November 2020 Update
The cold winds of winter are starting to bite in the upper Midwest. An early snow reminds us that another year is coming to a close; what a year it has been! Despite the challenges that the worldwide pandemic has brought, we can be thankful for God’s protection and care.
November also marks the end of the church calendar year and the approach of Advent. On November 1, All Saints’ Day, we lovingly remember those who have gained the victory of heaven. We remember them with longing and with the hope of a reunion one day.
At the end of the month we observe Thanksgiving Day. As this holiday approaches, and as we look forward to Advent and Christmas that follow, may we remember our Heavenly Father’s many blessings and the hope of heaven that waits at the end of our earthly journey.
Updates on LLC Activities
- The pandemic has halted travel, but services continue to be arranged in foreign mission fields. Weekly services are hosted each Sunday via Zoom for Ecuadorian believers. The midwestern area mission trip to Rolla did not take place this October, but was replaced by remote services using Zoom. Recorded sermons are sent via WhatsApp to support our brothers and sisters in Africa. We marvel how God has opened these possibilities during this time!
- The southwest area congregations extend a warm welcome to online LLC Youth Days hosted from the Phoenix church November 13–14. The theme for the weekend is “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” (1 Cor. 10:13). A presentation will be kept Friday evening titled “Bear One Another’s Burdens,” followed by an evening devotion. Youth Days will continue on Saturday with services at 4 p.m. and a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Youth Days will be shared online via Zoom, and also streamed through Mixlr.
- A new piano primer Make a Joyful Noise is now available! It is a beautifully illustrated piano book that helps beginners learn to play songs and hymns of Zion. Order your copy online at the LLC webshop or ask for it at your church bookstore.
- The annual ministers teleconference, originating from the LLC office, is held November 5. Discussion centers around timely matters and concerns. This gives opportunity for ministers to discuss matters central to the work and also serves as a tool to maintain unity and love of the Spirit, which is so important in these times.
- The LLC Board of Directors met on October 24 and took several actions, some of which include:
~ Approved 2021 staff wage and benefit package
~ Approved amended 2020 budget
~ Approved 2021 Operating plan and budget
~ Approved proposal to name the LLC Easter magazine Easter Messenger. This special Easter magazine, similar in concept to Christmas in Zion, will be published early next March.
~ Approved Lea Waaraniemi’s appointment to the LLC Music Committee. We wish Lea God’s blessings as she takes Saana Johnson’s spot on the committee. We also thank Saana for her years of service.
~ Approved adjusting LLC Confirmation Schools to seven-day camps, with further curriculum development for Pre-Confirmation camps.
~ Board members John Stewart and Steve Haataja gave notice of their plans to retire when their board terms are up in 2021. Communication has been sent to area mission committees to begin discussions for their replacements.
~ The board agreed that an LLC-wide meeting of ministers, board members and delegates is necessary in order to discuss spiritual matters that have caused concern for some years in North American Zion. Communication on this will be sent to LLC congregations as plans develop.
- The Eastern Mission Area holds its annual fall area-wide meeting as an online meeting on Saturday, Nov. 7.
- The Midwest Mission Area (MBMAC) holds its annual fall meeting at the Rockford church on Saturday, Nov. 21.
- Since the fall SLC Ministers Camp was canceled, plans are now being made to hold a Ministers Camp at SLC April 9–11, 2021, God so willing.
We ask for your continued prayers that God would continue to guide and bless His work.