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)
Congregation of the Week of February 9-15
First Presbyterian Church of Beaver Creek
Moderator: Pastor Jason Cunningham
Clerk of Session: Shirley Walraven
Treasurer: Marlys Rauk
Elders: Tricia Wingert, Shirley Walraven, LeRoy Schroeder, Richard Tatge, Debra Brondsema
Organists: Mary Crawford and Jane Cote
Prayer Concerns:
  • Confirmation students as they study the Word and what church membership means. 
  • Persecuted Christians around the world.
  • Peace of Jerusalem & Our Nation

Our mission activities which are focused locally and on children include:
  • Meals for shut-ins - provide a meal delivered to their homes once a month.
  • Food Shelf - One month we furnish food and monetary donations to the Rock County Food Shelf.
  • Samaritans Purse Shoe Boxes - Filling boxes to be given to children of the World that, they might experience the love of Christ through our gifts.
  • Southwestern Youth Services - We have provided clothing and personal supplies for the youth that would not receive any gifts at Christmas.
  • Share Program - Monetary donations and helping deliver of boxes of food that give those that might be struggling to make ends meet. 
Committee on Representation wants you to help us be the best presbytery we can be!

We have been busy these last few weeks finding folks to serve the presbytery on several commissions, and we are still looking for:

Committee on Congregational Nurture
1 ruling elder to serve a three-year term
1 ruling elder to serve a two-year term
1 ruling elder to serve a one-year term

General Assembly
1 ruling elder to serve as an alternate

Please, if you feel called, or know of someone who would be great on one of these commissions, contact Audrey Knuth at 507-830-0520 or David Lick at 414-334-9385.
Prayer List

  • For Rev. Mark Chamberlain, retired pastor, Willmar
  • For Rev. Bob Bartlett, First Presbyterian Churches of Brewster & Round Lake
  • For Dave Hollis, First Presbyterian Church of Slayton, hip replacement
  • 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 Beatriz (Betty/Beti) 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
"Will You Be My Neighbor”
Led by Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, GA Co-Moderator
at the Stated Presbytery meeting in Redwood Falls
Saturday, February 15
10:00—3:30

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri is a teacher and a Presbyterian Ruling Elder. A life-long Presbyterian, she considers serving as a Youth Advisory Delegate (YAD) to the 205th General Assembly (1993) a pivotal experience in understanding for the first time the scope of being a connectional church. Soon after serving as a YAD, Vilmarie was ordained as a ruling elder at the Iglesia Presbiteriana en Caparra Terrace, San Juan, Puerto Rico. At some point in her life, she has served at the session, as a member and chair of several presbytery committees —including the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and Nominating Committee—, vice moderator of Synod Boriquén and council member, a commissioner to the 212th General Assembly and as a member of the General Assembly Committee on Theological Education. Vilmarie has found great joy in working as an interpreter (Spanish/English) at the biennial General Assembly meetings since 2006 and at the past two Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gatherings. At a professional level, Vilmarie holds a B.A. in Education (English as a Second Language) from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s in Education (Curriculum and Teaching) from Turabo University. Dedicating most of her adult life to education, teaching high schoolers and adults, she began her teaching experience as a Sunday School teacher. In 2011, Vilmarie and her husband, Rev. José Manuel Capella-Pratts, moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida, where he is the pastor of First Spanish Presbyterian Church. Since moving to Miami, Vilmarie has taught ESL to adult students from all over the world in a language school in Miami. A member of First Spanish and a PW You (Presbyterian Women) , she has served as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida (2017), is currently a member of the Leadership Council, serves as clerk of the Presbyterian Hispanic Latino Caucus, Synod of the South Atlantic chapter, and is a faculty member of a CREDO team. An organizer at heart, she loves arts and crafts, decorating and…Christmas! Vilmarie also enjoys spending time with friends and family relaxing over a good cup of Puerto Rican coffee.
Upcoming Webinar

Join the next webinar zoom on Thursday, February 20, at 2:00 p.m. with Gerald Liu for part three of Preaching in Times of Transition
Gerald C. Liu is assistant professor of worship and preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his BA in Music at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University (during which time he was also a theological fellow at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany), and his PhD from Vanderbilt University with a concentration in homiletics and liturgics. He has previously served as a British Methodist Minister in Nottingham, England before becoming ordained in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. Currently he volunteers as a minister in residence at Church of the Village, a United Methodist congregation in Manhattan. His classes and publications explore curiosities about the arts as theological resources and phenomena, Asian American identity, multicultural worship, and the production of believable public Christian witness.

Join Rev. Liu in a discussion about how the biblical canon can shape weekly preaching into an arc of messages rooted in the ever-expanding call to new identities in Christ, adaptive living, and welcoming all people for the glory of God.

Contact  Karen Lange to register.
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 3 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

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/
You are invited
The First Presbyterian Church of Willmar was formally organized on August 11, 1870 ... which means we are celebrating our 150th anniversary in 2020! To celebrate the past 150 years of faithful service to the Lord and our community, we invite you and your family to join us in a special anniversary worship service on Sunday, August 9 at 10:00 am followed by a banquet at the Willmar Community Center.
If you plan to attend the banquet, please RSVP no later than July 7 with your name and head count by calling the church office at 320-235-1263 or sending an email to  fpcwillmar@gmail.com.

In addition to the special worship, we are hosting an ice cream social from 2:00-4:00 pm the day before, on Saturday, August 8 at our church (312 6th Street SW, Willmar). This will be an opportunity to visit and catch up with old and new friends.

We would love to have you join us in praising the Lord for all the He has done and is going to do in the future. Watch the church  website for additional details on both of these events. We're looking forward to celebrating with you!

Pastors Scott and Leanne Thompson
First Presbyterian Church of Willmar
312 6th Street SW, Willmar MN 56201