The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
December 12, 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)
December Presbytery Office Schedule

Dec 10-14: SanDawna attends Midwest All Staff Meeting
Dec 14: O ffice closed - Karen vacation
Dec 17: SanDawna vacation
Dec 18: Karen vacation
Dec 19: SanDawna out of the office
Dec 21: SanDawna vacation
Dec 24-Jan 1: Office closed
Congregation of the week of December 16-22
First Presbyterian Church of Windom
Staff at First Presbyterian, Windom are:
Developmental Achievement Center Crew and Deanna Jensen, custodians  
Joanne Nelson, organist
Shelley Lovell, pianist
Bonnie Roys, pastor
In this season of giving we are connected with our community through three of our year round missions:  Lunch Buddies at the elementary school, Kids Closet (clothes distribution), and Birthday Bags, distributed by the Sharing Center (food shelf) to kids 8 and under.  Our mission focus is with the youngest members of our community and their families.  
Please pray for all those struggling to meet the basic needs of life this season, for food, shelter, transportation, work to do, and positive interpersonal connection. 
Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness, bringing life for all. 
Sad News

We send our sympathy to the family of Rev. Ken Matthews, Pastor Emeritus at First Presbyterian Church of Holland, who passed away on Monday, December 10.
Cards may be sent to his wife, Rev. Lynne Matthews
341 Helen St
Holland MN 56139-4796
Memorials are preferred to either the Holland First Responders or the First Presbyterian Church of Holland.
Visitation is Friday, December 14 from 4:00 - 8:00 at Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel, 710 SE 4th Street, PO Box 351, Pipestone MN 56164
Funeral Service is Saturday, December 15 at 10:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 450 Carter Avenue, Holland MN 56139-4792

Minnesota Valleys pastoral leaders who attend Ken's funeral are invited to robe and proceed in together in front of the casket. We are to meet at church on Saturday at 9:30.
Commissioner, Ruling Elder, Deacon Training

On January 12th the presbytery will hold a joint Presbytery Commission/Committee member and New Ruling Elders and Deacons training event at the Hope Presbyterian Church of  Spicer from 9:30 - 4:00. All commission members are asked to attend the January 12th full day training.

The schedule for the day:
9:30       Registration
10:00     Opening Devotions and Plenary Speaker Deb DeMeester in the Sanctuary
11:45     Lunch
12:30     Ruling Elders, Deacons, Commissions/Committees meet separately 
(15 minute break at 2:00)
3:30       Closing in the Sanctuary
4:00       Departure
Ecumenical Prayer Service Celebrates Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Ecumenical Prayer Service Celebrates Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at First Presbyterian Church of Willmar, Minn.  Area congregations will come together for an Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God on Sunday, January 20.

The service, which will be held as part of the area's observance of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, will take place at First Presbyterian Church of Willmar beginning at 3:00 p.m.  Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley, Executive Presbyter at the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys, will  deliver the message. Special music will be provided by John McKay, an accomplished pianist from Saint Peter, Minn.

Begun in 1908, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated each year in cities and towns across the country and around the world.

The theme for the 2019 observance is Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). The theme and text for each year's observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are chosen and prepared by representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and representatives of the World Council of Churches. The international texts are developed, adapted, and published for use in the USA by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.

The Willmar service is sponsored by the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys. Please contact Karen Lange if you are willing to bring a plate of 24 baked treats to serve following the event. 

The public is cordially invited.
Leadership Development and Educational Training
All pastors and congregational leaders are invited

Hopeful Conversations About Human to Human Relationships:
Moving beyond hatemongering, fear, scarcity, and miseducation

Tuesday, January 22 -  9:30 - 3:00
Presbytery office, Willmar

Speaker: The Rev. Samuel Son, Manager for Diversity and Reconciliation, the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Religious, community, and education leaders are invited to a conversation about human to human relationships hosted by the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery and the Presbyterian Mission Agency PC(USA). Participants can expect a safe place to dialogue around issues on how we see and hear the other. The day-long event will work to equip participants to return to their communities tooled with enhanced listening attitudes and better equipped to positively enhance relationships in our diversifying communities.
Reservation Fee: $15.00 lunch, please bring a check payable to the presbytery that day.
Location: Minnesota Valleys Presbytery office, Willmar, MN
Registration is open - email Karen at the presbytery office
2019 Per Capita  - $41.35 Total
$27.00 for Presbytery
$5.40 for Synod
$8.95 for GA
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. The Zoom discussion on chapters 3 and 4 will be on Thursday, Jan 24, at 11:00 am and 6:30 pm. Zoom instructions will be included in the Valley Bridge in mid-January.

Mid Council Financial Network - Sharing Resources

November 6-9, Karen attended the Mid Council Financial Network meeting in Austin TX, and shares here some of the resources from that event.

For your Session, Personnel & Budget Committees:
Your Church: Employer & Small Business -  provides basic guidance regarding your church's obligations as an employer and a business. It includes information about employment and governance along with valuable links to resources on taxes and labor law. From the Insurance Board.
Per Capita - The General Assembly Per Capita Budget
Inspiring Generosity - Texas Presbyterian Foundation - A guide available on their site with five keys to inspiring generosity - hard copies available to order on their site.

For Church Treasurers:
Church Treasurer's Manual - put together by the people from the Presbytery of San Jose. They will also be coming out with a shorter manual for small churches.
Payment Fraud Controls - from PNC Financial Services

Legal Issues:
Update from Legal Counsel - Cory Halliburton. Includes sample policy regarding sexual harassment.

Thank You Lens of Stewardship - Rosemary Mitchell - Presbyterian Mission Agency

Theological Education:
Theological Funds Development - Lee Hinson-Hasty - As the baby boomers retire, there will be an even greater need for pastors. Giving to the Theological Education Fund will decrease these pastors' student debt load.

Cyber Security:
Cyber Security Threats - David Dinkel. Top learnings - Never click on attachments or links from unknown senders AND be careful even with businesses you know. Call the sender before acting on any asked-for payment that you don't recognize, especially if it's not the address you have on file for that business. Upgrade/update devices regularly and backup daily.

2019 Presbyterian
Youth Triennium

Get Ready  for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium - a gathering held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, faith growing gathering! Five days that help form a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and in this world!

Event Essentials

DATES:                      Monday, July 15th - Sunday, July 21st (includes travel days)
LOCATION:                Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
AUDIENCE:                High School Age youth entering freshman through graduated seniors
THEME:                    "Here's My Heart"
REGISTRATION FEES: Anticipated Cost - $625.00 to $650.00
                                (Registration fee includes all programming, food, lodging and travel)  


Congregation RSVP Forms  Are Now  Due with $100 deposit per participant
JANUARY 7TH:    Registrations Forms Available (Presbytery Website)
FEBRUARY 4TH:   Registrations due, along with $250.00 payment for each participant
MAY 6TH:            Final Payment Due

Contact Mark Giese: ∙  320-251-8277 (church) ∙ 320-493-8272 (cell)

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:

Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Crosslake - Pastor (for a designated term)
   Ministry Information Form -  11950.AD0

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

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