The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
April 4, 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 8-14
Federated Church of Fergus Falls
Pastor: Doug Dent
DCE: Karen Anderson
Admin. Asst: Ada Erlandson
Church Activities Coordinator: Sadie Carter
Custodian: Peter Konrad
Organist: Carol Andstrom
Choir Director: Karen hauck
Bell Director: Doris Enderson
Bookkeeper: Adam Baker
Prayers for:
  • Connie Seltz who retired as Parish Nurse 
  • A new Director of Pastoral Care 
  • A new praise band leader 
  • The congregation's new partnership with Habitat for Humanity
  • A community effort to raise awareness about human trafficking
  • Pastor Doug's ongoing doctoral studies (writing the thesis...)

Remembering ...

Today the country remembers the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The country has transitioned in so many ways from the Jim Crow days of the 50s and 60s. With this said, there are many more bridges to build and healing to be done. However, I faithfully believe we are on our way to the vision of a humanity that is bigger than hate, inequality, prejudice, greed, colonization and superiority. Before King was the vision of the people of every culture, place and position in life living into their heritage as children of God created good in God's image. Jesus Christ resisted the power of empire and valued all persons regardless of status as children of God. "Jesus gathered a community of people around him that crossed over every social and cultural boundary. Those who had been set apart were brought together: poor and rich, male and female, gentile and Jew, centurion and tax collector, Canaanite, Galilean, and Syrophoenician. Jesus called this community together in anticipation of, and participation in, the coming of the new creation." (Facing Racism, PCUSA)
We live with history ... the good, the bad, and that which we wish we could forget. We cannot change the past, but we can shape the future. In most instances we focus on the negative and try to change deep-seeded norms that are almost impossible to change. What would happen if we focused our attention on building from the possible?Looking back, can we build on the number of people who were moved after the assassination of Dr. King and called, "Enough!"? These individuals spent their lives working towards a more just society. Who can you point to in your family, immediate circles, congregations that used what was as the foundation of building something new? How we handle history is essential to what we do with the future.
This week at the Transformation ... Going Beyond Change conference we will discuss ways in which history can positively be used to shape what's next for a congregation.  Each individual congregation we be asked to identify foundational pieces of their story to take forward as new stories of congregation mission and vision are established. It is healthy to look back as we move forward.
Prayers for you as you continue to reflect on your past. God is doing a new thing ... can you perceive it?
Book Discussion rescheduled for April 11

SanDawna is inviting us to read The Pleasure of God: Finding Grace in the Ordinary by J. Ellsworth Kalas. A book discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. by Zoom. Readers, let Karen ( know your email address, and she will email out a link to the scheduled Zoom discussion. If you are new to Zoom and would like to practice getting on a Zoom conference, Karen can set up a practice for you, just let her know.
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.

You are invited

Pastor David Lick's Installation Service at the First Presbyterian Church, 706 3rd Avenue South, Saint James, MN, will be Sunday, April 8, at 2:00 p.m.  A light reception will follow the service hosted by the PNC Committee.

Rev. Cory Germain's Installation Service at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 319 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont, MN, will be Saturday, April 14, 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, and was recently granted Dual Standing by the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ.
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'Neal 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 Dulce Marisabel de León Cifuentes
Scholarship recipient,  Occidente Presbytery 2017

Note: The report from Dulce's school indicates that she did pass all of her subjects in 2017.
December 12, 2017

Honorable Presbytery
Minnesota, United States of America

Brethren, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, hoping that everything that you do daily is a great blessing.
The reason I am writing to you is to express my gratitude for the financial help that you have provided me in order to continue my university studies.

Thanks to God and the help that you have given me this past year, I was able to finish my first year of a degree in educational administration. This was a great blessing for me and my father, Pastor Elvar David de León Arreaga.

Thank you for everything. May God bless you richly.

Dulce Marisabel de León Cifuentes
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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