Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion December 2023 - News and Notes Article --
On behalf of the LLC Office Staff, I hope each of you can experience a joyous and peaceful Christmas season. Scriptures relate how many years ago the heavens opened and angels announced the birth of the promised Savior. Today, the same joyful message echoes from God’s children; it gives comfort to the weary traveler and the hope of eternal Christmas in heaven. May the message of God’s perfect gift to humankind be our focus as we gather with loved ones during this Christmas season.
Christmas is come, like a song to a silence of sadness; Christmas is come with the Christ-child, our joy and our gladness. Angels of God tell the glad tidings abroad: Glory to God in the highest. – SHZ 25:2
Updates on LLC Activities
On November 15, the LLC staff began the work to prepare the 2025 Operating Plan. The first workshop in this work is to have our annual Changing and Expanding Needs discussion. We use this session to explore and ponder what might our work look like in the coming decades. From here, we work to prioritize various opportunities and see what may be timely to progress in the upcoming operating plan.
The fifth LLC Ministers Webinar was held on November 2. John Stewart kept an introduction titled “After Times of Battle.”
The Evening Devotions are accessed on our website by numerous people on a daily basis. They are also available as archives and in the Hearken App. In 2024, Wednesday evening devotions will be added so there will be a devotion aired each weekday. A training webinar for ministers who will serve in this way is scheduled for November 28.
The fall Home and Family webinar was an introduction and discussion on the topic “Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens.” There were 45 connections from across North America.
We hold four African Ministers Webinars annually. Jouko Haapsaari kept an introduction on the Third Article of the Creed on November 14.
The fall Area Mission Committee Webinar was held on November 14.
We will hold a training webinar for the Ministers serving on Foreign Mission trips in 2024 on November 21.
The first of a series of webinars for 2024 Confirmation and Pre-Confirmation Directors will take place on December 11.
There is a lot of Christmas content on Hearken, our publications app. We have a special seasonal podcast, Christmas is Coming. Our annual Christmas magazine, Christmas in Zion, is also posted there, along with our new digital music album, Hail the Star.
As you finish up your Christmas shopping, consider buying gifts directly from our online store! We can ship gifts directly to the recipients if they don’t live near you.
Cooperation between SRK, SFC and LLC in the area of broadcast work and programming continues. LLC is sending participants to a weekend summer services radio course in Ranua, Finland, in February 2024.
This fall we have spent time planning for our periodicals content for 2024. Look for new features and new ways of presenting information in The Voice of Zion! We hope that this newspaper and its contents continues to serve readers everywhere, whether in print, digitally or in audio format.
We just released our latest album, which is a digital-only Christmas album, Hail the Star. Look for it on Hearken or wherever you listen to digital music.
Next spring we will release two new albums of believers singing together. One features a mixed group singing in Spanish, and the other features men singing in English. Look for more information on both of these in the early months of 2024.
We are also planning to record an album of youth congregational singing next spring. This will take place in the southern Minnesota area.