February Update
Date: 02/01/2016

This time of year as we make plans for the coming camp season, our thoughts often turn toward our children and youth. God has given us His kingdom and blessed us with a time of work. He has gifted opportunities for us to teach and care for our young. So often my thoughts turn to the words of the psalmist, where he says, “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God” (Ps. 84:1–3). In a restless and sinful world, God’s kingdom remains as a safe haven for the child of God. It is a secure place where the gospel is preached and a place where we can raise our young. 

Updates on Several LLC Activities

• SRK guest speaker Matti Määttä, of Oulu, Finland, will serve in numerous LLC congregations February 1–29. Traveling with him is his wife Eila. Matti works in the Oulu area in regional vocational education as Education Consortium Director. The Määttäs have 12 children, 11 of whom are married, and 38 grandchildren. Together they have visited Florida four times, and Matti has previously traveled to Silicon Valley and Minnesota for his work. We wish for them God’s blessings on their mission trip.

• The 2016 Phoenix Winter Services will be held this month, February 25–28. The motto chosen for services, “Seek the Lord and His Strength” (1 Chr. 16:11), invites the weak believer to put his trust in God’s almighty hands. Randy Herrala has been asked to present the topic, “Confession,” for the Friday congregation and youth evening. Additional information about Winter Services can be found on the LLC website (www.llchurch.org).

• The annual LLC Campwork-Youthwork Week will be held March 6–13. As in the past, we will provide video material for a presentation in your congregation. The theme for this year’s campwork comes from the Prophet Nehemiah, “For the people had a mind to work” (Neh. 4:6). We will also meet with directors and other camp staff to begin their planning for the camp season at the Camp-Staff Workshop on Thursday, March 10. Those who can gather at the LLC office, welcome! We will connect others by web conference.

• Continuing with 2016 camp-related items, a new, online camp enrollment system for 2016 is going live in February, with local contacts being trained to support the efforts of Adrian Pirness and Kathy Laho here at the office. 

• Kitchen volunteers at camp: Countless hours are volunteered each camp season so participants can be fed. This year, there is one spot to sign up for a kitchen turn. Go to: kitchen.llchurch.org. From this web link, you can select the camp where you wish to serve.

• Finally, look for the 2016 “Camps at a Glance” card in your local bookstore, or download it from the LLC website.

• Discussions continue around the needs at our camp centers, especially Stony Lake Camp. It is aging and in need of expansion to accommodate increasing needs. The SLC Expansion Committee, along with the Minnesota Facilities Committee, has met to explore future possibilities. At some point, the committees will be ready to propose to the Minnesota congregations and the LLC Board a direction to proceed. May God continue to bless these efforts. 

• Good progress has been made with the Chorale Book project as it’s entering the final phases of editing. The plan is for a three-volume book with over 800 arrangements. The publications department is making plans to release the long-awaited book at 2016 Summer Services in Essa, Ont.  

• The LLC Personnel Committee has met to consider applications for the new Christian Education Coordinator position at the LLC office. The plan is to present a name for the LLC Board to consider at its February 26 meeting in Phoenix, with plans for an April 1 hire date. 

As February ends we will soon be remembering the events of Easter. This is a time of reflection, as the songwriter has written: “Let us go up to Jerusalem and gather in still reflection to ponder the path of our Savior’s pain, His suffering and crucifixion” (SHZ 71:1).

Eric Jurmu

February 2016 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