The Valley Bridge
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 March 17-23
First Presbyterian Church of Dawson
Staff:
Pastor: Rev. Herbert Rotunda (UCC)
Clerk of Session: Stan Menning
Elders: Sharilyn Bates, Deb Koester, Vallerie Sather, Danny Lee, Dr. Thomas Hansen

Mission: In addition to seasonal mission giving, we have two weekly opportunities for those at worship. The White Basket is a collection of personal items (soap, body wash, tooth brushes and other items) that are distributed to the Women's Shelter and local food shelf. We rarely, if ever, see who receives these donations. We also have Dimes of Dinner. We ask people as they leave worship to leave extra change into a lunch bucket. We use this money to buy food cards. These cards are given to families who have experienced a current loss or given to someone as a 'we are thinking of you' gift. These people tend to be our neighbors. We are open to new opportunities to do God's work.
Prayer List

Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
Rev. Beverly Brock from First Presbyterian, Foley
The Presbyterian churches that were affected by recent tornadoes in Alabama
Removing Internal Barriers to Success and Implementation
When: Tuesday, March 19, from 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Minnesota Valleys Presbytery, 4055 Abbott Drive, Willmar
Cost: $15 payable at the door, checks payable to Minnesota Valleys Presbytery are preferred.
Speaker: Rev. Felicia LaBoy, MA, MDIV, Ph.D. Dr. LaBoy is known for her inspirational, practical, and common-sense approach to ministry and business. She is a popular speaker and expert in the fields of faith- based community, economic and leadership development; evangelism; and race relations.

Many clergy and church leaders spend countless hours reading and in live and webinar training on how to move their congregations forward. However, movement forward is often hard or non- existent. In this highly interactive seminar, participants work on what is really holding them and their congregations back from achieving their vision for the future. Utilizing biblical and theological resources, as well as best practices from transition and change management, participants will begin to develop strategies for how to help their congregants deal with uncertainty, loss, and change.

More About the Speaker
Dr. LaBoy academic credentials include a B.S. in Marketing from Lehigh University, an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Duke University, an M.A. in Christian Ministries from Indiana Christian University, and an M. Div with a concentration in Evangelism and a Ph.D. in theology, history and ethics from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Associate Dean in Black Church Studies, Louisville Theological Seminary. She is an Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) trained life transitions coach.

Her books include Table Matters: The Sacraments, Evangelism and Social Justice ; Unstuck: 8 Steps You Can Take Right Now to Possess Your Promise; and Not For Women Only: Leadership Lessons From Women in the Bible – A 40-Day Devotional (Spring 2019) .

Pastor Nominating Committee Webinar

On Thursday, March 28, Executive Presbyter SanDawna Ashley will lead a Zoom webinar for PNCs at 2:00 p.m. Contact Karen Lange to register and to receive the instructions.
Save the date for Boundary Training
 
Boundary Training is required for all minister/teaching elder presbytery members and commissioned ruling elders. The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys will be holding a boundary training on Tuesday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. The Rev. Mark Sundby from Leaderwise will be leading the boundary training. The training will focus on a holistic approach to boundaries, looking at overall resilience and well-being as the best prevention against impaired decision making and boundaries violations. More information will be coming.
Church Staff: Schedule a Day with Karen

Associate for Administration Karen Lange is available to spend a day with the person or persons in the church office to share tips on setting up bulletins, newsletters, making a Facebook page or to help with any general questions. The cost is Karen’s mileage to and from the church plus providing lunch. Please email Karen to schedule.
Called as Partners

Elaine Boyd, member of Occidente Task Force

“May we learn the art of sharing, side by side and friend with friend, equal partners in our caring to fulfill God’s chosen end.” (Called as Partners in Christ’s Service) These words from one of my favorite hymns convey so well what we as Minnesota Valleys Presbytery are working toward in our mission partnership with Occidente Presbytery in Guatemala. 

Future partnership projects will be those proposed by Occidente Presbytery and will have as their focus the support and encouragement of the mission of Occidente Presbytery in their communities. 

How can you join in this partnership?  The Occidente PW has requested help with the purchase of sewing machines in order to finance the needs of the PW groups in churches there. We have funding to purchase three machines at about $330 each, to be purchased locally in Guatemala. Perhaps your PW or others in your congregation would like to donate additional money so that more machines could be purchased. The Occidente PW is also suggesting help with knitting supplies in order to make items to sell. Because shipping is difficult and because we want to support the local economy, we can only take donations of money, not supplies.

Another project that we are working on with our partners are requested health classes involving CPR training or education in other health issues. Details are still to be worked out.

But the most important focus of future partnership is the building of relationships—person to person. By sharing our stories, barriers of distance and culture and language disappear, and strangers become family.

Would you like to meet our partners face to face? The Occidente Task Force is planning a trip to Guatemala in February of 2020 to join with them in their mission to their members and communities. Some Spanish is useful but not required. If you have skills to share, or if you just have a passion for meeting these brothers and sisters in Christ---and would like to go along, contact the presbytery office. Donations should be sent to the presbytery office and designated for Occidente as desired. Gracias.( Brochure )
Is God calling you to a new adventure?  

You are invited on a double adventure: attending Synod School AND beginning an exciting spiritual journey with the Academy. A new series of Academy classes begins at this summer’s Synod School with Old Testament and Spiritual Formation. This series of 11 classes is a necessary step for becoming a commissioned pastor, or to enhance your ability to serve God and your church many different ways.

See the Academy brochure for more information. Questions about the classes may be directed to
Elaine Boyd pastoramboy@gmail.com /  507-674-3895 or
Deb DeMeester at the Synod office  ddemeester@lakesandprairies.org  / 800-328-1880


Book Study: Rebuilding the Foundations
Join the Presbytery in a book study of Rebuilding the Foundations: Social Relationships in Ancient Scripture and the Contemporary Culture by John Brueggemann and Walter Brueggemann, Westminster John Knox Press. Next chapters to discuss: 5 & 6. The Zoom discussion will be on Thursday, April 4, at 1:00 PM, and instructions will be in the Valley Bridge on April 3.
2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
Get Ready for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium - a gathering held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, faith growing gathering! Five days that help form a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and in this world!
Event Essentials

DATES: Monday, July 15 - Sunday, July 21 (includes travel days)
LOCATION: Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
AUDIENCE: High School Age youth entering freshman through graduated seniors
THEME: "Here's My Heart"
REGISTRATION FEES: Anticipated Cost - $625.00 to $650.00
                (Registration fee includes all programming, food, lodging and travel)  

Deadlines
Registrations are now due, along with $250.00 payment for each participant
MAY 6: Final Payment Due

Questions?
Contact Mark Giese:  mark@fpcstcloud.org  ∙ 320-251-8277 (church) ∙ 320-493-8272 (cell)
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer - Solo Pastor
  Ministry Information Form -  09565.ADO

The Ministry Information Forms for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --  http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/clc/
Upcoming Events

Big Tent - August 1-3, 2019 in Baltimore