The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 3, 2017
 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: May 7-13
First Presbyterian Church of Litchfield
Ruling Elders: Sue Berg-Clerk, Shirley Brooks, Michael Joldersma, Judy Holmes, Kay Hanson and Gary Graphenteen
Music Director: Jayne Ackman
Christian Ed Director: Julie Rae Pennertz
Treasurer: Leetha Waldron
Commissioned Lay Pastor: Gordy Pennertz

Prayer concerns for  members moving into assisted living, d ementia patients, cancer, heart disease, depression.
Thanksgiving for Holy Humor Sunday, Christian Community events, Confirmation class, sunshine when we get it!
Sad News

Bruce Raske passed away on Sunday. We hold our good presbytery friend Bev Raske and their family in our prayers. The funeral is 2:00 p.m. on Friday at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Renville. Visitation times and more information:  Link to obituary
Something New
First-Time Commissioner Briefing

The May 16 Presbytery meeting in Worthington will be what we have been referring to as a "hybrid" meeting. By that we mean that we will be combining two functions into one meeting. The morning session will consist of commission/committee meetings and a forum on immigration with the business meeting/worship taking place in the afternoon. In order to save some time we want to try providing the first-time commissioner briefing on Monday, May 15 at 7:00 PM via ZOOM. ZOOM is the video conferencing tool we have been using for a number of our meetings. Churches sending a first time commissioner will be asked to send Karen the name and email address of that person so she can send the link to participate in the meeting. It is recommended that the person have the presbytery meeting packet in hand so they can follow along with the agenda. While this briefing is designed for first time commissioners, anyone would be welcome to sit in. 
Morning Forum Option at the May Presbytery Meeting

by Jim Krapf

"Immigration connects us," declared Amanda Craft at the Network Meeting of Guatemalan and U.S. partners in January. Amanda is previously one our mission co-workers in Mexico and Guatemala. She is now the advocacy leader for our office on immigration at General Assembly headquarters. 

You are invited to attend a forum on immigrants during the morning of our May 16 Presbytery meeting in Worthington. You will be supplied with resources from Amanda.  You will hear presentations from and have opportunity to dialogue with local people.  Participating along with the delegate visiting from our sister presbytery of Occidente, will be our police chief, an immigration attorney, director of economic development, school staff, priest from the Catholic Church, and representatives of Familias Juntas and Manos Unidas (local advocacy groups).

If time and numbers permit, there will also be opportunity to tour the food pantry (located in Westminster) and a citizenship and English classes (located in a center a half-block away.)

The objective of the forum will be for you to strengthen faithful connections by addressing fears, challenging naïve perspectives, and releasing your compassion as a follower of Jesus Christ.
We Need Hosts for Occidente Presbytery Guests Arriving in May
We want the presence of our guest from Occidente Presbytery to yield us the most benefit, so we are asking you and your congregations to inform us of your wishes. In particular, we can arrange visits which can include the sharing of faith stories, information about our mutual mission projects, discussions about immigration issues, and insights about our unique witness as Reformed Christians. Those who are prayer partners with Occidente congregations may especially wish to have this contact.
You can contact me at, 507-350-1662, or 808 4th Avenue, Worthington, MN 56187.
As we plan, keep the following information in mind. The dates of the visit will likely be May 12 to 26, including two Sundays. At the May 16 Presbytery meeting, look forward to her preaching and an educational presentation, and we will celebrate the renewal of our Pact of Companionship in Mission.
At this point, the delegation is Rev. Alma Lili Rodriguez, a leader in her presbytery and International Partnership Committee. Many of you have meet Alma Lili before and know her as a faithful inspiring pastor.
Presbytery office hours are 7:30 - 3:30 Monday - Friday.
Installation Invitation

First Presbyterian Church of Osakis is a community of faith.
We are called to follow Jesus Christ.
Christ is recognized among us in worship, fellowship, study and service.
Our members proudly invite you to join us as we celebrate the Installation of
Our New Pastor
Randall Knuth
We will celebrate this blessed occasion through worship and with God's Word. Your presence will make this event a memorable experience for
Pastor Randy and our congregation.
Join us May 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church
101 West Oak Street
Osakis, Minnesota
Reception will be held immediately following the service.
Celebrating Pastor Al's Ministry and Wishing Him Well on His Retirement

The congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Foley are planning a retirement party for Pastor Al Jergenson on Sunday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. The celebration will be held in our church's fellowship hall.
PC(USA) pastors and commissioned lay pastors encouraged to apply for matching funds to attend financial literacy and leadership events and training

The Presbyterian Foundation is accepting applications for a newly established Church Financial Leadership Grant. Grant applicants must be a pastor, commissioned lay pastor (CLP), or leader of a 1001 New Worshiping Community within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Funds are available for those pastoral leaders seeking to gain a better understanding of church financial vitality and management of their congregations.

The application deadline is June 30. More info
Coming Soon: The Academy

Simply put, it is a series of 11 courses designed to develop well equipped, thoughtful people to better serve councils in a variety of capacities. For some this may lead to becoming commissioned ruling elders (CREs) while others delight in learning and growing as a leader.  We are lining up some of the finest instructors we can find! The brochure
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

The following congregation within the bounds of our presbytery is currently seeking pastoral leadership:

Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Crosslake, Minnesota  - Interim Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 11950.AC0

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

Additionally, there will be other opportunities arising in the near future. Please keep your eyes open as Fulda begins a pastoral search and Foley will begin seeking an Interim Pastor. 
Six New Things
Registration open! More info
Synod School 2017 - July 23-28, 2017 - Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa
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