The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 23, 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)
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 at 5:30, 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.
Attention Clerks!
Clerk training will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. followed by a light supper 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.
Pastors Gathering

The Presbytery office is hosting an informal Pastors Gathering on Tuesday, June 12, from 10:00 - 3:00. Lunch will be provided. The purpose of this gathering of pastors, especially those serving congregations, is for conversation and connection. We can talk about pastoral needs, current conditions and the future. Please let Karen know your attendance plans.
No Valley Bridge newsletter next week

Karen will be out of the office from Tuesday - Saturday for continuing education.
Congregation of the week of May 27 - June 2
First Presbyterian Church of Kasota
Staff and Session:
Rev. Dennis Secrease, Minister
Jess Gunderson, Secretary/Treasurer
Anita Secrease, Organist
Connie Ryan, Janitor
Marleen Goettl, Clerk of Session
Jeff Gunderson and Mike Holden, Trustees Committee
Donna Gomez and Missy Daschner, Music & Worship Committee
Sally Roberts and Kathy Sondergaard, Outreach & Spiritual Life Committee
Kathy Wobbrock, Jess Gunderson, and Mollee Grams, Christian Education Committee
Our Church Events coming up: Summer we host a Garage Sale, Vacation Bible School and Ice Cream Social. Fall brings our Annual Church Bazaar. Dates and Times will be posted on our website.  
Our Mission Activities 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, participating in the presbytery four designated special offerings, the Red Nose Sunday, donation to the LeSueur County Sheriff's Department Drug Awareness and Bullying Programs, donation 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.  
Congregation of the week of June 3 - 9
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Crystal
Mission Statement:  As the beloved family of God we joyfully: Seek God, Praise the Lord, Live as examples of Christ and utilize our gifts and talents to Love and Serve in the church and community.

Kent Williams, Marlyn Buss, Cindy Hamberg,  Susan Blythe Scott Kruger,  Ruth Ledwein,  Wayne Hughes,  Vicki Pritchard,  Rhonna Nilson            
Appointed Moderator of Session: Rev Elaine Boyd (Amboy MN Pastor)
Board of Deacons:  Jan Ellanson,  Jenny McLeod,  Jessica McDougall,  Heidi Karels,  Helen Balcome,  Melanie Miller, R ose Tinklenberg, Sandy Hollerich , B arbara Spencer
Church Staff:
Pastor: Vacant
Administrative Assistant & Clerk of SessionRhonna Nilson
TreasurerTom Hamberg
OrganistRyan Jones
OrganistAdam Jones
CustodianJay Richardson
Missions led by the Board of Deacons include:
Food shelf donations all year long and Pack the Pews in March
Random-acts-of-kindness gift certificates shared
Playing bingo with shut-ins
Deliver meals on wheels
Host Community Band Concert
Send out greeting cards to members for many different occasions
Prayer requests:
Prayers to fill the Interim Pastor position
Those battling cancer and other health concerns
Families who have lost loved ones
Prayers of the future of all rural communities and shrinking congregations
Pray for peace in the world our community and congregation
Mark Your Calendars for September 15

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is a Presbyterian Church ministries funded in part from One Great Hour of Sharing. It is one of the most visible mission arms of the church. Volunteers in blue shirts show up to give aid and comfort for those suffering from natural and man-made disasters both in the US and abroad.

To find out more mark your calendar for September 15th, when team members from the national office will be with us for a day to talk about their work, ways we can help and what PDA can do for us when we are in need.

Watch the Valley Bridge for more details.
General Assembly Resources

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

40 Days of Prayer III

Submitted by Stan Menning

As we continue our time of prayer for the 223rd General Assembly, Sunday marks the half way point. Know that we are joined by many Presbyterians around the country who are also praying for this event. This week we will finish praying for the various committees and begin praying for our commissioners. They are in the process of studying all of the items of business their committee with be debating. Again, I suggest that you save these suggestions so you can refer to them during the week of General Assembly.

Prayer Suggestions

Monday May 28   Social Justice Issues: Consider matters related to concerns of church in national affairs, matters relating to righteousness and justice of persons/organizations; global evangelism and education and Advocacy for Women's Concerns. Moderator; William Wildhack, Vice-moderator; Julie Hodges, Committee Assistant; Jodi Craiglow, Parliamentarian; Terry Epling. There are 40 commissioner members, 12 YAADs, 1 TSAD, 1 Missionary Advisory Delegate and 1 Missionary Advisory Delegate. They have 19 items of business to consider.
Tuesday May 29   Middle East Issues: Consider matters related to The Middle East. Moderator; Charon Barconey, Vice-Moderator Steve Shively, Committee Assistant; Rebecca Kirkpatrick, Parliamentarian; Sandra Hedrick. There are 40 commissioner members, 12 Young Adult Advisory Delegates (YAADs) and 2 Theological Student Advisory Delegates (TSADs). They have 9 items of business to consider.

Wednesday May 30   BOP, PILP, PP, and Foundation Consider matters related to: Report of the Board of Pensions; business related to the church's pension, annuity and medical plans; other forms of such programs, including government or private retirement programs related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Moderator; Vince Patton, Vice-moderator; Karen Westmoreland, Committee Assistant; Anna Claire Huntley, Parliamentarian; Jim Speedy. There are 40 commissioner members, 12 YAADs and 1 TSAD. They have 18 items of business to consider.

Thursday May 31   Theological and Church Growth Issues and Institutions: Consider matters related to: Amendments to the Directory for Worship and Chapter ll of the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity and Book of Confessions with Advisory Committee on the Constitution advice; authority and interpretation of Scripture; recruiting, enlistment of persons to service of the church; Christian educators; theological institutions; celebration of the Lord's Supper requests; Report of the Self Study of COTE. Moderator: Anne Apple; Vice-Moderator: Miriam Foltz; Committee Assistant: Lynn Hargrove; Parliamentarian: Rebecca Blair. There are 40 commissioner members, 12 YAADS, 1 TSAD and 1 MAD. They have 12 items of business to consider. Julia Prouty will be serving on this committee
Friday June 1   Scott Prouty Scott is a Teaching Elder commissioner serving the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. Scott is serving as Moderator of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee.

Saturday June 2   Deb Hess Deb is a ruling elder commissioner from the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. Deb is serving on the General Assemblies Procedures Committee.

Sunday June 3   General Assembly

40 Days of Prayer IV

As we continue our journey of prayer for the 223rd General Assembly, our commissioners are busy preparing themselves for the work of the committees they have been assigned to. They are receiving information from a variety of special interest groups throughout the church informing them of issues and asking for support. This week we will continue to pray for our commissioners.

Prayer Suggestions

Monday June 4   Pam Prouty Pam is a Teaching Elder who serves as a Parish Associate at the Redwood Falls church and is also the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery. Pam will be serving as a floor parliamentarian during plenary sessions.

Tuesday June 5   Anne Veldhuisen Anne is a Teaching Elder from the United Presbyterian Church in Marshall. Anne is attending as an observer, to prepare her to be a voting commissioner at the 224th GA in 2020.

Wednesday June 6   Stan Menning Stan is a Ruling Elder from the Dawson church. Stan is attending as an observer, to prepare him to be a voting commissioner at the 224th GA in 2020.

Thursday June 7   Julia Prouty Julia is the daughter of Scott and Pam Prouty and a student at Redwood Valley High School. She will be serving on the Theological and Church Growth Issues and Institutions Committee.

Friday June 8   SanDawna Ashley SanDawna is attending as the Executive Director of Presbytery Mission. She will be involved in a number of activities including encouragement of the MVP team.

Saturday June 9   Committee on Local Arrangements COLA Co-Moderators Carol DeVaughan and Cedric Portis. COLA Worship committee chair Susan Niesen. COLA Executive coordinator Jennifer Pitcher. Program assistants Emma Dobson and Kathleen Henrion.

Sunday June 10   General Assembly
Face to Face Registration for General Assembly


Connect. Engage. Discern.

Come to Face-to-Face, sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly's  Church Leadership Connection (CLC), to connect with search committees, mid council staff, and church professionals. Engage in conversation beyond the Personal Information Form (PIF) and the Ministry Information Form (MIF)/job descriptions. Discern God's call to new chapters of vocation and ministry.

Connection and engagement between search committees and/or presbytery leaders and call seekers are a central feature of Face-to-Face. Conversations and interviews can happen any time Face-to-Face is open. Once you register, you will be sent a confirmation email asking that you provide your availability for further conversations. You can also participate in workshops, call consultations, or pop-up information sessions and listen for the movement of the Holy Spirit. Face-to-Face will take place from Friday, June 15, 2018 through Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in St. Louis.

Leadership on the Line

Join the Presbytery in a book study of
Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change
Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky
Pastors, sessions and church leaders are invited to read along with other co-learners as we take the transformation conversation one step further.  Planned for late July through Zoom and in-person discussions, we will explore the topics of productive change, lowering the risk of change agents, avoiding leadership traps, and answering the question-What does it mean to see new chapters in ministry. These are just a few of the themes we will discuss.  Leadership on the Line is a Harvard Business book commonly used by religious organizations. The book includes religious themes easily adaptable for the church context. Three Zoom book discussions will take place as follows:
July 12 - The Introduction and Part I Chapters  1 and 2
August 23 - Part Two, Chapters 3-7
September 20 - Chapters 8-11
The discussions will begin at 11:00 a.m. Please contact Karen Lange to receive the Zoom instructions.
Thank you for your ministry

The Presbytery honors the ministry of the Western Presbyterian Church of rural Fergus Falls. We give thanks for their years of service and for all of its leaders. The final worship service will take place on Sunday, August 12 at 10:00, to which the presbytery is invited.
Per Capita and Mission Dollars

The Commission on Operations is asking congregations to henceforth send their per capita and mission dollars directly to the presbytery office - 4055 Abbott Drive, Willmar MN 56201. If checks have already been sent to the Synod, that is just fine.
Photos from the Presbytery meeting at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church of Renville
Rhonda Kruse
Mission Diplays
Sue talked about the history of the FPC Maynard church
We thanked the Western Presbyterian Church near Fergus Falls for their ministry
Stan anointed hands for service of pastors in new calls: Murphy Ashley, David Lick and Leah Elrod
We honored Nan De Vries on her retirement
Synod Executive Elona Street-Stewart preached
We commissioned our General Assembly commissioners (L-R) Scott Prouty, Julia Prouty and Deb Hess
Happy Anniversary!

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Worthington: 145 years
Harrison Community Presbyterian Church of rural Spicer: 150 years

Outdoor Cross Available
First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud, is about to begin demolition of our most utilized entrance. Construction of a new ground-entrance with elevator will take place over the summer. We anticipate completion by September, 2018. We have a cross that is affixed to the soon-to-be-torn-down entrance. We are now seeking to donate this cross to a current ministry. Delivery of this cross to its new location is possible. See picture attached. It is approximately 15' in height, and 4' in width. Weight is unknown. Material is (painted) tubular steel with no sign of rust. Mounting brackets come with it, or could be removed for in-ground installation. 
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.
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
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).
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

First Presbyterian Church, Mankato - Full-time Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03792.AEO

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

*New* First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal - Interim Pastor, 3/4 time
                Link to position description
Six New Things
Clearwater Forest Friends and Neighbors Day - July 14, 2018

Join us on Saturday, July 14, 2018 for the annual Friends and Neighbors Day, our celebration of Clearwater Forest and the communities of supporters that make it great. On this day, we open the doors to showcase our beautiful, historic buildings, our exciting programming, and God's amazing wilderness. You will have the opportunity to be part of the annual Lake 2 Lake bike ride to raise scholarship funds, tour the grounds and buildings, and participate in activities on land and on water. A picnic lunch, celebration program, and campfire singing will round out the day. Registration and more information are available at or by calling 218-678-2325. This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged to aid our planning.
Loving our neighbors during Ramadan/Exhausting white people/Emerging Leader grants
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