The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
March 16, 2016
  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)
Fellowship of Prayer/Church of the Week of March 20:
First Presbyterian Church of Lismore
Church Leadership
  • Tom Voigt: Pastor  
  • The Session: Lori Klooster, Jim Knips, Ken Leinen, Dawn McEliece, Jan VandeKieft, Jim VanDerLinden, Lorna VanDerLinden - Clerk
Praises and Prayers  
  • The ordination and installation of Pastor Tom was a wonderful celebration of praise and worship!  
  • We will have the joy of confirming two young people as they profess their faith on Easter Sunday, and welcoming several new members by transfer of letter on April 3rd.  Pray that we might be given a renewed heart for outreach in the communities surrounding us ... as Jesus said, the harvest is plentiful!
Please join us!

The Presbytery Personnel Committee, Rick Carus, Pam Prouty and Karen Lange are hosting an informal open house on Thursday, March 31, at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate Virginia's 30 plus years at Minnesota Valleys Presbytery. This is her final day in the office, and we'll present her with a plaque, serve cake, and share memories.

Come to the presbytery office on the 31st, and let's give Virginia a great sendoff!
The Word from Rick: A Big Weekend

It was a big and busy couple of days, as two significant events took place within the bounds of our presbytery over the past weekend, and I was privileged to be part of both gatherings. 

On Friday night and Saturday, our new Commission on Leadership sponsored its first event, a Leadership Development Workshop for Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs), those in some stage of CRE training, and other interested folks. Twelve individuals gathered at the Presbytery Office in Willmar for this workshop, which had two parts to it. 

On Friday night, Scott Prouty and I got to explore “Conflict Modes” with the group. Using an instrument called the TKI and information from our week at the Mediation Skills Institute in 2014, we helped the group consider the different ways that people behave in conflict situations and how each style works, and doesn’t work. There was a lot of information to cover in a short time, but hopefully, the participants got a glimpse into how they work in difficult situations.

Read more

On the Road with Rick: A Look Ahead

March 15-17 – Synod of Lakes and Prairies Presbytery Leaders’ Forum, Mount Olivet Retreat Center
March 20 – Worship with the congregation at First Presbyterian Church, Luverne
March 22-23 – Youth Triennium Planning Meeting in Louisville, KY
March 27 – Preaching at Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Crosslake
March 30 – Session Meeting at First Presbyterian Church, Pipestone
April 3 – Preaching at First Presbyterian Church, Litchfield
April 6-8 – Board of Pensions Regional Benefits Consultation, San Diego

Kodak Moments
Leadership Development Event

The Leadership Event participants (from left) Scott Prouty, David Hollis, Gloria Vande Brake, Deb Klaassen, Betty Thorson, Sue Goebel, Sheila Sjerven, and Gordy Pennertz

Tom Voigt's Ordination and Installation

The rest of the group (from left) – Gordy Pennertz, Mike Blank, Andy Anderson, Karen Houtman, Mark Ford, and Dennis Peterson

Presbytery Moderator Andy Davis asking the constitutional questions of Tom Voigt

Terry Morse preaches the ordination sermon
The children and youth of the two congregations served as a handbell choir for the ordination and installation service.
Food Packaging Event for Kids Fighting Hunger

Saturday, April 9 at the First Presbyterian Church of Saint Cloud. RSVP to Mark Giese by April 5. More info
Pre-Triennium Gathering

All Triennium participants are reminded that a pre-Triennium Gathering is planned for Sunday, April 17 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. Information has been sent to the members of our delegation.

Ministry Opportunity

The First Presbyterian Church Osakis is one of our congregations that has participated in the New Beginnings initiative, and they are now seeking 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! 

While the primary work is with the Osakis congregation, the pastor of this congregation will also provide pulpit supply and pastoral care for the United Church of Christ in Sauk Centre.  

The Ministry Information Form for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection website. 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.

The Presbyterian Outlook is offering a special, short-term discounted subscription on this year's GA-themed magazines.
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
4055 Abbott Drive
Willmar MN 56201
Valley Bridge Editor: Karen Lange
The Presbytery calendar is on the front page of our website at the bottom left.