News & Notes

March 2017 Update

March 01, 2017

With the festive 2017 Winter Services in Phoenix behind us, we look forward as “birds of heaven” to gather in Howard Lake, June 30–July 3, for 2017 LLC Summer Services. The child of God rejoices at such opportunities. May God continue to refresh each of us with His Word of grace as we journey homeward.

Updates on LLC Activities

  • Many of the staff from the LLC office were able to attend Phoenix Winter Services, February 23–26. The services motto, “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18), reminds the tired and doubting traveler that Jesus will never leave His own. John Stewart presented the topic, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity” (Ps. 51:5), for Friday’s congregation and youth evening. Archived sermons and photos can be accessed on the LLC website. Look for additional coverage in the April Voice of Zion.
  • An extra day of meetings for the LLC Board and staff was held Thursday, Feb. 23, in Phoenix. This allowed time to discuss current matters and future growth plans of the LLC. Information from these meetings will be communicated to the congregations during an LLC update tour conducted in 2017.
  • As part of that meeting, the LLC Board discussed the recommendation of the Minnesota Facilities Committee to move forward with renovation plans at SLC. Recent meetings in all Minnesota congregations have voiced wide support for the proposal. In addition, there was discussion around the possibilities of purchasing 70 acres of land from the Monticello congregation for future LLC use.
  • The LLC Board has approved Walt Lampi as the new LLC Publications Director. Walt is replacing Paul Waaraniemi, who has retired after serving LLC for over 20 years. Retirement plans are taking Paul and Diane to Phoenix for the winter months and to their home in Michigan for the summer. We wish God’s blessing for Paul and Diane in retirement, and for Walt with his new duties as Publications Director.
  • Annette (Kumpula) Johnson, from the Minneapolis congregation, will begin work at the LLC office in March, taking Ruth Roiko’s position as Layout Artist. Ruth has served the LLC for over 30 years. We wish Ruth God’s abundant blessings as she retires at the end of April.
  • Remodel of the dorms at SLC is nearing completion. It was necessary to take out the bathrooms in the dorms, turning them into “bunkhouses” to satisfy recent changes in Minnesota licensing requirements. This will allow operations to continue at Stony Lake as it has been up until now.
  • Work weeks at our camp facilities have been scheduled: Kamp Kipa, April 15–22; Stony Lake, March 25–April 1; and Hasscib Lake, May 15–20. The camp directors appreciate the volunteers, young and old, that come to help.
  • Information on summer job postings have been sent to LLC congregations. There are openings at all LLC camp facilities. Applications can be sent to the LLC office until March 15.
  • The Minneapolis congregation will host the biennial LLC Board Members Workshop on April 29. Plans are to discuss the role and responsibility of congregation boards in addition to current joys and concerns in the work. Hopefully as many as possible will attend.
  • A Confirmation Curriculum Review Committee began looking at the curriculum and teaching methods currently used at our confirmation schools. The committee is considering a theme-based approach to the lesson topics, and including more student activity-based learning.
  • In addition, a committee is working to update the resource and reference material for Sunday school. Many new publications will be added as resources to the current curriculum, which was adopted in 2004. Numerous congregations will be asked to assist in this project.
  • A new CD, “The Fields with Music Flooding,” has been completed and is available for sale in congregation bookstores. Musicians from the Saskatchewan area produced this beautiful new album. The digital version of this album is also available through iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Search for Laestadian Lutheran Church on these sites, and the album appears for purchase.
  • Please note our changed approach to camp staff workshops in 2017. We will conduct two workshops focusing on the camps that serve our youth and children. The first workshop on March 9 will be for confirmation school teachers and directors. The second workshop on April 25 will be for youth camp staff. We will gather for these workshops at the LLC office and connect remote attendees by iMeet.
  • May God continue to bless His work as only He can.

    Eric Jurmu

    March 2017 Voice of Zion

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