Now a new year is beginning, and the old year’s at an end. A new time is also dawning, Jesus’ birth brought this to men, which to glory leads one day; and the old is passed away. Then the new year shall continue when the children are at peace; there is glory, joy, and splendor which is perfect, ne’er shall cease. Every tongue shall then proclaim of the glory of His name (SHZ 57:1,5).
As a new year begins we often look back and remember events of the previous year. We also look forward and make plans for the coming year. As we reflect on the past year it is heartwarming to see the support and generosity of believers in supporting the work of God’s kingdom. Without this support, the work would be in vain. Looking forward we wonder what plans God has for us. We see additional needs at our camp centers and the possibility of adding more facilities to support camp work. Local congregations continue to grow and so does the request for additional support from the office. With these requests, we prayerfully ask for God’s continued guidance and blessings.
On January 20, 2017, a new President, Donald Trump, and new Vice President, Mike Pence, will be inaugurated in the United States. We pray on their behalf and ask the Heavenly Father to guide all our nations’ leaders to govern according to His will, for the good of our temporal homelands.
Updates on LLC Activities
• Long-time LLC Publications Director, Paul Waaraniemi, and LLC Layout Artist, Ruth Roiko, are making plans to retire early in 2017. We wish them both God’s blessings with their plans. We received a number of applications for the Publication Director position. Plans are being made to fill the position in January with a start date in February. We have also received inquiries and applications for the Layout Artist position. That job opening is posted until January 15.
• On Dec. 5, the LLC Personnel Facility Committee and Minnesota Facilities Committee (MFC) met to review plans for SLC expansion and discuss the MFC’s recommendation to purchase 70 acres of land from the Monticello congregation. Recommendation is for a much smaller project at SLC than previously planned, which would allow earmarked funds for SLC development to be shared with the purchase of Silver Springs. In January, Minnesota congregations will hear plans for renovation and expansion at SLC. Additional lodging is needed, and the main lodge will be updated with a new kitchen and dining area. If approved, construction will begin in 2017 with completion in time for the 2018 camp season.
• A meeting to discuss the Opisto Scholarship Program was held recently with representatives from the LLC, SRK, and Opisto Boards. Due to budget cuts in Finland a reduction in scholarship funding will take place. Communication has been sent to scholarship recipients that this will already be in effect for the 2017–18 school year. It is an important program and continued discussion will take place to assure that it continues.
• Enrollment for 2017 camps can be made in mid-January. Active Works, the new camp enrollment system that was used in 2016, has worked well.
• There are several music projects in the works. On Saturday, Dec. 10, a recording of a new group singing and instrumental CD with the theme of Work and Rest was made. Plans are to release it at 2017 LLC Summer Services.
• A new five-year lease was signed recently for LLC office space in Loretto. The lease gives the option to be released after three years in the case we would be building, or moving into a space of our own.
• We have much needed, new Internet access at the office. Web-based meetings have become so common in the work. The new provider offers much faster service (fiber optic), and this has proved to be much more stable than previous systems.
• LLC Phoenix Winter Services (Feb. 23–26) are right around the corner, and it’s not too early to make travel plans. Winter Services information can be found on the LLC website.
• The LLC Board will have an extra day of meetings, Thursday, February 25 in Phoenix. This will allow time to discuss current matters and future growth plans of the LLC.
God has given us a time to work, and He has also blessed us with needed gifts, both temporal and spiritual. May God bless our new year as only He can.
January 2017 Voice of Zion