Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion August 2022 - News and Notes --
Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33) was the motto for our 2022 LLC Summer Services. The joy of the believers being able to gather to the hearing of God’s Word was most evident. Paramount was the call for one to seek, find and then, by faith, dwell in the kingdom of God, endeavoring to heaven’s home. Once the service site was cleaned up, all that was left behind were the walking paths from the weekend, giving a picture of our endeavor on the old well-worn path. We thank the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to prepare and maintain the site for Silver Springs Summer Services.
LLC Board Meeting – June 30, 2022
LLC Board members reviewed planning updates for the current summer services and future winter and summer services. The 2023 LLC Phoenix Winter Services will be held March 17–20 with this service motto: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you (John 14:27). 2023 LLC Summer Services will be hosted by the Monticello congregation at the LLC Silver Springs site July 6–9, 2023, with the motto Upon this rock I will build my church (Matt. 16:18). The Board approved the application from the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Utah Valley to join as a member congregation of the LLC. We wish God’s blessing for the believers who are now living in southern Utah. The Board heard committee reports. Becca Edwards of the Rockford, Minn., congregation was added to the Humanitarian Aid Committee.
LLC Annual Meeting – July 2, 2022
The 2022 LLC Annual Meeting was held at the Rockford Laestadian Lutheran Church. LLC delegates reviewed and gave support for the proposed 2023 LLC Operating Plan, which included a plan to keep dues at current levels. There was a motion to move LLC Summer Services to the weekend after SRK’s Suviseurat for 2023 and then to re-visit the matter in 2026. The proposed Bylaws revisions and realignment of Mission Areas were approved. This requires a realignment of Area Mission Committees and the LLC Board position vacated by Jim Frantti retiring to shift to the Southwest Area. Delegates re-elected Petri Hotari, James Jurmu and Michael Kumpula to three-year terms on the LLC Board. Delegates also elected Roger Plough to replace retiring board member Peter Lever, who represents the Northwest Area.
The annual meeting delegates and meeting attendees had a long discussion that was free, open and heartfelt regarding the spiritual division in the North American Zion. Many speeches by delegates expressed a loving call to repentance to restore unity. The loving call to repentance went unheeded, moving delegates to approve the motion to formally remove Wolf Lake and Minneapolis as member congregations in the Laestadian Lutheran Church. While we sorrow for those who have battled against the North American Zion, we live in hope and prayer that they would yet find a place of repentance.
Delegates will be prepared to give a detailed report to congregations when meeting minutes have been finalized.
We kindly ask you to remember to pray on our behalf and on behalf of all the work done in God’s kingdom.
Updates on LLC Activities
June, July and August are summer months and that means camp season is in full swing. June at Kamp Kipa was busy with youth camps, family camp and pre-confirmation camp held there. We are thankful that the Crooks Fire was contained and extinguished prior to camp season. We especially remember to thank God for His protection. During the month of July, there are eight confirmation schools with 285 students registered. 2022 has also seen the return of the Language Camp and the addition of the inaugural International Choir Camp. We have remembered to pray that God would bless the camp season so participants could experience the prayer of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16–19).
The minister exchange with SRK has resumed. We thank God for sending Finnish ministers Aimo Koskelo and Timo Valli to serve in North America. In exchange, Jim Jurmu from Monticello will serve Finland for the summer mission trip from July 18 to August 10, 2022.
Resumption of foreign mission trips is planned for Fall 2022. God willing, Adrian Pirness will travel to The Gambia and Senegal and Jon Bloomquist will travel to Ghana and Togo in August.
The LLC Board Facilities Committee and the Silver Springs Development Committee (SSDC) met on June 29 and will be meeting quarterly to develop a draft plan for long-term development of Silver Springs. Planning begins immediately to implement lessons learned for the 2023 Summer Services. Many people have asked about reservations for RV sites for 2023 Summer Services. LLC staff will make decisions about additional spaces and locations based on feedback from the meetings held between SSDC and LLC Board Facilities Committee.
It is now five months since we released the LLC Hearken app. We note that many of you have found this app to be a useful resource in your life and faith. We continue to develop the app to ensure it works as seamlessly as possible, and we also continue to add new content each week. We welcome your feedback on this and all publications projects and products.
In September, our Communications Department will host a Content Creators Workshop at Stony Lake Camp. At this workshop, staff and volunteer workers will meet to discuss content creation needs and goals across all our publication platforms: music, print, digital, video and audio. An overarching goal of ours is to produce content that comforts and supports believers in their faith. The best content for believers is created by believers.