The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
April 25, 2018
 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 of April 29 - May 5
First Presbyterian Church of Fulda

Pastor - Currently Vacant
Clerk of Session - Loren Carlson
 
Session Members:
 Jonathon Curry
 Melissa Danneman
 Jodie Getting
 Mark Knorr
 Dean McNeal
 Mary Winter
 
Secretary: Kasey Konrady
Treasurer: Ruth Carlson
Custodians: The Tuin family
 
Prayer Requests: We are currently vacant and our Pastor Nominating Committee is in continual need of your prayers as they seek a pastor for our congregation; our people who are in care facilities, Dale & Liz Brock, Lucille Bestge, Smokey Brandt, Gen Lutterman, Art Buschena, Gen Stewart; those who have been hospitalized, Lloyd Baerenwald, Melissa Danneman
 
Mission Outreach:

We are in cooperation with Fulda High School and Elementary School to help students who are in need of warm coats, boats, mittens, etc. The school counselor contacts us when there is a need and we purchase clothing in the sizes that they recommend. The names of the students are kept confidential.

The first Sunday of each month is Food Shelf Sunday. We encourage our congregation to bring items or cash for the Fulda Food Shelf. We also give the offerings from our Lenten Services to the food shelf.

We are beginning to plan an adult mission trip sometime in 2018 or 2019. Our youth have taken two separate mission trips in the past few years. They had some unique fundraising activities to help with the expenses of their youth trips: They "rocked the town": They had several decorated rocks that they put on congregational and community members front lawns. In order to have the rocks removed, the homeowners were asked to either donate a certain amount to have them removed, or donate to have them passed on to another homeowner, or buy insurance so they would not receive the rocks back. The community was very supportive of this project. We also held a very successful dinner theatre at the church to help offset the costs of the mission trips.
Please and Thank You

During World War II, the National Secretaries Association initiated Administrative Professionals Day to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development and to help attract people to administrative careers in the field. Through the years, the title of the day changed as the field of administrative work evolved in need and expertise. The United States Department of Commerce and various office supply and equipment manufacturers celebrated the first week of Administrative Professionals Day in 1952.

Today we highlight the work of Karen Lange, the Associate for Administration. Karen has served the presbytery faithfully for 14-1/2 years. Her work includes managing the daily administrative operations of the presbytery, resourcing commissions, supporting staff, processing financials, archiving minutes and reports and interacting on behalf of the presbytery with the public and the larger church. These tasks are done in the spirit of excellence.

Scripture mentions, "Pay to all what is due them - taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due" (Romans 13:7). Paul, known for pointing out the growing edges of the Church, wrote also about respect, adoration, collaboration and praise. He emphasized in his salutations and benedictions the work of his co-laborers, often lifting up the need for prayer for their safety, continued ministry, and wellbeing. His colleagues in ministry were important to him ... Barnabas, Timothy, Silvanus, Apollos, Titus, Priscilla, Aquila, Philemon, Pheobe, Onesimus, Junia, Archippus, Aristarchus, Epaphras, Chloe, and Junia to name a few.

Specifically in Romans 13:7, instructions are given about the role of government workers. Because of the nature of government work, many were disliked and considered traitors to the community. Here grace restores their sense of humanity ... separating the person from their job, or more appropriately said, a person is not their job. Much more can be said on this topic. I'll summarize with this; in many ways, giving honor was the same as paying a debt. It's the right thing to do, especially when it is well deserved.

I was reared with values of "please and thank you." Beyond politeness, my parents instilled in us that we are not entitled to kindness, respect or gratitude, but knowing their power when working with others will take you far in life. If you are an Oliver Twist fan, watch this short clip:  https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/117-oliver-with-a-twist. It makes this point well.

Remember to say thank you.

SanDawna
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 11.
Call to Prayer

On May 3rd at Noon our nation will pause to observe The National Day of Prayer. The tradition goes back to 1952 when President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law the joint resolution of the United States Congress. This year's theme is "Pray for America - Unity" based upon Ephesians 4:3 "Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Join the presbytery in a Zoom prayer gathering led by moderator Stan Menning. Mark your calendars now to participate in this powerful time of intercession and thanksgiving.

Topic: National Day of Prayer Zoom at noon
Time: May 3, 2018 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/192801795
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16699006833,,192801795# or +16465588656,,192801795#
Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 192 801 795
Mission Initiative Scheduled for the May Presbytery Meeting

Submitted by Mark Ford

The Commission on Presbytery Life is asking all congregations to share their mission activities at the Tuesday, May 22 Presbytery meeting at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Renville. The focus of the meeting of the Presbytery is on the mission activities of the churches within our Presbytery. Each church is asked to display their mission activities and to highlight one special mission activity.
 
A mission fair was held at our May 2015 Presbytery meeting. Each church brought in a variety of displays or activities they did as a church. I remember the Birthday Bag mission from St. Peter Presbyterian Church and you may remember others mission activities as well. We would like to have everyone share again their mission projects so that others may be inspired (or led by the Spirit) to see other opportunities for doing mission. The photo above shows Leanne Thompson from the First Presbyterian Church of Willmar hosting their display of mission activities.
 
Keep following the Valley Bridge for more updates!



More about the May Presbytery Meeting

Rhonda Kruse, Mission Engagement Advisor from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will be leading a pre-presbytery forum on mission at 10:00 a.m. Visitors and Presbytery Commissioners are invited to attend.

Special Offering at General Assembly, and at the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery meeting in May

Submitted by Scott Prouty

During General Assembly, our Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, will be leading General Assembly participants in a march to the downtown jail in St. Louis to release prisoners. These people have been imprisoned for petty crimes because they could not afford to pay the $200 fine at the time of their arraignment. They have been put in jail and forgotten. These folks end up losing their jobs and they become disconnected from their families all because they did not have $200. They can sit in jail for several years. This tends to only happen to people of color. 
 
We are going to take a special collection at General Assembly to release people from jail but I asked the Stated Clerk while I was down in Louisville for committee leadership training if we could bring money from our presbyteries and churches and of course he said, "yes" with enthusiasm.
 
There are currently sixty people to release in St. Louis that have been sitting there for years, but others will be released in other cities with the funds that are collected. 
 
The timing of this release of prisoners will make the nightly news in St. Louis and may be picked up nationally as to what the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. is doing. We will be releasing people from jail that have long paid their dues. 
 
We will be taking a special offering at our presbytery meeting to help in this worthwhile cause. Please join us in bringing some justice to the world to some people that have been locked up for years for spitting on the sidewalk or urinating in an alley. 
 
Please pray that this act during General Assembly sends a powerful message of love, hope and justice to our whole  nation in the name of Jesus of Christ. 
General Assembly Commissioners 2018

Left to right: Deb Hess (primary), Executive Director of Presbytery Mission SanDawna Ashley, Stan Menning (alternate), Stated Clerk Pamela Prouty, Scott Prouty (primary). Not pictured are YAAD Julia Prouty and Anne Veldhuisen (alternate).

Resources

GA223 Website is Live!
Get the latest information for the 223rd General Assembly (June 16-23, 2018) in St. Louis, MO. 

You are invited

Rev. Cory Germain's Installation Service at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 319 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont, MN, will be Saturday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m.  A reception and meal will be held following the installation service.  All clergy are invited to wear robes and red stoles.  Cory has served First Congregational UCC in Fairmont since November of 2016.

Harrison Community Presbyterian Church , 14110 105th Ave NE, Spicer, MN will celebrate their 150th Anniversary on Sunday, May 20. The program and open house are from 1:30 - 3:00. For more info, contact Lori Dietz at  lori@dietzbros.net  or 320-894-8589.

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Worthington will celebrate their 145th Anniversary on May 20 with Worship at 10:00 a.m. 

Attention Clerks!
 
Clerk training will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the presbytery office. Lynn Olson, clerk extraordinaire, will lead training; and following the training we will have the annual record review. I'm excited about all the clerks coming together in one place for training, record review and fellowship. I hope that most of you will be able to make this work. If you have questions/concerns, please contact Stated Clerk Pam Prouty.
Elder and Deacon Training scheduled

Ruling Elder and Deacon training will on Wednesday June 6 at the First Presbyterian Church of Windom. We'll start with a light supper, and the training will be from 6:00- 7:30. Please let Karen know at the Presbytery office your attendance plans so we can plan meals accordingly. We will try to schedule another training further north also.
Grants Available from FPC Madelia

The Mission Redevelopment Committee of First Presbyterian Church, Madelia is seeking applications to receive grants. Qualifying projects may include:
  • Development, formation, or redevelopment of Presbyterian churches
  • Evangelism or recruitment of new members
  • New building construction
  • Renovations or capital improvements
  • Presbyterian sponsored mission projects
A written letter of application describing the project and the amount of grant being requested should be submitted to the Mission Redevelopment Committee and postmarked by May 1, 2018. Grants will be selected and distributed by May 31, 2018.
 
Mission Redevelopment Committee
PO Box 156
Madelia MN 56062
PWP Spring Gathering

Submitted by Betty Thorson

PWP Spring Gathering will be held on June 5th, 2018 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington. All are invited whether you have a PW or not. Our speaker will be Sue Ingels from Iowa. She was on the Indonesia Mission trip. Meal is $8.00. Need to send reservation to Darlene O'Neil 32505 300th St, Worthington, MN 56187. Tell her from what Church and how many. Send check or let her know you will pay when you get there. Starts with registration at 8:30 am and meeting starts at 9:20. Hope to see many of you there. Need to be registered by the middle of May so they can plan their meal.
Apply  to the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program  today !! 
Final round for the 18-19 season open until June 1. National sites only are available.
 
Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, transportation and student-loan repayment options throughout the duration of the service year. For more info, visit the FAQ tab at the top of the YAV homepage. Also, follow @yavprogram as current YAVs take over the account. Help plants seeds of service and spread the word!
Steering Congregations to Formational Resources

The Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development exists to resource congregations. We have identified six critical areas: discipleship, evangelism, mission, spiritual leadership, stewardship and worship. Each area has one or two individuals who serve as point persons. The point person's goal is to steer you in the right direction toward valuable resource. Please let us know how we can come alongside of your congregation.


DiscipleshipAnne Veldhuisen, aveldhuisen@gmail.com, 507-215-5617
Evangelism: Randy Knuth, knuthr758@gmail.com, 712-540-8243
Evangelism :  Darlene Scherbing, darlenescherbing@yahoo.com, 320-292-2610
Mission: Richard Lawrence, richlawrence66@gmail.com , 320-260-9639
Mission: Kathy Terpstra, kterp101@yahoo.com, 320-815-8158
Spiritual Leadership: Tom Voigt, tvoigt1960@hotmail.com , 612-875-6398
Stewardship: Rick Hauge, rdhmnara@mchsi.com , 507-829-5227
Worship: Darin Seaman, pastordarin@fpcstcloud.org , 320-251-8277
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregation within the bounds of our presbytery is currently seeking pastoral leadership:

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda - Solo Pastor, 3/4 time up to full-time
   Ministry Information Form -  03782.AD1

Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall
- Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03892.AC1

Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake - Part-time Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form -  03851.ACO

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/
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