The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
February 1, 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)
Congregation of the week: February 5-11
First Presbyterian Church of Doran
Clerk of Session: Riley Williamson
Treasurer: Beverly Christensen
Sunday School Superintendent: Mike Wanek
Elders: Sarah Tolbert, Jerry Layton, Mary Ann Layton
Prayer Concerns
  • Elderly members dealing with health issues
  • Pastor John Lindholm's continued healing
  • Our small church
The Word from Rick: See You in Saint Cloud!

Sitting here in Albuquerque, I see that the early forecasts are calling for the possibility of snow on Saturday. Hopefully, the forecasts will shift in our favor, and everyone will be able to join us for our first presbytery meeting of 2017.
In as much as I am working on a substantial final report to the presbytery, I don't have a lot for you today. I will save what I have until then!
Some of our folks from the Commission on Leadership are attending the Leadership Summit in Buffalo, Minnesota this week. Keep them in your prayers, as well as those who are having some difficult and ongoing medical issues - in particular Pastors Ken Matthews, Kate Stangl, and John Lindholm. Keep all of the saints of this presbytery in your prayers, and pray for all those who have significant roles in the upcoming presbytery meeting.
See you in Saint Cloud on Saturday!

Grace and Peace,
On the Road with Rick: The Pre-Retirement Tour
February - March
February 4 - Presbytery Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Saint Cloud
February 5 - Preach at Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake
February 7 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
February 8 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Fulda
February 16 - Session Meeting, Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake 
February 19 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Brainerd
February 26 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Luverne
February 26 - Nathan Lamb Installation at First Presbyterian Church, Pipestone
March 14 - Session Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
March 19 - Worship Visit, Grace-First Parish, Russell
March 26 - Worship Visit, First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls
Young Adult Volunteers: Still Not Too Late!

The YAV program is one of the great things that our denomination does. It provides some great opportunities for service and growth among young adults, aged 19-30, and they are looking for people to serve beginning this summer. What young adult or young adults in this presbytery are looking for the kind of challenge the YAV's provides?
A visit with our friend in Louisville, Blake Collins served to remind us that some deadlines are approaching. The February 1 deadline for people wishing to serve at one of the YAV international sites will have passed by the time this newsletter reaches you, but it is not too late for interested young adults in our presbytery to make applications to serve in the 2017-2018 term here in the United States.
Information about the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (USA) can be found at: . Below are available sites and important dates for the 2017-18 application season. 

2017-18 National Sites
Albuquerque                         Asheville                             Atlanta
Austin                                   Boston                                 Chicago
Denver                                 Indianapolis                          Little Rock
Los Angeles                           Miami                                   New Orleans
New York City                     Tucson                                 Washington, DC
2017-18 International Sites
Colombia                               Scotland                             Peru
Philippines                            Zambia
Important dates for the 17-18 recruitment season:
*     Round 3: April 1, 2017 (National Sites Only)
*     Last Call: June 1, 2017 (Final application date)
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregations within the bounds of our presbytery are currently seeking pastoral leadership:

Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall, Minnesota - Ministry Information Form - 03892.AC
First Presbyterian Church, Osakis, Minnesota - Ministry Information Form - 3890.AC4
The Ministry Information Form for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --

The Ministry Information Form for Crosslake's Interim Pastor position is in the process of becoming active, The Church Leadership Connection shows it as "Incoming." Its MIF # is 11950.AC0.  The search team has begun its work and the contact person is Norton (Butch) Lund -- (218) 831-0045 -- . Please check out this opportunity and share it with folks who might be interested!
Save the date!
Healthy Congregations Workshop
First Presbyterian Church
St. James, MN
March 24-25, 2017

This workshop will help you . . .
  • Learn how you as a leader can influence the health of your congregation - how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community.
  • Learn how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious.
  • Gain confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities.
  • Learn how to put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity,and overcome sabotage.
  • Discover how leaders can function as the congregation's immune system.
  • Learn to focus on strengths, resources, options, and the future.

Note:  there is a Super 8 Motel in St. James for people who want to make overnight arrangements. They do fill up, so it is good to make reservations early. They will honor a church's tax free ID for folks to save a little money. Call 507-375-4708 for reservations.
Grants Available!

The Mission Redevelopment Committee of First Presbyterian Church, Madelia is seeking applications to receive grants. Qualifying projects may include:
  • Development, formation, or redevelopment of Presbyterian churches
  • Evangelism or recruitment of new members
  • New building construction
  • Renovations or capital improvements
  • Presbyterian-sponsored mission projects
A written letter of application describing the project and the amount of grant being requested should be submitted to the Mission Redevelopment Committee and postmarked by March 31, 2017. Grants will be selected and distributed in April.
Mission Redevelopment Committee
PO Box 156
Madelia MN 56062
News Briefs
LENTEN REFLECTION ON BELHAR Here is a possible resource for you to consider: Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar, with an introduction by Allan Boesak, and edited by Kerri Allen and Don McKim. This reflection has been written by a variety of Presbyterians, reflecting on a portion of the confession in relation to Scripture texts that are associated with the confession. It can be ordered through the PC(USA) Store - Call (800) 533-4371.
LILLY ENDOWMENT CLERGY RENEWAL PROGRAM The Lilly Endowment Clergy National Renewal Program provides funds to congregations to support renewal leaves for their pastors. Congregations may apply for grants of up to $50,000 to underwrite a renewal program for their pastor and for the pastor's family, with up to $15,000 of those funds available to the congregation to help cover costs for ministerial supply while the pastor is away. There is no cost to the congregations or the pastors to apply. The grants represent the endowment's continued investment in renewing the health and vitality of American Christian congregations. Application deadline is April 21, 2017. Application information can be found at .
Car for Sale

2015 Nissan Altima with 30,000 miles. Average gas mileage of 35 mpg. This car was used by Pastor Hicks when he was in Pipestone. If you are interested, make a reasonable offer to Bud Eernisse at 507-215-0584. Car may be seen at Southside Motors in Pipestone.
2017 Liturgical Colors from the 2016-2017 Presbyterian Planning Calendar
Steve Spurrier and communicating 'on the record': Why the digital age has made 'off the record' a thing of the past
--from Alban Weekly

Growing up a fan of the Florida Gators in the 1990s, I had a front row seat to watch "the Head Ball Coach," Steve Spurrier. Of course, we all loved the fact that he had an exciting offense and knew how to win, but he was entertaining as well. While his barbs aimed at your team might sting, it was usually pretty easy to laugh too.
Recently, while at ESPN to promote his new book, some college football journalists asked him about some of his funniest lines. My personal favorite was following a fire at an Auburn University library. Coach Spurrier said the real tragedy was that 15 of the books hadn't been colored in yet.
A few years into his term as coach at South Carolina, their game against Georgia was moved from the second week of the season to the fourth week of the season. When asked what he thought of the change, he said he didn't like it. Why not? Because Georgia usually had two or three key players suspended during the first two games of the season.
Every college football team, Spurrier's included, always has a few players suspended early in the year due to off-season incidents. So, when the Athletic Director at Georgia was asked what he thought about the comments, he reportedly said, "Well, it's true. How can I be mad at him if it's true?"
What took this interview from something that I was enjoying on a walk with my dog to something I wanted to share with you was what came a few minutes later. The reporter who had asked the question about Georgia said that, after having a good laugh, he asked Spurrier, "Do you really want me to use that [in the article]?" and Spurrier said to put it in. The reporter went onto to say that he could never recall a time when Spurrier ever asked for something to be off the record. Spurrier responded: "I learned a long time ago, there's no such thing as 'off the record.' So, anything I say, I think you ought to be able to repeat."
As more and more of our communication becomes digital - and especially as it passes through apps, servers, and devices over which we have little to no control - this is a reality for anyone involved in church communication.
Everything is on the record. And just about anything digital is on a permanent record. Once things are on the web or in the cloud, it is hard to ever fully remove them. Even things sent via a private message can be stored, screenshotted, printed, or forwarded somehow.
Six New Things
See what's happening on our Facebook site:
Like us on Facebook