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 20 - June 5
First Presbyterian Church of Foley
Pastor: Rev. Beverly Brock
Session: Tom Albers, Debbie Corrigan, Karen Ihnen, David Henry, Jill Emery, Catie Schmitz, Jenny Seaton, Candy Markfort, Youth Elder Austin Malikowski, Clerk of Session Bill Brauen
Deacons: Chair Sally Lloyd, Jan Matvick, Joyce Rife, Donna Yeager, Brad Emery
Secretary: Georgia Holewa
Custodian: Janell Jordan
Treasurer: Kortney Aikens
Financial Secretary: Joyce Rife
Sunday School Superintendent: Melody Henry
Pianist/Organist: Joan Brauen

Praying ...
  • For our confirmation graduates, high school graduates and college graduates
  • For our members who are still recovering from Covid and for all individuals and families recovering from Covid
  • For all the churches as we go back to being fully with one another
  • For restarting our youth group and youth leadership
  • For new directions in ministry
Karen Lange is normally available Monday through Friday from 7:30 - 3:30, checking emails until 4:00 or 5:00 (except after 2:00 on Thursday afternoons for banking).
Reading the Bible with New Eyes: Learning and Practicing Life-Giving Faith in Guatemala and Minnesota Valleys

By Rev. Jim Krapf

Many of the congregations where I do pulpit supply are concerned about surviving. In our presbytery, 20 churches are without installed pastors. Prospect Hill Presbytery across the border in Iowa faces a similar situation.

This realization was triggered again in a breakout discussion that was a part of the May 19 Intercultural Encounters Virtual Journey’s “Reading the Bible with New Eyes.” This event, publicized in the Valley Bridge, was sponsored by CEDEPCA (the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America). Our PCUSA mission co-workers Leslie Vogel, Eliane Menezes, and Betsey Moe support this ministry. As also noted in the Bridge, the co-workers’ virtual sermons are available for MVP congregations.

CEDEPCA is changing the theological landscape among our brothers and sisters in Central America. The shift is away from a sole focus on bliss in heaven as a way to accept suffering as God’s will for his people now. CEDEPCA is equipping its students to engage in the social justice called for in scripture.

Dr. Paulo Ueti, a CEDEPCA professor, illustrated contextual theology with a study of Luke 24:13-35--the walk to Emmaus. Jesus walks alongside the bewildered and dejected disciples. He does not start with the revelation of scripture, but with their context. He listens curiously, patiently, and respectfully. Then Jesus calls them foolish. He challenges them to rise above their distress to recall what God has revealed, what God has done. Memories help move us forward with hope. After they welcomed this stranger into their home and he shared bread at their table (context), they said to each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

In our breakout sessions we were asked to discuss the reading of scripture together in community in a way that pays attention to our context. We pondered: How do we read the Bible? Why do we read the Bible?

We can continue to welcome the “stranger” into our midst as the One who walks with us. We can listen as he opens the scriptures not just to know more but to be transformed. We must do this with and for our communities. We can eagerly rush to our companions to proclaim that our Lord is risen. We can rise above our vulnerability and fears of not surviving as we go into the future together to continue our mission. We can love God and our neighbor. We can advocate for righteousness and justice. As Dr. Ueti proclaimed: “Be a parable of the Kingdom of God.”

In case you would like to watch the virtual journey, you are invited to visit the CEDEPCA YouTube channel at
Virtual Summer Concert Series

We are reaching out to invite the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys to join us in celebrating our connection to one another through our gifts and music. Beginning in June, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog will host a Summer Concert Series featuring three unique virtual concerts over the course of the summer months.

Concerts will premiere on YouTube and are absolutely free! Elizabeth Stockton Perkins, a vocalist, student at Vassar College and longtime Presbyterian Mission supporter, kicks off the concert series on June 21. The Stillman College Choir concert will premiere on July 21, and on Aug. 21 the Mission Musicians of the PC(USA) will close out the series. Once they premiere, all concerts will be available to enjoy through September.

We are encouraging congregations and mid councils to hold viewing parties for the concerts, gathering safely in person or virtually, to enjoy beautiful music and connectivity with the wider Church.

We would also love for you to include this invitation in an upcoming newsletter. You can find promotional images at

As we head into the summer months, let’s celebrate and make music together! If you would like to learn more, contact me! 502-381-6084, or I will provide you with the resources you need to set up a watch party.
Transitional Ministry Education for All Pastors—A message from TMEC (Transitional Ministry Education Consortium)

Change happens. Transition is how we adapt to change.

As we look beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, it is obvious that our communities and the world are not the same as they were in 2019. Even the church has changed, adopting technologies and practices that we may not have considered without the impetus of Covid. In such a time as this, church leaders require special skills and understanding. Transitional Ministry Education, once regarded as training for interim pastors, has become a vital resource for all church leaders.

Did you know that other denominations have looked to the PC(USA) for leadership in managing transitions for more than 25 years? Our Transitional Ministry Education Consortium (TMEC) has offered outstanding continuing education programs since the 1990s, attracting both U.S. and international participants to eleven sites (seminaries and conference centers). Some programs have been interrupted by the pandemic, but TMEC is working to restore as many opportunities as possible this year.

Updated information is available on the TMEC website; please share with your COM and pastors who might benefit from this timely continuing education opportunity. There are currently six opportunities listed, in a variety of locations or online. We’ve also had word of an event sponsored by the Synod of Mid-America, October 18–21. In addition, Transitional Ministry Workshops has a fall online workshop in the planning stages; check back for dates and other specifics.
Pastors, Christian Educators, Youth Workers, 
Sunday School teachers and Youth Committee volunteers 

Sharpen your faith-formation ministry’s vision and purpose
Be more efficient in your time devoted to youth ministry
Plan your calendar 12 to 18 months ahead

Announcing: “Plan-It”  Wednesday, June 9th
Join us for PLAN-IT - a one-day ZOOM (10:00am-4:00pm) guided planning experience for those responsible for your faith formation ministries. Register as a team or individual. 

Pastors – invite key volunteers in your setting to join you! 
Children’s Ministry and Youth Workers – recruit your Pastor to join 
They will thank you for it!

The June 9th Plan-It event is a Zoom video call
In fact, 3 separate Zoom sessions, scattered throughout the day
Each Zoom session is facilitated by Lyle Griner
individual/team planning time between Zoom sessions
individual/team coaching by Lyle Griner is available that day
Cost: $39 per church* (*see below for Minnesota Valleys discount code)
REGISTRATION is now live. Click here to register

Minnesota Valleys Presbytery congregations only, choose this option ↴
WED JUN 9, 2021 with an added copy of the book PLAN IT
Then, use the coupon code MINNESOTAVALLEYS for a $25 discount and a free digital copy of Lyle’s book, Plan It, which contains an abundance of tips and tricks for planning your year. 
With the coupon code, that lowers your registration cost to $28.95
THANK YOU Minnesota Valleys Presbytery Commission on Congregational Transformation & Development for the discount!

Facilitator: Lyle Griner, (click for a Plan-It introduction)
With Lyle and friends, we will review common and best-practice faith formation lenses, planning tools, and potential templates that may work in your setting. Through group Zoom sessions, and some planning time in between Zoom sessions, participants will design a well-balanced, intentional, nine-months-to-a-year framework. 

Sounds awesome, right? 
You could have your Children’s & Youth Ministry planned for
the entire 2021-2022 JUNE!

For more info, contact:
Mark Giese First Presbyterian, Saint Cloud
Jill Boeyink First Presbyterian, Willmar
From Transformation & Development

The Commission on Transformation and Development is working to make sure we are serving you and your churches the best we can in this next year.

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. Please feel free to contact any of the members of the Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development as to what might be areas that you may be seeking assistance with locating valuable resources. Those currently serving on the Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development are: Randy Knuth, chair, Anne Veldhuisen, Michael Hartwell, Darlene Scherbing, Barb Wawrzyniak, Gerri Mitchell, Lindsay Jacaruso. Please let us know how we can come alongside of your congregation.  Please contact Randy Knuth, the chair, at 712-540-8243 or via email at

Having a difficult time finding pulpit supply? Have you considered a virtual sermon?
A Sermon for Every Sunday ( is a website that provides lectionary-based video sermons by America’s best preachers for use in worship, bible study, small groups, Sunday school classes, or individual use. All you do is push the button. If you have a computer and a projector, these professionally recorded sermons can be downloaded and viewed on Sunday mornings. The site features nationally known preachers from multiple denominations. Although donations are accepted, the sermons are free. Check out

Technology Grant
The Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development has the privilege of awarding matching Technology Grants of up to $500. However, because of the demand, churches or other entities will not be able to receive grants in two consecutive years. Grants have been used for updating office equipment, purchases to buy or replace computers, or updating audio video equipment. If your church has not received a grant this year or last, take advantage of this grant. Please use the new form which is specific for the Technology Grant.

The above resources are shared by the Commission on Congregational Transformation and Development
Registration links

Synod School July 25-30

Thursday June 16, 4:00 PM - Sunday, June 19, 11:00 AM
Place: Hilton Garden Inn, Sioux City Riverfront, Sioux City IA
Final details will be available this Fall. Registration will start in January 2022.
More details to follow.

2022 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus Resources

There is help with funeral expenses for people who have lost loved ones to Covid19. The following link gives the information:
Matthew 25: The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett’s Pentecost sermon goes out online to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, brought some Pentecost panache to her virtual pulpit Sunday, preaching via a recording to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on both a joyful and somber occasion: while Pentecost celebrates the birthday of the church, Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The crime, which helped spark a racial reckoning in communities across the nation, occurred about three miles south of the church. Read more
Prayer List
  • For Rev. Mark Chamberlain, retired pastor, Willmar
  • For Rev. Bob Bartlett, First Presbyterian Churches of Brewster & Round Lake
  • For Rev. Michael Roys, retired pastor, Winnebago
  • Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Occidente Presbytery of Guatemala - for their health, safety, and recovery from the effects of the Covid pandemic
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal; First Presbyterian Church, Kasota - Pastor, yoked parish
Ministry Information Form - 03709.AB1

Maine Presbyterian Church, rural Underwood - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03870.AB0

Faith Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03851.AD0

First Presbyterian Church, Slayton - Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03805.AB0

Hope Presbyterian Church, Spicer - Solo Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 09565.ADO

First Presbyterian Church, Winnebago - Interim Pastor
Ministry Information Form - 03811.AA1

Ministry opportunities are posted on the Church Leadership Connection website --
The Ministry Lab invites congregational leaders of all kinds from all kinds of settings to join monthly Round Table discussions tackling the numerous and fluctuating joys and challenges of emerging from Covid into a more just and sustainable future. Avoid going back to a "normal" that wasn't working: get inspired and inspire others with your great ideas; network and find collegial support. For more information or to sign up, go to our website: