June/July Update
Date: 06/01/2015

The birth and life of John the Baptist will be the theme for special worship services in several LLC congregations in June. St. John’s Day occurs near the summer solstice, when the days are the longest, six months before the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:36). John the Baptist is remembered as the last prophet, the forerunner of Christ. Scriptures say he “came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light” (John 1:7). Seeing Jesus coming toward him, John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). 

Updates on Several LLC Activities: 

• The 2015 LLC Summer Services and meetings will be held July 2–5 in Outlook, Sask., Canada. The planning for this event, the largest LLC-sponsored event of the year, involves a great amount of work on the part of LLC staff and host congregations. Final touches have now been placed on the schedule, and planners look forward to seeing the services guests arrive. The notes below will help you prepare for this special occasion.

° The Summer Services Booklet includes the schedule, announcements, facility information, and songs. It may be purchased in print form at the services and is available for download as a PDF document from the LLC website at www.llchurch.org, where lodging information is also available. Note the youth hostel lodging arrangements that have been arranged to accommodate our many young people.

° Based on last year’s experience, we have decided to use Facebook as an additional means to communicate about LLC Summer Services. The activity level will increase as we get closer to the service time. If you use Facebook, search for “2015 LLC Summer Services.”

° Meal tickets may be purchased in advance online through the LLC website.

° For individuals unable to attend the services in person, all services will be webcast for live listening and archived for later listening. Listen to webcasts via the LLC website.

• New publications to be released at this year’s Summer Services include the second book in the compilation of previously published editorials, The Sheepfold Tender, Life within God’s kingdom; the 2015 LLC Telephone and Address Directory; and the translation of an SRK book, written especially for the young person, At the Crossroads of Choosing. Many other LLC print and audio publications will also be available at the services.

• Meetings planned for the Summer Services weekend include a Ministers and Board Members Meeting and the LLC Annual Meeting. These meetings are open to all to hear the presentations and participate in the discussions. The 2016 LLC Draft Operating Plan and Budget and the Annual Meeting agenda were reviewed with congregation representatives at the April 25 LLC Congregation Board Members Workshop. These materials have also been sent to all congregations, and meetings have been arranged throughout the congregations to prepare delegates for the Annual Meeting discussion. The LLC Board of Directors will also meet twice during the services weekend.

• We will be hosting several visitors from our sister organization in Finland, the SRK, this summer. Mission speaker Aimo Helén, accompanied by his wife, Marjut, will visit several LLC congregations on the summer speaking tour. Juha Alanko, SRK Mission Work Director, and Petri Satomaa will lead the Language Camp group from Finland. Following the course activities at Hasscib Lake Camp, the group will visit congregations in Pelkie, Ishpeming, Detroit, and Toronto. Pekka Kainua, SRK Child and Youth Work Director, will be teaching at the LLC Confirmation School to be held at Kamp Kipa, one of five confirmation schools arranged by LLC for this summer. 

• Planning is underway for LLC to participate in FinnFest USA 2015 in Buffalo, New York, October 9–12. Similar to recent FinnFest events in Tucson, Ariz.; Houghton, Mich.; and Minneapolis; a booth in the market (tori) will offer LLC publications and information and be staffed by LLC representatives on hand to visit with FinnFest attendees.

• As schools end for the summer break, our camp season enters its busiest months. With joy, we see our many young people eagerly awaiting music camps, youth camps, and confirmation schools. A third youth music camp was added at Stony Lake Camp this year due to the strong demand. ­Interestingly, enrollment is now full at all three music camps! 

• Another large youth event is the gathering at Peace Gardens, in North Dakota, over the Labor Day Weekend. Participants must be 18 years old, or older, and to help with planning for large numbers, we ask participants to enroll online by August 1. One of this year’s discussion topics will be serving in the work of our home congregations. 

• Last month we reported that Jessica Nikula has been selected to fill the new LLC staff position of administrative secretary. Jessica has now relocated from Colorado to Minnesota and began her duties on June 1. Welcome, Jessica!

• As a reminder, we note that this issue of the Voice of Zion is a combined issue covering the months of June and July. The next issue will be in the month of August.

• In recent weeks, three new ministers have been called to serve in LLC congregations. On March 22, David Anderson and Eric Mattila were called as servants of the Word in the Alaska Laestadian Lutheran Church. On April 26, Matthew Ojala was blessed into the ministry by Laestadian Lutheran Church of the North Sound, in Washington. We wish God’s blessings to each of the new ministers and their wives.

Soon we again celebrate Father’s Day! We wish you God’s blessings, dear fathers, and thank you for faithfully loving your children and serving your families! 

Randy Herrala

June/July 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