February Update
Date: 02/01/2015

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases (Ps. 103:2,3). “The benefits given to us by our heavenly Father are brought out by the psalmist. The greatest benefit given is the gift of faith to believe our sins forgiven, which we hear when God’s children gather. Whether at services, in our homes, at camps, or other places, we recognize this gift when God speaks to us through any of His own… As we look forward to the 2015 camp season, let’s consider all the benefits we have been given at our camps and in our youthwork.” 

These are the opening words of a presentation prepared by Detroit minister Martin Pylvainen, soon to be heard in LLC congregations as we launch the 2015 camp season. Campwork-Youthwork week will be observed March 1–8 in most congregations, and the annual Camp Staff Workshop will be held the evening of March 5. In planning for this season, our camp boards want to suggest a personal goal to each one of you—review the schedules and make plans to attend at least one camp event this season!

Updates on Several LLC Activities:

• Continuing with the 2015 camp season, online enrollment has now been activated for all scheduled events. Select “Attend a Camp” from the “Camps” heading on the LLC website. In addition, our event directors are preparing agendas, and the caretakers are scheduling spring work tasks for support area congregations as the camps are opened to a new season. We also will be activating online enrollment for kitchen workers at each of our three camp facilities; look for sign-up information in your home congregation soon. Finally, remember to pick up your 2015 “Camps at a Glance” cards in your congregation or download the document from the LLC website under the Camps heading.

• Last month’s News and Notes mentioned a recent report from the Stony Lake Camp Development Committee that proposes an expansion and remodeling project for the camp. The Committee has now held presentations in most support area congregations about the project. An informational handout used in those congregation sessions is available for viewing on the LLC website. Conceptual architectural drawings are also posted, showing a site plan with the proposed new camp center, preliminary floor plans for the new construction, and a remodeling plan for the existing main building. To view this material, select “Stony Lake Camp—Planning for the Future” from the “Camps” heading on the homepage.

• The 2015 LLC Phoenix Winter Services will be held this month, February 19–22. The services will open remembering this year’s motto, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). Service guests will gather around a presentation titled, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people” (Isa. 40:1), to be presented by Ken Wuollet, for the Friday congregation and youth evening. Schedule information is shown on the 2015 LLC Winter Services website page. If you are not able to attend in person, all of the worship services will be webcast and may be accessed through the LLC website.

• It is an exciting time for our member congregation in Alaska, the Alaska Laestadian Lutheran Church! They have just begun using their newly constructed church building, the first building of their own, and have informed us that they are planning for dedication services this spring, May 15–17. Look forward to hearing more about their dedication plans soon! The Alaska congregation officially became an LLC congregation in 2006. We wish them God’s blessings as they prepare for this festive celebration!

• Saturday, April 25, will be the date of the next LLC Board Members Workshop. This event, scheduled every other year, will again be held at the Minneapolis Laestadian Lutheran Church. The occasion provides an opportunity for board members from across North America to discuss their mutual roles serving in their home congregations and to learn about the work and planning taking place in other locations. We encourage all board members and ministers to begin making plans to attend, and we ask congregation members to help make it possible through travel and scheduling. Additional information will soon be sent to congregation boards.

• Three new publications are nearing completion! First, the second book in the series, “What do Believers say?” subtitled, “The Christian in the Kingdom,” will follow “Crossing the Current,” which was the first in the series and released last summer. Secondly, a children’s singing audio publication has been recorded in Detroit, featuring songs from the children’s section of our hymnal, Songs and Hymns of Zion. Thirdly, a new publication for our young, “A Time of Choice,” a translation of an SRK (Finnish) publication, is also under final review and editing. Look for these publications soon! 

As February ends, we begin the Lenten season and our preparations for Easter. We remember Jesus’ teachings and His suffering for us. With humbleness, solemnity, and penitence, we turn our gaze to our Savior hanging on the cross and join with the thoughts of the songwriter:

Let us go up to Jerusalem
and gather in still reflection
to ponder the path of our Savior’s pain,
His suff’ring and crucifixion (SHZ 71:1).

Randy Herrala

February 2015 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