JUNE | 2021
Well, summer is officially here, and I’m guessing most of you, like me, have been really looking forward to it. Not only is it nice to have the sun shining and the grass growing, and not only is it nice to see the trees and flowers in full bloom and no snow for a while, but summer also means a change of pace for most of us. The kids and grandkids get a little break from school and all the after school activities. Families get to spend time at “the lake,” at summer camp, and on family trips, or maybe just doing a lot of trips together to the local pool or park. And some of us just get the simple joy out of going for a walk or spending time in our own backyards with friends.
Especially this year, it feels like this is just what we need. Things are beginning to get a little bit lighter and a little bit brighter and we could probably all use a bit of a break. It has been a heck of a year, and we could all use some relaxation, some recharging, and some ordinary, boring time where we aren’t doing a whole lot except the things we enjoy.
You know, sometimes, I think that’s what we’ve come to expect out of the summer in the church. We expect that things will be pretty plain during these summer months and not a whole lot will be going on. And that may be true in terms of church programs and activities. There’s a change of pace, things slow down, and we even take a little break from the busy things we do.
But maybe this is a time for all of us to actually connect more deeply with God. During these summer months when the pace of life slows down a bit for most of us, we might take a few moments to reflect on the precious gifts that God has given us. We might remember the God who gives us those precious times with family and friends, these beautiful summer days, and these moments to have some sabbath rest. And in this slowing down, we can certainly all take a deep breath and remember the God who has been with us all the time, even in the ones when we were too busy to notice before.
This summer, we look forward to enjoying all of God’s good gifts with you. We look forward to connecting in new and different ways as a church and as life continues to look a little lighter and brighter. We also look forward to hearing your stories of how God will be at work in your life this summer, and how God will continue to show up and bless each of us every day.

Pastor Dane
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. 
The Vinje Council has voted to change our Covid-19 protocols after reviewing the new guidelines from the CDC and MDH. Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals. This applies to all activities at Vinje including worship. Members of the council expressed sincere concern for the children of the congregation who are not yet vaccine eligible and thus are still at greater risk of contracting Covid-19. Therefore, the council strongly recommends that those who have not yet been vaccinated to wear a mask in an effort to safeguard our children.
We are so EXCITED that Sunday Morning Coffee Hour (after worship) is returning beginning in June. Coffee hour will follow immediately after worship and will be OUTSIDE (weather permitting). We want to keep the coffee hour as simple as possible. We are in need of individuals or families to help with the coffee hour. That means we need someone to fill coffee pots, bring out the coffee cups and napkins, put treats on trays (Vinje will provide the treats), and bring everything back to the kitchen following the coffee hour. We’d greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to help out with a Sunday or two. Please email Melissa if you can help!
Please send in a photo of the moms in your life so we can honor them on Mother's Day! (Hey moms, we know that dads might drop the ball on this one, so don't hesitate to send us the photo yourself!) Please email a photo (of your mom, mom and kids, whole family...anything will do!) to Sara Bos by Monday, May 3rd.
ATTN: MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH We sure missed our summer service trip last year. This summer, even though Covid will prevent us from traveling too far we would love for you to join us in a service trip to the North Shore. You'll work with service organizations for two days, and explore the beauty of the Lake Superior area the other two days. We’ll kayak on Lake Superior and ride fat tire bikes through the trees. We will be staying at Camp House so you won’t even need to back your air mattress! And since they will make all our meals you won’t need to serve on kitchen crews either.

Camp House also has spots for families to have their own cabin. If you want to serve as a family let Pastor Justin know. While youth are engaged in their events with camp counselors adults are free to attend events like Duluth brewery tours.

The dates are July 11-16 and the cost is $250. Talk to Pastor Justin for more info!  
We are once again excited to join in the Day Camp (VBS) fun together with Green Lake Lutheran Ministries and our friends from Calvary and Bethel!
Who is this for? Daycamp is open to all kids who have completed Pre-K—5th grade. 
When is it? July 19th-22nd (Monday-Thursday) from 8am –12pm with an early drop off option at 7:30 am.     
Where is it? All students will be dropped off and picked up at Calvary at the outdoor shelter.
What is it? At day camp kids will participate in age-appropriate worship and bible study, make crafts, play games, spend time with trained college-aged folks who have a passion for kids, and enjoy all sorts of camp fun!
What does it Cost? The cost per student is $25 for the week. This cost includes a T-shirt for each student registered.
How do I Register? Find the link on the “News” page on Vinje’s website.
Want to Help? We’d love it! If you are interested, please contact Pastor Dane.
The committee has met for the first time to discuss interview questions and examine the resumes of candidates that our synod has sent for our consideration. Committee members are: 
Lynn Johnson (Chair)
Jennifer Bobbe
Erin Dressler (MS Youth)
Macee Hansen (HS Youth) 
Jesse Mages
Travis Michelson
Laura Negen
Myra Quale
Kendra Saunders
Jessie Freese (St John's)
Bonnie Surerus (St John's)
A few small ways to make every day earth day:
  • Shop for food, flowers, etc. at farmers markets
  • Plant hardy, native plants that do not need much watering
  • Use chemical free cleaning agents like vinegar, baking soda and salt
  • Buy fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate
Directories are available for pick up in the main hallway. If you haven't stopped in to pick yours up, please do so ASAP. Thank you!
Wanted: Musicians to share a song this summer!
If you sing or play an instrument, contact Karen and schedule a Sunday that you can provide a musical offering during worship.
“Let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:2
In Search Of: Bongo Drums or Small Hand Drums
Karen is looking for small hand drums to use with the Loving Arms School-age Children this summer. Do you have any in your closet?
We’ve got lots to smile about at Loving Arms these days! We are so happy to be enjoying the warmer temperatures and all the outdoor fun that comes with it! We’re also excited about the return of the visits to our friends at Carris Care Center. And finally, we are excited to have “full” rooms again with many friends returning and many new friends starting here at Loving Arms including lots of new faces that will be joining us soon for our Loving Arms Kids Club summer program! 
  • Heard an update on the ministry and our partnerships with Green Lake Lutheran Ministries
  • Reviewed April financials and expressed concern for a decline in giving for the month.
  • Discussed possible building improvements to be completed prior to the end of the year.
  • Approved a new Covid-19 procedure in which masks are only required for those who have yet to be vaccinated.
Pastor Andrés is digging into Vinje’s unique history. This month, he set out to learn a little bit about the history of Vinje's church buildings.

The Church Downtown
Before it’s current location, Vinje was located on the corner of what today is Becker St SW and 5th St SW, across the street from the old library building. That church, which was demolished, was built in 1904, and hosted the last Vinje service on Palm Sunday 1963. After that service, the congregation ceremonially closed the doors, and walked in a procession to the new church on Willmar Avenue SW. What is still standing is the Educational Center that was built in 1953 on the east side of the church, on what today is 414 Becker Ave SE. On a brick in a corner of the building, in engraved words, it can be read that the building used to belong to Vinje.
The Church by the Cemetery
The memories passed on by previous generations to the people I talked to about the location of the second Vinje Church built in 1874 do not coincide. In my judgement, the most likely location is where we now find the house on 510 Litchfield Ave SE. This location meets with the grounds of the cemetery, which means that it would have been possible to walk directly from the cemetery to the church. The cemetery is at a higher level than the house, and this unevenness dates to the construction of Highway 12. It is probable that the mentioned house was built on the foundation of the old church building.
The First Church
Although there is not a plaque identifying the site on the current Eagle Creek Golf Club where the First Vinje Church built in 1869 was located, there is the marker pictured in the photo which shows the 26th Ave NE and the Willmar Lake in the background. Back when it was built it apparently was closer to and faced Swan Lake instead.
Thank you to pastors Glenn Taibl and Jon Dahl, and to Dan Kleven, Merle Berkeland, and Mark Bredeson for the information and the memories that helped me reconstruct this part of our history.
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.