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 May 26 - June 1
First Presbyterian Church of Kasota
Staff and Session:
Rev. Christopher Conlin, Minister
Jess Gunderson, Secretary/Treasurer
Anita Secrease, Organist
Connie Ryan, Janitor
Marleen Goettl, Clerk of Session
Jeff Gunderson, Mike Holden, and Missy Daschner--Trustees Committee
Donna Gomez and Kielee Grams--Music & Worship Committee
Lynn Lundberg and Connie Ryan--Outreach & Spiritual Life Committee
Kathy Wobbrock and Jess Gunderson--Christian Education Committee
Our Church Events coming up: Hosting a Garage Sale on May 24-25, Vacation Bible School July 15 thru 18, In August we will have a Confirmation Open House August 14th and Ice Cream Social. Fall brings our Annual Church Bazaar. Dates and Times will be posted on our website.  

Our Activities: weekly worship service and Sunday School, Communion Services seven times a year, Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service, Easter Sunrise Service and Breakfast, Lenten Soup and Stories,  participating in the presbytery four designated special offerings, include hosting and participating in the Adopt a Family Program for Christmas-we sponsor 1-3 families each year, participating in the Food Shelf Program twice a year March and November, Holding annual Pancake Supper, donation to the LeSueur County Sheriff's Department Drug Awareness and Bullying Programs, donations to Habitat for Humanity. We continue to support other community outreach such as National Night Out.

Prayer Concerns: For our minister, staff, session, and congregation to continue to serve our Lord and to be of service to each other, our extended families, friends and our community. 
Resiliency, Building Spiritual Fortitude for Leading
Tuesday, June 4
10:00 a.m.
Speaker: Rev. Laurie Ferguson, Ph.D.
This 75-minute webinar is free
Laurie Ferguson is a coach, a consultant and a psychologist. She served as a parish pastor for over twenty years before returning to school and getting her doctorate in psychology. She specializes in helping people and organizations grow their resilience skills. She consults with judicatories that want to develop a vision and plan for going forward with faithful courage. She has coached leaders for over fifteen years and works with Columbia Seminary in their Coach Training program. More information can be found on her website:

Ministry is challenging. Every day you spend your energy listening, planning, leading, praying, and even worrying. This “spend down” of mental, emotional and spiritual energy is constant, and unless you have ways to recharge, you will lose not only your momentum, but perhaps your sense of meaning and call in your work.
This workshop is designed to give you some practical tools to re-charge and upgrade your mental and spiritual resilience.

Resiliency is a combination of beliefs, practices and attitudes. One of the most significant components is resonance. Resonant leadership has the quality of being awake, aware and alive, able to inspire and move others, while caring for oneself and engaging in renewal. The concept of resonant leadership is based on the work of Richard Boyatzis. We will look at how resonance can be nurtured as a primary way to sustain our resilience for ministry.
Prayer List

Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
Rev. Randy Knuth, First Presbyterian Church, Osakis
Sue Thompson, Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Maynard
Presbytery meeting highlights

The stated meeting of the presbytery happened at the First Presbyterian Church of Willmar on May 21. The morning was filled with commission and committee meetings, a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance presentation by Richard Underdahl-Peirce, and filling 230 hygiene kits.

Diane Moffett, Executive Director and President of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, eloquently shared information and stories about the new Matthew 25 Initiative. Her excitement was contagious, and we ask you, should the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys consider becoming a Matthew 25 Presbytery? The initiative's purpose is to connect and unite the PCUSA--creating a spark that energizes and joins us in our common mission together, celebrate and call forth churches who actively engage the world, and clarify the self-understanding of Christians in the PCUSA. The impact and fulfillment of the vision of Matthew 25 is to see increase in spiritual energy of congregations, increased impact of church in the world, increase in new disciples and participation in ministry and to ignite PCUSA's witness and work.

In other news from the day: Rosemary Mitchell, Senior Director for Mission Engagement and Support, gave certificates of appreciation to the commissioners from churches that receive all four Presbyterian churchwide offerings. Murphy Ashley and John McKay summarized the recent Synod meeting in Buffalo, and we offer congratulations to John on his installation as Synod vice moderator! We welcomed pastors Marcia Sylvester (Harrison Spicer) and Eunice Woodberry (Jackson) to our presbytery, celebrated the ministry of Mark Chamberlain upon his retirement, commissioned Kathy Terpstra to the Willmar church, voted to approve Beverly Brock as the called and installed pastor at the Foley church, and approved the 2019 Compensation Report. Cassie Gabe and Rob Rathsack talked about camp ministries at Okoboji and Clearwater. Anne Veldhuisen and Nathan Lamb led us through a process of listening to the voice of God.

Thanks to the pastors and all of the volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Willmar for their hospitality, delicious food, and willingness to help out in so many ways. We had a great day!
Assembling the hygiene kits
Diane Moffett talks about the Matthew 25 Initiative
Rosemary Mitchell hands out certificates to churches that receive the four churchwide special offerings, pictured here are Tammy Douglas from the Willmar church and Beverly Crute from the Maynard church.
We filled the pews!
Marcia Sylvester and Eunice Woodberry
Commissioning Kathy Terpstra to the Willmar church
Scott Thompson and Mark Chamberlain
Anne Veldhuisen, Mark Ford and Nathan Lamb
For Clerks of Session and Treasurers

This year, the treasurers will receive financial training from Presbytery Business Consultant Bea Ourada while the clerks of session are reading session records. So send your clerk and your treasurer (and/or anyone interested in learning more about church finance) to one of the following trainings in June:
Monday, June 3 from 2:00-4:00 at the presbytery office in Willmar
Monday, June 10 from 4:00-6:00 at the First Presbyterian Church of Osakis
Monday, June 24 from 4:00-6:00 at the First Presbyterian Church of Windom
Spread the word to young adults (ages 19-30) that JUNE 1 is the FINAL date to apply to the 2019-20  Young Adult Volunteer  year ! National sites are available. Learn more online and  APPLY !!


Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Registration beginning at 8:30

Faith Presbyterian Church
108 W Main Street
PO Box 307
Silver Lake

The theme for this event will be: “What’s On Our Horizon?” Mrs. Louella Voigt from Luverne, MN will be our speaker for the day. Last fall she and her husband attended a seminar on “Faith and Addiction” which was held in Minneapolis, MN.

She will share with us some ideas of how we as a community of Christians are called to understand and support families and individuals that struggle with many forms of substance abuse.

During this meeting, we will also share opportunities PW have to do mission, to grow in our own spirituality, as we continue to do the work of Presbyterian Women in our communities, in our churches and with Presbyterian women Churchwide. All women are invited. PW members, women who are not a part of PW – ALL INTERESTED WOMEN.

We would appreciate your registration for this event. Please fill in the form below and send to the person and address listed. Please make reservations by May 28 th .
REGISTRATION FORM (feel free to copy and paste to a new document to mail in) :
Registration begins at 8:30 with Coffee and Fellowship.
Name of Church: ______________________________No. of people _________
Lunch Reservations: ($8.00 each) (Enclosed)$ ________ (At the door) $_______
Please send to Dorothy Merrill at the address, or phone below, by May 28. 
            Faith Presbyterian Church                   Dorothy Merrill
           Attn: Dorothy Merrill                 or       Phone: H 320-327-2783
           PO Box 397                                                   C 320-224-1375
           Silver Lake MN 55381                        E-Mail:
Synod Gathering for Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Lakes and Prairies
June 20-23, 2019

Gateway Hotel & Conference Center
2100 Green Hills Dr
Ames, Iowa

Full registration is $200 and includes meals and programming.

Link to Flyer
Join the movement of Presbyterians in Baltimore for a Big Tent like no other.

The theme, Called to a Movement beyond Institution, will emphasize our hope of the Gospel and its power to challenge institutional conventions. The goal is to come together and live in this moment, immersed in our current cultural context of racial division, gender inequality, and economic disparity to be renewed, refreshed and reformed, so that we may be sent out to affect change in our own communities. Big Tent will provide a place where our Presbyterian polity and identity is the foothold by which we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action and answer the call to discern the will of God together.

Through worship, Bible study, learning opportunities, and active engagement with one another and the community, attendees will encounter the Church participating in God’s mission for the transformation of creation and humanity. 

Organizers for this year’s Big Tent celebration have lined up the guest preachers and leaders for the three-day gathering in Baltimore this summer. The Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah will be the featured speaker at the opening plenary on Thursday, Aug. 1.

“Conversations are taking place about the changes that are occurring in our society, especially in terms of our demographics. Churches are experiencing change, including decline and diversity,” said Rah. “I will touch on those, but I really want to touch base on what the appropriate response to these changes should be.”

The FPC Mankato invites whoever might be interested to hear Mission Co-Workers in August

Charles and Melissa Johnson, mission co-workers in Zambia, are visiting First Presbyterian Church of Mankato on Wednesday, August 14th. The event will be from 5:00-8:00pm. We're going to have a potluck supper and will enjoy time with Charles and Melissa as they share about God's mission happening in Zambia, how they were called into mission partnership, and how churches might hear their call into mission partnership.
Save the date for Boundary Training
Tuesday, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls
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 15 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 church office folks 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.
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 --