The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
April 19, 2017
 We are congregations who seek to be a collective expression of the Body of Christ, 
joyfully participating in Christ's ongoing life and work. "Therefore encourage one 
another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing." 
(I Thessalonians 5:11)
Congregation of the week: April 23-29
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Crystal
Staff
Pastor, Rev. Randal K. Lubbers
Clerk & Administrative Assistant, Rhonna Nilson
Custodian, Jay Richardson
Music Director, Jessica Conover
Organists, Ryan Jones and Adam Jones
 
Prayer Requests
  • Thanksgiving for a joyful and meaningful Easter Sunday worship celebration, for God's grace and strength for worship leaders during Holy Week, and for the church's ministry of hospitality. 
  • Intercessions for members going through physical challenges and those nearing death--feels like too many again lately!
  • Thanksgiving for the bittersweet joy of sharing home communion following the Maundy Thursday service with a group of 12 friends and relatives.
  • Intercessions for session and other leaders--for wisdom, discernment, the power of the Holy Spirit, and for the gifts and fruits of the Spirit in their daily lives and church-related service. 
  • Thanksgiving for the good work and joyful spirits of our staff.
  • Intercessions for our pastor and his family--Elyse (21) is a junior in elementary education at Central College in Pella, Iowa; Luke (17) is a junior in high school and taking the ACT this week.
Something New
First-Time Commissioner Briefing

The May 16 Presbytery meeting in Worthington will be what we have been referring to as a "hybrid" meeting. By that we mean that we will be combining two functions into one meeting. The morning session will consist of commission/committee meetings and a forum on immigration with the business meeting/worship taking place in the afternoon. In order to save some time we want to try providing the first-time commissioner briefing on Monday, May 15 at 7:00 PM via ZOOM. ZOOM is the video conferencing tool we have been using for a number of our meetings. Churches sending a first time commissioner will be asked to send Karen the name and email address of that person so she can send the link to participate in the meeting. It is recommended that the person have the presbytery meeting packet in hand so they can follow along with the agenda. While this briefing is designed for first time commissioners, anyone would be welcome to sit in. 
Morning Forum Option at the May Presbytery Meeting

by Jim Krapf

"Immigration connects us," declared Amanda Craft at the Network Meeting of Guatemalan and U.S. partners in January. Amanda is previously one our mission co-workers in Mexico and Guatemala. She is now leading our office on immigration in Louisville. 

You are invited to attend a forum on immigrants during the morning of our May 16 Presbytery meeting in Worthington. You will be supplied with resources from Amanda. You will hear presentations from and have opportunity to dialogue with local people. Participating will be the delegates visiting from our sister presbytery of Occidente, our police chief, an immigration attorney, human resource director of the meat packing plant, priest and staff of the Catholic Church, and representatives of a number of organizations as well as our immigrant neighbors.

If time and numbers permit, there will also be opportunity to tour the food pantry (located in Westminster) and a citizenship class (located in a center a half-block away.)

The objective of the forum will be for you to strengthen faithful connections by addressing fears, challenging naïve perspectives, and releasing your compassion as a follower of Jesus Christ.

We Need Hosts for Occidente Presbytery Guests Arriving in May
 
Our partners are coming. We want the presence of our guests from Occidente Presbytery to yield us the most benefit, so we are asking you and your congregations to inform us of your wishes. In particular, we can arrange visits which can include the sharing of faith stories, information about our mutual mission projects, discussions about immigration issues, and insights about our unique witness as Reformed Christians. Those who are prayer partners with Occidente congregations may especially wish to have this contact.
 
You can contact me at jimcynkrapf17@gmail.com, 507-350-1662, or 808 4th Avenue, Worthington, MN 56187.
 
As we plan, keep the following information in mind. The dates of their visit will likely be May 12 to 26, including two Sundays. At the May 16 Presbytery meeting, one of the delegates will preach, they will do educational presentations, and we will celebrate the renewal of our Pact of Companionship in Mission.
 
At this point, the delegation will include Rev. Alma Lili Rodriguez and Elder Jairo Alvarado. Both are leaders in their presbytery and their International Partnership Committee. Many of you have meet Alma Lili before and know her as a faithful inspiring pastor. Jairo is a licensed transportation provider in Quetzaltenango and the father of two daughters. His wife is a high school teacher. He is eager to share the meaning of his faith as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. His family suffered many losses during the civil war and yet knows the power of grace to heal. 

Presbytery regular office hours are 7:30 - 3:30 Monday - Friday.
The presbytery office hours this week are changed. 
Virginia Molitor will be in Wednesday through Friday  from 
noon to 3:00 p.m. She will be checking messages and mail. 
Karen Lange will be visiting her new grandson!
Presbyterian Planning Calendars

Email Karen Lange your congregation's calendar order, or use the linked order form. They are $9 each, checks payable to the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys. Order by May 2.
Installation Invitation

The congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Osakis invites you to the installation of Rev. Randal B. Knuth on Sunday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m.
Wanted: Three Adventurers
 
The Young Adult Mission trip to Guatemala is looking for three intrepid adventurers to complete our team. Ages 16 to 25. June 26 to July 8, 2017. Cost is $1500, but special price of only $1250 if registered before April 14. Contact Mark Ford, 218-232-8131, or foxfire1691@yahoo.com for additional information.
Coming Soon: The Academy

Simply put, it is a series of 11 courses designed to develop well equipped, thoughtful people to better serve councils in a variety of capacities. For some this may lead to becoming commissioned ruling elders (CREs) while others delight in learning and growing as a leader.  We are lining up some of the finest instructors we can find! The brochure
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregations within the bounds of our presbytery are currently seeking pastoral leadership:

Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall, Minnesota  - Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03892.AC
Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Crosslake, Minnesota  - Interim Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 11950.AC0

The Ministry Information Forms for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --  http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/clc/

Additionally, there will be other opportunities arising in the near future. Please keep your eyes open as Fulda begins a pastoral search and Foley will begin seeking an Interim Pastor. 
Youth Ministry Forum

April 25th-28th, 2017- The Forum is an uncommon blend of theological and practical exploration of youth ministry. The theme for this year's Forum is "Declare!" We will explore the prophetic voice vital to the church's work with young people. Hear from speakers like Andrew Root, Amanda Drury, and Gregory C. Ellison II. Renew your energy for ministry as you create vocational friendships, stretch your imagination, and give Sabbath to your soul.
 
Can't make it to Princeton? We are offering a digital version of The Forum on Youth Ministry this year. For more information, please visit the website  http://iymforum.com. Registration at  https://app.certain.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x256294943c6 
Six New Things
Registration open! More info
Synod School 2017 - July 23-28, 2017 - Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa
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