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Sister Organizations Discuss Timely Topics

Kimmo Puolitaival, Sam Roiko | The Voice of Zion May 2024 - Article --

The biennial meeting of sister organizations LLC, SFC and SRK took place April 4–10, 2024, in Monticello, Minnesota. The purpose of these recurring meetings is to update the cooperative work document related to mission work, child and youth work, confirmation school work and publications. The first days of the meeting focused on timely topics of each sister organization. One discussion topic was the pressures for change experienced in the Finland’s national church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Additional topics that were discussed were the Christian and government and timely topics related to alternative spirituality and faith.

Over the weekend, meeting representatives attended the LLC Ministers Camp at Stony Lake Camp. God blessed the camp. God’s word and the gospel refreshed the participants. Participants experienced palpable brotherly and mutual love. In many speeches, it was noted that we believe the same, no matter if we are from North America, Sweden, or Finland.

The third portion of the meetings discussed issues related to expanding foreign mission work. The sister organizations have cooperated closely in foreign mission fields since 2000. God has allowed a time of visitation among many nations. Currently, mutual mission work is carried out in twelve foreign countries. The number of service guests that attend weekly is estimated at over 7,000. In addition, service requests have come from several new countries. We noted that in addition to the staff employed by the central organizations, there is a greater need to use volunteers to share the responsibility of planning and implementing the work. 

It is especially important to support the activities in foreign mission countries so that they too could participate in the work to a greater extent on the local level. The cooperative work meeting representatives agreed to establish a working group to prepare a proposal for an organizational model, division of responsibilities and timetable for progress which would be presented to the board of directors of each sister organization.

The new website also received much interest. The purpose and goal of the website is to direct people who are seeking to find the fellowship of God’s children. God alone knows what the future of mission work is. Our duty is to sow the word. God gives the increase.

The introduction presented by LLC representatives about Christian education, especially Sunday school, was also felt to be very important. Sunday school has a significant role in Christian education in North America, and the extensive efforts of local congregations in this work has a tradition going back decades.

The final topic for discussion addressed publications activities. Publications have an important function in the work of all the sister organizations. During the discussion, it was noted that technological developments bring both challenges and opportunities. The share of digital communication is increasing. Mutual work of the sister organizations in publications has been deep and extensive, and it is hoped that this cooperation would continue. 

These face-to-face meetings provided an opportunity to discuss the mutual work and underscored how we can continue to do this work together. God knows what tomorrow brings, and it is secure to trust that His will will be done. It was comforting to conclude our gathering with this perspective. 

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