The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
June 15, 2016
 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 June 19-25
First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls

Pastor: Rev. Scott Prouty
Parish Associate: Rev. Pamela Prouty
Administrative Assistant: Christina Halvorson
Custodian: Nathan Zimmerman
Organist: Elaine Hagen
Choir Director: Peggy Dolezal
Sunday School Coordinator: Rev. Pamela Prouty
Confirmation Leader: Rev. Scott Prouty
Youth Club Team: Ann Tiffany & Rev. Pamela Prouty
Youth Faith in Action Leaders: Rev. Scott Prouty and Laura Kohler
Clerk of Session: Adrienne Danielson
Treasurer: Richard Aakre
Deacon Moderator: Gerald Patten
Elders: Richard Aakre, Robert Alexander, Marlys Mathiowetz, Martin Caraway, Matthew Tiffany, Adrienne Danielson, Molly Miller, Shari Fuhr, Scott Kohler
Deacons: Judy Curtis, Gerald Patten, Joyce Nolting, Robert Brown, Candace Zaske, Maynard Nolting, Lindsey Caraway, Julie Rienstra, Joleen MacHolda, Lynn Juell, Gordon Alexander, Rachel Dannewitz, Randy Juell, Ardis Alexander, Jeremy Dannewitz

Joys & Prayer Concerns: 
  • Vacation Bible School was a success again this year.
  • We confirmed nine young adults and have had 11 new members join already this summer along with two baptisms. We are thankful for the growing of our church family. 
  • We are busy preparing for our outdoor animal blessing service scheduled for July 24, along with out 150th anniversary which we will celebrate March 26, 2017.
  • Pray for healing for those recovering from recent surgeries, fighting disease and other health issues. 
  • Pray for those that are having financial hardships. 
  • Pray for those that have not heard the good news of the Gospel or those that have heard it and fallen away. 
  • Pray that we offer a loving open presence in our community to show the love of Christ.
The Word from Rick: 
Leaving on a Jet Plane!

On Friday afternoon, I will climb aboard the smiling Eskimo of Alaska Airlines and wing my way to the West Coast for the third time in the last three months. This time, the final destination is Portland, Oregon and the 222 nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which begins with worship at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Saturday morning.
Approximately six hundred commissioners, and countless advisory delegates, observers, guests, and assorted other people will gather in the Oregon Convention Center and other venues around metropolitan Portland for a week of worship, daily Bible study, prayerful discernment, committee meeting, plenary debate, and all the other activities that, when put together, make up a General Assembly.
More than a few people have asked me about the what the key issues before this year's Assembly might be, and even though I have been reading articles and commentaries from a number of sources, I really cannot say what it is that will capture the passions of the commissions on the floor, as each G.A. gathering is made up of different people, each with their own sense of what it is that God is calling them to be about. I honestly cannot say what it is that might be on the hearts and minds of those commissioners. Obviously, the election of a new Stated Clerk will be an important moment at the Assembly, and there will be much discussion and debate around Israel and Palestine, divestment of denominational resources from corporations involved in the Middle East and fossil fuels, the future of synods, the "reforming" of the General Assembly, and the approval of a revised Directory for Worship. With the tragedy of Orlando fresh in the minds of those coming to Portland, who knows what might emerge from the wake last Sunday evening. I think that any of a number of other issues could emerge and seize the moment, and I hope that we will be ready for what that might be.

The Oregon Convention Center -- site of the 222nd General Assembly, June 18-25, 2016

I ask that you keep our Minnesota Valleys participants in your prayers as we journey to Portland. Our presbytery's two Commissioners will be Teaching Elder Andy Davis and Ruling Elder Chuck Moore. Andy will be serving on the Theological Institutions and Issues Committee, while Chuck has been appointed to serve on the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee. Our Young Adult Advisory Delegate will be Elizabeth Prouty, and she will be on the Social Justice Issues Committee. In addition to these three, our Alternate Commissioners will be Teaching Elder Leanne Thompson and Ruling Elder Deb Hess. Leanne and Deb will move around the committees and help track issues of interest to them and to our presbytery. As always, both Pam Prouty and I will be there, observing committees, gathering resources, and making connections on behalf of the presbytery. Additionally, Teaching Elders Scott Prouty and Andrew Turner will be present in Portland. Scott as a member of the Stated Clerk Search Committee, and Andrew as part of his work in the PCUSA military/VA chaplain network.
It is my intention, much like I did during the last General Assembly in Detroit, to create a daily news update from your people in Portland. I will do my best to keep you and your congregations in the loop with news from General Assembly, as well as the thoughts and reflections of our team.
We all are praying for a hopeful and blessed week in the shadow of Mount Hood. Keep us all in your prayers, and we shall keep you in ours!

Grace and Peace,

On the Road with Rick
June 17-26 - General Assembly - Portland, Oregon
July 1-3 - Wedding in Lincoln, Nebraska
July 9 - The Ordination of Owar Ojulu, Worthington
July 9 - Participating in the Vesper Service at the Old Log Church (Norway Lake)
July 10 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Randall
July 12-13 - Lay Academy Strategy Meeting, Lakeshore Center on Okoboji, Iowa
July 16-23 - Presbyterian Youth Triennium, West Lafayette, Indiana
July 24-29 - Synod School, Storm Lake, Iowa
July 31 - Preach at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Renville
A Special Message and Offer from the Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development

One of the responsibilities of our Commission is to help provide resources and opportunities for congregations and their leaders that will help equip and empower transformation and change among the saints in Minnesota Valleys.
In keeping with our commitment to do that, we want to offer information about the Presbyterian Mission Agency's "BE THE LIGHT" conference, August 8-11, for your consideration, and even more than that, we stand ready to offer three $500 grants to individuals from this presbytery who might wish to attend this conference.
If you are interested in attending the conference, we encourage you to first check the conference web site -- -- for all the details. Then, submit a Grant Application Form to the Presbytery Office. Please note that upon your return from the conference, you will be asked to report back on what you learned and how that learning will be used in your congregation, and how it will be shared with other congregations and the presbytery. Grants will be made on a "first come-first served" basis, and no more than one conference grant will be awarded to any congregation.
If you have questions, please contact Rick Carus at the presbytery office - 320.235.7910.
More information about the conference

The Go Disciple Live  "Be the Light" Conference, formerly known as the Evangelism and Church Growth Conference, is a vibrant gathering of Presbyterians committed to disciple-making, which leads to authentic evangelism, effective church transformation, justice, and church planting through 1001 new worshiping communities. It will be held at the  Trade Winds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

The plenary speakers will include: Casey Fitzgerald, biblical storytelling; Mike Breen, disciple making; and Ralph Watkins, authentic evangelism. These leaders will join with others to provide a time of inspiration, nurture, and equipping, as they explore our theme of "Be the Light" (Matthew 5:14-16).

On-site check in will be open Monday, August 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Welcome and orientation will begin at 5:30 p.m. The conference concludes with worship on Thursday, August 11, at 7:00 p.m.

General Assembly Opening Worship - Saturday, June 18

Make plans now to join in opening worship of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Pre sbyterian Church (U.S.A.). For more information, please use this link:
Guidebook App Lets User Navigate GA with the Click of the Finger

One-stop shopping best describes the 2016 Guidebook app for the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which kicks off June 18 in Portland, Oregon.

It's the place where assembly goers can get up-to-date information on all things GA, including the schedule, maps, restaurant details, and even worship bulletins, said Andrew Yeager-Buckley, program assistant for the PC(USA)'s General Assembly Meeting Service. And, it's been updated since it was last used for the 2014 assembly, he said.

"One of the biggest differences or features added ... is that I have linked events with maps to those events. So when a participant clicks on an event they will see the name, time, and location along with a map where the event is and a route that is accessible by foot, light rail, bus, or street car," Yeager-Buckley said.

A second new element is the real-time transportation feature called PDXLiveBus developed by a Portland web developer. "When participants click this feature, it displays in real time the location of where any bus or MAX train is at any given second. This takes the guess work out of how long it will be before participants will be picked up and transported to their destinations," he said.

The hope is that Guidebook will make the experience easier for General Assembly participants and allow them to plan ahead, Yeager-Buckley said. Information about accessing the Guidebook event app is available at
Ministry Opportunities

The First Presbyterian Church Osakis is continuing its search for a Pastor to lead them as they live out the visions that have been generated by their New Beginning conversations. If you, or someone you know, has a passion for small towns and energetic small-member congregations, please encourage consideration of this opportunity!  The Ministry Information Form for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site. It is MIF#: 03890.AC0. For more information, please contact PNC Chairperson, Shari Maloney, at 320.859.3098 or by e-mail - ; or Transitional Executive Presbyter, Rick Carus at the presbytery office.
First Presbyterian Church, Mankato is beginning a search for a well-trained intentional Interim Pastor, who will guide the congregation through its pastoral transition. The Ministry Information Form for this position - MIF# 03792.AD0 -- is now on-line. If you cannot access it through the Church Leadership Connection, please contact Rick Carus at the presbytery office ( and he can send you a copy of the form. If you or someone you know would be the right person for this opportunity, contact Rick Carus at the presbytery office.
Ministry Opportunity - St. Cloud, MN

Seeking part-time Children's Ministry Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud, MN. This individual will coordinate the ministries related to children and their families. This will include Sunday School and other educational/relational programming to children and younger families. Work hours (+/- 15 hrs/week) may vary based on availability, the time of year, and/or seasonal demands. To learn more about our Congregation, or to view a full job description, please visit:
Any Luggage to Spare?

Peter Mann has delivered 100 choir robes to Elizabeth Tot to be delivered during her February trip to South Sudan.  We now need to pack them in large suitcases. No more choir robes are needed, but if you can spare any large suitcases, please bring them to next two Presbytery meetings (August 9 and November 5). Contact Peter Mann with any questions you may have:
Camp/Synod School Scholarships Available

The Commission on Transformation and Development wants to be sure that you are aware that there are scholarships available for camps and synod school. Churches may request $75 per camper. Scholarships for $100/person are also available for Synod School.

Scholarships are also available for individuals interested in attending PC(USA)-sponsored conferences or events.

A Ken Stinson Grant is available for churches interested in sponsoring seminars or workshops pertaining to substance abuse/health.

Application is very simple. Just go to the Presbytery web page. Click on Resources. In the drop box, click on forms. Scroll down until you find Loans, Grants, Scholarships. Then click on Scholarship Application Form. Fill it out and submit it to the Presbytery office.

Camp and Synod School forms are usually approved the same day. Other scholarships will be considered at the next monthly meeting.

You are invited to the Annual Summer Supper & Fundraiser at
Harrison Presbyterian Church (East of Spicer) 
on Wednesday, June 22, from  4:30 - 7:00

On the menu: hot pulled turkey on a bun, BBQ beans, salad, homemade desserts/pies, lemonade and coffee. 
Takeouts also available. 
Adults $8.00 / Children 6-10 $5.00 /  Under 5 free
Fundraiser proceeds will be used for youth camp expenses
14110 105th Ave NE; Spicer MN  56288
East of Spicer on County Road 10 (4 miles)

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