The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
August 16, 2017
 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)
Regular Presbytery office hours are 7:30 - 3:30 Monday - Friday.
The office will be closed on Friday, August 25.
Congregation of the week: August 20-26
Emmanuel Presbyterian Church of Rushmore
Church Secretary: Darcey Groen
Clerk of Session: Randy Jacobs
Treasurer: Janet Smid
Orgainsts: Janet Smid, Lois Gruis, Brittany Larson
Ruling Elders: Amber Luinenburg, Gayle Larson, Randy Jacobs, Ron Wiertsema, Shirley Heidebrink, Vernette Wiertsema
Pastor: Rev. Paul Snyder
Pray for those in our congregations and community who have cancer and other health issues.
Pray for families who are grieving the loss of loved ones.
Pray for our congregation as we experiment with a Wednesday evening worship service in the summer months.
Pray for our sister congregation, Zion Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth.
Pray for congregations in our presbytery experiencing transition.
Pray for peace in our nation and our world amidst all the hate and violence.

The mission project we would like to highlight is done by our Sunday School. They collect a "Loud Offering" on the Sundays when Communion is served. These offerings are combined with the VBS offering to buy gifts at Christmas time for a family referred to us by Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Council. (pictures below)

2016 Christmas shopping
2016 Christmas presents wrapped

New Books of Order Are Here!

The 2017-2019 Books of Order have arrived. If you would like to order one, please let Karen at the Presbytery office know; the cost is $9. This Book of Order is the most recent up-to-date copy; it is important for every congregation to have at least one copy of the newest Books of Order. It is also available on the website. If you have questions, please ask.

Interpersonal Peacemaking Skills at the August 22 Presbytery Meeting Forum

Understand your own style of communication under stress, and learn some helpful collaborative/communication skills.    
  • Understanding Conflict - Introduce people to different kinds of conflict, how conflict escalates, and the importance of good communication in working through disagreements.
  • Explore one Biblical passage on working through conflict.
  • Complete the *self-assessment (conflict style inventory) and discuss the 5 response styles. How is your style different in calm times vs. stormy times?
  • Learn up to 3 Collaborative skills (interpersonal peace-making skills) using small group exercises and debriefing.
This forum will take place the morning of August 22 at the First Presbyterian Church of Saint James. This is the option for those commissioners and visitors not attending the morning commission and committee meetings.
Commission/Committee Members and General Assembly Commissioners, alternate and YAADS sought
The Commission on Representation (COR) will be meeting in early October to begin their work to fill all the presbytery commissions and committees. Also they will be reviewing applications received to be a General Assembly Teaching/Ruling Elder commissioner, alternate or Young Adult Advisory Delegate. If you are interested in any of this, please fill out the personal information form or the application for GA. All of this information will also be available at the presbytery meeting. If you have questions about any of the positions, please talk with Stated Clerk Pam Prouty or Sara McKay, chair of the COR.
Next Presbytery Meeting

WHERE: First Presbyterian Church
              706 3rd Ave S
              Saint James MN 56081
WHEN: Tuesday, August 22
10:00 Meetings of Committee on Congregational Nurture, Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development, Commission on Leadership, Commission on Operations, Commission on Presbytery Life or Forum
12:30 Presbytery meeting

Presbytery Packet with Financials
2018 Proposed Budget (on 8-1/2 x 14)

Please call or email Karen at the presbytery office TODAY to indicate:
* If you will be in attendance and would like a meal reserved (Note dietary restrictions) 
* If you request to be excused 
* If childcare will be needed
South Sudan Culture/Language Camp

The South Sudan Culture/Language Camp was held at First Presbyterian St Cloud on four Saturdays in July. Leadership was provided by Rev. Elizabeth Tot, Thijin Gatwech, and other parents of attendees.  The South Sudan version of VBS was funded by Self Development of People funds via a grant using our presbytery share from One Great Hour of Sharing.  The theme was "God Way of Life Tells Us" and drew upon the Ten Commandments, what they are and how to live better by them. Each Saturday the attendance grew as word of the program and the fun they were having while learning reached  more families.  Each participant received a T-shirt until all 45 were distributed.  God works in many and wonderful ways.
First Presbyterian Church of Lismore
Annual PW Salad Supper
at the Legion Hall in Lismore at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 21
sponsored by the Lismore Presbyterian Women
Come and enjoy a wide variety of delicious salads, a humorous skit, and fellowship.
All are welcome!  Freewill donation
Presbyterian Planning Calendars have arrived and were distributed at the Session Records Reviews. The remaining calendars will be brought to the August 22 presbytery meeting to be picked up by the churches that ordered them. If you would like your congregation's calendars mailed sooner, contact Karen at the presbytery office. We ask churches to pay for the cost of the postage.
God Chat Apps: A Life of Prayer
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9:00 - 3:30
Hope Presbyterian Church

Email Karen Lange to register. Cost: $10 if preregistered by September 22
Plenary Speaker: Rev. Kara Root
Breakout session topics:
  • Centering Prayer
  • Spiritual Practices
  • Yoga, Meditation & Prayer
  • Introduction to Prayer
  • Tech Tools for Prayer
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.

Discipleship: Pam Bush, , 507-823-4697
Discipleship: Anne Veldhuisen, , 507-215-5617
Mission: Richard Lawrence, , 320-260-9639
Mission: Darlene Scherbing, , 320-292-2610
Spiritual Leadership: Tom Voigt, , 612-875-6398
Stewardship: Rick Hauge, , 507-829-5227
Worship: Darin Seaman, , 320-251-8277
Lakeshore Center at Okoboji,  October 13
Pastors and CREs: Here is a great opportunity for you to spend a day with preacher/teacher/author Tom Long.  He will be in the area to teach a class for the new Academy and will be doing this day long workshop at the Lakeshore Center at Okoboji on Friday, October 13
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregation within the bounds of our presbytery is currently seeking pastoral leadership:

Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall
- Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03892.AC

First Presbyterian Church, Foley - Interim Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03882.AAO

First Presbyterian Church, Saint James - Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03802.AD

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda - Solo Pastor, 3/4 time
   Ministry Information Form - 03782.AD

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

FPC Bismarck is searching for candidates for the position of pastor. 
Here is the MIF link:
Mosaic of Peace Conference

Witnessing for Peace and Wholeness in a Land called 'Holy'
A Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine
April 29-May 12, 2018

For more information, including a sample conference schedule and information from past conferences, visit or contact the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program at 800-728-7228 x5805 or 502-569-5805.

Six New Things
August 16, 2017
"An attack on all faith communities"
Prayer at the Fair
School supplies needed for refugees
Joining Hands: Justice & Peace Close Up
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