The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
October 4, 2016
 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 October 9-15
First Presbyterian Church of Windom


Office Administrator: Kelly Piotter
Musicians: Renee Harnack, Shelley Lovell, Joanne Nelson
Cleaners: DAC
Pastor: Bonnie Roys
 
Prayer concerns:
All touched by recent violence in cities
All in major change and  transition
Fall activities: Youth Sundays, community outreach, Glenn Henrickson concert, Presbyterian Women's missions and activities, Soup and Dessert Fundraiser

The Word from Rick: A Call to Prayer

As the meeting of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies wraps up and I prepare to engage in a gathering with my presbytery leader colleagues, I want to share one very important item with you.
 
For the better part of the last month, many of our Dakota brothers and sisters have been engaged in a largely peaceful and respectful protest of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project. This protest has gained the attention and support of countless people across this nation and around the world. Members of Presbyterian congregations across this synod have been to the Camp of the Sacred Stones near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to lend their visible and spiritual support to this cause, which is more than a protest against something, but rather it is an effort in support of something vital and life-giving - the protection of God's sacred creation and the life-giving waters of the Missouri River.
 
The people gathered at the Camp of the Sacred Stones are more than "protesters," they are "Water Protectors," seeking to ensure that the Dakota people and others who rely on Missouri River water will have a clean and safe source of this awesome gift from God. In support of the "Water Protectors," the Oceti Sakowin - seven bands of the Dakota Nation - have issued a Call to Prayer for this weekend, October 8-11. At our Synod Meeting, we have been encouraged to join with the Oceti Sakowin and Presbyterians across the nation to be a part of this prayer effort.
 
Below is a document that has been distributed to our Synod Commissioners and will be circulated across the PCUSA. It gives background information and shares the call to prayer. I commend it to your attention in the hopes that you and your congregation will find ways to engage in this call to prayer.
 
Blessings on the Journey!
 
Grace and Peace,
Rick
A Call to Pray with the Oceti Sakowin for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Their Supporters

More than 4,000 people have gathered at Camp of the Sacred Stones, three separate prayer camps, along the western side of the Cannon Ball River north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, near the northern border of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation. The people, known as "Water Protectors," have gathered in an effort to stop Dallas-based company Energy Transfer from piping Bakken oilfield crude oil underneath the Missouri River, the main source of drinking water for the tribe. This project is known as the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (DAPL).
 
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe took the initiative in this witness to protect the land and water from environmental harm and to affirm tribal sovereignty. Support for the tribe's efforts has grown and now comes from many tribes and peoples across the country and internationally as well as individuals and groups concerned for issues raised by the DAPL.
 
As the witness continues, the Oceti Sakowin, Dakota Nation (Sioux Nation), have issued a call to prayer for October 8 through 11. The Oceti Sakowin consists of seven bands. The Dakota people make up four of the bands; the Nakota people make up two of the bands; and the Lakota people make up one band. Within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Dakota Presbytery consists of congregations of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.
 
Please pray for:
  • The earth and all the resources the Creator has provided;
  • Wisdom, courage, and strength for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and for its Chairman David Archambault and his family;
  • Strength and courage for the Water Protectors and their families;
  • Peace and unity at the camps;
  • The provision of food, water, and shelter and the meeting of other needs for the Water Protectors, particularly those who plan to witness in winter;
  • Wisdom and vision for the people working on the legal battles being fought to halt this pipeline and to honor the sovereignty of Native peoples;
  • Patience and a willingness to rely on nonviolence for the government and corporate authorities involved; and
  • The leaders of the Synod of Lakes & Prairies as they collect, and discern where to use, funds for the camps and the Water Protectors.
Those wishing to support the Water Protectors financially may send contributions to the Synod of Lakes and Prairies:
 
Synod of Lakes and Prairies
2115 Cliff Drive
Eagan, MN 55122
Make the check payable to: Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Note on check: Dakota Access Pipeline Acct #2087
 
The synod will send a confirmation to the donor that the funds were received and then information about where they were distributed. Please make sure to include your name and address on the check unless already printed on it .
 
The Office of Public Witness has created an action guide that provides advocacy points to contact Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
In response to the situation at Stand Rock and other current instances of racial injustice, the Advocacy Committee on Racial Ethnic Concerns has issued a statement urging "our church and all of its members but especially those who are white to join us in breaking silence. Commit with us to raise our collective voice not just to proclaim the good news of God's grace but to call out injustice, to call out the forces that threaten to tear us apart with xenophobic, racist, and Islamophobic rhetoric."
 
Presbyterian Native Americans continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates on ways to support the effort at Standing Rock, and across the country, to protect water, land, and tribal rights and to maintain harmonious relationships with the earth. 

The Oceti Sakowin call to prayer is for four days, recognizing that when the Dakota (Sioux) people pray they view the world as having four directions. The four winds come from the four directions with each direction having a meaning and color associated with it. Where the medicine wheel lines cross symbolizes all directions. The four directions would relate to the four days, October 8 through 11, in this way:
 
October 8: West (Black) is the direction of the setting sun, the end of each day. The west signifies the end of life. The west is also the source of water: rain and rivers, streams, and lakes. The west is vital because without water there can be no life.
 
October 9: North (Red) brings winter's cold, harsh winds. These cleansing winds cause leaves to fall and cover the earth under a blanket of snow. Animals or people who have the ability to face these winds, like the buffalo who faces its head into the storm, are said to have learned endurance and patience. The north generally stands for the discomfort and hardships people experience. It represents the cleansing people endure and the trials people undergo.
 
October 10: East (Yellow) is the direction from which the sun comes. Light dawns in the east in the morning to mark the beginning of a new day. Then the light spreads over the earth. Light helps people see things the way they really are and can be the beginning of understanding. East also represents the wisdom that helps people live good lives. Traditional people rise in the morning to pray facing the dawn, asking God for wisdom and understanding. Many churches were built with the front facing east.
 
October 11:  South (White) is the color of the southern sky when the sun is at its highest. South stands for warmth and growing. From the south come warm, pleasant winds. When people pass into the spirit world, they travel the Milky Way's path back to the south - returning from where they came.
 
The information for the four directions comes from The Four Directions posted by Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.
Building Interfaith Bridges Event in Redwood Falls

On Saturday October 15th, you are invited to an event called "Building Interfaith Bridges" at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Part of the Day will include an Interfaith Panel with Dr. Bernie Evans (Retired Roman Catholic Theology Professor of St. John's University), the Rev. Joyce Graue (Conference Minister of the Synod of Southwestern Minnesota, ELCA),  Jaylani Hussein  (Executive Director of CAIR-MN), Nahid Khan (Special Consultant  to the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning), Elona Street-Stewart (Synod Executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies PC(USA))  and Dr. Sayyid Syeed (National Director of the Islamic Society of North America, heading up its office for Interfaith and Community Alliances in Washington D.C.). We are ordering meals for everyone for a freewill donation so please let Scott Prouty or Karen Lange know if you are coming by October 10th. We have people from at least 25 different cities coming so far. You will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions. 

We all need to listen and share with one another more instead of writing people off and judging them. This world needs more love not hate. Let us truly love our neighbors as ourselves. Come be a part of this special event.
Opportunities to Serve in the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys

The Committee on Representation/Nominating Committee is meeting this Friday. They will be nominating individuals to serve our presbytery. Our presbytery is at its best when our Teaching Elders, Ruling Elders, and congregations are working together and sharing the abundant gifts and talents that exist among us, in the following areas of our presbytery's ministry:
  • The Commission on Leadership
  • The Commission on Presbytery Life
  • The Commission on Presbytery Operations
  • The Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development
  • The Committee on Congregational Nurture
  • Vice-Moderator of Presbytery
  • The Committee on the Self-Development of People
Descriptions of these groups and their ministries can be found on the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys website, using the Commissions/Committees tab - www.minnesotavalleys.org.

When they call upon you to serve, prayerfully consider their invitation to be a part of the "new thing" that God continues to do among us!
On the Road with Rick
October 4-5 - Synod Presbyters' Forum, Mount Olivet
October 11 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
October 12 - Presbytery Planning, Redwood Falls
October 15 - "Building Interfaith Bridges", First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls
October 16 - Worship at First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls
October 23 - Preach at Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer
October 30 - Preach at Maine Presbyterian Church
November 5 - Presbytery Meeting at Union Presbyterian Church, Saint Peter
November 6 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
November 13 - Preach at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, Rushmore and Zion Presbyterian Church, Ellsworth
December 4-10 - Winter All Staff Conference, Mercy Center, Burlingame, California
December 18 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Brainerd
Invitation to the 2017 APCE Annual Event
(Association of Presbyterian Church Educators)
Grace and peace to you. It is with great joy that we extend an invitation the the 2017 APCE Annual Event!

Psalm 46 reminds us that  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble ... that though the waters roar and foam and the mountains tremble with its tumult, God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved.
 
In Baltimore, we were challenged: Fear Not!  In Chicago, we were called to see, hear, and live the new thing God is doing! We want you to know that we know how brave you are, and how challenging it can be to step into new thing.  It can feel like the mountains are quaking and falling into the heart of the sea! In Denver, Colorado, we invite you to be still, and know that God is God..."
 
This is a quality event for individuals who are involved in the educational ministries of our congregations. Check out the information at www.apcenet.org today! Assistance may be requested through the Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development!
Pulpit Supply Opportunity - This Is a Great and Urgent Need

The session of the First Presbyterian Church of Osakis is seeking individuals to help provide pulpit supply for their congregation while they continue their pastoral search. If you are a teaching elder or ruling elder who has time that you would like to offer to your friends in Osakis, please contact Elder Shirley Helberg - shirley_helberg@yahoo.com  - or the Session Moderator, Rick Carus, at the presbytery office.
Ministry Opportunities

The First Presbyterian Church of Pipestone  is seeking a Designated Pastor to lead them as they seek to grow and develop active disciples. First Presbyterian Church desires to be a congregation that will embrace new ideas that will lead them into a new and exciting future. 
If you, or someone you know, might be the dynamic, committed pastoral leader that FPC-Pipestone needs, please take a serious look at this opportunity! The Ministry Information Form is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site -- http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/clc/. It is MIF ID#03796.AC0. For more information, contact Rick Carus at the presbytery office - 320.235.7910 or rick@minnesotavalleys.org .

The First Presbyterian Church Osakis is continuing its search for a Pastor to lead them as they live out the visions that have been generated by their New Beginning conversations. If you, or someone you know, has a passion for small towns and energetic small-member congregations, please encourage consideration of this opportunity!  The Ministry Information Form for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site. It is MIF#: 03890.AC1. For more information, please contact PNC Chairperson Shari Maloney at 320.859.3098 or by e-mail - sharim@alextech.edu .

The First Presbyterian Church of Randall is currently developing its Ministry Information Form in preparation for a pastoral search. As soon as this document is posted, we will make an announcement through the Valley Bridge.
Useful Link for Church Treasurers: 
It's time to order your Presbyterians Today 2016 Advent Calendar: A Journey of Memories

Advent is a time of remembering. In the weeks before Christmas, we watch, wait, and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. We read Scriptures and practice church traditions that have been around for 2,000 years. This year's devotional is a journey of memories-of so many sights, smells, tastes, and sounds that point to the promise of God in Jesus Christ. These are the daily incarnations of our faith. When does a touch remind us of Jesus? Can a candle bring God's hope to a dark room? Can a smell take us to a holy place?

Sue Washburn-pastor and editor of Presbyterians Today-has put together a collection of daily reflections and prayers to help us experience the joy and wonder of Christ's birth with the senses God has given us.

Susan Blank's exquisite handmade quilts add to the beauty and remembrances in this year's Advent Calendar.

Perfect for congregations, families, and individuals, A Journey of Memories provides a Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer for each day of Advent.

Order copies for your congregation now to ensure delivery before Advent. 

Your congregation is invited to order these Advent Calendars at $1.50 per copy through the presbytery office. The deadline to order is Tuesday, October 18. Please call or email Karen at the presbytery office: 320-235-7910 or karen@minnesotavalleys.org.
Worship Chairs for Sale

Submitted by Steve Tyykila

The Canby ministerial association's after school program was recently given the building and contents of an LCMC church that dissolved. Included in that was a wooden lector stand/pulpit, communion table, and baptismal font we want to give away. We also have 80 almost new worship chairs that hook together, many of them with racks for Bibles and hymnbooks. We would like to sell them for $40 apiece.  Link to pictures

Interested? Contact Pastor Levi Bollerus, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 507-223-7072.
Out of the office

Karen Lange will be gone Wednesday, October 5 - Sunday, October 9 attending the National Administrative Personnel Association's annual meeting and classes.
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