Rod and Elaine Nikula came to Finland on a mission trip from Rockford, Minnesota, USA. They stayed for three weeks, during which time Rod served in many services.
– It is great to be here, Rod said.
– The spirit is the same on both sides of the Atlantic.
Rod started as a new employee in the LLC (Laestadian Lutheran Church) office a few weeks ago. His duties include Christian education, home and family work, and music.
– It is a great gift of God to be able to work with other believers, he said.
– We have many causes for joy and thanksgiving.
One of Rod’s focal areas is the planning of Christian education for North American congregations: to provide support and to produce resources for day circle, Sunday school, and confirmation camps.
– This work is refreshing for my own faith and covers all age groups from children to seniors. We need the instruction of God’s word every day.
Home and family work is a new branch of work that is still under development.
– We aim to produce supportive resources for family and diaconal committees. We must first understand what families and homes need. After that we can figure out ways to develop the work, Rod explains.
LLC is compiling a book of articles that have appeared in their monthly publications The Voice of Zion and Shepherd’s Voice. There is also cooperation with SRK in Finland, for instance on the translation of written materials into English.
– The needs of home and family work are largely similar in North America and Finland, Rod concludes.
Rod’s third focal are is the development of LLC’s music program. He is responsible for organizing music committees and choirs in congregations, to accomplish the recording of all songs in their new songbook. Several CD recordings are being planned.
The new songbook is already in use, and a choral book for accompaniment will be published in the 2016 Summer Services.
Rod was happy to have been able to come to Finland so soon after starting in his new job.
– I have learnt a lot about the work being done in Finland. I am glad to know people who can help and support me.
The Nikulas attended the Summer Services in Sweden on May 6–8 before returning home.
At the time of this interview they had not been traveling long yet, but Rod had already served in many services in the Oulu region.
– We have enjoyed our visit so much. We have experienced a lot of love, and it seems we have known for a long time even those people whom we only met now, Elaine said.
For Elaine this was her fourth trip to Finland. For Rod, whose grandparents were Finnish, this trip was his second.
The Nikulas said that they have had many Finnish visitors in their home in America. They were able to meet several of these friends during their trip.
The article was published in online Päivämies on 21 April 2016
Kirkolliskokousvaalit ovat takana, ja valituiksi tulleet edustajat valmistautuvat toukokuussa alkavaan nelivuotiseen istuntokauteensa. Siihen onkin syytä valmistautua huolella, sillä kirkolliskokous päättää isoista asioista, kuten kirkon oppia ja työtä koskevista keskeisistä linjauksista sekä kirkon hallinnosta ja taloudesta. Kirkolliskokous vaikuttaa merkittävästi myös kirkkoa koskevaan lainsäädäntöön.
Kirja erilaisuudesta, elämän ainutlaatuisuudesta ja rikkaudesta: teoksessa puheenvuoron saavat erityislapset, heidän läheisensä sekä aiheen parissa työskentelevät ammattilaiset.
Kurssi on suunnattu rauhanyhdistysten johtokunnille, taloudenhoitajille ja muille vastuunkantajille.