The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 4, 2016
 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 8-14:
First Presbyterian Church of Maynard

Church leadership:  
   Sue Thompson, Clerk and Treasurer
   Gary Coulter, Elder, Buildings and Grounds
   Odell Schaller, Elder, Building and Grounds
   Sue Thompson, Elder, Christian Education
   Marie Anderson, Youth Mission Advocate Coordinator
   Rev. Beverly Crute, Ph.D., Pastor 

Prayer concerns and joys:
  • Those recovering from surgery
  • Mother's Day "Mini" Brunch on Sunday, May 8
  • Recent gift of a "family of chickens" (2 girls and 1 boy chicken) to our Presbyterian Church (USA) Mission Agency to provide for a third-world family
  • Ecumenical Fourth of July Worship Service on Sunday, July 3 at Lion's Park in Maynard
  • Maynard Presbyterian Bell Choir Rehearsals and Performance
  • All-Church 119th Birthday Celebration on Sunday, August 7. (We were founded in August 1897.)
The Word from Rick: See You Next Tuesday

Greetings from the Puget Sound and the Presbytery Leaders' Formation Residency Week. The first three days here have been quite insightful and it has my head spinning with thoughts about what we might be able to consider as we move ahead, and what I might wish to do when my term with you all concludes.
It is going to take some time to process what I am discovering and discerning, so as a result, I don't have a great deal for you all this week. I try to have some brilliant insights for when I see you next week.
I hope that you all are planning to be at Renville next Tuesday for the presbytery meeting. It is my I hope that some day, we can stop calling them meetings, because our common life is about more than doing business. However, until that blessed day arrives, I look forward to meeting with you all as we share in our common life together. It promises to be a great day!
Until then, have a blessed week! May God continue to bless us all!
Grace and Peace,

On the Road with Rick
May 1-7 - Presbytery Leader Formation Program - Residency Week - Seattle
May 10 - Presbytery Meeting - Ebenezer Presbyterian Church of Renville
May 10 - Session Meeting -- Osakis
May 12 - Session Meeting -- Randall
May 17 - Minnesota Council of Churches Board Meeting -- Minneapolis
May 22 - Preach at First Presbyterian Church of Holland
Matthew Zelie's Ordination/Installation pictures!
Our Experience at Jehova Jireh Presbyterian Church

By Elaine Boyd, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Amboy

On Sunday our team to Guatemala had the opportunity to attend worship at Jehova Jireh Presbyterian Church (God Provides) in the city of Xela. While it may be true that some members of the congregation where I regularly preach may sometimes think I am speaking a foreign language, my Sunday experience in Guatemala was the first case where it was actually true. As I preached in "tongues" (that is, English), the message was ably translated into Spanish by Edith Alvarez. We were warmly received by the small congregation there and by their Pastor Samuel Espana. Read more
Ministry Opportunities

First Presbyterian Church of Osakis is seeking a Pastor to lead them as they live out the visions that have been generated by their New Beginning conversations. If you or someone you know has a passion for small towns and energetic small-member congregations, please encourage consideration of this opportunity!
While the primary work is with the Osakis congregation, the pastor of this congregation will also provide pulpit supply and pastoral care for the United Church of Christ in Sauk Centre.
The Ministry information Form for this opportunity is posted on the Church Leadership Connection web site. It is MIF#: 03890.AC0. For more information, please contact PNC Chairperson Shari Maloney at 320.859.3098 or by e-mail - ; or Transitional Executive Presbyter, Rick Carus at the presbytery office.

First Presbyterian Church of Pipestone  is preparing to search for a Designated Pastor. The DPNC has been elected and the process of preparing a Ministry Information Form has begun. Please watch for more details!

First Presbyterian Church of Mankato is beginning a search for an Interim Pastor. More details will be forthcoming. 

St. John's Presbyterian Church of Devon, Pennsylvania is seeking an Associate Pastor for Youth and Family Ministries. MIF #07370.ACO.  If you know anyone who may be a good match for this position, or have any questions about the position, you can reach the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee at

Crossroads Presbyterian Church of Mequon, Wisconsin, is in search of a new Associate Pastor for Discipleship. Our prayer is for a pastor who feels called by God to Crossroads Presbyterian Church, can inspire us on our faith journey through hand-on mission activities, has a passion for growing relationships with God through adult education, and can practice faith with us, leading through authentic relationships. MIF #09445.ALO. More information at
Regional Benefits Consultations Post-Event Update: Board Offers Dedicated Service for Members and Employers

At the 2016 Regional Benefit Consultations (RBCs), Kelly Riley, Vice President, Plan Operations, discussed the reorganization and renaming of Member Services - now 'Plan Operations' - and the creation of a new, dedicated Employer Services team. The information below is being provided to ensure that all who attended the consultation are aware of these changes.

"The reorganization," Ms. Riley explains, "coupled with the recently revised prompts for the telephone system that supports 800-PRESPLAN, provides direct access to targeted resources for members and employers." The most important difference, according to Ms. Riley, is that members and employers will be able to get immediate access to resources they need to administer and participate in the Benefits Plan.

In addition to Member S ervices and Employer Services, the new organization houses the Plan Operations and Integration team, responsible for the strategic direction, design, and implementation of processes necessary to operate, measure, and continuously improve day-to-day service delivery.

Following the RBCs, emails were sent to all members and select employers to ensure that everyone is aware of this dedicated service in support of the Benefits Plan.

Be sure members and employers within your bounds know how to get information quickly when calling the Board at 800-PRESPLAN by reading the article 800-PRESPLAN: Same Great Service for Members; Dedicated Resources for Employers on

Presbyterian Mission Agency Budget Impact

From Tony De La Rosa, the Interim Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, 

It is out of our great respect for you that we have been deliberate in promptly communicating news from the Presbyterian Mission Agency before it is shared broadly with the church. In that same spirit, we share news with you today regarding the outcome of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meeting that concluded its work in Louisville today.
Our board has approved the 2017-2018 budget, with revenues and expenditures balanced at approximately $63.5 million for both years. For the first time in its history, the Mission Agency took a dramatically different approach to the budget process, crafting a unique, zero-based budget that does not use any prior year's unrestricted funds receipts to balance.

The Art of Protest
Summer Institute in Spirituality and the Arts
June 20-24: United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

The Summer Institute in Spirituality and the Arts is an annual, four-day mini-retreat for 1) clergy and church leaders to vitalize creative ministries and 2) artists and community members to experience the sacred in their work. Prepare for new awakenings.

Workshops, led by accomplished artists and leaders in their field, meet Tuesday-Friday, where participants learn to:
*  Experience the connection between the arts & spiritual life
*  Expand worship to include different art forms
*  Engage in empowering conversations and connections

Click here for more information
Face to Face Event at this year's General Assembly

The Church Leadership Connection (CLC) a ministry of the Office of the General Assembly will host one Face to Face Event this year at the 222nd General Assembly, Portland, Oregon, June 17-21, 2016. We hope you will consider participating in the event.  Face to Face will include PNC training, a mid council panel discussion, call seeker's training, networking opportunities, vocational coaching, one-on-one PIF reviews, and other educational opportunities for call seeker's and calling organizations. All call seekers (teaching elders, candidates, ruling elders, and other lay professionals) with an active Personal Information Form may participate.  All search committees for installed and temporary positions with an active MIF or approved job description are encouraged to attend. Registration runs February 29 - May 27, 2016.

See what's happening on our Facebook site:
Like us on Facebook