The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
December 7, 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: December 11-17
United Methodist-Presbyterian Church of Browns Valley
Pastor: Rev. Mark Terayama
Clerk of Session: Kelli Rinehart
PW Moderator: Arlene Dobbs
Treasurer: Colleen Kuschel
  • Our Ladies Group is putting together goodie bags (fruit, baked goods and candy) today, and every year, which they deliver to the community's homebound individuals. 
  • Church council meets tonight to approve their plan for 2017
  • Giving thanks for their relationship with the Presbyterian churches in Sisseton and Veblen, South Dakota - they are sharing a pastor
The Word from Rick 

For the sixteenth time, I am spending a December week at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, where I am sharing in what we used to call the Western Area Staff Conference.  This week has been a valued part of my ministry experience and I always anticipate this time for connecting, reflecting, and worshiping with colleagues and friends.
This year, there are eleven of us here. We are exploring the topic - "Guidelines for Do-Gooders" - with Kikanza Nuri-Robins, a minister member of the Presbytery of the Pacific and her long-time colleague, Lewis Bundy, a higher education consultant from Oakland, California. Tuesday was a most insightful day as we talked about our personal culture - who we are and what shapes us; cultural proficiency - and how to work toward that goal; how people are marginalized, and; white privilege. A big part of our conversation zeroed in on how to use the privileges that we have, especially people like me who are middle class, white, male, fairly well-educated pastors, and how we can use our privileges to be allies for those in our culture who are oppressed, marginalized, or totally ignored. We talked about how we are called to use our voice to help others find theirs. I was definitely dragged out of my comfort zone and challenged by both our leaders and my peers.
The "sponge" part of me is absorbing as much as I can. There is quite a bit that I don't fully understand, and some things with which I take issue, but overall, this is an engaging experience and I look forward to see what the rest of the week will bring.
I hope that you all start warm this week, and that your Advent continues to be blessed!

Grace and Peace,
On the Road with Rick
December 4-10 - Winter All Staff Conference, Mercy Center, Burlingame, California
December 13 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
December 18 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Brainerd
December 24 - Christmas Eve Worship at First Presbyterian Church, Fulda
January 8 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
January 21 - Presbytery Orientation and Organization Gathering, First Presbyterian Church, Willmar
January 24-31 - Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event, Denver
February 4 - Presbytery Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Saint Cloud
Scenes from the Road
from the Winter All Staff Conference in California
The Labyrinth at the Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA - Tuesday afternoon was a great day to walk the labyrinth . . . sunny and 57 degrees!
Commission and Committee Members - Save this Date
Presbytery Orientation and Organization Gathering

Saturday, January 21, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church in Willmar  
More details will be forthcoming!
Who's Who in Minnesota Valleys for 2017

At the November 5 Presbytery Meeting, a number of individuals were elected to serve in the presbytery's mission design for the coming year. We are in the process of updating all the commission and committee rosters and will finish that over the next several weeks. In the meantime, we can to introduce you all to those serving on our behalf in this and upcoming issues of the Valley Bridge.
This week:
  • Commission on Presbytery Operations (F)=Finance, (P)=Personnel
    • Class of 2017
      • Teaching Elder Chris Conlin (F) Saint Peter
      • Teaching Elder Michael Roys (F) Winnebago
      • Teaching Elder Norma Spurgin (P) Big Lake
    • Class of 2018
      • Ruling Elder Le Roy Ennenga (P) Worthington - Co-Chair
      • Ruling Elder Nancy Skoog (F) Randall
      • Ruling Elder Gloria Vande Brake (F) Foley
    • Class of 2019
      • Teaching Elder Anna Williamson (P) Renville
      • Ruling Elder Gloria Sabin (P) Marshall
      • Teaching Elder Scott Prouty (F) Redwood Falls - Co-Chair
  • Commission on Leadership
    • Class of 2017
      • Ruling Elder Sonya Alexander - Redwood Falls
      • Teaching Elder Elaine Boyd - Amboy
      • Teaching Elder Jason Cunningham - Luverne
      • Teaching Elder Mark Ford - Brainerd - Co-Chair
      • Ruling Elder Ross Stone - Fergus Falls Federated
    • Class of 2018
      • Teaching Elder Bob Maharry - Saint Peter
      • Ruling Elder Cindy Matthews-Rosa - Milroy
      • Ruling Elder Lynn Olson - Brainerd - Co-Chair
      • Teaching Elder Bonnie Sue Roys - Windom
      • Teaching Elder Paul Snyder - Ellsworth and Rushmore Emmanuel
    • Class of 2019
      • Ruling Elder Kathy Knips - Lismore
      • Ruling Elder Karen Houtman - Canby
      • Teaching Elder Beverly Crute - Maynard
      • Teaching Elder Scott Thompson - Willmar
      • Ruling Elder Carol Chmielewski - Silver Lake
Next week: Commission on Transformation and Development and Committee on Congregational Nurture
A New Ministry Opportunity

The Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall, Minnesota is seeking a Pastor to lead them into the next chapter of their congregation's life. If you, or someone you know, has a passion for small towns and energetic small-member congregations, please encourage them to take a look at this opportunity!  The Ministry Information Form -- MIF#: 03892.AC. -- for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --
Six New Things: December 6, 2016
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