MARCH | 2023
Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. The women were afraid and bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why are you looking in the place of the dead for someone who is alive? Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Luke 24:1, 4-6

I remember a Sunday morning a few years back when a nurse handed me my daughter for the first time. As I held the newly born Brooklyn, I remember one thought rushing through my head: “This changes everything.” Things that I had cared about deeply just moments before were suddenly much less important; my priorities shifted in an instant. It turns out I was right about that being a big change. A change so big, it's hard to remember what life was even like before she was born. I know I slept more, but I don't think I appreciated sleeping more. I know I had more time, but I don't remember thinking I had time. I know I had hobbies and fun pastimes back then, but I don’t remember what they were anymore. There are moments in our lives that once they happen, everything seems different. They completely change how we view the world, how we interact with others, how we think. Do you remember moments like this in your life?
The original Easter Sunday was certainly a moment that changed everything. And when I say “everything,” I don’t mean it in the way that things shift for one or two people, but I mean EVERYTHING. Everything changed for all of creation. The story of the resurrection is amazing and changes the world for all of time. Because if the tomb of Jesus is empty, so too will the graves of all God’s children. Including yours. The women who went to the tomb that morning are scolded for looking for the living among the dead, but who could blame them. It’s all that they knew. Until that is they came face to face with God’s new creation and then…EVERYTHING changed. At Easter, God gives us something that we could never have without God – a future. A future of abundant and eternal life. And that changes everything. After all, if the dead won’t stay dead, what can you depend on in this upside-down world? If dead stuff won’t stay dead, how can we live our lives? All that we have left now to count on is taxes.
So, this year, after the glitz and glamor of Easter have passed, after the lilies have started to wilt, we at Vinje want to spend some time thinking about what Easter means for the rest of our lives. Our new worship series will ask quite simply, “What’s Next?” How do we live with the promise of new life? Please join us as we discover together "What's Next?" Come to worship a God who loves us enough to go through death for us. Come and find out how God meets us in our doubts and worries. Come and see how God works through you to bring a little taste of heaven right here to earth. Come and be reminded that Easter changes everything. 

Pastor Justin 
Easter was never meant to be one day or one season. On the other side of Easter, we have the promise that new life happens in our world every day. Throughout the season of Easter, we’ll talk about how life looks different with a God who has gone through death and back again for us. We’ll think about “what’s next?” how living on the other side of Easter allows us to live differently, how God gives us work to do in loving and serving those around us, how God meets us in our doubts and worries, and how God is still at work in our world, bringing a little taste of heaven right here on earth. Come and join us as we remind each other about the God whose life and love make all the difference in the world! 
Vinje youth will be hosting a bake sale before and after worship on Palm Sunday! Donate goodies (wrapped and ready for sale) or buy goodies to enjoy! Your free will donations support youth mission trips! Donated cookies, bars, breads, cupcakes or pies would be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off before the service on Sunday.
All are invited for a pancake breakfast following Palm Sunday worship! Proceeds from this meal will go towards bible camp scholarships.
In case you missed this news in worship or in your email, we wanted to share that Karen Wojahn will be retiring following our Easter worship services. Karen has been a treasured part of our team at Vinje. She has brought gifts to our worship life as a congregation, our planning and preparation as a staff, and the faith formation of all ages. She will be deeply missed. We join in celebration with Karen that she will have more time to spend with her family (including a new grandchild expected in June) and will spend less time commuting on winter roads.

We want to emphasize that Karen’s retirement will not mean a decrease in traditional worship, organ and choral music, or the singing of favorite hymns. Vinje’s leadership is already in conversation with other organists and individuals who can lead traditional worship and lead our choirs in the future. Most importantly, at this time, please join us in thanking Karen for her ministry with us and in wishing her the best in the future.

You’re invited to stop by on Monday for a farewell reception as we wish Karen well in her retirement! We also want to invite everyone to her final Loving Arms Chapel service prior to the reception at 9:30 am. 
If you are interested in getting involved in music here at Vinje, please join Lily for a ‘Jam Session’ on April 12th or 19th! She will be in the sanctuary following the Wednesday worship and would love to sing and/or play with you and learn more about how you might want to participate in music here at Vinje! You are also welcome to email her at
Do you enjoy summer days on the water? Catching a fish or two? If so, we’ve got a great opportunity for you! Volunteer with Let’s Go Fishing as they provide pontoon outings on Green Lake to seniors, youth and other groups in our area. Let’s go fishing is looking for volunteers to captain or assist on their weekday morning and afternoon outings! Many Vinje members are already volunteers and would love for you to join them this summer! If you have questions or would like to sign-up to help, contact Rick Loseth (320.979.9231) or Ron Haugen (936.707.9023). Thanks! 
Vinje Quilters will meet this month on April 13 and April 27 at 9 am. All are welcome!
We’ve been enjoying lots of fun learning themes...wild west, artists, Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick’s Day and spring! We’re managing to keep finding creative ways to have indoor fun...and have been trying to make the best of the never ending snow outside!
You can bring your recycling and used motor oil to the Household Hazardous Waste facility on 22nd Street SW.
Accepted items are: plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard, used antifreeze, used motor oil, oil filters, used oils from deep frying. Questions? Call the HHW facility at 231-3587.

Earth Day celebration at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center will take place on Saturday, April 22nd. Click here to learn more! Vinje will celebrate Earth Day in worship on Sunday, April 23.
When Jim Buisman’s sons told Pastor Andrés that their dad had won several championships for the Vinje Men’s Softball Team, he contacted the Kandiyohi County Historical Society to track down a photo and then talked to Lyle Lange to learn more about Vinje’s softball history. Here’s what Lyle shared.

In 1973, I joined the Vinje Softball Team, and after two years of playing, Pastor Bob Ostergaard, who was then both playing with the team and managing, handed me the Vinje softball inventory which was a bat bag with some old wooden bats (that must have been at least 30 years olds from when Vinje Church was uptown), one aluminum bat, some softballs, and a glove. That was how I became the manager of the Vinje team. I managed the team for about 18 years with many memories.
I will have to admit that sometimes it was a challenge to get 10 players each Friday night for games. I would always start calling Wednesday night. In slow pitch softball, you play with 10 fielders, so you have 4 outfield players. However, I recall a couple of games we played with just 9 players and still won. The guys did a great job. We had a lot of fun. During the late 70’s, I believe we lost just 1 game in 2 or 3 years.
One year, after we won the championship, Pastor Lowell Larson took the whole team out for dinner at Fridasboard. What a treat. Just like the big leagues.
I don't remember how a team near Dawson-Boyd heard about our successful record, but they wanted to challenge us. We met at Lincoln Field for a game. We won quite handily.
The minimum age to play was 16, but a few times I had to stretch the ages of my own kids (Shannon and Ryan) when they were 11-12 years old. 
We had an old faithful, Simon Zimmer, at all our games, a couple of times I had to twist his arm to help out. Simon played well into his sixties. We kept renewing his contract!
I will attempt to mention some names and apologies for missing some: Simon Zimmer, Todd Mattison, Tim and Tom Hansen, Dave Gort, Curtis Eischens, Dave Peper, 
Brent Peterson, Stuart Peterson, Eric Peterson, Jeff Pitt, Joel Swanson, Robert Flegel, Chris Johnson, Mike Kray, Jeff Welker, Tim and Todd Thunstedt, Kevin Bostrom, 
Dave Korsmo, Steve Eid, Brad Skoglund, Jeff Welker, Wade Adamson, Troy Murphy, and Marcus Swanson.
1962 Champs - Vinje Church Team
Back Row: Jim Hagert, Orv Larson, Sandy Larson, Neil Welker, Vern Backman, Larry Larson, Bob Anderson
Middle Row: Bill Gabbert, Jerry Reed, Don Leslie, 
Jim Buisman, Ron Heppner, Bud Bredeson 
Front Row: (bat boys) Jim Anderson, Rick Anderson 
Here are the highlights from both the February and March Council meetings. 
  • Received a sanctuary lighting project update.
  • Discussed Paetznick’s property and declined to purchase. 
  • Discussed recent roof assessment & potential $800,000 of repairs required in next 7-10 years. 
  • Redefined “committees” and “ministry team structure.” 
  • Approved a $5,000 gift to GLLM for purchase of a new van.
  • Discussed an LSS project to assist a refugee family.
  • Received the retirement/resignation of Karen Wojahn and discussed the importance for ongoing organ musical and choir participation.
  • Empowered the columbarium team and Executive Committee to work together to expedite the final details of the columbarium project.
  • Planned for a Vinje open forum with members and council leadership following worship on April 23.
  • Had initial conversations about LSS interest in leasing our kitchen for local hunger ministries within the county.
  • Assigned council members as liaisons to committees.
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, 180 Sundays at 2:30 pm and 8:30 pm and Tuesdays at 8 am and 5 pm.