Kathy Waaraniemi and Lynnea Moll | The Voice of Zion August 2023 - Summer Services --
This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the LLC since it was organized in 1973 after a spiritual schism. The milestone was celebrated at Summer Services with a 50-year anniversary program. Former board chair Jim Frantti held the opening devotion and LLC employee and board member Keith Waaraniemi presented a historical snapshot of the 50-year history of the LLC.
The believers at that time, with little funds and much faith, moved forward with the work of God’s kingdom in North America. “God has given unity of Spirit and a mind to work and God has given the increase,” Waaraniemi reflected. The benefit of pausing to look back is that we can see the hand of God and how He has helped. It gives comfort and strength to look forward and to keep doing the work with hope and joy when we see how God has helped unto this day and given abundant increase.
SRK board chairman Valde Palola brought greetings to the LLC fifty-year anniversary celebration. Palola read from Psalm 36 to bring the SRK’s greetings: “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God.” Palola expressed joy at the collaborative work between the organizations and marveled at God’s great blessing. “God has protected us until this moment, and we can securely believe that God will protect us in the future,” he said.
Speaking from Acts 17:26, Timo Löppönen brought greetings from the believers in Sweden to the celebration. “The history of the LLC is a history of immigrants,” he said. “God had a plan, and now God’s plan has come to fruition to this day. We don’t know the future. That is in God’s hands. We trust in God’s blessings for the future.” Löppönen expressed deep and heartfelt thankfulness for the spirit of cooperation that exists between our organizations.
The LLC’s fifty-year program included singing. From across the United States and Canada 230 singers answered the call to “Come and sing!” It was moving to see the singers of all ages walking into the service tent. They sang four selections from the LLC anniversary album to commemorate fifty years. The children’s singing was touching. “It was amazing to see and hear,” Lynnea Moll said. “It was so festive and joyous!”
Peggy Glynn from Park Rapids, Minn., read a touching poem she wrote for the fifty-year celebration. “We are not orphans alone on this river,” the poem begins. “We travel in boats crafted by forefathers.”
In closing LLC board member Michael Kumpula from the Roaring Fork Valley, Colo., congregation summed up the feeling of the program with these fitting words: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). “God has kept us to this day. We can be thankful we have this firm foundation of faith that does not change,” he said. “God has promised a future and a hope. God’s promises are not empty. We can look to the future and do the work before us with joy.”
We are grateful God allows moments to celebrate among the long stretches of work and daily life. We are grateful for a central organization that focuses on many aspects of work in God’s kingdom, work that God has blessed throughout time. Above all, we are grateful that until this day we have been preserved in living faith.