The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
August 30, 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)
Regular Presbytery office hours are 8:00 - 5:00 Monday - Friday.
Congregation of the week: September 3 - 9 
Grace First Parish of Russell
We pray for the saints at Grace First Parish of Russell.
Vicar: Jeff Greathouse
Clerk of Session: Steve Bush
Are Those My Shoes?

There are two Christian virtues that are often held side by side empathy and compassion. Empathy is the ability to place oneself in someone else's shoes. It is having the ability to feel the pain of others. Most are empathetic because they have experienced a similar event in their own lives making them able to understand specific loss and grieve. Life connects
human beings, making real the saying that there are just six degrees of separation between people. When I think of compassion, the words of theologian Howard Thurman come to mind. Thurman describes compassion as "God making room in our hearts." For Thurman, compassion is awareness-that where my life begins is where your life begins, the awareness that the sensitiveness to your need cannot be separated from sensitiveness to my needs (Meditation of the Heart pg. 46). The question of how do we become aware is important today. We become aware when we can see what's happening around us. The blinders are off and we see the good, the bad, and the challenging. Once we are aware, then next we must act.  Awareness alone is not enough. Jesus taught about this in Matthew 25:31-46 in the parable about the Sheep and the Goats. The righteous are invited to sit on the right hand of God according to Jesus because "
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  36  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'  37  Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  38  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  39  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?'  40  And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a]you did it to me.'"

The city of Houston and our Presbyterian sisters and brothers are in need of our help. To make a donation to support Hurricane Harvey efforts use the following link: https://pma.pcusa.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/DR000169/ .


Let Us Join in Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Almighty and everlasting God, You are strength to those who suffer and comfort to those who grieve. Let the prayers of your people who are in trouble rise to you.  We claim your promises of wholeness as we pray for those who are affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Look especially upon those who have had loss, and long  for your healing touch.
  Hear our prayer.
Make the weak strong, the sick healthy, the broken whole,  and confirm those who serve  them as agents of your love.
  Hear our prayer.
To everyone in distress, grant mercy, grant relief,  grant encouragement
  Hear our prayer.
As victims begin to rebuild, we commend their neighborhoods  to your care.
  Hear our prayer.
Bless with a special grace first responders.
  Hear our prayer.
God of compassion, you watch our ways, and weave out of  terrible happenings wonders of goodness and grace. Give strength to the Presbytery of New Covenant and the congregations in the area. Surround those who have been shaken by tragedy with a sense of your present love, and hold them in faith. Through Jesus Christ who was dead, but lives and rules this worl d with you. Amen.
 
SanDawna
September Ordination Anniversaries

09/09/1995  Pamela Prouty
09/18/1988  Edward Mark Godshall
09/21/1975  Bob Bartlett
09/26/1962  Roger Grussing
09/29/1985  Donald Ottenhoff
Thanks for Camp Scholarship


Camp was great! I think it was the best week of camp I have had so far! I met so many great people and saw people from last year. This year, I went on the high ropes, had a camp out, played water volleyball, and more fun things. Being in the JH cabin was so fun and amazing! I have made lifetime friends there.

Thanks for letting me go to camp this year and helping pay for it.

Nadia Meyers
Coffee and Rolls with SanDawna

Newly-installed Executive Director of Presbytery Mission SanDawna Ashley would like to hold coffee fellowship gatherings in Alexandria and Windom in September. All teaching elders and commissioned ruling elders are cordially invited.
 

10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 14 
Traveler's Inn Restaurant
511 Broadway Street
Alexandria

10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 19 
River City Eatery
344 10th Street
Windom
 
SanDawna is looking forward to getting to know the folks in our presbytery. Pastors, please let Karen know your attendance plans.
New Books of Order Are Here!

The 2017-2019 Books of Order have arrived. If you would like to order one, please let Karen at the Presbytery office know; the cost is $9. This Book of Order is the most recent up-to-date copy; it is important for every congregation to have at least one copy of the newest Books of Order. It is also available on the pcusa.org website. If you have questions, please ask.

Commission/Committee Members and General Assembly Commissioners, alternate and YAADS sought
 
The Commission on Representation (COR) will be meeting in early October to begin their work to fill all the presbytery commissions and committees. Also they will be reviewing applications received to be a General Assembly Teaching/Ruling Elder commissioner, alternate or Young Adult Advisory Delegate. If you are interested in any of this, please fill out the personal information form or the application for GA. All of this information will also be available at the presbytery meeting. If you have questions about any of the positions, please talk with Stated Clerk Pam Prouty or Sara McKay, chair of the COR.
God Chat Apps: A Life of Prayer
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9:00 - 3:30
Hope Presbyterian Church
Spicer

Come to deepen and strengthen your prayer life!
 
Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his
disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
 
Don't miss this multigenerational event - it will be a full day of learning about living a life of prayer.
 
Your ticket ($10) covers the full cost of your participation for the event. It includes our fabulous  speakers, coffee and snack at registration, lunch, and a snack for the ride home.
The church is hosting their annual bazaar that day - feel free to shop!
 
Sessions and speakers
Prayer and the Presence of God. Kara Root. Plenary speaker
Why Pray? In the valley, on the mountaintop and everywhere in between. Robin Hasslen
Centering Prayer. Sr. Katherine Howard
Aids to Contemplation: Tools and Resources for the Journey. Nathan Lamb
Yoga, Meditation and Devotion. Angie Ray
Let's Talk: The Basics of Prayer. Leanne Thompson
Personal Prayer for Everyone on Earth: How prayer apps help us fulfill the Great Commission. Chris Lim 


Final Promo
Final Promo

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.


Discipleship: Pam Bush, pambush@woodstocktel.net , 507-823-4697
Discipleship: Anne Veldhuisen, aveldhuisen@gmail.com , 507-215-5617
Evangelism
Mission: Richard Lawrence, richlawrence66@gmail.com , 320-260-9639
Mission: Darlene Scherbing, darlenescherbing@yahoo.com , 320-292-2610
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
Lakeshore Center at Okoboji,  October 13
Pastors and CREs: Here is a great opportunity for you to spend a day with preacher/teacher/author Tom Long.  He will be in the area to teach a class for the new Academy and will be doing this day long workshop at the Lakeshore Center at Okoboji on Friday, October 13
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

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

First Presbyterian Church, Saint James - Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03802.AD

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda - Solo Pastor, 3/4 time
   Ministry Information Form - 03782.AD

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/
Mosaic of Peace Conference

Witnessing for Peace and Wholeness in a Land called 'Holy'
A Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine
April 29-May 12, 2018

For more information, including a sample conference schedule and information from past conferences, visit presbyterianmission.org/mosaic or contact the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program at 800-728-7228 x5805 or 502-569-5805.

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