The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
March 9, 2016
  The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
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)
  Approved August 4, 2015
Fellowship of Prayer/Church of the Week of March 13:
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Crystal

Church Leadership

Deacons: Sandy Hollerich, Jay Walters, Rose Tinklenberg, Janet Knakmuhs, Lisa Brown, Jenny McLeod, Melanie Miller, Barb Spencer; Session: Laurel Davis, Tena Edmundson, Cindy Hamberg, Lonny Hughes, Mary Olson, Chuck Norgaard, Laurie Williams, Dan Buss, Scott Kruger, Vicki Pritchard; Clerk of Session: Rhonna Nilson; Treasurer: Tom Hamberg; Pastor: Rev. Randal Lubbers; Administrative Assistant: Rhonna Nilson; Custodian: Jay Richardson; Music Director: Jessica Conover; Organists: Adam Jones, Ryan Jones

Prayer concerns

  • For the staff and leaders of the church: Rhonna Nilson (clerk), Pastor Randy Lubbers, Sunday school teachers, the board of deacons, session, and others 
  • For members' ministries outside the church: especially thankful for newer and younger members involved in making sandwiches for the homeless in Mankato 
  • For our church ministries, especially thankful for our annual "Feast at First" and the amazing number of hours our church devotes to ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in December 
  • For the Vision Team being formed to look at where we've been, where we are, who we are, and where God's Spirit is leading us for the future 
  • For the special services and activities of Holy Week:  Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday communion service, Good Friday services at care facilities, and the Easter worship celebration 
  • For love to prevail-- "Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found; Brought here together by Christ's love, by love are we thus bound"
The Word from Rick
Every week, my e-mail inboxes (you read it correctly, inboxes – I have five that I need to keep up with) are filled with electronic newsletters and articles that relate to life and ministry. I can’t say that I read each one every week – sometimes I skim through the articles and then file them, or occasionally print them out, thinking that I will read them when I have a moment, or share them at the appropriate moment. Unfortunately, many of those articles never get read, or shared; they often end up deleted or shredded.

A few weeks ago, the Alban Weekly posted an article entitled “Five Tips for Achieving Lasting Change in Congregations,” by Edie Gross. Rather than deleting or shredding it, I thought that it was worth sharing with you all, as I believe that it holds some important insights for our congregations to ponder. Read more

On the Road with Rick

March 13 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Blue Earth
March 13 – Ordination and Installation of Tom Voigt at First Presbyterian Church, Edgerton/Lismore
March 20 – Worship Visit to First Presbyterian Church, Luverne
March 22-23 – Youth Triennium Planning Meeting in Louisville, KY
April 3 – Preach at First Presbyterian Church, Litchfield
April 7-8 – Board of Pensions Regional Benefits Consultation in San Diego, CA
April 10 - Minute for Mission at First Presbyterian Church, Willmar

Around the Presbytery
The First Presbyterian Churches of Lismore and Edgerton are pleased to invite you to the Ordination and Installation Service for the Rev. Thomas J. Voigt by the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys on Sunday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 501 7th Avenue West, Edgerton, Minnesota.

The Crosslake Presbyterian Church plans to flood the community in March with awareness of and invitations to Crosslake Presbyterian Church. They will have a float in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 12, handing out candy, church brochures, stickers, stuffed animals and toys, all marked as coming from Crosslake Presbyterian Church. On Palm Sunday weekend, they will be handing out whirligigs to people leaving Reeds Market. Attached to the whirligig (pinwheel) will be an invitation to attend Palm Sunday or Easter Worship at Crosslake Presbyterian.

The Junior High Youth at First Presbyterian Church of Willmar participated in two local mission projects in February. The first project was to make prayer beads for the women living at Grace Place in Willmar; they also visited this special home for women struggling with addiction, learning how and why some of them ended up there. These Junior Highers then assembled health care kits for Family Promise of Kandiyohi County. The youth toured the Family Promise Day Center on the third floor of the education wing at the church, most of the youth having not seen that area since attending Sunday School there.
Communications Workshop
Conducted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency
Location: The Southwest Minnesota ELCA Synod Office
175 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls
When: Thursday, April 21, from 9:00—3:00  
This workshop is for church leaders, church office staff and anyone interested in strengthening their congregation’s communications efforts.

What do you want your community to know about your church? Are you looking for ways to share God’s love through social media? Does your church have a well-thought-out communications plan—for both internal and external audiences? Create excitement and energy in your congregation by using simple, but powerful communications tools. You don’t have to have a huge budget or a large staff to effectively tell the story of your work inside and outside the church walls.

This free daylong workshop, conducted by communications professionals on the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff, will give you tips and techniques to better reach your audience. They’ll offer insights and guidelines on creating a communications plan for your congregation, discuss the “do’s and don’ts of media relations and “pitching” stories to your local media. You’ll learn proven techniques for using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and leave with tips that will make your communications more effective and help increase your reach. Communications Workshop Flyer
  Designing a Church Website 
As the church and the rest of the world become more accessible and more connected—thanks in large part to the web, social media, and mobile devices—it’s more important than ever that our churches use informative, easy-to-navigate websites. But where does a congregation start? The idea of creating a new website or updating an existing site can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. In this edition of the Presbyterian Communicators Network, we provide tips on how to create an effective website to keep your viewers happy and coming back. Click here for tips.
  Pre-Triennium Gathering
First Presbyterian Church
235 E 4th Street
Redwood Falls
Sunday, April 17
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

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. This gathering will be a time for all 72 participants in this year’s Triennium to gather, meet one another, get some information, and share in a time of fellowship in preparation for July’s adventure in Indiana. Rich Swartwood, from Presbyterian Clearwater Forest, will be present to facilitate the group-building and fellowship activities.

Letters of invitation will be sent to all participants in the next week or two, but the “GO Team” wants everyone in the delegation to get this one their calendars NOW! Most of our youth may not see The Valley Bridge, so it might be up to the adults in our audience to spread the word!

Time to get ready to GO!
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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.