AUGUST | 2021
I love food! I love cooking! I love restaurants! I love recipes and cookbooks! And all of these things are because I love eating! I can tend to be kind of a picky eater, not a big fan of fish or olives for instance. I get excited about planning menus at home, especially if we have people eating with us. If I know I’m going to a specific restaurant, I almost always check out their online menu and make my choices before I arrive. Despite my love of all things food, if I’m honest with myself, eating can often be an unsatisfying experience. I’m almost always left wanting more. Sometimes I’ll wish there was more of one food, or that I would have tried something slightly different in a recipe, maybe ordered the other thing on the menu I was considering. And no matter how much I eat or how good it is, I’m always left searching for more food the next day. 

Clearly my attitude toward food comes from a privilege that I have. Food has never been about survival for me, but rather luxury. Clearly I live my life with an abundance of food around me. And food in abundance is what God intended for creation. Everyone with plenty of food is what Jesus had in mind as he fed the crowds. It’s what was given to the Hebrew people in the wilderness as they awoke every day to the bread from heaven. God knows that we need to eat, God knows that we hunger, and God provides for us in abundance. Sometimes humans take too much and leave little or nothing for others, and then we have issues with hunger, but that is not what God has in mind. 

For the rest of the summer we are going to be talking about food in worship. We are going to be thinking about our hunger and our desires. We are going to hear about God’s promise to provide for us in a way that, unlike other things, won’t leave us unsatisfied and wanting more. We will return to the communion rail as a congregation and share homemade bread and wine at the Lord’s Table. We hope that you will be able to join us in worship because God’s feast is one of abundance, and there is always enough for everyone. Just like your own family dinner tables, when someone is missing at the Lord’s Table, we all feel that absence. So come and be fed by God’s abundance, because no matter what your hunger is for, there is a special place that God has prepared for you at the table. 

Pastor Justin
Many people who like to attend Sunday morning worship services do not drive.
Did you know that you can get a ride with the church bus for free? Simply call the church office to arrange to be picked up! Do you know a Vinje member that no longer drives? Call them and offer them a ride.
See you all in church on Sunday at 9.30 am. 
If you’re enjoying partaking in fellowship hour, we’d greatly appreciate if you’d consider helping set up/clean up the cookies and coffee a time or two! Time and effort required is very minimal! Please email Melissa if you can help!
Greetings from the Vinje Library! We’ve been working on cleaning and reorganizing the library. We noticed as we collected up the puppets for a little spa day (aka a trip through the washing machine!) that we are missing a lot of our puppet friends! So, if you’ve been so kind to babysit one of our furry friends during Covid, thank you! If you could drop any puppets (or books too!) by the church office, we’d love to get them back to their home in the library and ready for more children to enjoy in the fall!
A lazy summer day at the lake is certainly a great time to connect with God, but it's also a great time to connect with God and your Vinje community. This summer we are taking full advantage of a better Covid outlook and making up for lost time together. Take a look at all the opportunities there are to join with others from Vinje in this Summer Fun 2021 Booklet. We are pretty sure there is something for everyone and can't wait to see you at all these great summer fun events. 
Join your Vinje family in the first baseline all-you -can-eat suite for this fun night! Cost is $20/person. Email or call Melissa today to reserve your tickets.
Pastor Andres and Pastor Dane will be leading a weekly bible study for Independence Place residents each Thursday in July. Please contact Pastor Andres with questions.
What a wonderful retirement party! Thank you so much to the Vinje Congregation for the wall hanging and gift card and to everyone for your cards, gifts, kind words, and to those who made desserts to make my final day at Vinje so meaningful. Also thank you to Melissa and Sara for organizing everything and adding all your special touches. I have been so blessed to work with and get to know so many wonderful people in this Congregation. It has only been a few days, but I think I've got the hang of this retirement already. Hopefully I will see you out and about or just give me a call and we can go for coffee or lunch.  
Thanks so much, 
Janet White
Thank you for awarding me a college scholarship again this year. The cost of education and living away from home is not cheap, so I greatly appreciate your help. Thank you again and I hope you all have a great (and somewhat back to normal) year.
-Jake Evans
Thank you for helping me and supporting me at Concordia. Things are going well there and I am excited to continue advancing my faith and education. Much Appreciated.
-Ryan Slette
I'm Hope Johnson and I'm so excited to join you all at Vinje for my pastoral internship. I'm originally from Mason City, Iowa where I grew up with three brothers, two cats, a dog and two ordained pastors as parents. Since graduating from North Park University in 2014 I've followed the Holy Spirit's callings to serve as a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) in Hungary, a Church Volunteer with my home congregation, a Seminarian in Saint Paul, a Chaplain Resident in Chicago and Minneapolis, and now to the Willmar area to learn from you all at Vinje and at Green Lake Lutheran Ministries. In my free time I enjoy reading, thrifting for vintage homegoods, making handicrafts, and taking walks in nature.
I’m Tanya Schunk and I’m excited to join everyone at Vinje as the new Office Manager. I have been married for 11 years to Randy and we have two boys, Kolten and Gavin. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends. We spend most our weekends at our camper, swimming, fishing, and going on long pontoon rides.
Thank you to all the kids and volunteers that made our VBS experience a great one! It was so great to be back together for a week of singing, projects, worship and more! 
Vinje Quilters will resume on Thursday, September 9th at 9:00 am. All are welcome! No experience is needed.
September & October Quilting Dates:
September 9
September 23
October 14
October 28
The Drought Continues. What else can we do to preserve water and energy?
  • Pray for rain.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Use cloth napkins to reduce paper use.
  • Install low flow aerators for showers and faucets.
  • Take showers not baths. A bath takes 70 gallons of water. A 5 minute shower takes only 10 to 20 gallons of water.
Interested in helping make music at Vinje? Mark your calendar for the start of the Vinje Choir. This mixed choir will begin practices on Sunday, September 19 at 8:15 AM in the Choir Room. We will sing for worship that day, and then about two times each month.  If you are bringing a child for Sunday School, here’s a perfect chance to do something special for yourself – sing in the choir! 

JuBELLation, our Hand Bell Choir will begin practicing on Monday, September 20 at 6:00 PM.  This group will prepare monthly anthems for worship.

Until these groups resume, let’s do some singing at these activities during August:
SING ALONG | TUESDAY, AUGUST 17 | 6:30 – 7:00 PM
Join me under the tree by the Willmar Avenue Choir Room door to sing some of the golden oldies and favorite songs from the past! Bring your own chair and a friend. (In case of rain, we’ll move into the church building.)
We’ll prepare a new 4-part Communion hymn for worship that morning. All ages and voices welcome!
With our college age staff heading back to school this month, we’re once again looking for part time help! If you know someone that loves kids and would like to join our fun team, please have them call or email Chris Cortez.
  • Following the criteria stipulated in the bylaws, made annual distribution from the endowment totaling $51,200. Recipients included: GLLM, SWMN Synod, ELCA World Hunger, Serve Boldly, Family Promise. Dollars were also transferred to further building improvements and contemporary worship at Vinje. 
  • Approved building projects from Property Committee to upgrade countertops, cupboards, and the concrete driveway outside of the kitchen. 
  • Supported sabbatical plans for pastors in 2022 &2023. 
Your Call Committee would love to be busier than we have been recently. The shortage of pastors is very real and as such our synod staff has not found any candidates to share with us in recent weeks. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying, however. They continue to search and update us weekly. We remain hopeful that we will find a great match soon. Your prayers are appreciated. We will keep you posted.
Pastor Andrés is digging into Vinje’s unique history. This month, he shares memories from member, Don Handahl’s daughter, Holly. 

A celebration was held at Vinje to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its current location in April of 2013. My twin sister, Heidi, and I happened to be visiting our father and attended a program at church. Someone in the audience asked who were those cute little girls in the groundbreaking pictures with the shovel? How ironic that Heidi and I were able to stand up and say it was us!
The day that we left the old church in downtown Willmar and walked to the new church location was April 7, 1963. According to what I have read the groundbreaking happened a few years before. Heidi and I were four years old in that picture. Oh, I remember it was a special day because my mother bought us new matching dresses and gloves. We really didn't know what we were supposed to do for the event. We were handed a shovel that was very heavy and tall. Many church members and ministers attended. It was a cold and windy day. We took our coats off for the picture.
Our father Donald Handahl is still an active member of Vinje at 97 years old. He has been active his entire adult life at church being on many committees, ushering, helping out with meals including the lutefisk supper and attended the Men's Bible Study. Our mother Joann Handahl, who passed away in 2010, was also a very active and loved member of Vinje. She was the head person for coordinating the kitchen for special events including funerals and weddings. She also helped with the annual Christmas bazaar along with many other events. Our brothers Mark and Ross (both deceased) along with Heidi and I were all confirmed at Vinje.
Heidi and I are now 65 years old. Heidi and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. Holly and Scott Ricker live in Stuart, Florida.
Make a one-time contribution or set up reoccurring giving here. Need help? Call the church office!
RADIO Listen on Sundays at 9:30 am on KWLM, 1340 AM.
INTERNET Watch anytime! (go to YouTube and search Vinje Willmar). 
TV Watch local access channel, WRAC 8/180, Sundays at 2:30 pm and 8:30 pm, Tuesdays at 8 am and 5 pm or Saturdays at 6 pm.