The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
April 6, 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 April 10-16:
First Presbyterian Church of Luverne


STAFF: Rev. Jason Cunningham (Pastor), Becky Sehr (Administrative Assistant), Barb Antoine (Choir Director and Bell Choir Director), Renee Sawtelle (Custodian), Annalisa Cunningham (Newsletter Editor), Pat Weerheim (Head Usher), Denice Dirks (Organist), Diane Boyenga (Organist), Betty Mann (Organist), Colleen Cragoe (Organist)
SESSION: Gloria Rust, Craig Stegenga, Signe Underwood, Phil Voigt, Joshua Schoneman (youth elder), Becky Eeten, Brian Schoneman, Janet Sudenga, Karen Wohnoutka,  Anna Ahrendt, Verlyn Hoff, Kari Lais, Brett Stegenga, and Sarah Kooiker (Clerk of Session)
BOARD OF DEACONS: Scott Boelman, Kevin Kraetsch, Sandy Smith, Ariel DeBeer (youth deacon), Carol Boelman, Deb Iveland, Buck Underwood, Travis Pierce, Mike Olson and Barbara Schiebout
KEEP IN YOUR PRAYERS: Pastor Jason and Annalisa who are expecting twins, local farmers as they work on spring planting, all of the congregations in the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys, people who are grieving the loss of loved ones, the many people recovering from various surgeries, and that all may experience the joy of the Risen Christ during the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Word from Rick: Don't You Ever Stay at Home?

It was a quick, but very profitable trip to Louisville last week. The city was alive with color, the result of the dogwoods blooming combined with the arrival of basketball fans from the Universities of Maryland and of Miami, as well as Kansas and Villanova Universities.
While I was there for conversations related to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, the air was filled with talk about NCAA's South Region Finals and the Jayhawks, 'Canes, Terps, and Wildcats. In spite of the temptations to talk basketball - it's a very significant topic in Kentucky, even if UK and U of L aren't playing - I felt that we got a great deal accomplished in preparation for my responsibilities at the Triennium in July.
On the Road with Rick
April 6-8 - Board of Pensions Regional Benefits Consultation, San Diego
April 10 - Minute for Mission, First Presbyterian Church, Willmar
April 12 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
April 17 - Preach at Christ United Presbyterian Church, Marshall
April 17 - Pre-Triennium Gathering, First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls
April 21 - Communications Event at Southwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA Offices, Redwood Falls
April 24 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Foley
April 26 - Lay Academy Consultation at Lakeshore Center at Lake Okoboji
April 30 - Matthew Zelie's Ordination and Installation to be held in Dalton
May 1-7 - Presbytery Leader Formation Program - Residency Week - Seattle
Communications Workshop

Conducted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency 
Location: The Southwest Minnesota ELCA Synod Office 
175 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls 
When: Thursday, April 21, from 9:00-3:00 

This workshop is for church leaders, church office staff and anyone interested in strengthening their congregation's communications efforts. 

What do you want your community to know about your church? Are you looking for ways to share God's love through social media? Does your church have a well-thought-out communications plan-for both internal and external audiences? Create excitement and energy in your congregation by using simple, but powerful communications tools. You don't have to have a huge budget or a large staff to effectively tell the story of your work inside and outside the church walls. 

This free daylong workshop, conducted by communications professionals on the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff, will give you tips and techniques to better reach your audience. They'll offer insights and guidelines on creating a communications plan for your congregation, discuss the "do's and don'ts of media relations and "pitching" stories to your local media. You'll learn proven techniques for using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and leave with tips that will make your communications more effective and help increase your reach. Communications Workshop Flyer

Pre-Triennium Gathering

Sunday, April 17 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. Triennium participants are asked to RSVP to Karen Lange at the Presbytery Office!
Hope Christian Ministry Receives Grant



Hope Christian Ministry began in the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys in 2012 as a ministry to the Anuak people--new immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from the South Sudan and Ethiopia who were a growing part of their neighborhoods and communities. Hope began their ministry by encouraging Anuak youth to learn the Anuak language as way of connecting to their family's faith-and assisting Anuak adults with English. Hope leader Owar Ojha Ojulu is looking to expand their mission efforts to Anuak living in Sioux Falls area, which is 60 miles from Worthington and located in Presbytery of South Dakota. Read more



Available to give away from the Kerkhoven church
  • 93 Blue Hymnals
  • 81 old Red Hymnals
  • 62 Red Pew Bibles (RSV)
Contact the presbytery office!
Volunteer some time in Browns Valley

The United Methodist Presbyterian Church of Browns Valley is looking for a team to come serve as church people. The town of Browns Valley is having its sesquicentennial (150) celebration June 23-26, 2016. The congregation would like to have their building open to serve meals, and possibly provide limited childcare services but do not have enough people to staff it. The mission is simple, be present, be friendly, serve some food, watch some kids. Various accommodations are available. Come one day, or all. Any assistance is appreciated.

Please contact Janna at 320-444-2130, or for more details. See mission proposal  for more details on volunteer duties.

Ministry Opportunities

First Presbyterian Church of Osakis is seeking 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!
While the primary work is with the Osakis congregation, the pastor of this congregation will also provide pulpit supply and pastoral care for the United Church of Christ in Sauk Centre.
The Ministry information Form for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site. It is MIF#: 03890.AC0. For more information, please contact PNC Chairperson Shari Maloney at 320.859.3098 or by e-mail - ; or Transitional Executive Presbyter, Rick Carus at the presbytery office.

First Presbyterian Church of Pipestone is preparing to search for a Designated Pastor. That search is expected to begin in the near future. Please watch for more details!
PW Global Exchange

Every three years, a group of Presbyterian Women travels to another part of the  world to learn about the lives of women in that part of the world and to share faith stories and ministries with each other. It is a global exchange because the following year, a group of women from the same part of the world is invited to attend the  Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women  to tell their stories to their North American sisters.

In 2017, the destination is Indonesia.  More info and applicationReference forms. The completed forms should be sent to:
Marilyn Stone
3915 Lake St
Burlington WI 53105

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