The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
July 18, 2018
 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)
Pam and Karen will be attending Synod School July 22-27,
so there will be n o Valley Bridge newsletter next week.
Congregation of the week of July 22-28
First Presbyterian Church of Maynard
Minister/Pianist--Pastor Bev Crute
Clerk of Session--Sue Thompson
Ruling Elders--Gary Coulter, Nancy Pierskalla, and Sue Thompson
Missions that we are involved in included the Presbyterian Special Offerings, supporting missions co-worker, John McCall and the Chippewa County Food Shelf.
We will be celebrating 121 years of service in August and tentatively planning on a celebration with former members in the fall.
Our prayer concerns are for several members who have ill health and that we can gain more members to our church.
Congregation of the week of July 29 - August 4
Ashford Presbyterian Church of Milroy
Pulpit Supply: Troy Krause and Doug Bengtson
We do most of mission work for local people and town, families and school.    
Prayers requests for Dave, Suzie, Cindy, Kim.
Planning Calendars

The 2018-2019 Presbyterian Planning Calendars arrived this week! You can pick them up at the presbytery office. If you would like yours mailed to you, we ask that you would pay the postage. The remaining planning calendar orders will be handed out at the August presbytery meeting. Or ... if you have someone attending Synod School, Karen can bring them there to hand to that person.
Leadership on the Line

Join the Presbytery in a book study of
Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change
Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky
Pastors, sessions and church leaders are invited to read along with other co-learners as we take the transformation conversation one step further.  Planned for late July through Zoom and in-person discussions, we will explore the topics of productive change, lowering the risk of change agents, avoiding leadership traps, and answering the question-What does it mean to see new chapters in ministry. These are just a few of the themes we will discuss.  Leadership on the Line is a Harvard Business book commonly used by religious organizations. The book includes religious themes easily adaptable for the church context. Three Zoom book discussions will take place as follows:
August 23 - Part Two, Chapters 3-7
September 20 - Chapters 8-11
The discussions will be at 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., choose the time that works for your schedule. Zoom instructions will be in the Valley Bridge the week of the discussion.
Pastor Elizabeth Tot Participates in Youth Mala Prayer Service

Pastor Elizabeth Tot went to Seattle, Washington July 6-10, 2018 for a Youth Mala Prayer Service (youth mala roughly means youth for peace). This is a yearly event that is hosted in North America by Youth Mala, and all the Nuer South Sudanese communities in North America are welcome to participate. The next one will happen in Arizona. Sometimes they take it all the way to Africa by selecting few people from different states and helping them with their tickets. All the pastors and elders are all welcomed and requested to lead prayer services and give words of encouragement. This is a three-day event from Friday, July 6 until until Sunday, July 8. The purpose of the event is to keep praying for peace in South Sudan, encourage Youth Mala to do well in the North America, get the communities in North America to be more united in their own state, and have more communications in the community when there is something that is happening here in North America or back home in South Sudan. 
There were closely 400 South Sudanese people who came to the event on July 6-8. The age group differs, since people came from different states, only adults came from far distance ages 18-36, and pastors and elders were ages 40-65. The only states that family comes with their children is Seattle, Washington.There were about 15 pastors that came from different states and a lot of deacons. You can also see from those different uniforms, Each of those colors are from different states and all have comes for this unity prayer for peace in South Sudan. 
I really loved and enjoyed these unity prayers, and this is the place that makes me feel like life is a gift from God and all the bad and good that comes with it will be OK in God's grace. I was able to praise God singing songs, give words of encouragement, read Bible all day, hang out with all Christians from different states and doing everything in Nuer, speaking Nuer all day for three days of praising God. We are happy that Dr. Machar is back in South Sudan and we are all praying that this peace lasts longer.
Thank you so much for helping covering my round trip tickets to Seattle, Washington, and letting me participate in this joyous event with my communities in Christ.
May blessing be upon you.
Pastor Elizabeth Tot
Elder and Deacon Training scheduled

Ruling Elder and Deacon training will on Wednesday, August 29, from 6:00 - 8:00 at the Randall Presbyterian Church of Randall. We'll start with a light supper at 6:00, and the training will follow. Please let Karen know at the Presbytery office your attendance plans so we can plan meals accordingly. 
Mark Your Calendars for September 15

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is a Presbyterian Church ministries funded in part from One Great Hour of Sharing. It is one of the most visible mission arms of the church. Volunteers in blue shirts show up to give aid and comfort for those suffering from natural and man-made disasters both in the US and abroad.

To find out more mark your calendar for September 15th, when team members from the national office will be with us for a day to talk about their work, ways we can help and what PDA can do for us when we are in need.

Watch the Valley Bridge for more details.
Per Capita and Mission Dollars

The Commission on Operations is asking congregations to henceforth send their per capita and mission dollars directly to the presbytery office - 4055 Abbott Drive, Willmar MN 56201. If checks have already been sent to the Synod, that is just fine.
Steering Congregations to Formational Resources

The Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development exists to resource congregations. We have identified six critical areas: discipleship, evangelism, mission, spiritual leadership, stewardship and worship. Each area has one or two individuals who serve as point persons. The point person's goal is to steer you in the right direction toward valuable resource. Please let us know how we can come alongside of your congregation.

DiscipleshipAnne Veldhuisen,, 507-215-5617
Evangelism: Randy Knuth,, 712-540-8243
Evangelism :  Darlene Scherbing,, 320-292-2610
Mission: Richard Lawrence, , 320-260-9639
Mission: Kathy Terpstra,, 320-815-8158
Spiritual Leadership: Tom Voigt, , 612-875-6398
Stewardship: Rick Hauge, , 507-829-5227
Worship: Darin Seaman, , 320-251-8277
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregation within the bounds of our presbytery is currently seeking pastoral leadership:

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda - Solo Pastor, 3/4 time up to full-time
   Ministry Information Form -  03782.AD1

Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake - Part-time Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form -  03851.ACO

First Presbyterian Church, Mankato - Full-time Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03792.AEO

The Ministry Information Forms for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --

Also: First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal - Interim Pastor, 3/4 time
                Link to position description
Scholarship Funds for Racial Ethnic Students available from Synod of Lakes and Prairies

The Student Scholarship Fund is an educational assistance program designed to encourage racial ethnic students in their preparation for academic success in higher education. Students must have a permanent residence within the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and be active members in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation. The synod is committed to partner with students and schools for leadership development and quality instruction of clergy and lay persons for lifelong service. Application awards are based on personal achievement, financial need and recommendation from a teacher and pastor. Completed applications are due September 30 and must include an official transcript and financial aid statement.

Free Advent Devotional
Each year I craft an Advent devotional for my two presbyteries. If you would like to make it available to your congregations, (free of charge of course!), you will find it linked. Feel free to share with any, all, or none as you wish. The PDF prints as a booklet.
My only request is that there be no charge for the document. Congregations who wish to make hard copies will have to pay paper and copying cost to distribute it to their people, which is enough of an expense.
I find congregations make decisions about ordering resource materials fairly early so I try to get ahead of the curve...consider it Christmas in July. Have a blessed week!
Grace out,
Brad Munroe
Pastor to the Presbytery
Grand Canyon and de Cristo presbyteries
Six New Things
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