Lent is just around the corner, and begins with Ash Wednesday on February 26. This Lent we are inviting congregation members to join us on a spiritual journey, as we explore ways that we can more intentionally connect with God and the world around us. We will be focusing on everyday ways that we can do simple activities that draw us closer to God, and here are a few of the opportunities we’ll be presenting at Vinje!
Every Wednesday at 6pm beginning on March 4th, back by popular demand, we’ll worship using the Holden Evening Prayer service. We’ll be focusing on a different theme each week: belonging, prayer, reconciliation, generosity, and service. And at each worship service we’ll invite congregation members to try out a different practice: blessing, prayer, sharing peace, practicing generosity, and building service kits for those in need. We hope to help you consider different ways you can live out important Christian practices in your everyday life, and we’ll even send you home with the tools to try them out.
We invite congregation members to submit their reflections on the topics of belonging, prayer, reconciliation, generosity, and service. We hope to share this devotional book with the whole congregation for daily use during the season of Lent. Please contact Pastors Justin or Dane ASAP if you are interested in submitting something.
Join us on Sundays after worship, beginning on March 1, as we explore together Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness . Copies are available for purchase in the church office for $15. Each week, you can join in a lively conversation about a new topic and we won’t even penalize you if you haven’t read the chapter ahead of time!
We look forward to traveling in the wilderness with you, and seeing what gifts God has in store for us!
Vinje is again looking forward to joining together with our fellow Lutherans at Bethel for a Wednesday morning worship service during Lent. The service is held every week, beginning on Ash Wednesday at 10:00 am in the chapel at Bethel. Preaching and worship leadership is shared between the staffs of both congregations and everyone is welcome to attend. We will gather after worship each week for a time of fellowship. The messages for this service will be based on themes from Brian Zahnd’s book, The Unvarnished Jesus . The book is designed to help us see Jesus in a new and compelling way as we attempt to look past the assumptions we have been given by political and cultural forces and see Jesus for who he really was. Join us each week during Lent as we explore and worship Jesus.
The stewardship committee is proud to announce that we had an excellent December financially. We not only had the best December we have had in many years, but we were able to meet our budgeted income at the end of the year, and we are on solid footing for a good year in 2020! Coincidentally, this also means that your stewardship team won’t be bugging you with requests for money-for a month or two, anyway! Thank you for your generosity that makes ministry happen here!
For the next few months, the stewardship team, working alongside faith and finance, will be creating materials to help you understand a little more about what happens when you make a legacy gift to Vinje. Look for information coming out in the next couple months that will inform you about our endowment funds, designated funds, and how you can make a lasting impact on our congregation by remembering Vinje in your estate planning.
Join us for a brief meeting to elect new council members, vote on the 2020 budget and consider a fund transfer request. Afterwards, head to the fellowship hall for burgers & fries!
The Congregation will meet after worship on February 2nd to elect four members to a three year term and one confirmed youth to a one year term. We will also elect five members to serve one year on the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee has nominated the following members to serve on the Congregational Council. Find the brief biographies of each nominee below. Additional nominations may be made from the floor during the meeting.
Debi Habbena  Dave and I have been Vinje members since we moved to Willmar in 1971. I have served over the years in many capacities...some of which were: church secretary, council, Holiday Fair chair, Sunday school. I am retired after 10 years (1977-1987) working at The SW Minnesota ELCA synod office when it was located in Willmar and working for Bethesda in their senior housing division, Sunrise Village.(1987-2010) We have two children (Ryan and Anne) and seven grandchildren. I look forward to my time on the Church Council.
Scott Hovland  I am originally from Willmar where I grew up at Bethel. My wife Jen and I have called Vinje our church home since 1997. Vinje has been a big part of our lives as we’ve raised our family. Avery (Junior at Concordia) and Alec (Senior at Willmar) have been baptized and confirmed at Vinje. Through our walk at Vinje we’ve seen many great things happen at Vinje. What really makes this a special place are the incredible people. Along with mentoring and 5th Quarter events, I’ve previously served at Vinje as an usher, Men’s Brotherhood member, and various technical committees. As well as a time spent on the board at Green Lake Lutheran Ministries. In my daily vocation, I have worked in the IT department for Kandiyohi County for 21 years - a position I enjoy with all the variety and challenges that face us daily. When not working I enjoy hunting and spending time with family and friends. I look forward to serving on the Council if elected. 
Kathy Hund  We have been a member of Vinje since 1989 despite the fact that my heritage is Swedish. I do eat small amounts of Lutefisk each year. Some of you may know me as my alias of Dr. Nelson. My husband, Dr. Fred Hund works as a hospitalist at Rice Hospital. He only sees sick patients in the hospital so I hope you avoid him as a patient. We have two grown daughters who were both married at Vinje. I previously served on the council during the building project. I agreed to run for council at this time because no building projects are scheduled. I have also served on the personnel committee, stewardship committee, search committees and other special projects. I look forward to representing the many views of our diverse congregation.
Torri Muzik   I currently live in Prinsburg, Minnesota and I am a junior at Central Minnesota Christian School. I am involved in many activities at school including Volleyball, One Act Play, One Voice A cappella, Worship Team, Student Council, and Drama. My parents are Doug and Jessica Muzik and I have a brother named Max who is in 9th grade. In my free time I like to play guitar, hangout with friends, and play sports. I love going on Missions Trips through our church and I am looking forward to go on another one this summer. I am super excited to be a part of this council again as I have learned a lot and had fun this last year.
Brad Schmidt  I was raised in Willmar and became a member of Vinje when I was a year old. Other than some time away in college and the Cities for a few years, I have been a member all that time. Since I have been a member so long I have done most things at the church. 
It is easier to tell you what I have not done at Vinje. 
Although I have served at the lutefisk supper, I have not actually cooked lutefisk. I have not climbed above the ceiling in the sanctuary (although I have been a prisoner (twice) in the jail made up in the church basement for past Sunday school classes). I have not plowed the parking lot, but I did play on the church snow piles as a kid. I am married to Cheryl and we raised our three kids at Vinje. I am a lawyer in Willmar. I look forward to being on the church council (again).
The Council is recommending the following transfer of funds. A majority vote of voting members present at the congregational meeting on February 2nd is required to make the following fund transfer. 
Transfer $10,000 from the general fund checking account to the dedicated account for maintenance reserves.
Thank you to all who attended the open forum on January 12. We heard many insightful thoughts and good questions from Vinje members. If you weren’t able to attend here are some of the things that were mentioned:

Ideas for Future Building Projects: A prayer labyrinth in the Fellowship Hall. A status update on a possible columbarium at Vinje. Electronic Door Locks.

Appreciation for Existing Ministries: Men’s Bible Study. Slides During Worship. Watching worship services on Youtube.

Congregational Needs: Gardening help for flowers and vegetable garden. Ministries and community partnerships in the updated kitchen. Creating an inventory of Vinje’s artwork.

Questions on current practices: Do we need to use disposable communion cups? Should Vinje directly support Luther Seminary or missionaries (currently we do through gifts to SWMN Synod and ELCA)?
Join Willmar Area Churches for a fun movie night! Pizza and games too! What’s the movie? Watch the bulletins for clues...guess the movie and you could win a prize! Email Melissa to sign up.

January Council Highlights...
Reviewing the current policy and practices for estate gifts
Stewardship Update
Being a possible intern site for a seminary student
Updates on Faithful Innovation and Circle of Welcome
Want to know more? Contact a member of council.
Thanks for checking in! To learn more about our day to day fun, check out our Facebook page !

Loving Arms Childcare Center is currently seeking a part time kitchen manager. Monday through Friday from 9 am—1 pm with the potential for additional hours.
The kitchen manager is responsible for preparing, breakfast, lunch and snacks to children of Loving Arms Child Care Center. Kitchen manager must maintain required food service and production records. Meals served must meet certain nutritional guidelines and follow any special dietary needs. Kitchen cleanliness must also be maintained by kitchen manager to health department standards.
235-7271 | chriss@vinjechurch.com
Fantastic learning opportunities right here in Willmar. Choose from workshops such as “The Rules of Improv Comedy for Everyday Ministry,” “Farm and Rural Stress: Origins and Ways to Help,” and many more! There is no cost for Vinje members to attend this event. Also, we could use your help hosting the event. Sign up (to host or attend) in the church office.
By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations By understanding he set the heavens in place; By his knowledge the deeps were divided, And the clouds let drop the dew.
Proverbs 3:19-20
Thanks to all who brought in Christmas lights. They have been recycled. The bin will return next December!
Winter Fun Day at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is Sunday February 9th, from 11 am-4 pm. Chili feed, crafts, live music, climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, kicksledding. Call 320.354.5894 or www.prairiewoodslc.org.
Energy & water saving hints for your house
Fully load the dishwasher. It costs the same to wash one dish as it does to wash a full load. Scrape dishes, don’t pre-rinse.
Check your refrigerator door seals. Close the door on a dollar bill and pull it out. If it slides our easily, replace the seal. 
On Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM, the Vinje Choir is practicing anthems for Sunday morning worship in the coming weeks. The anthems represent a variety of music styles. Come join us! Note: There will not be choir practice on Sunday, February 16. 
Plans are underway for midweek Lenten services. If you would like to be a cantor for Holden Evening Prayer at one of those services, please let me know.
Grace Notes students have begun working on songs for a Children’s Musical at Vinje in May. If your K – 5 student(s) would like to participate, have them come to Grace Notes after school on Wednesdays.
The Vinje Quilters will not meet in February. 

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 .