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December 2022 Update

Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion December 2022 - News and Notes --

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

That glorious hymn is resounding from each generation on.

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

– excerpted from SHZ 28

On behalf of the LLC office staff, I wish each of you a joyous and peaceful Christmas season. Scripture relates that many years ago the heavens opened and heavenly angels announced the birth of the promised Savior, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

The same joyous message of the gospel comforts believers yet today. May the message of God’s perfect gift to humankind be centermost as you gather with family and loved ones this Christmas season. 

Updates on LLC Activities

  • The Longview, Wash., congregation has called Ward Plough to serve as a servant of God’s Word. May God grant His blessings to Ward and his family.

  • The Cokato, Minn., congregation approved calling Tommi Kinnunen to serve as their congregation’s fulltime pastor. He will begin this work in January 2023. We wish Tommi and his wife Lisa God’s blessings, and we remember them as they prepare to serve their home congregation in this capacity.

  • The LLC Humanitarian Aid has sent annual Christmas grants to the countries where we do foreign mission work. These grants are used to provide food and a small treat for the children. The recipients in foreign mission fields are grateful for the help they receive. Your contributions to LLC Humanitarian Aid efforts are warmly accepted.

  • Interim LLC area mission committees are coordinating area mission committee meetings for the newly formed areas, which were adopted in July at the 2022 LLC Annual Meeting. The East-Central Area which includes the Minnesota, Michigan, and Toronto congregations is planning for a January 2023 meeting.

  • Part of the MW3 work (mission work coordinated by SRK, SFC and LLC) each year is to financially assist the local operations in the foreign mission fields. We are reviewing plans and requests to finalize this area of work for 2023.

  • Signup by geographical area for 2023 Confirmation Schools has begun, with the rest of the 2023 Camp Season signup beginning January 9, 2023, at 11:00 am CST. In the 2022 camp season, the total number of times members participated in camp events was 4301.

  • Camp Changes for 2023

– Peace Garden Youth Days is limited to 350 participants, age 22 and older

– Adding Stony Lake Youth Days on Labor Day Weekend for ages 18–21

– In addition to these two changes, we will again host Hasscib Lake Youth Days on Labor Day Weekend for ages 15–17

  • Eight Confirmation Schools scheduled for 2023

– Three Confirmation schools at Stony Lake

– Two Confirmation schools at Kamp Kipa

– One Confirmation school at Prairie Shores

– One Confirmation school at Hasscib Lake

– One Confirmation school at a West Coast location

  • In the Communications area of work, a big effort in the first months of 2023 will be to finalize the LLC history book for publication. This book will cover part of LLC’s 50-year history, which will be observed in a number of ways in 2023. Watch for more information in upcoming issues of The Voice of Zion.

  • On our publications app Hearken, we will begin publishing podcasts in January. Stay tuned for those! If you are not yet a subscriber to Hearken, you can visit for more information.

  • The following applicants have been selected for opisto scholarships for the 2023–2024 opisto year. We wish you all a blessed time of planning for your upcoming year abroad!


Megan Hillstrom, Menahga

Mylan Strand, Elk River

Iina-Matilda Roiko, Elk River

Sierra Ylioja, Dunblane


Victor Huhta, Menahga

Linda Kariniemi, Prescott Valley

Kiana Koski, Cokato

Jenna Pirness, Saskatoon

Cecilia Waaraniemi, Phoenix

Brooke Ylitalo, Monticello


Kelton Klassen, Saskatoon

Lotte Wittenberg, Roaring Fork Valley

In addition, for Jämsä opisto there is one application pending and one spot available. Let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in applying for a spot at opisto next fall!

LLC staff and spouses gather December 9 for their annual Christmas gathering. It gives opportunity to pause and reflect on their calling to serve in the work of God’s kingdom. It also reminds of the generosity of believers who support the work of our central organization. May God richly repay you as only He can. For you all, I wish abundant blessings in the coming New Year.

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