May 2019 LLC, SFC and SRK Joint Meeting
Shared Vision, Shared Work
Cooperation that extends across the ocean has a long history in Christianity. As was noted at the joint meeting of sister organizations LLC, SFC and SRK at Dalarnas fridsförening (Dalarna Association of Peace) last weekend, it feels important to clarify the common work and to support and help one another.
The biennial meeting was attended by representatives of the administrations and office employees. This year SFC board members and speakers from Sweden were also present. They were responsible for organizing the event. One of the main issues at the meeting was updating the Cooperation Document.
Joint Mission Work
Juha Alanko (SRK) told about the cooperation of the three sister organizations. “In the last two years, Guinea, Pakistan and Rwanda have become new mission fields. The number of mission trips and mission fields will increase,” said Alanko.
In his speech, Alanko also shed light on the SRK’s humanitarian work: “The experiences have been very positive. These two years have shown that there is a particular need for this work in African countries and that people have been receptive to supporting the work.”
In the future, cooperation among the sister organizations in the area of humanitarian aid will increase. This will make better use of the experience and connections that have developed over the years.
During the weekend, representatives also discussed issues related to faith and doctrine. The theme of Keith Waaraniemi’s presentation was the doctrine of the congregation, and Kimmo Puolitaival’s presentation was based on a speech held at the SRK Speakers Meeting in December regarding the keys in God’s kingdom.
In the discussions following the presentations it was noted that in these times it is good to discuss faith and doctrine. No one has been given all gifts. It is important in these times for God’s children to gather and discuss.
“I have often thought about the meeting in Jerusalem. It certainly took a long time and there were different viewpoints. When God’s Spirit opened up a common understanding, then arose a view that this seems good to us and to the Holy Ghost,” Valde Palola said.
The foundation of the congregation is the doctrine of the prophets and the apostles—the concept of faith based on the unchanging Word of God—where Jesus Himself is the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).
“God’s congregation is infallible in its doctrine of righteousness because it holds to the Word of God. God’s living congregation will thus remain on earth until the end of times,” Matti Taskila reminded.
God’s children have been sent to proclaim a message of love and peace. In the speeches it came out how the joint discussion felt blessed. God through His Holy Spirit leads the work of the congregation all over the world.
Looking to the Future with Hope
The program for Saturday, May 4, included a recreation day for SFC board members, officers, speakers and their spouses. Timo Löppönen kept a presentation entitled “I Will Give You a Future and Hope.”
In his presentation, Löppönen reviewed the history of society, changes over time and the future. Jim Frantti spoke about the book of Jeremiah, explaining the Scripture from which the subject of the presentation was taken. Frantti pointed out how important it is that we speak of a merciful God. God does His work in human lives and hearts.
“When God guides matters, they don’t happen according to our plans. God knows the heart of every human. We have reason to trust God yet today,” Frantti noted.
The speeches highlighted the importance of the unity among God’s children who live in different parts of the world. New technology has made it possible to do gospel work all over the world. Services online and radio work were seen as very valuable. Although there are borders between countries, they are not an obstacle to experiencing the same spirit and love in different countries. The boundaries of God’s Kingdom go from heart to heart.
Translation: Matthew Keranen
This writing was published in Finnish on May 8, 2019, in Päivämies, p. 3.