The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 2, 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)
Congregation of the week of May 6 - 12
First Presbyterian Church of Holland
Pastors:  Rev. Kendrick Matthews, Pastor Emeritus
              Rev. S. Lynne Matthews, Senior Pastor
Clerk of Session:  Lou Perli
Chair of Trustees:  Marlyn Kuyper
Treasurer and Christian Education Director:  Barbara Winsel
Music Director:  Judy Oldemeyer
Audio-Visual Director:  Deb Wolfswinkle
Please pray for:
Many who are struggling with health issues
For farmers who are trying to begin field work
The ability to meet the needs of those who want more traditional worship, and the young who desire more contemporary worship
Upcoming VBS (June 3-7)
Healing for Pastor Kendrick Matthews
Spiritual growth for all in the congregation
Outreach into the community and surrounding areas
Randall Presbyterian Calls Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Michael Hartwell has accepted a Call as f ull-time pastor at the Randall Presbyterian Church,  with a July 1, 2018 starting date. He is currently a  member of the Grand Canyon Presbytery (Phoenix).
From the Synod Meeting:

Proposed 2019-2020 Per Capital Budget 223rd General Assembly (2018) At the spring meeting of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, commissioners discussed proposed changes to Per Capita. A major overture is being presented to the General Assembly for action in June. While Per Capita increase will need to be approved by the assembly, the Synod voted to not increase the Per Capita for 2019, leaving its portion at $5.40. For information on how the Per Capita will be used see the Proposed Narrative Budget see this link:
Al Jergenson and John McKay represented the presbytery as commissioners on the Personnel Committee and Ecclesiastical Relations Committee. Chip Hardwick, former Director of Theology and World with the Presbyterian Mission Agency, provided an introduction to new resources on congregational vitality. Resources are available at
The group learned concepts around Seven Marks of Congregational Vitality:
- Lifelong discipleship formation
- Intentional authentic evangelism
- Outward Incarnational focus
- Empowering Servant leadership 
- Spirit-inspired worship
- Caring relationships
- Ecclesial health
These concepts are discussed in detail in the above resource. 

The Synod Comprehensive Support to the presbytery for the next three years will decease 10% each year: $14,762 (2019); $13,285 (2020), and $11,957 (2021).
Presbyterian Planning Calendars

Email  Karen Lange your congregation's calendar order, or use the linked  order form. They are $9 each, checks payable to the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys. Order by May 11.
Call to Prayer

On May 3rd at Noon our nation will pause to observe The National Day of Prayer. The tradition goes back to 1952 when President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law the joint resolution of the United States Congress. This year's theme is "Pray for America - Unity" based upon Ephesians 4:3 "Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Join the presbytery in a Zoom prayer gathering led by moderator Stan Menning. Mark your calendars now to participate in this powerful time of intercession and thanksgiving.

Topic: National Day of Prayer Zoom at noon
Time: May 3, 2018 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16699006833,,192801795# or +16465588656,,192801795#
Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 192 801 795
Mission Initiative Scheduled for the May Presbytery Meeting

Submitted by Mark Ford

The Commission on Presbytery Life is asking all congregations to share their mission activities at the Tuesday, May 22 Presbytery meeting at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Renville. The focus of the meeting of the Presbytery is on the mission activities of the churches within our Presbytery. Each church is asked to display their mission activities and to highlight one special mission activity. Since space is limited, please bring a small table.

We would like to have everyone share again their mission projects so that others may be inspired (or led by the S pirit) to see other opportunities for doing mission. Dora the Explorer will be the theme to encourage everyone to bring their mission information and to view the mission work of other churches. Each church that has a display will have a Dora sign and those who visit booths will get their mission passport stamped or marked. At the end of the Presbytery meeting, there will be a random drawing for door prizes for those who complete their mission passport. Door prizes are inspired by our Occidente partners and by Dora, who is from Central America.
Keep following the Valley Bridge for more updates!

More about the May Presbytery Meeting

Rhonda Kruse, Mission Engagement Advisor from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will be leading a pre-presbytery forum on mission at 10:00 a.m. Visitors and Presbytery Commissioners are invited to attend.

Special Offering at General Assembly, and at the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery meeting in May

Submitted by Scott Prouty

During General Assembly, our Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, will be leading General Assembly participants in a march to the downtown jail in St. Louis to release prisoners. These people have been imprisoned for petty crimes because they could not afford to pay the $200 fine at the time of their arraignment. They have been put in jail and forgotten. These folks end up losing their jobs and they become disconnected from their families all because they did not have $200. They can sit in jail for several years. This tends to only happen to people of color. 
We are going to take a special collection at General Assembly to release people from jail but I asked the Stated Clerk while I was down in Louisville for committee leadership training if we could bring money from our presbyteries and churches and of course he said, "yes" with enthusiasm.
There are currently sixty people to release in St. Louis that have been sitting there for years, but others will be released in other cities with the funds that are collected. 
The timing of this release of prisoners will make the nightly news in St. Louis and may be picked up nationally as to what the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. is doing. We will be releasing people from jail that have long paid their dues. 
We will be taking a special offering at our presbytery meeting to help in this worthwhile cause. Please join us in bringing some justice to the world to some people that have been locked up for years for spitting on the sidewalk or urinating in an alley. 
Please pray that this act during General Assembly sends a powerful message of love, hope and justice to our whole  nation in the name of Jesus of Christ. 
General Assembly Resources

GA223 Website is Live!
Get the latest information for the 223rd General Assembly (June 16-23, 2018) in St. Louis, MO. 

You are invited

Rev. Cory Germain's Installation Service at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 319 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont, MN, will be Saturday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m.  A reception and meal will be held following the installation service.  All clergy are invited to wear robes and red stoles.  Cory has served First Congregational UCC in Fairmont since November of 2016.

Harrison Community Presbyterian Church , 14110 105th Ave NE, Spicer, MN will celebrate their 150th Anniversary on Sunday, May 20. The program and open house are from 1:30 - 3:00. For more info, contact Lori Dietz at  or 320-894-8589.

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Worthington will celebrate their 145th Anniversary on May 20 with Worship at 10:00 a.m. 

Now is the time

May 13 - Mission Worker Sunday:

May 19 - 1001 New Worshiping Communities:

May 20 - Pentecost Offering:

Attention Clerks!
Clerk training will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. 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.
Elder and Deacon Training scheduled

Ruling Elder and Deacon training will on Wednesday June 6 at the First Presbyterian Church of Windom. We'll start with a light supper, and the training will be from 6:00- 7:30. Please let Karen know at the Presbytery office your attendance plans so we can plan meals accordingly. We will try to schedule another training further north also.
PWP Spring Gathering

Submitted by Betty Thorson

PWP Spring Gathering will be held on June 5th, 2018 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington. All are invited whether you have a PW or not. Our speaker will be Sue Ingels from Iowa. She was on the Indonesia Mission trip. Meal is $8.00. Need to send reservation to Darlene O'Neil 32505 300th St, Worthington, MN 56187. Tell her from what Church and how many. Send check or let her know you will pay when you get there. Starts with registration at 8:30 am and meeting starts at 9:20. Hope to see many of you there. Need to be registered by the middle of May so they can plan their meal.
Apply  to the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program  today !! 
Final round for the 18-19 season open until June 1. National sites only are available.
Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, transportation and student-loan repayment options throughout the duration of the service year. For more info, visit the FAQ tab at the top of the YAV homepage. Also, follow @yavprogram as current YAVs take over the account. Help plants seeds of service and spread the word!
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

The Ministry Information Forms for these opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site --
Six New Things
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