The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
February 16, 2016
  The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
We are congregations who seek to be a collective expression of the Body of Christ
joyfully participating in Christ’s on-going life and work.
  “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”
(I Thessalonians 5:11)
  Approved August 4, 2015
Fellowship of Prayer/Church of the Week of February 28:
First Presbyterian Church of Jackson

Church Leadership: Session: Clerk Diane Frodermann, Paula Censky, Ginny Krejci, Chuck Lucht, Bev Tischler, Dean Albrecht. Deacons: Cheryl Brooks, Jenny Brooks, John Gee, Nancy Gee, Beth Graves, Dennis Hample, Mary Jo Lutz, Edie Sand. Church Secretary: Troy Christensen. Custodians: Terri and Rodney Hlavac. Pastor: VACANT 

Prayer concerns: Since we don't have a pastor right now, pray for our current leaders and finding a new pastor, for our finances and new beginnings!

The Word from Rick: Following Up, Part 2
Last week, I shared some extended information from my report to the February 6 presbytery meeting, and this week, I want to offer a little bit more. In this week’s “Follow Up,” I want to again share some of what Lillian Daniel, senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, United Church of Christ, shared with us at the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) event in Chicago last month.

Lillian is the author of When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough – Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church. Her presentation was part of the event’s overall theme – “God’s New Thing: See It! Hear It! Live It,” and as part of her presentation, we spoke with us about the growing number of “Nones” that are present in our society. Read more
On the Road with Rick

February 25 - Session meeting at First Presbyterian Church, Mankato
March 6 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Mankato
March 13 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Blue Earth
March 13 – Ordination and Installation of Tom Voigt at First Presbyterian Church, Edgerton/Lismore
March 20 – Worship Visit to First Presbyterian Church, Luverne
March 22-23 – Youth Triennium Planning Meeting in Louisville, KY
April 3 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Litchfield
April 7-8 – Board of Pensions Regional Benefits Consultation in San Diego, CA
April 10 - Minute for Mission at First Presbyterian Church, Willmar

Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference
Hilton San Antonio Airport
February 29 - March 2
Workshops cover a broad spectrum of stewardship topics such as Small Congregations, Planned Giving/Endowments, Theology of Stewardship, Presbyteries and Stewardship, Stewardship in Practice, Capital Campaigns, and Generosity

Nancy Skoog from the Brainerd area is attending this event and seeks a female roommate. Call the presbytery office for her contact information.
Around the Presbytery

From Union Presbyterian Church of Saint Peter: The Saint Peter Choral Society and Orchestra will present Bach’s masterpiece, the Mass in B Minor (from the Credo through the Agnus Dei), on Sunday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. Tickets are $15 at the door but may be purchased at Swedish Kontur in advance for $10 or reserved for pickup at the door for $10, by calling 507-934-6176 before Sunday. Students are admitted free of charge. There will be a second performance at Al Saints Catholic Church in Madison Lake the following Sunday, March 13th also at 2:30 p.m. 

This is a rare opportunity to hear what has been called “the greatest musical art-work of all times and all people.” Directed by Sara McKay, soloists are Naomi Karstad, soprano, Cassandra McNally, alto, Roy Heilman, tenor and Michael Jorgensen, bass. Sara is choir director of Union Presbyterian Church Choir, St. Peter where Michael Jorgensen is a member of the choir.

Part-time opening for part-time church secretary/treasurer at the First Presbyterian Church of KasotaThis position requires a candidate who is proficient in computer skills, word processing/office, QuickBooks, data entry and accounting. Must be attentive to detail and must possess good phone and people skills and maintain confidentiality. The candidate should also possess a strong work ethic and commitment to teamwork and yet be a self-motivator, a support to staff, church life and activities; be cheerful, enthusiastic and flexible. Time will be negotiable between candidate and pastor for weekly hours of 14 hours. (With once-a-month or as-needed time for extra meetings requiring attendance).   

March Teaching Elder
Ordination Anniversaries

03/06/2005 ... John Lindholm

03/13/2011 ... Chris Conlin

03/23/2014 ... Kathy Blair

03/27/1983 ... Tom Gard

Prayer Concern

Rev. Dee Jay Reiff, pastor at Zion Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth in the 1980s, has passed away. The memorial service was 11:00 am, Monday, February 22. Graveside service and burial will be 2:00 pm Thursday, February 25 at Pleasant View Memorial Gardens, Hwy 13 and Portland, Burnsville, MN. Details are available on

The Reiff home address:
8812 N 81st Ave
Omaha NE 68122
Communications Workshop
Conducted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency
Location: The Southwest Minnesota ELCA Synod Office
175 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls
When: Thursday, April 21, from 9:00—3:00  
This workshop is for church leaders, church office staff and anyone interested in strengthening their congregation’s communications efforts.

What do you want your community to know about your church? Are you looking for ways to share God’s love through social media? Does your church have a well-thought-out communications plan—for both internal and external audiences? Create excitement and energy in your congregation by using simple, but powerful communications tools. You don’t have to have a huge budget or a large staff to effectively tell the story of your work inside and outside the church walls.

This free daylong workshop, conducted by communications professionals on the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff, will give you tips and techniques to better reach your audience. They’ll offer insights and guidelines on creating a communications plan for your congregation, discuss the “do’s and don’ts of media relations and “pitching” stories to your local media. You’ll learn proven techniques for using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and leave with tips that will make your communications more effective and help increase your reach. Communications Workshop Flyer
Choir Robe Request

Elizabeth Tot, pastor in Saint Cloud to the South Sudan refugee community, is planning a visit to South Sudan in early 2017. She seeks choir robes for adults and preferably adult female robes, that she would carry as excess luggage to her village upon her visit. If any congregation is able to assist with this request, please get in touch with Peter Mann at .
Preachers on Preaching is a weekly podcast hosted by Matt Fitzgerald , pastor of Saint Pauls UCC in Chicago. Each episode features a single extended interview.

New episodes began this month. Matt and Ken Shigematsu of Tenth Church in Vancouver discuss Canadian evangelicalism, becoming a preacher, and swimming as sermon prep. Matt talks to Kaji Dousa of The Table UCC in La Mesa about being a black woman leading a predominantly white congregation, owning guns while preaching against them, and the influence of standup comedy. And a highlights episode collects some of our favorite moments from our first 12 episodes last fall.

Coming soon: interviews with Zack Eswine of Riverside Church in Webster Groves, Missouri ; Jan Rippentrop , homiletics professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago ; and Roger Nelson of Hope CRC in Oak Forest, Illinois .

Catch up with Preachers on Preaching on the Century's website or through iTunes , Stitcher , or SoundCloud .
The latest news from PC(USA) (click picture)
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
4055 Abbott Drive
Willmar MN 56201
Valley Bridge Editor: Karen Lange
The Presbytery calendar is on the front page of our website at the bottom left.