April Update
Date: 04/01/2015

April begins with the celebration of our greatest festival, Easter. On Easter morning, our Lord Jesus rose victorious. Apostle Paul wrote of Christ’s victory, stating, “Death is swallowed up in victory…thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:54,57).  Our Savior sacrificed himself for our sins and prepared a way for us to enter heaven’s home. From beautiful Easter church services we hear the sound of a beloved Easter song, “Risen is our Sun in vict’ry, shining on the mount today!” (SHZ 119).

Updates on Several LLC Activities:

• Four LLC representatives traveled to Finland at the end of March to participate in meetings of three sister organizations—LLC in North America, SFC in Sweden, and SRK in Finland. These meetings were arranged to discuss the mutual work of God’s kingdom and to discuss joint work in several areas. Attending from LLC were Jim Frantti, Board Chairman; Jon Bloomquist, Mission Work Director; Randy Herrala, Executive Director; and Eric Jurmu, incoming Executive Director. With the recent appointment of Eric Jurmu as next Executive Director, we were happy that he was able to join in these meetings. The time in Finland also included worship services in several localities and participation in International Day activities at Ranua Opisto. Further information about this trip is planned for the May Voice of Zion.

• Walt and Avis Lampi, of Ishpeming, Mich., have recently returned to the U.S. from Ecuador, where they have been since late Decembert on an almost three-month mission trip, the first LLC mission trip of such duation. We thank the Lampis for their time of service. May God bless this and all forms of mission work as is His will, calling seeking ones to His kingdom and encouraging the believer in his faith.

• During the weekend of April 10–12, a workshop is planned for the LLC Board of Directors, staff, and spouses at Stony Lake Camp. In addition to the LLC Board’s regular spring meeting, sessions will focus on each of LLC’s work areas, providing a time to visit about current work and plans for the future. While the Board meeting takes place, others will visit about the role that spouses of Board members and staff play in supporting the work of God’s kingdom. Throughout the weekend, the LLC Board will have an opportunity to gain further insight into the staff’s current and future projects and the challenges they face in serving. The April Board meeting will consider a number of committee appointments and review the 2016 LLC Draft Operating Plan and Budget before it is finalized and sent to the congregations in preparation for the July 4 LLC Annual Meeting.

• The LLC Annual Meeting notice, agenda, and packet for the July 4th meeting in Outlook, Sask., will be sent to congregations in mid-April. For the second year, we will print the LLC Operating Plan in booklet form for distribution. The plan’s 2016 theme is “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). 

• A welcome letter and agenda has recently been sent to all LLC congregation board representatives and ministers, inviting them to attend the LLC Board Members Workshop scheduled for April 25 at the Minneapolis Laestadian Lutheran Church. This daylong event is held every other year. Planned sessions include presentations on the role of board members, assisting delegates and congregations as they prepare for the LLC Annual Meeting, and serving and supporting our home congregations.

• Paul Waaraniemi, LLC Publications Director, attended the March 7th annual meeting of the Western Congregation Boards, hosted by the Laestadian Lutheran Church of the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado. In addition to LLC’s update, those gathered heard a presentation by John Stewart, “Life’s Decisions and Relationships with Others,” and considered camp board appointment recommendations and LLC Board nominations as part of the area-wide business.

• The announcement of an Administrative Secretary job opening in the LLC Office was made in March; we hope to fill the position during the month of April.

• Two nationwide videoconferences held in early March had heartwarming attendance. The Home and Family workshop involved over 100 contacts and local congregation committee members from throughout our congregations. They gathered to hear a presentation on mental health and social services available in our communities. The Camp Staff Workshop involved over 70 camp event directors and teachers from across the continent, eager to prepare their agendas for the upcoming season.

• The transition to LLC’s new Executive Director at the end of August has begun with Eric Jurmu remotely attending many staff and Operating Committee meetings as he becomes familiar with the routine of the LLC office!

The arrival of spring brings joy as nature returns to life. The songwriter beautifully captures these feelings of joy!

Snowdrifts are melting in the sunshine,
restoring life to barren ground.
The larks and robins trill of springtime
in thankful song, with joyful sound.
Riches of grace and love constrain us
to sing a joyous springtime song,
to serve the Lord and stay victorious,
to reach the goal in Zion’s throng (SHZ 525:1,4).

Randy Herrala

April 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