Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion November 2023 - News and Notes Article --
November arrives, bearing a subtle touch of winter and signaling the approach of another year’s end. It also brings the conclusion of the church calendar and the commencement of Advent, with holiday preparations just around the corner.
Autumn serves as a poignant reminder of the human condition, mirroring the grass that flourishes but eventually succumbs to time’s passage. November 1 is All Saints’ Day, a time for us to honor those who have gone before us and emerged victorious. Their memory resonates in the familiar song text that tells that Saints of God have eternal peace, having striven in earthly battles. Their recollection often kindles a longing within us; we yearn to dwell in heaven with them (SHZ 140:1).
As we lay out plans for the forthcoming holidays and look ahead to 2024, let us not forget to count the abundant blessings bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father and to hold onto the hope of a heavenly destination awaiting us at the end of our life’s journey. We have this and much more to be thankful for. Speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers.
Updates on LLC Activities
The camp season is now over. Review of the needs for the facilities and preparation for 2024 camp season continues on through the winter months. We continue to pray that God will bless this planning and preparation.
An LLC Ministers Webinar/Seminar was held at the LLC office on October 21. Former Phoenix and Prescott Valley pastor Matti Kontkanen gave two presentations related to pastoral counseling. These dealt with the topics of listening and love and respect. Matti, who currently works as a counselor, traveled on the fall mission trip to North America.
The fifth LLC Ministers Webinar in 2023 is on November 2.
Foreign Mission Work
From August through October, mission trips have happened in Ecuador, Ghana, Togo and Kenya. Approximately 30 locations were visited on the Ecuador, Ghana and Togo trips and services were attended by nearly 500 people.
The believers in Togo elected a new National Board during the September trip; we wish this board God’s blessings for their work.
A confirmation school was held in Kenya with about 90 students.
Sunday School curriculum review continues.
A Bible Camp was held at Stony Lake, October 6–8, 2023. The lessons at camp were recorded and are being edited for posting to the LLC website and possibly to Hearken. The theme of the camp was taken from John 6:38. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” The area of study covered was from Palm Sunday to Pentecost.
Our seasonal magazine Christmas in Zion is at the printers! Watch for your copy in the mail soon. This year marks the fortieth issue of this magazine, and next year marks 40 years since it was first published.
The LLC History book project has entered its final review phase. Much careful work has gone into this project and we look forward to publishing the results in coming months.
We recently launched the latest version of Hearken, our publications app. This version features updates to usability and functionality. We continue to receive useful input and feedback from Hearken users. We are grateful that many subscribe to this app to enjoy the regular stream of new content published there.
We published a new instrumental album titled Quiet Shelter. The album features sacred music played on a variety of instruments by believing musicians. It is available on Hearken, for purchase as a CD, and on other streaming platforms where LLC music is published.
Later this month, we will publish Hail the Star, a digital-only album of Christmas music recorded by Seattle congregation musicians. The album will be available on Hearken and other streaming platforms.
In August the Opisto Scholarship Committee selected 14 scholarship recipients for the 2024–2025 opisto year from a pool of applicants more than double that size. As is usual practice, we wait until all the recipients have accepted their scholarships before publishing the names of recipients. We wish the following LLC Opisto Scholarship recipients a blessed and happy time of preparing for their departure to opisto next August as well as a wonderful and rewarding time studying abroad!
Isla Archer, Rockford, Minn.
Treagen Klassen, Saskatoon, Sask.
Matti Olli, Seattle, Wash.
Jonas Mikkola, Lethbridge, Alta.
Kiandra Huhta, Longview, Wash.
Sophia Jurmu, Rockford, Minn.
Ari Niemi, Toronto, Ont.
Kinsey Smith, Glendale, Ariz.
Kay Wuollet, Phoenix, Ariz.
Kyla Wuollet, Phoenix, Ariz.
Gretta Davison, Monticello, Minn.
Jed Davison, Flathead Valley, Mont.
Shaina Huhta, Menahga, Minn.
Sophia Ylitalo, Menahga, Minn.