The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
June 6, 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)
Clerk Training and Records Review
Clerk training will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. followed by a light supper at the presbytery office. Lynn Olson, clerk extraordinaire, will lead training; and following the training we will have the annual record review. I'm excited about all the clerks coming together in one place for training, record review and fellowship. I hope that most of you will be able to make this work. If you have questions/concerns, please contact Stated Clerk Pam Prouty.
Pastors Gathering

The Presbytery office is hosting an informal Pastors Gathering on Tuesday, June 12, from 10:00 - 3:00. Lunch will be provided. The purpose of this gathering of pastors, especially those serving congregations, is for conversation and connection. We can talk about pastoral needs, current conditions and the future. Please let Karen know your attendance plans.
Congregation of the week of June 10-16
First Presbyterian Church of Lismore
Session Ruling Elders
Joyce Gengler
Lori Klooster
Karon Nagel
Dean Knips
James Knips
Jim Vande Kieft
Lorna  Van Der Linden
Teaching Elder
Rev. Thomas Voigt
Praises and Prayers
  • Thankful for good weather as farmers work their fields
  • Several families in our congregation have faced and are facing critical health needs. We have seen God's hand at work in bringing us through some deep water and are thankful for the situations that drive us to prayer and trust.
  • We are convinced that our small town has a significant number of people that do not have a church home and are discussing ways to reach out and let them know that they are loved. To that end, we will hold our 3rd annual Lismore Burger Feed in the City Park on Saturday, June 30th, serving hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as a concert by the Cornerstone Quartet.  We are praying for another great turnout as we gather for good food and music in God's great outdoors! 
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.
General Assembly Resources

Get the latest information for the 223rd General Assembly (June 16-23, 2018) in St. Louis, MO. 

40 Days of Prayer V

Submitted by Stan Menning

This week we are praying for the people who are standing for election to the position of Moderator/Co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly. We have two pairs of people standing for Co-moderators and one pair standing for the traditional Moderator/Vice-moderator. Please pray for them as they prepare their presentations to the assembly and for the vice-moderator running mate. The Saturday night session is when the moderator is elected. It is an important night in the lives of these candidates and in the life of the PCUSA. Also pray for the commissioners as they wrap up their preparations for their committee work and as they make travel decisions (i.e. what to pack).

Monday June 11  Chantal D Atnip Chantal is a ruling elder and clerk of session at Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Chantal has been treasurer of the Synod of the Trinity since 2005 and has attended the past four General Assemblies. 2016 . Her Vice-moderator running mate; Rev. Ken Hokkenberry.

Tuesday June 12  Rev. Eliana Maxim is associate executive of the Presbytery of Seattle and co-vice moderator of The Way Forward Commission. She is vice moderator of the National Hispanic/Latino Caucus of the PC(USA) and has served on other national church bodies, including a General Assembly committee to study the Confession of Belhar. Rev. Bertram Johnson, minister of justice, advocacy, and change at Riverside Church in New York City, is one of three Presbyterians on the staff of the interdenominational congregation. He is a member of the NEXT Church Leadership Team and has served on the General Assembly Nominating Committee and on Seattle Presbytery's Catalyzing Missional Communities Committee. They are running as co-moderators.

Wednesday June 13   Vilmarie CintrĂ³n-Olivieri is an ESL teacher and a ruling elder at First Spanish Presbyterian Church in Miami. She served in 2017 as moderator of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida. Rev. Cindy Kohlmann has been pastor of congregations in Ohio and Massachusetts, and currently serves in the newly designed position of resource presbyter for the Presbytery of Boston and the Presbytery of Northern New England. They are running as co-moderators.

Thursday June 14  St. Louis Area Churches as they prepare to host GA attendees at their worship services Sunday.

Friday June 15   Traveling Mercies Much of the air travel will happen on Friday. Pray for safety, efficiency in airports, and organized transfer to hotels. Pray for safe arrival and travel through city traffic for those who chose to drive. The advisory delegates will be meeting for training.

Saturday June 16   The 223rd General Assembly Convenes Pray for God's blessing on the opening worship, the first plenary session and for the evening session when the election of the moderator(s) takes place.

Sunday June 17   General Assembly Pray for God's blessing on the worship services that take place in the churches of St. Louis and the surrounding area, the afternoon plenary session and the first meeting of the committees in the evening.

Face to Face Registration for General Assembly


Connect. Engage. Discern.

Come to Face-to-Face, sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly's  Church Leadership Connection (CLC), to connect with search committees, mid council staff, and church professionals. Engage in conversation beyond the Personal Information Form (PIF) and the Ministry Information Form (MIF)/job descriptions. Discern God's call to new chapters of vocation and ministry.

Connection and engagement between search committees and/or presbytery leaders and call seekers are a central feature of Face-to-Face. Conversations and interviews can happen any time Face-to-Face is open. Once you register, you will be sent a confirmation email asking that you provide your availability for further conversations. You can also participate in workshops, call consultations, or pop-up information sessions and listen for the movement of the Holy Spirit. Face-to-Face will take place from Friday, June 15, 2018 through Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in St. Louis.

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:
July 12 - The Introduction and Part I Chapters  1 and 2
August 23 - Part Two, Chapters 3-7
September 20 - Chapters 8-11
The discussions will begin at 11:00 a.m. Please contact Karen Lange to receive the Zoom instructions.
Rick's Books to Donate     
Rick Carus had packed away several boxes of books and Sue is starting to donate them. They are in very good condition. They are free, and Sue has offered to pay postage if someone could use them. Contact Sue at

Lexicons, Greek and Hebrew resources, Bibles, commentaries:
Hebrew/ English Lexicon of the Old Testament
Greek/English Lexicon of the New Testament
The Analytical Greek Lexicon
Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament - F. Wilbur Gingrich
Greek Enchiridion - Grammar Handbook for Exegesis - William G. MacDonald
A New Introduction to Greek - Alston Hurd Chase & Henry Phillips, Jr.
(Assorted books in Greek: Plato, Sophocles, Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey,
   Greek Historians, Greek Reader, plus Greek vocabulary cards)
The RSV Interlinear Greek-English New Testament
The Torah
Introduction to Hebrew
Student Hebrew Dictionary
The Dead Sea Scriptures (Engl. Translation) - Theodor H. Gaster
Common English Bible
The NSRV Bible
The NSRV Concordance
Santa Biblia (Spanish Bible)
The New English Bible (with The Apocrypha)
Serendipity Bible
Good News Bible (TEV)
Youth Bible (New Century Version)
Korean Bible
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.
Outdoor Cross Available
First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud, is about to begin demolition of our most utilized entrance. Construction of a new ground-entrance with elevator will take place over the summer. We anticipate completion by September, 2018. We have a cross that is affixed to the soon-to-be-torn-down entrance. We are now seeking to donate this cross to a current ministry. Delivery of this cross to its new location is possible. See picture attached. It is approximately 15' in height, and 4' in width. Weight is unknown. Material is (painted) tubular steel with no sign of rust. Mounting brackets come with it, or could be removed for in-ground installation. 
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 --

*New* First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal - Interim Pastor, 3/4 time
                Link to position description
Six New Things
Clearwater Forest Friends and Neighbors Day - July 14, 2018

Join us on Saturday, July 14, 2018 for the annual Friends and Neighbors Day, our celebration of Clearwater Forest and the communities of supporters that make it great. On this day, we open the doors to showcase our beautiful, historic buildings, our exciting programming, and God's amazing wilderness. You will have the opportunity to be part of the annual Lake 2 Lake bike ride to raise scholarship funds, tour the grounds and buildings, and participate in activities on land and on water. A picnic lunch, celebration program, and campfire singing will round out the day. Registration and more information are available at or by calling 218-678-2325. This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged to aid our planning.
See what's happening on our Facebook site:
Like us on Facebook