Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems a little strange this year, doesn’t it? Many of us are preparing for things to look different as we imagine celebrating Thanksgiving in the midst of this moment. We may not be able to have the same large family gatherings, or get to visit loved ones in other states. We might have to start some new traditions.

But one thing won’t change this year... We still have a lot to be thankful for. Even in this time of pandemic I am aware of the many blessings I have: a warm house to live in, food on the table, and a loving family, just to name a few. What are you thankful for? As Christians we believe that everything we have is a gift from God, and Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks to God for all the blessings of this world. We also remember that God has “blessed us to be a blessing” to others, and we have opportunities every day to share our time, talents, and even money to care for those around us, just as God cares for us.
Along with it being Thanksgiving this month, we all know winter is already starting, and it is going to be a hard winter ahead. But as tough, Midwestern Lutherans, we know how to handle tough winters. We also know that when life is at its most difficult, we as the church have an opportunity to be at our best. That’s why this year, Vinje’s stewardship team is inviting everyone from Vinje to be a blessing to others and to “Be a Good Neighbor.”

If you haven't already, you should be receiving a letter and a pledge card in the mail, encouraging you to commit not only financially to Vinje's ministry this next year, but also to give of your time and talents out in the world as we love all those around us. Maybe your pledge will be to help an elderly neighbor shovel their driveway. Maybe your pledge will be to write encouraging notes to friends, or to call other Vinje members who need someone to talk to. Whatever you decide, just imagine as we share in this commitment together, how all these actions can add up to do so much good in the world.

We encourage you to send back your pledge card by Sunday, November 22, (or you could also complete the form on our website by that date). That way we can make plans for this next year and we can hear what good work we will be doing together for each other and all our neighbors this year.

Among all the things I’m thankful for this year, know that one of the blessings at the top of my list is you!. Thank you for the ways you share God’s love with me and many others. Thank you for the blessing you are as you join God’s work in the world. Thank you as well, as we join together to share God’s love with others by being good neighbors to one another.

Pastor Dane
Attention adults and kids of all ages! We want to know what you're thankful for this year! Use THIS FORM to write/draw something that you are thankful for! Then take a photo of it or and scan and email it to Sara Bos (you can also mail it to the church office if you’d prefer ) by November 16th. We will share these as a part of our online Thanksgiving Eve service. Be creative and use lots of colors! 
If your family’s photo is in the Vinje directory, updated copies have arrived. Call the church office to make arrangements to pick up your directory.
GLLM is providing a fun virtual performance and a delicious “real” dinner for the holidays this year! All are invited to join in for the fun on December 12th! Head to for more information. 
Pastor Andrés is digging into Vinje’s unique history. This month, he asked Mary Olson and Elaine Schliep share about their experience teaching preschool at Vinje.
Vinje has a history of caring for young children. Three preschool programs rented space at Vinje before Loving Arms came along 25 years ago.
Mary Olson and Elaine Schliep, both elementary teachers, owned and operated Merry Lake Preschool for over 20 years prior to Loving Arms. Their program was set up to prepare children the year before kindergarten. Mary and Elaine taught 40-60 children for two days a week in groups of 20.
The children at the school were taught numbers, shapes, ABC’s and colors. There was always an emphasis on listening skills and following directions since this was often the childrens’ first exposure to school. Holidays were often shared with the Elderly Adult Day Care which was also taking place at Vinje. Along with structured activities the children had music and exercise times and occasional guest speakers and field trips.
Mary and Elaine continue to see many families that they served in the community during those years of running the preschool. They enjoy hearing that their sons and daughters had a meaningful experience attending the preschool.
Vinje was a wonderful place to have a school. Church staff and teachers worked very well together to create a very enjoyable atmosphere. A few of families of the preschoolers even joined Vinje thanks, in part, to their experience with the preschool. a little 
Garden produce was distributed after the September 27 outdoor worship service.
Soon, snow and ice will be in our weather forecasts. What can we do to fight chloride pollution?
  • Use the right de-icer. Calcium chloride works at much lower temperatures than sodium chloride.
  • Shovel early and often. The more snow and ice you remove, the less salt you’ll need. 
  • Sprinkle sparsely. Leave 3 inches between salt grains.
  • Wait for warmer weather. When ground temperatures are below 15 degrees, its too cold for ordinary chloride to work.
At their October meeting the Vinje Council voted to assist Saint John's Lutheran Church in Raymond who's pastor recently retired. Beginning on November 1, Vinje's pastors and Vicar Kate began taking turns preaching and leading worship at Saint John's on Sunday mornings as they search for a new pastor. In addition, our staff will also assist with pastoral emergencies, funerals, and weddings. Vinje was clear in setting appropriate boundaries so our staff remains focused on their ministry at Vinje, while sharing overlapping worship materials and sermons with our neighbors. Saint John's will compensate Vinje for the use of Vinje staff and this agreement will be reviewed by council in 6 months. 
We LOVED seeing lots of adorable Vinje and Loving Arms kids in their costumes at our Trail of Treats! Thanks to everyone for coming and thanks to all of you that donated towards all of the treats!
October was a busy month with lots of crafts, music and Halloween fun! It also allowed for outdoor fun...we jumped in the leaves in warm sunshine and climbed snow hills all in the matter of a week. It’s a blessing to see the change in seasons through the kids’ eyes (their positivity and excitement is contagious!). 
October Council Highlights…
Council discussed the following:
  • Financial Update (including the latest on PPP loan).
  • The installation process on the new phone system.
  • The current context of Covid-19 in the county and our response to it. The decision was made to continue with worship and confirmation instruction at this time but will be reviewed weekly. 
Council took the following action: 
  • Filled the council seat vacated with the resignation of Torri Muzik with Jaida Reiman. Jaida's term will expire in February of 2021. 
  • Set aside $10,000 from the Brown Faith Formation fund to improve our video technology and ability to produce worship and faith formation resources for the congregation. 
  • Approved a relationship in which Vinje will provide pastoral support for Saint John's Lutheran Church in Raymond as they seek to call a new pastor. 
This year we are trying to respond to more specific needs of members of our congregation and community. Your gifts to the Light of Christmas fund will help bring the joy of food and gifts to those in need this Christmas. If you know of someone with specific needs in our community please contact Melissa Hansen. Thank you in advance for your generosity and sharing the Light of Christmas with others.
Please let us know of your gift by December 11th!
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.