The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
January 26, 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 January 31:
First Presbyterian Church of Foley
Pastor: Al Jergenson
Secretary/Treasurer: Lisa Bowland
Financial Secretary: Diane Thorsten
Assistant Financial Secretary: Joyce Kardell
Clerk of Session: Deb Cross
Elders: Justin Emslander (youth), Dan McLean, Roxie Miller, Maxine Olson, Nancy Kampa, Paul Seaton, Gloria Vande Brake, Jamie Emslander, Adam Foss, Mike Schwarzkopf
Deacons: Jordan Henry (youth), Bob Cross, Sally Lloyd, Jeri Jergenson, Janita Dieger, Jan Matvick, Joyce Rife
Trustees: Brad Kadlec, Brian Malikowski, Brian Thorsten, Dean Emslander, Torrey Lewandowski, Neil DeZeller
Organist/Pianist: Angel Mehr
Choir Director: Jenny Seaton

Prayer Concerns:
Keep Mindy Vande Brake in our prayers as she serves this year in New Orleans; Paul Both, as he serves in mission in South Sudan; our newly-commissioned church leaders, as they bring new insights and energy to our various initiatives in mission and ministry; for our confirmation youth, as they prepare to be confirmed in their faith in the Spring.
The Word from Rick: Change: A Financial State of the Presbytery, Part One
Last week, I began to talk about the changes that are taking place in our presbytery with the advent of the new Ministry Plan and Mission Design. This week and next, I want to focus on the state of the presbytery’s finances, and how our finances will greatly affect us as we move forward into this new time in our life together.
  In my two years in this presbytery, I have not talked a great deal about money. I have not come to your churches asking for money, and given the opportunity, I have thanked congregations for their generous commitment to the support of the church’s mission, even when I have known that there were congregations that I should be challenging to greater generosity. Read more
On the Road with Rick

January 27—31 – Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Gathering – Chicago
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
You are invited to a "God Loves You" banquet on Sunday, February 14 following worship at the First Presbyterian Church of Holland sponsored by the youth group. On the menu: ham, scalloped potatoes, corn, coleslaw, rolls and dessert. The entertainment will feature the young married adults in "The Newlywed Game."

First Presbyterian Church of Fulda is serving a soup and pie dinner on Sunday, January 31 from 11:00 - 1:00 and invites everyone to join them for a tasty hot meal.

Thanks to the generosity of a stranger, First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls has a newly-remodeled kitchen. After attending a funeral at the church last year, this stranger felt the nudge to do something for this church community. She called Pastor Scott Prouty and said she would like to donate something to this church where she was especially moved at this aforementioned funeral. Scott told her that they were painting the church sanctuary and told her how much the project cost when asked. She asked if they had ever thought about updating the kitchen. "Oh, no," said he, "that's not even on the horizon." 

"Please get an estimate anyhow, and let me know," said she, and gave them money to cover the painting of the sanctuary.

So they planned and dreamed and got the estimate. The project was completed a couple of weeks ago!
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

Time to Get Your Registrations In!
Triennium Churches: Registration Has Officially Begun!

Another reminder – and this is a big one!! 

Please have you Triennium participants complete their registration forms NOW! With each passing day, we are getting closer to the start of the Triennium! 

Please complete your congregation’s registrations by February 1!!  Send the completed registrations, along with a $250 per person payment to the Presbytery Office. It is important to complete this part of the process so that we know how many Adult Advisors we need to enlist. We have a number of adults who have expressed an interest in going, we are waiting to know how many we can officially ask! 

Questions can be directed to Rick Carus or Pam Prouty! 

These are our Triennium Churches:

Fergus Falls Federated
Redwood Falls
Saint Cloud
Spicer Harrison
Spicer Hope

2016 Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians Today: Be Holy
Lent is a holy journey with God, but what exactly does it mean to be “holy”? For some, it’s all about following a set of rules and not messing up. But what if holiness is not good marks on a chalkboard but a gift from God? 

Pastor and author Brian Coulter has put together a series of brief daily reflections, paired with a short, ancient form of praise and petition called a breath prayer, to explore what holiness means for Christians today. He invites us to receive from God this blessed gift that makes our lives more compelling, more enjoyable, and more faithful. Bess Reynolds’s original artwork brings this holy Lenten journey to life. 

Perfect for congregations, families, and individuals, Be Holy provides a Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer for each day of Lent. 

Your congregation is invited to order these devotionals at $2.00 per copy through the presbytery office. The deadline to order is Tuesday, January 26. Please call or email Karen at the presbytery office: 320-235-7910 or .
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Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
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