May Update
Date: 05/01/2014

In recent months I have written about the LLC Ministers Camp scheduled for early April. Now, with joy, I can tell you how it went! Although questionable weather just prior to the camp kept many wondering whether or not they would be able to attend, most of those who planned to come were there. In fact, 84 of our 103 North American ministers attended, and others joined by teleconference during portions of the weekend. The tone for the weekend was set with the opening devotion by Saskatchewan minister, Art Simonson, speaking from 1 Peter 5:1–4, encouraging our ministers to feed the flock with a humble and willing mind. Throughout the many discussions, newly called and long-serving ministers alike took turns to speak. In freedom, love, and unity our ministers learned and were uplifted by the speeches of their co-workers.

Updates on LLC activities:

• The notice and agenda for the 2014 LLC Annual Meeting, to be held on July 5 in Rogers, Minn., have now been sent to all congregations, along with “God Gives the Increase,” the proposed 2015 Laestadian Lutheran Church Operating Plan. The Operating Plan, this year presented in a booklet form, provides a broad statement about each focus area of LLC work with highlights of major projects. A supply of booklets has been sent to every congregation, and the PDF file has been provided as well. Please review this document when it is distributed in your congregation and participate in your congregation’s discussions. The LLC Board and staff welcome your input as we together address the challenges of growth and transitions. 

• Most of the visits to congregations by LLC representatives on the 2014 LLC Update tour have now taken place. Feedback has been very positive, and members have appreciated hearing a broad overview of recent and continuing growth, challenges, and transitions. LLC staff will be compiling feedback and taking it into consideration as planning continues.

• The LLC Board of Directors held its spring meeting on April 12. Actions taken include:

° Camp Board and Committee Appointments. The Board appointed camp board members to new terms as follows: Kamp Kipa—Art Harju, Shannon Simonson, Greg Jacobson; Hasscib Lake Camp—Matt Anderson, Kevin McEleney; Stony Lake Camp—Greg Koivisto, Tom Skoog, Tom Vilkama, Ross Hillukka. Currently serving committee members appointed to continue with new terms include: Pension Fund Trustee—Aaron Riutta; Opisto Scholarship Selection Committee—Mark Wuollet; Humanitarian Aid Committee—Eric Jurmu, Katharine Keranen, Adam Wuollet.

° We thank all who so willingly serve and wish God’s blessings to them as their work continues. We extend a special thank you to Albert Hongisto and Mike Stonelake, who have retired from the Hasscib Lake and Stony Lake Camp boards, respectively.

° SLC Development Committee Report: The Board received a report from the SLC Development Committee appointed one year ago. This committee is now arranging for field survey work and conceptual architectural services necessary to develop renovation and expansion options for the camp. 

° The Board also viewed a demonstration of a strictly informational Facebook page developed by the public relations committee to promote Summer Services and to enhance communications with the young. The Board was in favor of using this form of communication on a trial basis this year. 

• Please see the 2014 LLC Summer Services article appearing in this Voice of Zion issue or the information on the LLC website. Note that meal tickets may be ordered and paid for in advance online. We expect the service booklet to be available near the end of May as a downloadable PDF document and for purchase in print form at the services. 

• On April 11th, the second joint Skype conference was held between the LLC Operating Committee and the SFC Work Committee. Highlights were shared about the work of God’s kingdom in Sweden and North America as possibilities for mutual work continue to be identified. An example is the use of English language material among the younger believers in Sweden. And soon we will be selling a CD recording published by the Swedish believers!

• Part of FinnFest events in 2014 will include a program in Cokato on May 24th to celebrate 150 years of Finnish immigration to Minnesota. LLC will support plans of the Cokato congregation on that date to invite the public to their church for congregation history and LLC presentation information. 

• The third interim Songs and Hymns of Zion Chorale Book two-volume set has now been sent to congregations. Songs 1–300 are in a near final form, while work on songs 301–604 continues. An updated “Do Not Webcast” list has also been prepared and included with the chorale book material. The number of songs in this category has been greatly reduced as a part of this project work.

May brings another very special day—Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, dear mothers, and thank you!

Thank you, mother dear, so precious 
for the love which you have shown.
We thy children are so grateful 
for this love that we have known (SHZ 425:1).

Randy Herrala

May 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