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 January 16-22
Union Presbyterian Church of Saint Peter
Prayers for staff: Kaci Schneidawind, John Dunn, Katha Chamberlain, Todd Ruble, and Pastor Andy Davis

Prayers as we seek to love God and love our neighbors as we worship the Lord and serve those without shelter, the hungry, refugees, and children in foster care.

Prayers for our congregation as we struggle with COVID and as we yearn for Easter.
A Word from Kathy
Is it cold enough for you? It's a very Minnesota question. Actually, it's rhetorical, no one every seriously answers no.

I've never really liked January, not only because of all the diet and exercise ads on TV ... it just seems January is cold and dull. There is kind of a letdown after all the activities and celebrations of the holidays. When you take down the Christmas tree, the lights and all the decorations, the house looks kind of drab. Plus it's cold!! January is always cold, and I don't enjoy shoveling snow. Driving on icy snow-packed roads is scary and dangerous, but staying home all the time is not always an option either. There is the realization that we have to get through January, February and March before we can start seeing signs of spring.

I saw a quote somewhere that said, "If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but the same amount of snow." I like that because it rings true. Attitude makes a lot of difference. We can choose to be thankful that we have a warm place to be. Each day gets longer and we have more light and less darkness. We can enjoy the beauty of the snow and the frost on the trees or we can complain and be miserable. I am going to try to adjust my attitude and look at my blessings and not dwell on the negative. I'm not sure I will be able to love January but maybe I can find joy in parts of it.

Thought for the week:
"There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"
-Albert Einstein

Kathy Terpstra
Gap Executive Presbyter
Presbytery staff will be off on Monday, January 17,
in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2022
Indianapolis, Indiana
DEPART July 23 – RETURN July 28

Deadline is coming soon...
All registration forms and deposits are due January 20. Please click the link below for detailed information. Contact your pastor or education representative for more information.

A gathering for High School age youth, youth leaders and young adults in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches.

CLICK HERE for a PDF with more information for our 2022 MN Valleys Presbytery delegation
Attention Congregations: Ruling Elder, Deacon and Personnel Committee training will be on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, beginning at 4:30 PM in person at the Presbytery Office (312 6th St SW, Willmar) and via zoom. This will be a great way for your ruling elders, deacons and personnel committees to learn more about their roles and learn more about what other churches are doing. Our leaders are Stated Clerk Rev. Pam Prouty and Rev. Doug Dent of Fergus Falls for the elders in John Knox Hall, Rev. Leanne Thompson of Willmar for the deacons in the Family Cafe, and Deb Hess for the Personnel Committees (she will use the same presentation as in October). Please register with Karen Lange for meal planning and zoom links.
2022 Per Capita
$43.00 Total
$28.52 for Presbytery
$5.50 for Synod
$8.98 for GA

2022 Presbytery Meeting Dates
Saturday, February 5 via Zoom from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, April 5 in person from 10:003:00 p.m. (location: Spicer, Hope)
Tuesday, June 7 via Zoom from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, August 16 via Zoom from 7:008:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 8 in person from 10:003:00 p.m. (location: St. Cloud)
Tuesday, December 6 via Zoom from 6:308:00 p.m.
Summer CPE Program at St. Cloud VA Hospital

The St. Cloud VA Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota is announcing its FY22 Summer CPE Program. There is no tuition fee, and a housing option can be arranged at the nearby St. John’s School of Theology in St. Joseph, MN. Dates are 5/31/2022-8/12/2022. Seminar times will be Virtual on Monday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Participants will be assigned to Wards for ministry with Veterans Tuesday-Friday using proper COVID 19 protective ware. A fuller description with additional information is here. Applicants may send their application materials to the contact information below.
Rev. Daniel R. Duggan, M.Div., BCC, ACPE Certified Educator
Chaplain, ACPE Certified Educator, Manager of CPE Program
St. Cloud VA HCS * 4801 Veterans Drive * St. Cloud, MN 56303
320-255-6480 x7543 * FAX: 320-202-2309 *
Prayer List
  • For Rev. Jeff DeYoe, undergoing cancer treatment (former pastor at Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer)
  • 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
  • Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Occidente Presbytery of Guatemala - for their health, safety, and recovery from the effects of the Covid pandemic
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

First Presbyterian Church of Edgerton and First Presbyterian Church of Lismore - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form - 03781.AD0

Zion Presbyterian Church, Ellsworth, First Presbyterian and Emmanuel Presbyterian Churches, Rushmore - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form - 09163.AF0

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

First Presbyterian Church, Pipestone - Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03796.AD0

First Presbyterian Church, Slayton - Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03805.AB0

Harrison Presbyterian Church, rural Spicer - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form - 03878.AA0

First Presbyterian Church, Winnebago - Interim Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03811.AA1

Ministry opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection website --
Register today to join a book study . . .
The Seed Keeper
by Diane Wilson
This book study is sponsored by Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and led by members of the PWS Native American Concerns Committee. It is open to interested women and men across the synod, via Zoom videoconferencing (using computer or phone) There is no charge to participate, yet registration is required.

Jan 24, Feb 7, Feb 21, Mar 7, Mar 21
Choose afternoon or evening
1:30-2:30 PM (CST) OR
6:30-7:30 PM (CST)
Synopsis: A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakhóta family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.

Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakhóta people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn’t return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato―where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they’ve inherited.

On a winter’s day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband’s farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron―women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.

Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors.

Register by contacting Marilyn Stone at Provide your name, Email address, phone number, presbytery, and afternoon or evening preference.
Bdecan Presbyterian Church Vandalism

There has been a break-in at the Bdecan Presbyterian Church, Dakota Presbytery, in North Dakota. The cleanup went well, and there was no horrific damage to the building. Based on an initial report, the glass door and some furniture was broken, with lots of stuff thrown around and rooms trashed. See photos. The front door has already been ordered and one of the elders has taken the drawers and cupboard door back to his shop to repair. The Fargo area church partnership will be helpful. A police report was filed, and that may lead to knowing who was responsible.
Here is the church contact information. Please keep them in your prayers

Bdecan Presbyterian Church         
Po Box 141 Tokio ND 58379
​Phone: (701)294-2283
Changing the Way We Do Food
Will Save the Climate Movement

A FREE Virtual Workshop, Pre-Registration Required
DATE: Tuesday, January 18, 2022
TIME: 6:30 – 7:30 pm CST

Andrew Kang Bartlett, national associate for the Presbyterian Hunger Program, will present and lead this dialogue about food and climate. We will look at the levels of engagement, from inner work to international solidarity, as well as the tools and approaches that can move us toward justice and God’s vision of the Beloved Community. 

Climate activism narrowly focused on electrifying our economy and reducing emissions, even if successful in those areas, still leads to ruin. On the other hand, by integrating climate justice and food sovereignty into our climate work, we have the potential to change the playing field itself. This approach can create pathways that circumvent and restructure the systems that created the crises we face. As Audre Lorde famously said, “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” We will look at work happening in Louisville, Kentucky, to help illustrate this approach and we will harvest examples of change strategies from participants and examine them through this lens. Finally, we’ll consider how to apply these lessons to our own settings and engagements.

Please invite family, friends and church members to join us for this special evening.

Rest in the Divine Presence with The Ministry Lab's Midweek Retreat: a recorded contemplative practice that posts at noon each Wednesday. Midweek Retreat is a free resource for all members. Register to receive the weekly post by sending an email of request to Director Emily Meyer (

And, don't miss our free-for-members recorded Epiphany Worship Service, based on Season of Epiphany texts and featuring leaders and youth from across the state, a fun movement liturgy led by Michel Gribble, and music from MN musician Billy McLaughlin. Available through February 20, 2022. Request access here.
In this book, readers explore the intricacies of how faith is required to produce food and how that faith can lead us all to feast at the table on Easter morning. Themes of soil, water, light, time, fasting, feasting, and more guide the way from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

Additional elements enhance communal spiritual practice for small groups or the entire congregation during Lent. These elements include sermon prompts, liturgies with communal responses, altar art ideas for decorating worship spaces, and prompts for children’s time in worship.
In this daily devotional for the season of Lent, Jill J. Duffield reflects on ten ordinary objects that Jesus would have encountered on his way to Jerusalem.

Each week, readers encounter a new object to consider through Scripture, prayer, and reflection. From Ash Wednesday to Easter, Lent in Plain Sight reminds Christians to open ourselves to the kingdom of God.
To help churches who wish to use this book as part of group study or worship services, the publisher has created a digital resources packet. This packet includes images designed to enhance your small groups and worship services, a seven-session study guide for use in groups, sermon starters for the ten worshiping occasions of Lent, and marketing materials to help you invite others to join you. You can download this packet for free at