed and
well-received gift for believers in far-away lands. Year-end contributions can be made through the Humanitarian Aid tab on the LLC website.
- It’s not too early to start making plans for 2020 LLC Services. Winter Services will be held at the Desert Mountain Middle School March 19–22. Summer
Services dates are in Marquette, Michigan, July 2–5. Information will be published as it becomes available in the Voice of Zion and on
the LLC website.
May we all pause and reflect on the blessings that God has bestowed in the work of His kingdom. At LLC, we are mindful of the generosity of believers who support the work of our central organization. May God richly repay you as only He can. I wish for you all God’s abundant blessings in the New Year.