Love Life Ministry: 1 Young Mom’s Vision to Preserve Her Heritage

Joann Vaile and other Love Life Ministry volunteers provide childcare items to families that are struggling financially
Joann Vaile and other Love Life Ministry volunteers provide childcare items to families that are struggling financially. The organization gives out diapers, formula, clothing, baby furniture, and other baby items.

Article by Pat Erdmann, Love Life Ministry volunteer | Photo by Timothy Mayer Artworks
At Love Life Ministry, we are so fortunate to meet so many wonderful young moms. It’s so rewarding to know that, with the support of our community, we can help them when help is needed.

Layette, Diapers, Formula & Baby Items

I’m a Love Life Ministry volunteer, and recently, I had a really nice conversation with one of our clients when she came in to register her new baby. On this visit to Love Life Ministry in Green Bay, we were able to help her out with diapers and formula for the month. A month earlier, she had received a layette for the baby. A layette includes knitted or crocheted blankets, quilts, and receiving blankets donated by compassionate and talented craftsman. She also received sleepers, onesies, bibs, burp clothes and other baby items needed to get started.

A Young Mom’s Vision for Her Child

The young mom and I got into a conversation about the baby’s name which was a native Menominee Indian name. We talked about preserving the language and being able to teach our children their heritage and culture.

Independent, Working Mom

As she was leaving, she told me she may not need to come back to Love Life Ministry too often because she was going to return to work soon, and she enjoyed being independent. I reminded her that we would be here for her whenever she needed us and wished her well with her new baby.

3 Goals of Love Life Ministry

We have three goals at Love Life Ministry, Green Bay, and we recently met all three goals when serving this young mom.

  1. Assist struggling families in the Green Bay area with meeting the basic needs of their newborns. – The mother left Love Life Ministry with the layette, diapers, baby formula, baby clothes and more.
  2. Provide Christian communities with the opportunity to support new life and demonstrate Gospel values through service and sharing of resources. – Love Life Ministry is an all-volunteer, ecumenical outreach ministry. Green Bay-area churches, community organizations, and individuals provide handmade blankets, baby supplies and funding.
  3. Give clients hope for a brighter future and a positive affirmation of life into our community. – This mother had a positive vision for the future of her child and looked forward to raising the child in the Menominee Indian culture and tradition. She expressed the hope to have the means of supporting herself and her baby.

Donate or Volunteer Today

Every week, Love Life Ministry, Green Bay, supports mothers just like this one. As an all-volunteer, ecumenical outreach ministry, we depend solely on the generosity of the community to sustain our nonprofit organization. Please consider helping low-income families, newborns and children in the Greater Green Bay area. We are in need, right now, of monetary donations to buy diapers, donations of baby items, and volunteers to fulfill our mission.

Truly I tell you, whatever you do for one of the least of these, you do for Me.

– Matthew 25:40

The Tennies: Called to Help, Share & Belong

Originally published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media in Green Bay Parish Neighbors

Article by Joan Koehne | Photo by Timothy Mayer Artworks

Sixteen months is a long time to be unemployed, especially if you have a baby on the way. That’s the scary predicament that John and Lynne Tennie faced 35 years ago. Lynne, a teacher, resigned to stay at home with the baby at the same time that John quit his job, thinking the next job was just around the corner. Little did they know that a recession was going to hit at the same time. The experience taught them an important life lesson.

“Pray, pray, pray and trust, trust, trust in God and his mercy and graces,” Lynne said. John finally found work managing Walgreens stores, a career that took the family to several different cities in Wisconsin. 

“This experience taught us that a house is not a home, money does not sustain you, and miracles are everywhere,” Lynne said.

In every city where they lived, John and Lynne Tennie sought out a Catholic church to worship in. 

“The parishes offered us community as well as ways to deepen our faith,” Lynne said. The Tennies have been parishioners at Catholic churches in Combined Locks, Fond du lac, Medford, and Waupaca. 

“Whether hosting a RENEW group, teaching a preschool religious education class, or exploring God’s word through scripture studies, we would feel a calling to help, share and belong,” Lynne said.

The last four years, the Tennies have been members of Nativity of Our Lord Parish where they team-teach a Confirmation class of 14 spirit-filled youth.

“Nativity Parish is a vibrant parish with many activities and outreach opportunities to be a part of.  John and I really like the openness of the parish and the way they emulate Jesus’ mission of loving others,” Lynne said.

Married for 42 years, the Tennies met at UW-Oshkosh. They were both in the same Speech class, and even though they commuted to college from different communities, they kept bumping into each other.

“We both loved to dance, which drew us to each other. We kept showing up at the same dance clubs,” Lynne said.  

Lynne, a Menasha native, graduated with bachelor degrees in Art Education and Spanish Education. John, who attended Greenville and Hortonville schools, earned a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in marketing.

Lynne taught high school Spanish and Art in Wild Rose, elementary and middle school Spanish at Holy Family School, and recently retired after 11 years teaching Spanish at Chappell Elementary School. John worked for K Mart, Hartford Insurance, and Walgreens, retiring after 35 years with the company.

The Tennies have four grown children and five grandchildren. They enjoy traveling, biking, and spending time with their family. Lynne loves to paint, draw and do crafts, while John loves professional sports (especially the Packers) fishing, camping and yard work.

John and Lynne volunteer at the Hope Center Pantry, NEW Community Shelter, and Chappell Elementary School, where they help first-grade and second-grade students with reading and math. They serve on the Cystic Fibrosis Walk committee in Green Bay and volunteer for events like the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack and Make a Difference Day.

The saint they try to emulate is Mother Teresa because they are inspired by her love for others and these simple words: “Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting, with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God.”

In the Tennie household, mealtime always begins with prayer.

“We pray a mealtime prayer together at every meal to remind ourselves of the wonderful gifts God has given us. It seems like a simple thing to do, but it helps us sit down together as a family and treasure this time together,” Lynne said.

Gratefulness flows through their lives, and they encourage others to recognize God’s many blessings.

“Life is a journey,” Lynne said. “Do not spend it with a monetary goal in mind or cultural riches. Accumulate graces that will build you up and help you be the person God wants you to be. We were made for heaven – not for this earth”