The Valley Bridge

 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)
Karen Lange will be on vacation from March 3-9
Congregation of the Week of March 1-7
Lakes Area Presbyterian Church of Baxter
Staff
Pastor Mark Ford
Stated Clerk Lynn Olson
Office Administrator Martha Look

At our annual meeting, we welcomed five new members (only two are pictured above as the others were down with the flu). Pictured here are Bea Hayen and Robert Himmelright. Other new members are Mardell Blom, and Richard and Lucy Tornow.

Prayer requests:
Prayers for the group who will be planning on building use and development for ministry
Prayers for member who recently suffered a stroke
Prayers for all who have fallen on the ice
At our annual meeting, we recognized the long service of two members; Edith Alvarez as a ruling elder, and Kathy Wood as a deacon. 
Lenten Prayers
Holy God,
In the form of Jesus you did not regard equality
as something to be grasped
but you emptied yourself taking the form of a human being.
You humbled yourself and showed us obedience unlike any other.
You exalted him and gave him a name for the ages
that we might bend our knee and reverence him
in heaven and on earth
and speak about him for your glory.

We thank you for Jesus.

In this Lenten season may we journey with him
in lessons and life
in Scripture and song
in witness and wonder
all the way to Jerusalem and beyond.

We pray in his name.
Amen.

Based on Philippians 2:6-11
Submitted by Darin Seaman
Report from Our
Visitors to Guatemala:
Quilting Projects
by Colette Meidinger
Ruling Elder
First Presbyterian Church
Winnebago

On Friday, our group met with the Occidente Presbytery PW Officers to hear their projected plans for the coming year. They have a very well written business plan put together for fundraising to help with costs of their PW mission. They hope to make quilts, toaster covers, teapot covers, etc. to give to people in need and to sell to help cover the cost of other projects within the presbytery and churches. 

To get started on the quilt project for the next day, several of the Occidente women and Elaine and I went shopping. Who could resist and invitation to visit a fabric store? Of course, it is like walking into a different world, as their fabric stores are not like ours. Many of the fabrics are displayed like our upholstery fabrics are displayed – on rolls and standing on end.

The ladies purchased several native textiles of the woven variety for three-yard quilts. We had five machines, so were planning to make five of the three-yard quilts the next day. Three quilts would be of native fabric and two would be from the cotton fabric that I had brought from Minnesota.

On Saturday, we decided on the quilt patterns to use and began the day with at least 12 Occidente Presbyterian Women, a couple of men, two Minnesota Valleys Seamstresses and our support group of Minnesota and Guatemalan persons. Mark, Elaine and others used some of the monies designated for sewing to purchase two folding work tables and an iron and ironing board. Those purchases were a great asset for the project. First Presbyterian Church of Winnebago gifted the ladies with new scissors, pins, measuring tapes, sewing needles, cutting board and ruler, which all helped make the day go smoothly. 

The new machines that have been purchased are treadle machines that can be converted to electric. This is a bonus, as I know they would like to transport them to other churches for workshops. Two of the machines have cams for sixteen additional stitches when they become more proficient with the sewing projects. Some of the women were experienced with the sewing machines and some were not. One of the experienced women was very gracious to allow her partner, who was not as experienced, to do most of the sewing. It was a typical sewing day of 12 women all in one room working different quilts. The visiting, questions, answers, and laughter made the day truly a gift from God. His love was very apparent during the trip.

Believe it or not we did get five quilts finished by the end of the day. Some had variations of the original pattern, but that is okay. That is what makes the end product special – it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s.
Occidente PW Group with MV Presbytery Group
The quilters of the First Presbyterian Church of Winnebago donated a quilt from their stash to Bety Cifuentes to demonstrate our love and prayers while she completes radiation treatments in Guatemala City each day in February. She has just finished her regime of chemotherapy, but still made lunch for us two of the days we were there.  
Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery - Save the Date
Spring Gathering
Tuesday, June 2
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church
Renville MN
You are invited

First Presbyterian Church of Litchfield was founded on January 2nd in the year 1870. We are celebrating our 150th anniversary with a yearlong celebration. We began by ringing our church bell, the first bell "west of the Big Woods"--150 times on January 2nd of this year.

Our big celebration will be worship and program on Sunday, June 21, 2020. You are invited to join us for our program at 1:00 featuring our Executive Presbyter SanDawna Ashley. We offer our praises to the Lord for the blessings we have received, the faithfulness we have witnessed in those who have served, and the great faithfulness of our Lord and God.
Around the Presbytery
First Presbyterian Church of Osakis: On Sunday, February 16th, six people, a mother and her five children, received the sacrament of baptism. What a special day for all who were able to participate as God blessed the kingdom.  Submitted by Rev. Randy Knuth
First Presbyterian Church
336 11th St
Windom MN 56101

Kevin & Heidi Cheng
Piano-Violin Concert
Tuesday, March 17
6:30pm
Freewill offering
Prayer List

  • For Rev. Mark Chamberlain, retired pastor, Willmar
  • For Rev. Bob Bartlett, First Presbyterian Churches of Brewster & Round Lake
  • For Rev. Michael Roys, retired pastor, Winnebago
  • For Rev. Elaine and Kent Boyd at First Presbyterian Church of Amboy
  • Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
  • For Bety Cifuentes, the treasurer of the Partnership Committee, who is beginning chemotherapy
  • For the "Men in the Mirror" program. Men from Occidente that MVP supported financially to attend the classes a couple of years ago are going to share the information they gained with different churches in the eastern and central parts of Guatemala. They, along with the chaplains of the national Presbyterian church, will also be training Christian policemen in what they learned from "Men in the Mirror."
Transformation Going Beyond Change Survey

We have created a survey to help us understand benefits and insights gained from our Transformation Going Beyond Change events over the past year. Will you please take a moment and answer the question in the survey we have linked? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8GKLCM2
Public Theology for the Common Good
Led by Phil Tom
Tuesday, March 24
9:00—4:00
Hope Presbyterian Church
7730 N Shore Dr, Spicer
$15 for Presbyterians
$25 for others

"Public theology is the Christian engagement and dialogue within the church and especially with the larger society. It seeks the welfare of the state and a fair society for all by engaging issues of common interest to build the common good. This is Christian theology that talks with society, not just to society." (Wikipedia)
The reality is that many congregations are disconnected from their communities. In our workshop, we will explore how the tool of faith-based community organizing can help your congregation to learn how to connect with and to serve your community.

Phil currently serves as Executive Director for the International Council of Community Churches, and as a consultant to The Riverside Church in New York City. He has served in the following capacities: the PCUSA General Assembly for 10 years as Associate for Urban Ministry Office, and three years as Associate for the Small Church Ministry Office (urban, rural, suburban); Co-Director of McCormick Theological Seminary Church and Community Ministry Project; pastored for 27 years with congregations in Chicago, St. Paul, MN, Indianapolis, IN and New York City; and as Director of the White House Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership Office in the U.S. Department of Labor in the Obama Administration.

To register, email Karen Lange
An Invitation to Spiritual Leaders

This is your invitation to submit a short video of yourself offering a meditation of your favorite passage from the Bible for the Presbytery YouTube channel. If you are interested, please contact Steve Tyykila ( styykila@gmail.com ) or Andy Davis ( revrn1973@gmail.com ). We'll give you more parameters and information, but we are looking for informal (not from the pulpit), personal, short (less than five minutes) videos on your favorite passage that you can record from your phone or computer. Thanks!
Transformation Testimonies Sought

We are preparing the reporting for the Transformation Going Beyond Change Initiative grants. Please think about how you have been using the information gleaned from these events and email Karen or SanDawna a short testimony about how you have benefited.
Pastor Cohort Groups

We are creating pastor cohort groups for interested pastors. Each group will meet monthly via Zoom. The format will include prayer, a book study, case studies, special speakers, cross-pollination of resources and active listening. Interested? Email SanDawna
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

First Presbyterian Church, Ashby  - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form -  12363.ABO

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda  - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form -  03782.AD1

First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form - 03709.AB0

Maine Presbyterian Church, rural Underwood - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03870.AB0

Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake  - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form -  03851.AC3

Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer  - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form -  09565.ADO

First Presbyterian Church, Winnebago - Interim Pastor

Ministry opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection website --  http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/clc/