The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
August 9, 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 11.
Congregation of the week: August 6-12
First Presbyterian Church of Round Lake

Rulings Elders: Linda Koning, LeAnne Meyer, Jerry Wood, Wally Habben, Patty Habeck, Reinerd Bosma, Heidi Ruesch, Susan Kruger, and Gail Widman.
Church Treasurers: Becky DeJong and LaRae Wood
Accompanists: Becky DeJong and Brenda Vogelaar
Ministers: The People of God
Church School Teachers: Lori Morrison, Jenny Bosma and Beth DeRoo
Christian Education: Beth DeRoo, Lori Morrison and Jenny Bosma
Concerned Christians Committee (Deacons): Bob Widman, Sandy Sather and Jon Untiedt
Memorial Committee: Jolene Thomsen, LeAnne Meyer and Mary Ann Sather
125th Anniversary Committee:  Mary Ann Sather, Lori Morrison and Pam Wendland
Grounds Upkeep: Donna Watje
Multi-Media: Jerry Wood
Teaching Elder: Rev. Bob Bartlett
Prayer concerns
  • Prayers of Thanksgiving for 125 years of mission, ministry, worship and fellowship to the Round Lake Community.
  • Prayers for our sister congregation in Brewster as they celebrate their 125th Anniversary on September 10th.
  • Prayers for everyone who is having medical testing, medical procedures or who are in recovery.
  • Prayers for those who mourn: especially the family of Nellie Ann Kruger whose service is Friday and for the Morfitt family who have suffered the death of three siblings over the last three months.
  • Prayers for our new Executive Director of Presbytery Mission, the Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley as she prepares to begin her ministry with us.
  • All who serve on our Presbytery Staff and on the Commissions, Committees and Task Forces of Presbytery.
  • The several ministers of word and sacrament in our presbytery who are dealing with various health issues and for their congregations.
  • Our congregations who are in the search process and those congregations who are experiencing a time of disruptive conflict.
  • Those who are struggling with the tragedy of disasters, natural and man made.
  • Our nation in our dealings with North Korea and all of the nations of the world as there is a quest for peace.
  • Together, may we pray, Marantha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)!

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.
Prayer Concern

We extend our sympathy to:

Doug and Deb Klaassen at the death of Doug's mom, Hilda Klaassen. Deb is the Commissioned Ruling Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Iona. Hilda's funeral service was held at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in George, Iowa, on Monday, August 7.
Doug & Deb's address is: 
11550 340th St
Ellsworth MN 56129-4004

The family of Rev. Frank Brown at his death on August 5. His funeral was held August 8 at the First Presbyterian Church of Mankato. Frank was very active in the presbytery, especially in the Leadership Development for Ministry program and Council. We will miss his compassion, wit and wisdom. Link to Frank's obit
Cards may be sent to Frank's son:
Mark Brown
2210 Makaa Street
Lihue HI 96766
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)
Saint James detour map
Rules, Motions, Motion Form

Please call or email Karen at the presbytery office by Tuesday, August 16 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
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
Notes from camp scholarship recipients
Dear Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys,
Thank you for the summer camp scholarship! My favorite part of the week was the food and free choice. I learned that God is always with you!
God Bless,
Lauren Miller
Redwood Falls

And a couple more just received today:

Dear Presbytery,
I appreciate so much being able to go to camp and the scholarship I received. Clearwater is something I look forward to all year and this was my 4th year going.
I like going to worship, playing gaga ball, and going on the high ropes. I meet new friends every year and I am keeping in contact with most of them.
The food at camp is great and all of the staff is SUPER nice and they treat you like family.
Thank you for this opportunity. I hope to some day be a counselor at Clearwater, when I am older.
Thank you!
Grace Caraway
First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls

Dear Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys,
Thanks for the scholarships to Synod School for all the Prouty kids, Elizabeth, Julia and Matthew. And thanks for the scholarship for Julia to go to the Big Tent.  These were all such great experiences for us.  We appreciate your support.
In Christ,
Elizabeth and Julia and Matthew

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
Evangelism: Candace Adams, , 320-796-2650
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 --
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

Join the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program as we experience this remarkable and troubled region, encounter its diverse people, explore its rich history and complex current situation, and engage with those who seek its peace. By attending this conference, you will be
  • inspired by the stories of Christian peacemakers in the Holy Land, walk in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace and encounter contemporary Palestinians and Israelis;
  • equipped by engagement with Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, experience contextual theology and study peacemaking practices within the framework of PCUSA policy;
  • connected with global and local partners to take meaningful action for a just and lasting peace in the region.
APPLICATIONS - Apply online through November 15, 2017. Notification and commitment packets will be sent shortly after your application is received and processed. First-time visitors to the Holy Land are encouraged to attend. Previous conference participants and seasoned travelers to the region are welcome as well. Must be 18 years old.

COST - The double-occupancy rate for the conference is $2,600. This includes all conference expenses (including all meals, accommodations, programs, tips, tours, and on the ground transportation). Airline travel is not included. Limited single occupancy is available for an additional charge.

HOTELS - The conference includes 11 nights of lodging. The current conference hotels include: The Gloria Hotel of Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem's Manager Square Hotel, and the Golden Crown Hotel in Nazareth.

TRAVEL - Participants are responsible for their travel and may book their own airline tickets, but all itineraries must be submitted for approval by the conference registrar prior to ticketing. Departures from the US should be on Sunday, April 29 to arrive to Tel Aviv (TLV) on Monday, April 30. Return flights may depart TLV on Friday evening, May 11 to arrive in the US on Saturday May 12.

SMALL GROUPS - Conference participants will be placed into small groups led by group leaders. These teams will engage in preparation before the conference, meet as a group during the conference, and consider meaningful collective action upon returning home.

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
Grace and Gratitude in the cornfields of Southern Indiana - August 2017
Prayers around the world: Presbyterian Peace & Justice Monthly
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