Eric Jurmu | The Voice of Zion June/July 2020 - News and Notes --
The impact of COVID-19 is being felt around the world. It continues to create challenges and hurdles that young and old alike need to navigate. I wish to offer congratulations to all 2020 high school, college and university graduates. Even though many of you haven’t been able to celebrate with friends and family as you otherwise might have, you still have achieved a milestone in life!
Every June we celebrate Father’s Day. May the Heavenly Father bless and protect you dear fathers for the love and care you show your families and loved ones. In these times and always your children need clear, loving instruction.
May God also bless this year’s confirmation school students. Due to current circumstances, confirmation school may be a bit different than originally planned. We understand that it is an important time in the life of a young believer! Dear youth, remember that your parents send you to camp with many prayers, hoping that you will have a rewarding experience and make lasting friendships, but above all that your faith will be strengthened.
Updates on LLC Activities
Notice was sent to LLC congregations informing them that Aimo Koskelo’s (SRK) and Timo Löppönen’s (SFC) summer mission trips to North America are canceled. We are still hoping that the fall SRK trip can take place as scheduled.
All other foreign mission trips are on hold indefinitely with the situation being closely monitored. Trips will resume when it is deemed safe to do so. Despite trip cancelations, online services are broadcast regularly into many of the foreign mission fields.
We continue to monitor how the COVID-19 pandemic affects LLC camp activities. States and provinces have differing schedules and guidelines as they reopen for various activities. Camp boards will continue to monitor the regional situation with the goal of opening camp facilities and holding camps when the situation allows.
LLC confirmation schools will be the primary focus as facilities are opened and will take precedence over all other camp activities. It may mean that confirmation school is shortened a bit to allow additional camps with fewer students. Any proposed changes will be communicated to students and families with ample time to make necessary adjustments.
The 2020 LLC Annual Meeting will be an online meeting on Saturday, July 4 and originate from the Rockford Laestadian Lutheran Church. The meeting agenda and draft 2021 LLC Operating Plan and video was sent to help congregations prepare their delegates for the meeting. We will continue to communicate meeting details as they are finalized.
We continue to prepare for 2020 LLC Online Summer Services, July 2–5, which will originate from a studio set up at the LLC office in Loretto, Minn. Noteworthy items include:
~ Although physical services are canceled, we can still gather around God’s Word and take part in that most important part of services.
~ The services motto, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God” (Isa. 40:1) was selected to remind us that even during these times God continues to care and comfort His own.
~ The services schedule can be found on the LLC website, and essential service information will be available to download.
~ Sermons will be broadcast live on LLC’s website, LLC YouTube channel and SRK Summer Service Radio.
~ Facebook users can find services information at “Laestadian Lutheran Church”
~ Instagram users can find information @laestadianlutheran
~ In place of a Ministers and Board Members meeting on Friday evening, a congregation presentation, “The Kingdom of God – Our Home,” will be broadcast online.
~ A youth presentation, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd” (Isa. 40:11), will also be broadcast Friday evening.
~ Several new publications will be available around the time of services. These will be announced during the services on the services radio as well as on social media. There will also be more information on these new publications in the August Voice of Zion.
Applications for the 2021–21 opisto year were due May 1. There are still openings, however, so if you’re interested in applying, do so as soon as possible.
Helen Hillukka will retire from the LLC office on July 31. We thank Helen for her time working for the LLC and wish her and her husband Elmer God’s abundant blessings in retirement.
I ask for your continued prayers during these times of uncertainty, and I wish each of you a blessed summer!