The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
April 18, 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 22-28
First Presbyterian Church of Foley
Interim Pastor: Beverly Brock
Clerk of Session: Deb Cross
Administrative Assistant and Church Treasurer: Lisa Bowland
Session Members: Mike Schwarzkopf, Jamie Emslander, Adam Foss, Gloria Vande Brake, Deb Corrigan, David Henry, Jill Emery, Bill Brauen, Tom Albers
Deacons: Jan Matvick, Joyce Rife, April Warmbold, Bob Cross, Sally Lloyd and Barb Schwarzkopf
Trustees: Dean Emslander, Torrey Lewandowski, Neil DeZeller, Jason Craft, Lonny Kiekow and Brian Malikowski.

We especially seek prayers for our leadership as major renovations and expenses are needed for the church's manse.  Keep our Second Year Confirmation Students in prayer as we celebrate Confirmation Sunday on Pentecost.  And keep our local ministries in prayer: Foley Area C.A.R.E. (Community Action Respecting Elders); C.R.O.S.S. (Christians Reaching Out in Social Service)
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. Zoom instructions will be posted closer to the date. Mark your calendars now to participate in this powerful time of intercession and thanksgiving.
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).


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  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!
Since we have been snowed out twice, we have decided to have clerk training in June! Hopefully it won't be snowed out! :)  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.
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!
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.
Thank you from Esther González
Scholarship recipient,  Occidente Presbytery 2017


Dear Brethren:

May God continue to bless the work that you do to serve the church.

I am grateful and happy with the Lord as He has allowed me to finish another year of studies. Now I will begin my 5th year of "bachillerato" (high school) in science and letters.

God has laid it upon your heart to be able to help me and I am grateful. For my parents and for me the financial support that you are giving us is a great blessing. For that reason, once again, thank you.

I do hope to be able to continue receiving your help. With nothing to add, I say goodbye.

Esther González
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,, 507-215-5617
Evangelism: Randy Knuth,, 712-540-8243
Evangelism :  Darlene Scherbing,, 320-292-2610
Mission: Richard Lawrence, , 320-260-9639
Mission: Kathy Terpstra,, 320-815-8158
Spiritual Leadership: Tom Voigt, , 612-875-6398
Stewardship: Rick Hauge, , 507-829-5227
Worship: Darin Seaman, , 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 --
Six New Things
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