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June/July 2024 Update

Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion June/July 2024 - News & Notes Article --

In June, many young people and young adults finish their schooling, at the high school and college levels. We wish all this spring’s graduates God’s blessings at this milestone and in days and years to come. You can proceed with joy into what comes next in your life, praying that God would show the way and bless your steps.

Summer months are busy, especially for families with a confirmation student. This year there are eight camps throughout North America. A lot of work has gone into planning and staffing these camps. Thank you to all who will set aside some of your summer to serve at camps. It would not be possible to have these camps without the hundreds of staff who commit to camp work.

Camp generates many lasting memories for students and staff alike. It also, through the relating of positive camp experiences, creates a continued expectation for meaningful events. Please take the time to ask for and listen to your children’s camp stories.

We will soon gather in Longview to celebrate our annual Summer Services. We ask our heavenly Father to bless our travel and our gathering. We look forward to the LLC Annual Meeting which also happens that weekend. It is an opportunity to meet delegates from all LLC congregations and to hear your thoughts and input on our operations and plans for 2025.

Oh! Summer swallows, come and sing 

and larks beneath the heaven, 

you nightingales whose voices ring 

within the care of Zion, 

now trill with happiness and soar 

with hearts that long for heaven’s shore, 

the land of peace eternal. 

– SHZ 564:6

Update on LLC Activities 

  • Summer mission trips to North America will be made by Tapani Kirsilä of Toholampi, Finland, and by ministers traveling with the Language Camp group. We look forward to hosting these guests from Finland in the month of July.

  • The language camp group includes nearly 50 campers traveling with group leaders Jukka and Sirpa Kolmonen of Oulu, Finland, and Pekka and Heidi Tuomikoski of Liminka, Finland. The group will begin their visit at Summer Services and then head to Hasscib Lake Camp in Michigan for a week. After camp, the group will travel through Minnesota, South Dakota and Colorado before ending their trip in Arizona. We wish the whole group God’s blessings as they prepare for their trip to the United States.

  • The application period for opisto scholarship applications for the 2025–26 year ended May 15. We are happy to note that once again there was wide interest in applying for an opisto scholarship. Recipients will be selected later this summer. If you didn’t apply for a scholarship but are interested in a self-pay spot at one of the opistos for the 2025–26 opisto year, please contact Ruth at to get your name on the list.

  • In its April meeting, the LLC Opisto Scholarship Committee approved disbursal of $6000 from the Opisto Fund to benefit 2024–25 opisto scholarship recipients. This amount will be divided evenly among the recipients and paid directly to opistos to be applied toward the amount the students pay in tuition. 

  • The Opisto Scholarship Committee, currently consisting of members from Minnesota, also discussed adding members from other mission areas, the northwest and southwest.

  • Plans are being finalized for the 2024 LLC International Choir Camp to be held in Reisjärvi and Espoo, Finland, August 4–13. Matthew and Liisa Keranen will serve at the camp on behalf of LLC. Other staff members include Viena Kontkanen, Sheldon Ylioja and Heikki Penninkangas. There are 57 campers, of which three are from Sweden, seven from Canada, 28 from the United States and 19 from Finland.  

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