The Valley Bridge
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 7-13
Zion Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth
Session Members: Twyla Schilling (Clerk of Session), Lance Becker, Mary Boom, Delores Boomgaarden, Chad Schultz, Brian Wiertzema
Financial Secretary: Becca Dreesen
Treasurer: Michelle DeBeer
Church Secretary: Darcey Groen
Bible Study Leader: Miles Birkett
Sunday School Leaders: Becca Dreesen and Angela Jonas
Youth Leaders: Tonya Zitzloff
Pastor: Rev. Paul Snyder

Prayer Concerns:
  • Families who have lost loved ones.
  • Those battling cancer and dementia.
  • Those healing from surgeries.
  • The city of Ellsworth as they lost their historic City Hall in January and have had the water tower freeze up and numerous water main breaks this winter. The temporary City Office is located in the basement of Zion Presbyterian Church.
  • Our sister churches, Emmanuel and First Presbyterian Churches of Rushmore. First Presbyterian officially became part of our shared ministry agreement this January.
Prayer List

Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
Sue Thompson, Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Maynard
Bev Raske, Ruling Elder at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Renville
Grant Applications Sought

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, other funds available for the project, and the amount of grant requested should be submitted to the Mission Redevelopment Committee and postmarked by May 1, 2019. Grants will be selected and distributed by May 31, 2019.
Mission Redevelopment Committee
PO Box 156
Madelia MN 56062
Presbyterian Hymnals to Give Away

Harrison Presbyterian Church of rural Spicer has 100 blue Presbyterian Hymnals to give if anyone can use them. Contact Dennis Peterson at
Book Study: Rebuilding the Foundations
Join the Presbytery in a book study of Rebuilding the Foundations: Social Relationships in Ancient Scripture and the Contemporary Culture by John Brueggemann and Walter Brueggemann, Westminster John Knox Press. Next chapters to discuss: 5 & 6. The Zoom discussion will be on Thursday, April 4, at 1:00 PM.

Rebuilding the Foundations Zoom
Time: Apr 4, 2019 1:00 PM

If joining by phone, find your local number:
Meeting ID: 727 123 763
Pastor Nominating Committee Webinar

On Thursday, April 4, Executive Presbyter SanDawna Ashley will lead a Zoom webinar for PNCs at 2:30 p.m. Contact Karen Lange to register.

Join Zoom Meeting:
If joining by phone, find your local number: 
Meeting ID: 487 827 516
Building a Congregational Immune System

Thursday, May 2 at Green Lake Bible Camp in Spicer from 9:30 – 4:00 – Registration is $40 and includes lunch
Our Speaker, the Reverend Peter Steinke, Ph. D, has been a church consultant for more than twenty years. Having studied Bowen Family System Theory under the tutelage of Edwin Friedman, he has attempted to incorporate the theory in his work. He has authored four books with an eye on Bowen Theory. He has developed the Bridgebuilder and Healthy Congregation programs and is initiating New Visions, a system-based project for leadership in congregations. Dr. Steinke is an ordained Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. A prolific author, Steinke is the guru of church systems, congregational health and building the capacity of leaders.

Dr. Steinke, a lead consultant to congregations and judicatories, will provide daylong training for church leaders on the congregation as an emotional system, triggers of anxiety, the immune response, and leadership in an emotional system. 

27th Festival of Homiletics - 2019 Minneapolis
"Preaching as Moral Imagination"

Once upon a time, preachers and churches had a primary role in shaping the moral imagination of a community, a society, even a nation. What happened? “Preaching As Moral Imagination” will inspire and encourage preachers to embrace, once again, their identity as those called to give voice to God’s vision of goodness and mercy, to recover and re-imagine leadership in the church that seeks justice for all. Be inspired by God’s Word proclaimed by some of the nation’s finest ministers and teachers. Experience the fellowship of hundreds of preachers. Learn and worship in an atmosphere that’s dynamic, friendly, nurturing, and prophetic. Come renew, refresh, and recharge your spirit. Come and tap into God’s moral imagination for the sake of the world God loves.
Synod Gathering for Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Lakes and Prairies
June 20-23, 2019

Gateway Hotel & Conference Center
2100 Green Hills Dr
Ames, Iowa

Full registration is $200 and includes meals and programming.

Link to Flyer
Join the movement of Presbyterians in Baltimore for a Big Tent like no other.

The theme, Called to a Movement beyond Institution, will emphasize our hope of the Gospel and its power to challenge institutional conventions. The goal is to come together and live in this moment, immersed in our current cultural context of racial division, gender inequality, and economic disparity to be renewed, refreshed and reformed, so that we may be sent out to affect change in our own communities. Big Tent will provide a place where our Presbyterian polity and identity is the foothold by which we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action and answer the call to discern the will of God together.

Through worship, Bible study, learning opportunities, and active engagement with one another and the community, attendees will encounter the Church participating in God’s mission for the transformation of creation and humanity. 

Organizers for this year’s Big Tent celebration have lined up the guest preachers and leaders for the three-day gathering in Baltimore this summer. The Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah will be the featured speaker at the opening plenary on Thursday, Aug. 1.

“Conversations are taking place about the changes that are occurring in our society, especially in terms of our demographics. Churches are experiencing change, including decline and diversity,” said Rah. “I will touch on those, but I really want to touch base on what the appropriate response to these changes should be.”

Save the date for Boundary Training
Tuesday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls
Boundary Training is required for all minister/teaching elder presbytery members and commissioned ruling elders. The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys will be holding a boundary training on Tuesday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. The Rev. Mark Sundby from Leaderwise will be leading the boundary training. The training will focus on a holistic approach to boundaries, looking at overall resilience and well-being as the best prevention against impaired decision making and boundaries violations. More information will be coming.
The Stewardship Navigator is a new online tool to help you create a year-round stewardship program. The Stewardship Navigator includes tools and resources along with customized materials for your congregation.

It is important for churches to develop a creative and comprehensive annual stewardship program. Successful stewardship programs are generally not one-time, fall events but rather ongoing, year-round initiatives that keep members challenged and engaged.

To help you with your stewardship program, the Stewardship Navigator offers …
  • Usable Templates
  • Year-Round Guidance
  • Stewardship Calendar
  • Assistance from Presbyterian Foundation Ministry Relations Officers

Get started with the Stewardship Navigator today by registering your church at . For assistance with setting up your account contact or 800-858-6127.

Church Staff: Schedule a Day with Karen

Associate for Administration Karen Lange is available to spend a day with the person or persons in the church office to share tips on setting up bulletins, newsletters, making a Facebook page or to help with any general questions. The cost is Karen’s mileage to and from the church plus providing lunch. Please email Karen to schedule.
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

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

Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer - Solo Pastor
  Ministry Information Form -  09565.ADO

The Ministry Information Forms for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --