News & Notes

November 2019 Update

November 01, 2019

As another calendar year nears its end, many congregations gather around special fall services to pause in thanksgiving for God’s abundant blessings and protection that He alone has granted again this year.

November marks the end of the Church calendar year and the approach of Advent. Many loved ones have passed away this past year, and on November 1, All Saints’ Day, we lovingly remember those who have gained the victory of heaven. They are remembered with longing, and with the hope of reunion one day. Oh, what bliss, beyond all measure in our home in heav’n above! Mortal man cannot envision this eternal joy and love when in Jesus they are gathered unto glory evermore. Oh, remember this assurance, do not weary on the way. E’er remember your dear Savior, unto heaven turn your gaze. Jesus soon will come and gather all His own to heaven’s home (SHZ 579:1,5).

As plans are made for the upcoming Advent and Christmas season, may we remember our Heavenly Father’s many blessings and the eternal Christmas in heaven that waits at the end of our journey.

Updates on LLC Activities

  • Aaron Anderson was called into the office of the ministry by the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Williston, on August 25. We wish Aaron, along with his wife Miltsu and their family, God’s abundant blessings in this new calling.
  • The annual joint meeting of the camp boards was held on Saturday, September 7. The following items were discussed:

~ Camp board’s role and duty

~ Establishing a committee to manage staffing database

~ 2019 camp season review

~ Video update, which will include a walk-through of camp facilities

~ 2020 camp job postings, which will be available early in the year

  • Office staff enjoyed a visit on October 3 with Finnish minister Mikko Kälkäjä and his wife Marja-Kaisa. Mikko served on the SRK speaking tour to LLC congregations in October.
  • The Publications department recently released a fall publications update video. It tells about the children’s board book The Lord’s Prayer, which was released last summer.
  • This fall we will release two music albums: Praise Him! is a choral album of songs and hymns that express our praise and thanks to God. Melodies of Christmas contains music of the season played on the piano. We will also publish a children’s picture book A Christmas Part for Abby. Look for these products soon at your church bookstore or in our online store.
  • Please note that the LLC will no longer publish a wall calendar. This decision was made last year based on declining sales. Camp information will be published separately. The church calendar Bible texts and song suggestions are available on our website.
  • LLC congregations in the Eastern Region are prayerfully preparing for 2020 Summer Services. The services dates are July 2–5 and will be held at the Superior Dome, in Marquette, Michigan. Look for updated information as it comes available in the Voice of Zion and on the LLC’s website.
  • Approximately 100 people participated in the Bible Class Teachers Workshop (teleconference) held on Thursday, September 26. Rick Nevala presented a lesson on “Jonah Goes to Nineveh” from LLC’s Illustrated Home Bible. He also shared thoughts on how he approaches planning Bible Class lessons from this illustrated Bible.
  • The theme of “God’s Kingdom” was central to the lessons taught at the LLC Bible Camp October 11–13, at SLC. Camp participants commented how secure it felt leaving the camp again refreshed in faith. A similar topic is planned for the congregational discussion evening at 2020 Winter Services in Phoenix.
  • Please note the change in date and venue from previous years for the 2020 Phoenix Winter Services. The services and meetings will be held at the Desert Mountain Elementary School, March 19–22. Information is posted to the LLC website as it becomes available.
  • The LLC Board, staff and spouses gathered for a weekend at SLC, October 25–27. This type of gathering is kept every few years and gives opportunity to discuss the ongoing work and review plans for the future. It also offers spouses the possibility to hear about the work in a relaxed and free atmosphere.
  • The LLC Board of Directors met at SLC on October 26 in connection with the LLC Board, Staff and Spouses camp, and took several actions, some of which include:

~ Approved 2020 staff wage and benefit package

~ Approved the 2020 LLC Operating Plan and budget

~ Approved an LLC Update Tour to all congregations in 2020

Update from the SRK

  • The SRK, our sister organization in Finland, recently released the third volume in their series of books on the history of the SRK. The book is titled Myrskyjen keskellä (In the Midst of Storms) and it covers the years 1962–1980. The book is in Finnish with a twenty-page summary in English. While it is first and foremost a history of the SRK, it touches on some events in North American Christianity during that time period. God allows mutual work in God’s kingdom to go forward in times of struggle as well as in times of peace. The editorial in Päivämies issue 43, Oct. 23, 2019, addresses the book. We have posted a translation of that editorial on our website for those interested.

We ask for your continued prayers, and may God continue to guide and bless His work. 

Eric Jurmu 



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