We have missed seeing you every week for worship, but we are grateful that we have been able to get together through technology, small group outdoor gatherings, and worship services at Green Lake Bible Camp over this summer. As we look forward to the Fall, we are making plans for some in-person opportunities at our building, and we want to let you know what to expect over the coming weeks and give you a few details of what things will look like:

From September 13 through October 4, we will have an outdoor worship service from 9:30-10am in our parking lot! 
A few details: Worshipers are asked to pre-register so we can plan ahead. Worshipers are asked to bring their own lawn chairs, and all are required to wear masks and practice social distancing so that we can sing together and worship safely and comfortably with one another. Note that parking will be made available closer to the building for those with mobility issues.
In the event that weather is a problem, the worship service will be moved indoors and those who have registered will be notified an hour prior to worship so they can make decisions about whether they are comfortable still attending worship. Social-distancing and masks will again be required, but unlike outdoor worship, there will be no singing except by worship leaders who will be standing behind plexiglass shields.
On September 23, we will also begin outdoor worship on Wednesdays at 6:00pm, following the same guidelines as Sundays.

Beginning September 13, we plan on hosting in-person, outdoor Sunday School from 8:45-9:15am. We will utilize the four courtyards at Vinje. Sunday school students will enter through the side doors, and then be escorted to the courtyards by a Sunday school volunteer. We anticipate small groups of five to six students with one teacher. Masks will be required, and we will follow other safety guidelines. If weather doesn't permit, we will make the decision by 7:30am and inform families that we would move indoors and follow the same Vinje guidelines to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment.
On Wednesdays, starting September 16, Confirmation students will gather at 6:30pm. We will also utilize our outdoor spaces, and we will have contingency plans to have our Confirmation small groups gather inside the building in separated small groups, following our guidelines as well.

At this time we do not have plans for other in-person gatherings at our building, with the exception of occasional funeral services or weddings. On weekdays, the building will be open only for staff and our Loving Arms ministry. Doors will remain locked and staff will not accept walk-in visits. Please call and have conversations over the phone, knowing that these measures allow our staff and Loving Arms to do their work safely.
As always, the use of our building will be subject to change, but at this time, we feel like these are the best practices for us to follow that allow for us to gather together comfortably and safely. We will continue to offer the same online, radio, and TV broadcast services we have in the past, including Holy Communion, so that everyone can fully participate in the worship life of our congregation.
Know that we take our worshiping life and the safety of our members seriously, and we will continue to watch for new guidelines from health officials and continue to re-assess whether we can meet in person following our already established protocols. We will continue to keep you updated on plans as we make changes. We are grateful for your patience in this process, and we look forward to connecting with you in many ways moving forward!
Pastor Dane
Your Vinje Leadership is making plans to provide in-person worship services that are both meaningful and safe for those who participate. While every in-person activity any of us participates in comes with the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus and other illnesses, we believe that we can take precautions that will strongly limit the risk. Your input is incredibly helpful as we shape worship heading into the Fall. Please complete this brief survey to help us know how to best serve you!

Please register today for all faith formation activities, including Sunday School and Confirmation. We need you to register as soon as possible so we can plan ahead!
Dear Vinje Friends,
I wish I could say something comical, historical, political, musical, clerical or mystical; but I must admit there is not as much running around upstairs as there used to be, and
if I speak, Lowell fills in the blanks, so I apologize. I sincerely thank you for your love, your cards, and your kindness as I celebrated another year of life.
Thank you,
Betty Melbye
Thank you to everyone for cards, prayers and concerns at the time of my hip replacement surgery. I am recovery from the infection that followed the surgery and looking forward to seeing Vinje friends when it’s safe to be together.
Grace Fladeboe
Thank you for the scholarship for Concordia. I am leaving this week and thank you for supporting me through high school.
Sam Huseby
Thank you so much for being amazing supporters of mine and
an amazing place of worship.
Alec Hovland
I would like to thank you for the scholarship money. It means a lot and also helps a lot! The whole staff at Vinje have been so kind and thoughtful. Thank you again for everything.
Ryan Slette
Thank you for the card and wonderful gifts. You are all so supportive. I will miss this great community as I leave for college.
Cambrie Parker
Christ and the Child
Andy Berkeland was born on February 21, 1966, and died of leukemia at only 9 years old on June 12, 1975. He was a bright kid, and his Dad, Merle Berkeland, remembers to this day all what Andy taught him. Merle stills wonders what Andy would have become had he recovered from his sickness.
It was in memory of their dear son and brother Andy that Merle, his wife Barb, and their daughter Karen, donated the sculpture “Christ and the Child” to Vinje. The sculpture is the main feature of our church’s “Children’s Courtyard,” and both the courtyard and the sculpture were dedicated on September 13, 1981.
The sculpture “Christ and the Child” was done by the artist Norman Holen, chosen for this commission at the suggestion of Edward Sövik, one of the architects who designed our church.
The artist intentionally gave his work of art the color of the exterior bricks of the church.
Apart from the Berkeland’s, many other families and friends of Vinje gave gifts for the children’s courtyard in memory and honor of loved ones.
As you read this little piece, we invite you to pause for a little moment. Think of Andy and all the kids who have experienced Jesus’ unconditional invitation to come to him at Vinje, and think of ways in which we today can help our kids and the kids in our society accessing the life with joy and abundance that Christ wants all his children to have.
Thank you to Bev Falk and Karen Rousseau for keeping our flowers our courtyards as well as our indoor plants flourishing during these quiet times at Vinje!
Planting, building and note writing kits were delivered to Vinje kids this summer! We hope that families enjoyed these projects and opportunities to think about our faith at home!

After much careful consideration, it’s been determined that the we must cancel the 2020 Lutefisk & Meatball Supper. We appreciate your understanding. 
We are now running at about 80% capacity, which is great! We are so happy to have many of our friends back in our care! This means, though, that we are in IMMEDIATE NEED OF PART TIME HELP! If you know someone who could help us out a few hours a day (this would be a great opportunity for a high school student!), please have them contact Chris at 235.7271.
Karen Wojahn, Director of Music
We haven’t been together for a long time, friends! Remember how good it felt to be singing together at church? I miss accompanying a sanctuary full of singers. Do you miss singing?
The hymns and songs we sing at church speak deeply to our hearts and are a way to express our faith. What hymns do you hold dear in your heart? Why? Is there a hymn that evokes memories for you or reminds you of another time and place? I would love to hear your hymn stories. Please send me an email about a hymn that you treasure or what hymn you are missing, and tell me the story of that hymn for you. Without using your name, I would love to use your stories in upcoming newsletters. I may even be able to incorporate your favorites in upcoming worship services, either in person or online.
Thanks to all the musicians who have enriched our worship services online and at Green Lake Bible Camp this summer! To date, 35 individuals have provided worship music for us. If you would like to sing or play an instrument for an upcoming worship service, please contact me. Sharing the gift of your time and talent with the Vinje community will be appreciated.
Interested in being part of a Virtual Choir? You will need to have two devices and earbuds/headphones: one device (like a laptop, computer) on which you can play the accompaniment that I will send you, earbuds/headphones that connect to that laptop/computer, and another device (like a cell phone) on which you can record yourself singing. Want to give this a try? Let me know!
Keep a song in your heart!

August Council Highlights…
  • Pastor Andres shared that he will be a part-time pastor at Paz Y Esperanza in Willmar. He will be able to continue his role as visitation pastor at Vinje.
  • In-person worship at Green Lake has been going well. Plans were discussed to continue outdoor worship and faith formation at Vinje starting September 13.
  • The Fall Stewardship Campaign and focus of the congregation was discussed. Focus will be creating a safe space for worship and faith formation and finding new and creative ways to connect with one another.

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.