DECEMBER | 2019
DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?
Hopefully by now you have heard our Advent theme of Do You See What I See repeated enough that you are starting to be just a little bit annoyed by it. More importantly than the theme, we hope you’ve had the opportunity to stop and look around a few times and ask yourself, “What is God up to?”
We borrowed the language for our theme from the well-known Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear”. The song was written by a husband and wife in 1962. And while we didn’t know it at the time we chose the theme, the two actually wrote the song in an attempt to make sense of the world around them using their faith. The song reflects on the Christmas story with lyrics that call us to remember the shepherds, the star that guided the magi, and of course the Christ child. However, the song was primarily written as a plea for peace during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Said the king to the people everywhere, listen to what I say. Pray for peace, people everywhere! Listen to what I say.
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night, He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light
The response from the king in these lyrics is certainly different than how King Herod responded to the birth of Jesus, but God’s story continues into our lives today. Christ comes to us each and every day and it was the prayer of the song’s authors that Christ would not only come with goodness and light, but with peace.
Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear? Do you know what I know? What might God be doing in your life? Christmas proves that we have a God who likes to show up in our world. A God that isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and enter into a stable now and then. Where does God show up in your life? Where is it that you need God to bring peace? God has been showing up for centuries in all kinds of places and with all kinds of people. God has found ways to carry a message of peace amid the dangers of war. God has found ways to bring a message of mercy amid the shouts of hate. God has given us gifts of faith, hope, and love and these gifts don’t just come at Christmas, but everyday. Open your eyes and ears; your hearts and minds to see the many ways God is at work.
Pastor Justin
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS AND GIVING
This year, in addition to Christmas food baskets we are gathering resources to respond to more specific needs of members of our congregation and community. Your gifts to the Light of Christmas fund will help bring joy to those in need this Christmas. If you know of specific needs in our community please speak with Melissa Hansen or another member of the staff. Thank you for your generosity and sharing the joy of Christmas with others.
To contribute, please complete and submit this form (and payment) to the church office by December 12th. Thanks!
LUTEFISK SUPPER, QUILT AUCTION & BAKE SALE A SUCCESS!
A huge THANK YOU to all who contributed to making our 102nd Lutefisk Supper a success! Thank you to the set up crew, the chefs, servers, ticket sellers, lefse cutters and clean up crew for all their help. We served just under 600 people! Also, a big THANK YOU to all who supported the Quilt Raffle and Bake Sale. The large quilt was won by Char Kingstrom and the children’s quilt winner was Suzanne Nelsen. The quilt raffle brought in $404 and the bake sale $523 for our bible camp sponsorship fund.
2020 MISSION TRIP MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 | 6:45 PM
We have a couple of great opportunities to serve this summer! We are excited to be heading back to Milwaukee, a city that is full of both fun and service opportunities. Youth in grades 6-8 are welcome to sign up for this June 13-19 trip. Meanwhile the senior high youth will be traveling to Memphis to serve and learn more about the civil rights history of our country. Youth in grades 8-12 can sign up for this June 28-July 3 trip. 
The registration cost for either of these trips is $125. Please fill out the registration form found on our website and turn a check into the office as soon as possible. We hope to be able to accommodate anyone who wants to go but space at our housing sites and in our vehicles is limited so signing up sooner is better. There will be a brief informational meeting for youth and parents on Wednesday December 11th.
SUNDAY TREATS & SERVERS NEEDED!
We are in need of December Coffee Hour treats and servers for each Sunday in December. Can you help? Please call the church office or Jean Geselius (320.905.0146) to sign up!
VINJE COUNCIL MEETING RECAP
November Council Highlights...
Kitchen Update
Possible Loving Arms expansion
Cleaning Service
Stewardship update
Changed Dec meeting to 17th & Feb meeting to 18th
Columbarium Discussion
Want to know more? Contact a member of council.
LOVING ARMS UPDATE
Thanks for checking in! To learn more about our day to day fun, check out our Facebook page !
WE ARE SO THANKFUL! 
We are so blessed and Thankful this year for all that happens here at Loving Arms and Vinje Church. We spend times with friends, enjoy music, Chapel , time at Rice Care Center, do crafts but most of all we are thankful for the relationships we have made with each other!!!
A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTORS
Advent and Christmas often bring out the best in people and this time of year is certainly a season of generosity and your pastors are deeply grateful for the many ways that you are generous with your time, talents, and treasures.
Unfortunately this is also a season in which some try to take advantage of this generosity. Some Vinje members have recently been approached and asked for money with the preface, “the pastors told me to ask you”. Please know that your pastors would never do that. We would also never send you an email requesting that you send us money. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t. Don’t ever feel pressured into giving. You can always say, “let me talk with the pastors.”
If you desire to make a gift to those in need, we would encourage you to consider the Pastors’ Discretionary Fund which Vinje uses for gifts for those in need. The Advent Noisy Offerings give us an opportunity to give to organizations that work for justice in our world. You can also give to the Light of Christmas Fund which is used to buy gifts and food in order to share Christmas joy with members in our community.
Remember to recycle your Christmas lights. You can drop them in the bin in the church entry way during December & January.
Also, recycle your boxes and non-metallic wrapping paper.
Next Creation Care Committee meeting will be Thursday, January 9 at 5:30 pm in gathering area.
A SERVICE OF LESSONS AND CAROLS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 | 4:00 PM
Join us for a worship service featuring music by the Vinje Choir, Nova/Shalom, Grace Notes & Sunday School, JuBELLation, Jr. JuBELLation and youth of the congregation. A cookie Potluck will follow!

NATIVITY ART FESTIVAL
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 | 3-5 PM | ROOM 102
Enjoy the Christmas season through visual art displays in Room 102. items Needed for the Nativity Art Festival: Stained glass, Advent calendars, wood carvings, nativity sets, textile items, paintings, holiday tablecloths. Please bring display items to Room 102 by 11:00 on December 15. Items may be picked up between 6:15 and 6:45 that day, or during regular office hours on Monday, December 16. Questions? Contact Karen Wojahn at 235-1441, ext. 15.
QUILTERS MEET THIS MONTH
The Vinje Quilters will meet on Thursday, December 12th at 9 am. 
VINJE ON THE GO!
Vinje’s service is broadcast live each Sunday on KWLM, 1340 AM. You can also watch each service live on YouTube (go to youtube.com and search Vinje Willmar). 
To view/listen to past services, click here .