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December 2021 Update

Eric Jurmu | The Voice of Zion December 2021 - News and Notes --


The angels once sang of the triumph of heaven on Christmas night.

They sowed into mother earth’s sorrow a radiant star-filled night.

That glorious hymn is resounding from each generation on.

It causes the heart-frost to crumble, my forefather’s as my own.

You hear it, O children, each Christmas, how one day our way doth lead

from trials to Christmas eternal and heavenly Christmas peace. – SHZ 28


On behalf of the LLC office staff, I would like to wish each of you a joyous and peaceful Christmas season. Scriptures relate how many years ago the heavens opened and angels announced the birth of our Savior. The message brought relief and joy to tired travelers. Today, the same joyful message resounds. It brings comfort to the weary traveler and gives hope of an eternal Christmas in heaven. May this message of God’s gift to humankind be most important as we gather with family and loved ones this Christmas season.


Updates on LLC Activities


Administration

• The LLC Board of Directors met on October 23 and took several actions, among them the following:

– Approved 2022 Operating Plan and Budget

– Approved amended 2021 budget

– Noted that 2021 foreign trips remain cancelled and affirmed plans to resume them in early 2022 if possible

– Noted that the new songbook app would be released on October 24

In addition, the LLC Board noted the following items for 2022:

– The LLC app Hearken is to be released in early 2022

– Eight confirmation schools are planned for next summer, two at each camp center

– Board members Jim Frantti and Pete Lever plan to retire when their terms expire in 2022

– Executive Director Eric Jurmu plans to retire from LLC work in 2022

• 2022 Winter Services will be held March 18–21 at the Phoenix church instead of the school, as previously planned.

• 2022 Longview Summer Services will be held June 30–July 3 at the Kelso High School. Information regarding services can be found on the LLC website.

• Representatives from the Eastern Region Congregation Boards met online, November 6. The spirit of unity prevailed, with the focus on continuation of work for the benefit of undying souls.

• Midwestern Region Boards met in Rockford on November 20. Keith Moll presented the topic Parable of the Vine (John 15) as basis for the spiritual discussion. In addition, the meetings addressed terms for LLC Board members, camp board members, and region mission committee members.


Financial

• Again, this year we are thankful for the generous financial support for LLC work. It has allowed work to go forward in its many forms. May God richly repay your generosity.


Facilities

• Progress is being made on planning for construction of a bathhouse at Silver Springs in time for 2023 Summer Services. The plan is to apply for a construction permit by the end of the year 2021, with construction to be completed in 2022. Information regarding this project will be made periodically through the next year.

• Watch for announcements regarding core staff openings for the 2022 camp season at all LLC owned facilities. Notice will be sent to congregations in the December–January timeframe


Communications

• The LLC Songbook app that was published in October is available in app stores. After you download the app, you can purchase content within the app. In addition to the songbook texts, you can also purchase the melody sound files and the music note images.

• Our children’s magazine The Shepherd’s Voice will feature new content in 2022. You will see these new features beginning with the February/March issue next spring!

• We are phasing out paper invoices for periodical renewal. We will communicate with our subscribers by email regarding subscription expiration and renewal.

• On December 7, we held a writing seminar titled “Writing with Purpose,” led by Aaron Wuollet. If you are interested in learning and practicing writing techniques and would like to be informed of future seminar sessions, send Ruth an email at rdelacey@llchurch.org

• We are collecting stories of life in the 1930s to 1960s. These can be Christmas memories or recollections of everyday life. We hope to compile these writings into a book inspired by Väinö Havas’ Joulusta jouluun, From Christmas to Christmas. If you have a story to tell, or if you know someone who does, please let us know! Email Ruth at rdelacey@llchurch.org


Mission

• Approximately eighty LLC ministers joined the annual ministers teleconference on November 5. LLC Board chairman Jim Frantti opened the teleconference by summarizing the current spiritual situation in North American Zion. Following the update, Eric Jurmu summarized an article written by Matti Taskila titled, “The Christian Congregation and the Kingdom of God.” The discussion which focused on the presented topic was united and one-minded.

• A pre-signup for 2022 confirmation school camps will take place December 15–31. The pre-signup will give geographical preference for students; general signup will begin January 10. A letter outlining the arrangements will be sent to parents in early December.


As the year comes to an end, may each of us pause and reflect on the blessings which God has showered on the work of His kingdom. I wish for you all God’s abundant blessings in the New Year.

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