The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 31, 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: June 4-10
Christ United Presbyterian Church of Marshall
Pastor - Rev. Anne Veldhuisen
Music Director - Margaret Greig
Office Assistant - Billie Moat
Janitor - Gerald Wendt
Treasurer - Jennifer Williams
 
Please pray for our church as we discern what God has in store for us next. We pray for our session to be inspired and eager to lead, for our congregation to feel empowered in their faith, and for our community know that we are working toward God's kingdom here on earth.
God Chat Apps: A Life of Prayer
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9:00 - 3:30
Hope Presbyterian Church
Spicer

Email Karen Lange to register. Cost: $10 if preregistered by September 22
Plenary Speaker: Rev. Kara Root
Breakout session topics:
  • Centering Prayer
  • Spiritual Practices
  • Yoga, Meditation & Prayer
  • Introduction to Prayer
  • Tech Tools for Prayer
2017 Summit Meeting
God Chat Apps: A Life of Prayer
Presbytery office hours are 7:30 - 3:30 Monday - Friday.
Office will be closed on Friday, June 2.
Pastor Alma Lili's Visit to MVP

by Edith Alvarez

Alma Lili Rodriguez and I enjoyed quite the trip through the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys the past two weeks! We started with her arrival at MSP on May 12 and ended at MSP on May 26. The focus of her trip was the presbytery meeting in Worthington on May 16 where she participated in the very informative forum on immigration, signed the renewal of our partnership covenant with Occidente Presbytery in Guatemala, preached a sermon on the Protestant Reformation, renewed friendships with many people who have visited Guatemala, and met our newly elected Director of Presbytery Mission.

Our second goal was to meet with as many churches in the prayer partnership with Occidente as possible and encourage them to get their communication going (if it isn't already.) We were warmly welcomed by members of the Presbyterian churches in Amboy, Winnebago (where Alma Lili preached on May 14), Worthington, Ellsworth (where the Bible study group did not get around to Leviticus, but we had a good discussion and enjoyed lunch at the communal table at the local café), Canby (where we answered many interesting questions asked by grade school children at the after-school program sponsored by the local ministerial association and had a delicious BBQ supper prepared in the rain), Dawson (where we were invited into the Spanish 2 classes at the high school, then helped make up "birthday bags" for the food shelf before lunch), Brainerd (where Alma Lili preached on May 21), Crosslake (weather didn't allow for a pontoon ride), and Foley. All along the way the people we knew before and those we met for the first time were wonderful! Alma Lili asked me to be sure to thank everyone on her behalf for their hospitality and to invite them to Guatemala. I, too, felt like part of a large family everywhere we went - ¡Muchas gracias!

Alma Lili and Mark Ford at Clearwater
Alma, Judie and Ray Larson, Edith

In addition, we visited Clearwater Forest Presbyterian Camp and had a fast drive up the North Shore Drive to Naniboujou Lodge north of Grand Marais. The attempt to get her into Canada didn't work - she didn't have a visa for there. Alma Lili had asked if we might be able to include a shopping adventure to the Mall of America, so that, too, was worked into our schedule and she took advantage of it!

We often commented on the fact that the original five that tried to get visas to our country so that they could come on this trip would have had a marvelous experience and the people of our presbytery would have enjoyed interacting with them, but God works in mysterious ways that are unknown to us. Hopefully at some point in the future, they - or others - will be able to visit us. Again, thanks to all of you who provided such great hospitality to Alma Lili and myself. If you ever go to Guatemala, you, too, will experience what loving hosts they are as well.
Discover Presbyterian Mission in Pakistan

During the week of September 4-9, 2017, Veda Gill, Executive Director of Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan (PEB), will be in Central Minnesota and is looking for opportunities to acquaint God's people with the vital work being done in educating some of Pakistan's poorest children, both Christians and Muslims. This work was started by Presbyterian missionaries in the 1850s and continues to this day. Veda is looking for pastors, mission groups, PW members, or interested church members who could receive initial information about PEB in preparation for a follow-up visit with a larger church group at a later time. If you would like to sit with Veda and hear the good news from Pakistan, please contact Lynn Miller at 320-492-3341 or lynn.miller@friendsofpeb.org.
Asking for Prayer ...

The Rev. Karen Anderson Dent's father has been on hospice care this Spring; Karen has been helping him out at his home for the past six weeks, Doug is in Fergus Falls with their two children. Karen's father is suffering from cancer and is fading slowly. They are not contemplating nursing home care as he cannot stand unassisted anymore. Please keep them in your prayers.
Celebrating Pastor Al's Ministry and Wishing Him Well on His Retirement

The congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Foley are planning a retirement party for Pastor Al Jergenson on Sunday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. The celebration will be held in our church's fellowship hall.
PC(USA) pastors and commissioned lay pastors encouraged to apply for matching funds to attend financial literacy and leadership events and training

The Presbyterian Foundation is accepting applications for a newly established Church Financial Leadership Grant. Grant applicants must be a pastor, commissioned lay pastor (CLP), or leader of a 1001 New Worshiping Community within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Funds are available for those pastoral leaders seeking to gain a better understanding of church financial vitality and management of their congregations.

The application deadline is June 30. More info
Do you hear a call to a new role in church leadership? 

In response to a need for accessible educational opportunities for church leaders, the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys along with two other presbyteries and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies have developed an exciting new course of study called "The Academy." 
 
Maybe God is calling you to respond to a specific need for a Commissioned Ruling Elder in your church. Or maybe you feel a hunger for personal spiritual growth. Perhaps you are a current CRE who feels you could benefit by a refresher on certain topics.
 
Courses may be taken as a series with the goal of meeting the requirements of becoming a Commissioned Ruling Elder, or individual classes may be audited for personal education and growth.
 
Hurry! The first classes start at Synod School in July, so registrations are being taken now. Check out the link for the brochure or visit the registration website for more information about the courses and the quality teachers. Questions may be directed to the presbytery office, or Academy board members: Rev. Elaine Boyd and Kathy Knips.
To register, go to:  https://www.regonline.com/theacademy
For more information:  www.thepresbyterianacademy.org
The brochure
PWP Spring Gathering
June 6, 2017 - 9:20 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (8:30 registration)
First Presbyterian Church
240 North St E
Amboy, Minnesota
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

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

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. 
Job Openings in Mid-Council Ministries and Holmes Camp

The PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly is seeking a Director of Mid Council Ministries (link), Associate Director for Constitutional Interpretation (link), and Associate Director for Mid Council Relations (link).

Holmes Presbyterian Camp & Conference Center, located on 650 acres of woods and lakes just one-hour from New York City, is searching for a new Executive Director to lead its year-round operations. Ideal candidates should be innovative, open, collaborative, excited to plan and implement programs that reach new constituencies and new markets for faith formation, and able to share the depth of their own Christian faith; however, candidates need not necessarily be either ordained clergy or Presbyterian. Interested persons can find more information at  http://holmescamp.org/executive-search/ and completed applications will begin to be reviewed June 1, 2017.
Shalom Hill Farm Ministries Looking for Executive Director
Six New Things
Big Tent - July 6-8 - Saint Louis - More info
Synod School 2017 - July 23-28 - Storm Lake, Iowa
Lakeshore Center at Okoboji,  October 13
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