January Update
Date: 01/01/2014

Let us begin the new year with thankful hearts, as we reflect upon the past year, and with prayerful hearts, as we look upon the year to come. When we have felt God’s guiding hand and protection up to this mo­­ment, we can also believe that His blessings will continue in the days ahead. With the passage of time, we see and experience many changes, but God’s Word provides us with a sure foundation. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). “The word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:25.)

Updates on several LLC activities: 

• Although planning for many 2014 LLC events has already begun, the turn of the year brings about a new level of intensity. A few such events are noted below:

• 2014 LLC Phoenix Winter Services, February 19–23. Please see the announcement in this issue of the Voice of Zion. Current schedule and contact information is also on the LLC website under “Worship Services & Events.” Present at this year’s Winter Services will be a Ranua Opisto-sponsored tour group from Finland with group leaders Eero Nuolioja and Dan Waaraniemi.

• 2014 LLC Summer Services, July 3–6. The first article for this year’s Summer Services appears in this paper, providing general service and lodging information. Also watch for ongoing current information on the LLC website under “Worship Services & Events.”

• SRK Tour. The speaking tour of Finnish pastor Keijo Nissilä will begin this month with a mission trip to Ecuador, followed by a tour of North American LLC congregations in February. Nissilä’s schedule includes a one-day Bible camp on the parables of Jesus in Menahga, Minn. on February 15 (see ad in this issue).

• Ministers Camp. One of the first camps of the 2014 season will be the LLC Ministers Camp to be held at Stony Lake Camp, April 4–6. We ask our congregations to review schedules and sponsor their ministers, considering ways to make it possible for them to attend.

• Camp Staffing. Communications are now being sent to congregations announcing openings for the 2014 seasonal camp staff positions. Event directors are also assembling their staff for specific camp events. If you are interested in working at camp, please submit a camp work application under the “Camps” pull-down menu on the LLC website. Please contact the LLC office, the camp facility directors, or the camp event directors if you have questions. 

• SFC Mission Trip. In our mutual work, we have begun also to plan periodic speaking tours in North America of ministers from our sister organization in Sweden, the SFC. The first such tour is planned for April, with Matti Heikkinen serving. Detailed schedule information will soon be sent to congregations.

• LLC Tour. In response to delegate requests at last year’s LLC Annual Meeting, plans are underway to have LLC representatives visit member congregations this spring. These visits will provide special opportunities to receive input from congregation members about current LLC projects and plans.

• We continue to make corrections and refinements to our online subscription system for the Voice of Zion and Shepherd’s Voice periodicals and the eSubscriber site. Online subscribers can expect to receive email renewal notifications from the system, and subscribers who do not manage their subscriptions online will be receiving renewal information by mail. Please follow the instructions to process your renewals, and contact the LLC office if you have questions. Again, we thank you for your patience as we continue to implement the new system!

• Many individuals have been interested to view the LLC presentations given at FinnFest USA 2013 this past June. Three videos are now available for viewing on the LLC’s website: Laestadian Lutheran Hymnody, by Sheldon Ylioja and Lea Waaraniemi; An Enduring Bridge, by Jim Frantti; and Conservative Laestadianism—from Arjeplog to Ambato, Pajala to Peki, by Jon Bloomquist. Go to “Worship Services & Events” on the LLC website and select “FinnFest USA 2013” from the pull-down menu.

The 2014 LLC Wall Calendar and 2014 Camps at a Glance, which may also be downloaded from the “Camps” pull-down menu on the LLC website, are handy references as you plan your schedules for the coming year. In addition, 2014 LLC Activities reference cards will soon be available in your congregations, and we will begin to accept 2014 online enrollments in the near future. We look forward to the new year with excitement! May the many gatherings of God’s children be a source of comfort and strength, and may God bless our many plans for the year ahead!

Randy Herrala

February 2014 Voice of Zion


Laestadian Lutheran Church 279 N Medina St, Suite #150, Loretto, MN 55357
Phone 763-479-2422 | Fax 763-479-2133 | Email info@llchurch.org