News & Notes

November 2018 Update

November 01, 2018

As another calendar year quickly comes to an end, we are thankful for God’s goodness and protection that He has granted us this year. November marks the end of the Church calendar year and the approach of Advent. November 1, All Saints’ Day, is the day we remember those who have gone before us and gained the victory. This past year many elderly believers have passed away. We remember them with longing and join with the songwriter, “Help us, Lord, in faith to journey on life’s pathway; help me when I leave from here. For through merits of Thy suff’ring I’ll be dwelling with Thy blessed saints fore’er (SHZ 140:4). May God comfort all who sorrow and long for loved ones, and may He bless all who pause with friends and family at this special time of year.

As we make plans for Advent and the upcoming Christmas season, let us remember our Heavenly Father’s many blessings and the hope of heaven that waits at the end of our journey.

Updates on LLC Activities

  • Staff at the LLC office enjoyed a visit on October 5 with Finnish minister Eero Nuolija and his wife Hillevi. Eero served on the SRK speaking tour to LLC congregations in October.
  • It was a blessing to attend the first Minister and Wives camp held at Prairie Shores Camp in Saskatchewan, October 12–14. There were 102 participants that came from 22 LLC congregations. We live in a time when joy is mixed with sorrow, yet we were reminded of the simple way of faith and the power of the gospel. Let us continue to remember the ministers and wives in our prayers that all could remain as little children in His kingdom.
  • In November we will publish two new picture books especially for children. I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb is an illustrated book to sing by. It is a board book—the first we’ve published—that teaches about Jesus, our Shepherd, according to the words of this familiar song of Zion. The Joyful Light presents in rhythm and rhyme and detailed illustrations the scriptural events surrounding the birth of Jesus. In addition, we will publish our annual holiday magazine, Christmas in Zion. This will be delivered to all Voice of Zion subscribers and is also available for purchase online. You can also look for it at your congregation’s bookstore.
  • The 2019 LLC Wall Calendar will soon be available for purchase. It illustrates in photographs and Scripture the cycle of life from birth through youth and adulthood into the final years of life and its conclusion. Over the years demand for this product has diminished significantly, and so this wall calendar will be the last one to be published. The lectionary and information on camps and special events will continue to be available online. In this also we note the passage of time and the evolvement of ways in which we schedule our year and keep track of appointments and events. The time and effort that have gone into making the calendar will instead be used on products for which there is a clear demand.
  • As technology changes, many people are accessing their LLC music through Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music streaming services. To date, there are over 15 LLC albums available for streaming through these services and, of those albums, over 75,000 tracks have been streamed. To find these albums, search for “Laestadian Lutheran Church” on Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon or Spotify.
  • Two new music albums are scheduled to be released yet this year: Within the Gates of Zion is a digital-only album of the 2017 LLC Peace Garden Youth Days. From Heart to Heart, There Love Abides is a friendship and love-themed album performed by the Colorado choir. This album will be sold in congregation bookstores. In addition, you can find both albums on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.
  • A Bible class teachers teleconference was held on September 27, with approximately 100 teachers attending from North American Zion. Rod Nikula presented the new confirmation school curriculum and how it can serve in congregations’ Bible class activities. A summary of the workshop along with a link to a survey soliciting input on Bible class needs has been sent to the LLC congregation contacts.
  • A letter was sent recently to LLC congregations gauging interest in members securing a long-term camping permit at the LLC-owned Silver Springs property. If you are interested, please contact the LLC office for details.
  • Gordie Kumpula has agreed to continue serving as caretaker at Silver Springs through 2019 LLC Summer Services.
  • Notes from the September 27 Camp Boards Meeting

~ Dave and Joanne Vonada will retire after the 2018 camp season. Dave served many years as SLC Caretaker and Joanne as SLC Kitchen Manager. We thank them for their many years of service, and may God richly repay them for their work and labor of love. Job postings will be coming soon to fill the positions for 2019.

~ Bernice Riutta, who served as Kitchen Manager at HLC this past year, will also retire. We are thankful for her service of love.

~ December 1 is the revised date for students to enroll in 2019 confirmation camps. All other camps will be available for enrollment Jan 1, 2019.

~ Suggested camp fees will remain the same for the 2019 camp season. The only change will be a small fee charged at checkout when enrolling for camps.

~ Although the suggested camp fee doesn’t cover the cost of camps, it feels important to keep the suggested fees low enough to allow as many as possible the opportunity to attend.

~ In coming years, we will need help with Braille translation for camp work. If there are those with experience and are willing to help with this, please contact the LLC office.

  • The LLC Board of Directors met October 27 and took several actions, some of which include:

~ Approved 2019 staff wage and benefit package

~ Approved the 2019 LLC Operating Plan and budget

~ Approved LLC property at Silver Springs to be used for 2019 Summer Services

We ask for your continued prayers that God would yet guide and bless His work.

Eric Jurmu


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