The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
February 2, 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 7:
First Presbyterian Church of Fulda

Pastor: Rev. Stephanie (Huisman) Guzman
Organist: Norma Meyeraan
Secretary: Virginia Anderson
Custodian: The Tuin Family
Session: Clerk Loren Carlson, Sheila Beeck, Melissa Danneman, Vicki Deuschle, Jodie Getting, Chad Ouellette

Prayer Concerns: For our friends at home and in the nursing home, for those who are dealing with ongoing health issues, for strong marriages and families, for God's continued blessing as we nurture new members, for wisdom for our leadership, and for gratitude for the love and faithfulness of God in our lives.

The Word from Rick: Change: A Financial State of the Presbytery, Part Two
I want to pick up where I left off on my reflections regarding the financial state of the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys, talk about Unified Mission Support, and in particular, the support of our congregations for the things that we are called to do together and in support of one another through this presbytery.

While Per Capita provides a significant source of our annual resources – just under 50% in 2015 -- it does not come close to providing the support for everything that we really want to do as a presbytery. Read more
On the Road with Rick

February 6 – Presbytery Meeting at First Presbyterian Church, Willmar
February 7 – Preach at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Renville
February 9 – Session Meeting and PNC Orientation at First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
February 14 – Preach at First PC, Holland
February 15-16 – Presbyterian Youth Triennium Meeting, Louisville, KY
February 20 – Orientation for Presbytery’s Commission and Committee Members – First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls
March 13 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Blue Earth
March 20 – Worship Visit to First Presbyterian Church, Luverne

Around the Presbytery
Pastor Kathy Blair from  First Presbyterian Church of Winnebago  reflects on the gift of trees in her newsletter article and shares the following poem by Beth A. Richardson, "A New Year's Message from a Tree."
This year
May I be strong
May I be flexible
May I bend in the winds
And never break.

This year
May I be wise
May I be humble
May I provide refuge in my arms
For those who are weak.

This year
May I see farther
May I take the long view
May I remember I am
One part of the whole creation
This year
May I lift my arms in praise
May I lift my arms in awe
May I remember I am
Beautiful, loved and cherished just as I am.
  February Teaching Elder Ordination Anniversaries

02/07/2010  Erin Kobs

02/10/1974  Ray Larson

02/16/2014  Elaine Boyd

02/19/1984  Dennis Secrease

Mission Design Commission and Committee Orientation Gathering
On February 20, there will be an Orientation for all individuals elected to serve on the Commissions and Committees of the Presbytery. This orientation will not only help us focus on the mission of the presbytery, but it will be an opportunity for all Commission and Committees to hold their organizational meetings at that time!  

The meeting will take place at First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. The proposed schedule looks like this: 

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. – Chairpersons’ Orientation – for all Commission and Committee Chairpersons
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – General Orientation
11:45 – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch Break
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Organizational Meetings
  2:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Closing Worship

 More details will be available at the February 6 Presbytery Meeting!

The Due Date Is Coming! The Due Date Is Coming! 

Clerks of Session! The due date for the annual General Assembly statistical report is on February 5, 2016. At the October 31, 2015 Presbytery meeting, information was distributed. If you have no idea of what this is about, please contact Stated Clerk Pam Prouty. 

We have had quite a few questions about the Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire; here is the link -  Once you get to this page, you can download the questionnaire and submit it from there.

Leadership Event
March 11-12 at the Presbytery Office
This event is for CREs (commissioned ruling elders), those considering becoming commissioned, and other interested folks.

Friday night
5:30 – Supper

6:30 p.m. – Presentation on dealing with church conflict. Leaders: Rick Carus and others who have been trained by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.

9:00 a.m. - Session on Pastoral Leader Styles. Mark Sundby from the North Central Ministry Development Center will lead an all-day session on pastoral leader styles. Assessments cost $100

Lunch provided

3:00 p.m. - Adjourn 

Presbytery will pay for all meals and travel for everyone who attends. Presbytery will also pay the assessment fee for all commissioned ruling elders and those who have met with the Committee on Preparation for Ministry who have expressed interest in becoming a commissioned ruling elder.  Everyone is responsible for their lodging.

Questions? Contact Pam Prouty at

  What Will Your Congregation Sing This Lent?
NEW Lent and Holy Week Year C hymns for 2016! The Presbyterian Outlook commissioned Presbyterian hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette to compose Lenten hymns set to the tunes of familiar hymns. 

Why not sing new Lenten hymns set to familiar tunes?

You give your church a story, O God of wondrous grace-
A story of your goodness and of your love's embrace:
A wandering Aramean once settled in the land.
Your people longed for freedom; you saved them by your hand.
  (From "You Give Your Church a Story," new hymn for the first Sunday of Lent)
  Purchase this hymn for $10.

New Holy Week and Lent hymns for 2016

Click here to preview and purchase hymns for each Sunday of Lent and the days of Holy Week.

Carolyn has penned new hymns for 2016 based on the Year C lectionary texts! These hymns based on the lectionary are sung to familiar tunes. After purchase, you will receive a master PDF with musical score and can print as many copies as you need. Hymns are just $10 per Sunday.

Package of all 10 new hymns for $100 
  Ash Wednesday
God, Your Love Is Everlasting
Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-2
ELLACOMBE CMD  ("I Sing the Mighty Power of God")  

  Lent 1C
You Give Your Church a Story
Deuteronomy 26;1-11 and Luke 4:1-13
AURELIA D ("The Church's One Foundation")

  Lent 2C
Since the Lord is My Salvation
Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1 and Luke 13:31-35
NETTLETON D  ("Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing")  

  Lent 3C
God, You Call Us to the Waters
Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8 and Luke 13:1-9
W ZLOBIE LEZY ("Infant Holy, Infant Lowly")

  Lent 4C
We're Part of the Blessing
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 and Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
ASH GROVE D ("Let All Things Now Living")

  Lent 5C
"Since We Belong to Christ"
Philippians 3:4b-14 and John 12:1-8
CARLISLE SM ("Stand Up and Bless the Lord")

  Palm/Passion Sunday
"We Long to Know Peace"
Luke 19:28-40 and Luke 23:1-49
LYONS ("O Worship the King, All Glorious Above")

  Maundy Thursday
The Night of His Betrayal
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
LLANGLOFFAN D ("Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers")

  Good Friday
"Surely He Has Borne Our Suffering"
Isaiah 52:13-53:12; John 18:1-19:42
RATHBUN  ("In the Cross of Christ I Glory")  

"O God, in Raising Jesus"
Luke 24:1-12
AURELIA D ("The Church's One Foundation")  

Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
The Presbytery calendar is on the front page of our website at the bottom left.