Updates on Several LLC Activities:
• On August 30, a new minister was called to serve in the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Glendale, in Arizona. We wish God’s blessings to Eric Lahti, his wife Jenna, and their family.
• Camp boards met September 12 to discuss how camps went this year and make plans for 2016. The common theme from all areas was how well the 2015 camp season has gone. This reflects the heart of faith of the students and also reflects the teaching that has been done in homes. May God continue to bless this important work. One interesting note, in 2016 there will be six confirmation schools in North American Zion (five were held this year), with plans being made for a confirmation school to be held in Saskatchewan for the first time.
• The opisto scholarship committee met to fill 14 scholarships for the 2016–17 year. Notices have now gone out to those who have been chosen as recipients. It’s become a challenging job for the scholarship committee as interest continues to build. This year there were 21 applications for 14 scholarships.
• A second Veterans Camp was held September 18–20 at SLC. Forty-one vets participated, 18 for the first time. Vets attending ranged from those who served in the WWII-era military to present day. In the security of believing fellow vets, participants shared joys, sorrows, and trials unique to one who has served, learned about PTSD, strengthened bonds with fellow vets, and discussed how both in temporal battles and in the battle of the faith, the camp theme says it all, “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47).
• A Bible class teacher’s workshop was held at the LLC office September 24. At the workshop a newly completed project of 210 Bible illustrations by Finnish artist Raimo Österberg was released. This work will benefit teachers; it will also be a great addition to any home, with hours of teaching possible from the pictures alone. It can be purchased from the LLC or at your local congregation bookstore.
• Work continues on two new cabins being built at Kamp Kipa. This is in addition to a new canopy that was built to provide covering over the west side of the lodge. We thank the congregations in the Southwest for their work on these projects—not only for the labor, but also for the generous fundraising efforts that have allowed the project to go forward.
• SRK minister Ahti Riihimäki, accompanied by his wife Kirsti, will serve many of the LLC congregations during their October 1–November 1 mission trip in LLC congregations. Ahti, a pastor and teacher of religion from Helsinki, Finland, has worked as a senior pastor at the Perho State Church as well as a high school principal. Ahti’s wife Kirsti has been a teacher of religion and psychology, and a counselor. We wish them God’s blessings on their trip.
• LLC Publications week will be observed October 25–November 1. This year’s presentation features the release of a newly translated book, “An Iron Pillar and Brazen Wall.” The book tells about prophet Jeremiah’s life and prophecy leading up to the Babylonian conquest and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Also, to be released is a new congregation singing CD recorded at 2015 LLC Summer Services in Outlook, Saskatchewan, “There’s Honey Here and Manna.” Both of these can be purchased from the LLC or local congregation bookstores.
• The first meeting of the newly formed LLC Technology Committee will take place October 19. The committee will serve as a steering/oversight committee looking at various aspects of LLC’s use of technology. Those serving on this committee, Lauri Nevala, Paul Haataja, Bill Forstie, Dave Anderson, and Joe Anderson, will work closely with Adrian Pirness from the LLC office. They will be looking for additional LLC members who have an interest in technology and would be able and willing to support the work.
• The annual minister’s teleconference, originating from the LLC office, will be held November 5. It gives opportunity for ministers to gather and discuss matters central to the work and serves as a tool to maintain the unity and love of the Spirit.
We ask for your continued prayers, and ask that God will continue to guide and direct His work.
October 2015 Voice of Zion