JULY | 2021
I remember pacing the seminary hallways before my introductory interview with Pastor Dane in February of 2020. I’d heard seminary students before me talk about their Internship year, often with mixed feelings, and while I had some input about where I might land, the final decision was out of my control. What if I didn't get along with my supervisor? What if it wasn't a good fit with the congregation? What if I had
to move to Nebraska? In the interview, Pastor Dane spoke highly of Vinje, its staff and members, and the surrounding community. “This is a supportive congregation,” he shared, “And we’re excited to have an Intern because we think this would be a great place to learn.” I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s going to be fine, I thought. At least this Vinje place sounds pretty okay. And then, in March of 2020, our world changed, and
the questions started again. Would Vinje still be willing to take a chance on an unknown Intern? How would I get to know a congregation through masks, quarantines, social distancing, and COVID restrictions? Would there be enough work
to go around? But as you all welcomed me at summer backyard gatherings, softball, and outdoor worship services, these fears quickly subsided. I found myself thinking again, it’s going to be fine. This Vinje place seems pretty okay.
Since then, the year has been filled with Zoom Bible Studies, Circle gatherings, Lenten small groups, Confirmation, Sunday School, committee meetings, and every variation of in-person and online worship imaginable. Not to mention all of the “and other tasks as assigned” parts of Internship (which, truthfully, is usually the best part): collecting pine cones at Robbins Island for Sunday School take-home packets, dragging hay bales and ice lanterns across the Vinje parking lot on Christmas Eve, dressing in ridiculous outfits, honing my acting skills, and getting drenched in water (on more than one occasion) for children’s messages. More than just okay, this “Vinje place” has been great, and it has been a joy to serve, work, and learn here this year.
Though it is bittersweet to be leaving, I am excited about what comes next. At the beginning of June, I was approved for ordination in the ELCA, the final step of my seminary process. In August, I will join my fiancé, Kevin, in Detroit Lakes where he recently started his new job as the pastor of Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church. We will be getting married in October and, in the time between now and then, I will be interviewing for a first call in the Northwest Minnesota Synod. I am leaving Vinje more confident and prepared for this next step than when I started and I am grateful for all the ways you have helped make that possible. I know that any Internship, especially
an internship that has been as great as this one, is only possible with the support of a congregation. Thank you, to each of you, for the kindness you have shown me and for your affirmation, encouragement, and guidance throughout the year. I am excited to watch from afar as Vinje starts this next chapter with a new Intern and preparing for
a new Pastor. I know you will be a gift to them, as you have been to me.

Vicar Kate
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. 
Who doesn’t love baseball? Well, if you don’t then we are sure you’ll love the all-you-can-eat stadium buffet with hotdogs, brats, burgers, and more. Join your Vinje family in the first baseline suite for this fun night! Cost is $20/person. Email Melissa 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.
All are invited to the 37th Annual Green Lake Lutheran Ministries Quilt Auction. Enjoy a variety of quilts and handmade items, silent auction, donuts, meals and more. Online bidding option is available as well. Learn more about this fun event here.
We are thoroughly enjoying these casual outdoor gatherings once again! Call the church office to schedule one (or if you’d like to attend one)!
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
A few small ways to make every day earth day:
  • Limit cooling to 78 degrees
  • Increase cooling temp when not at home
  • Change or clean your filter
  • Run appliances during “off peak hours”
  • Close shades during the day
  • Reduce water heater temperature
  • Water your lawn and garden during the early morning or late evening hours
Calling all Vinje Ladies 
Come sing in a group for Vicar Kate’s last Sunday, July 18. Meet in the choir room for practice at 8:45 am. All age females welcome!
Prelude Hymn Sing
First and third Sundays in July and August. Request a verse of your favorite hymn before worship begins.
Bring your own lawn chair and come sing for fun under the tree by the outside Choir Room door on Willmar Avenue! Tuesday, July 20 and Tuesday, August 17, 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Missing Vinje Choir? 
Practices will resume Sunday, September 19 at 8:15 am.
We are soaking up all things summer! Parks, picnics, sunshine and splashing!  
  • Received a report from the recent Synod Assembly noting the election of Dee Pederson as Bishop and the importance of the synod’s Gifts of Grace program.
  • Heard updates on the intern, the call committee, property improvements, and a possible Loving Arms expansion.
  • Approved a bid from Church Mutual Insurance for two years of coverage.
  • Agreed to make annual distributions from the endowment fund next month.
  • Received an update on the insurance renewal process.
Pastor Andrés is digging into Vinje’s unique history. This month, in honor of Janet’s retirement, he reached out to many of the Vinje members that knew Janet best in search of memories of her time with us.

We are still getting used to the idea that our office manager, Janet White is retiring on July 15th after 13 years of service here at Vinje. Many pastors and other staff members have come and gone during her tenure. So Janet has been the one that we could count on to know everyone and their stories and to know who is related to who. She has been the one who knows who we need to call for when there’s a bat in the sanctuary (yep, that’s happened), when we run out of coffee filters, or when there’s water dripping through the ceiling. She’s also the one that knows where almost everything can be found within this building. When Janet told us that she was retiring, we stared in disbelief and then asked her how we would get by without our “living memory,” Janet answered that she was working on “writing some things down.” We do hope that she was serious about that. Janet will be dearly missed.
Staff members and church members alike praise Janet for her dedication. She is without question the best proofreader on staff, and we invariably are afraid that she will find an embarrassing mistake that we should not have made. Vinje has been more than just a workplace to her. She is tirelessly dedicated to making sure that Vinje and its members are well taken care of. She is kind and patient when she answers the phone, even when she is asked what someone appropriately called “nuisance” questions.
Those that help care for the plants and flowers outside and inside the church building learned long ago that Janet has a “green thumb” and they have often sought help and advice from her. 
The volunteers that count the offering each week, (including counting each and every coin when there has been a “noisy offering,”) know that Janet is meticulous and thorough and will not let them go before every penny has been counted and recounted.
The ladies in charge of funeral receptions greatly appreciate Janet’s direction and attention to detail. She can be counted on to know where everything is and if we have enough on hand, and she is right on the spot to order more when needed.
Although it is praiseworthy that Janet has usually gone beyond her responsibilities as office manager, Melissa Hansen and Sara Bos have a vivid memory of the morning of February 11th, 2020 when Janet went a little too far in her dedication. Janet had already felt “off” while driving to work that morning. She continued to feel unwell as she began her work day, with some pain in her chest and arms. She called her doctor. (Her discomfort had nudged her to call to check to see if some test results were in from a recent appointment.) As soon as she described her symptoms to the doctor, he instructed her to go to the Emergency Room. Sara, who had overheard her end of the conversation was now hovering over her and offering to drive her to the hospital (and sending a panicked message to Melissa to GET HERE NOW). Janet was reluctant to call her husband Jack as it was his birthday, but Melissa, who had now arrived, talked her into it and he, of course, headed to church right away. Still thinking it was an over reaction and that she was “just fine,” Janet kept working, saying that there was “one more thing” that she had to do and that could not wait “in case this ER visit took all day.” Once they finally got Janet out the door and Jack got her to the ER, it took just minutes to confirm that she was, in fact, having a heart attack and she was immediately airlifted to St. Cloud. We are relieved and thankful to God that we today can recall this story with a smile.
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.