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 12 - 18
First Presbyterian Church of Iona
Session: Clerk of Session Grace Hart, Treasurer Betty Rosenberg, Larry Rosenberg, Secretary Suzie Gengler, Glen Hart
Custodian: Valerie Veld
Pastor: Deb Klaassen
In April, we held our annual pancake supper, which is a fundraiser for our building fund. This Sunday, May 12th, is our Sunday School awards and teacher recognition Sunday, along with honoring our mothers. Sunday School students are awarded for their attendance if they missed less than three Sundays.
In our mission efforts, we have supported our local missions along with a new effort this year, our school backpack program, where meals and snacks are sent home with children over the weekend to provide nourishment for them when otherwise this would not be available in their homes.

We have also provided support for a local missionary as she has just returned home from Africa. Her work there is to provide medical care to children and to share God’s Word with them and their families. Her year-long visa has been held up and so she was required to return home. Please pray for her so that she may be granted this visa and be able to return to her work in Africa. 

Another new effort for us is providing support for a child in Guatemala through our Presbytery.
Our prayer concerns include those who are ill and those fighting diseases along with those who are in care facilities that through God’s healing and care they may get well and be provided for in their every day needs. We pray for our government leaders and those in the military defending the freedoms of this country. And we also pray for drier weather that the rains would stop and sunshine and warmer weather would greet each day. But most of all in our prayers, we thank God for His mercy and grace and we pray for all of our continued ministries throughout this Presbytery and our world.
Presbytery Meeting Update & Mission Project
Commissioners: please let Karen Lange know your attendance plans by May 14

The May 21 Presbytery Meeting being held at First Presbyterian Church in Willmar will be a hybrid meeting. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and meetings of the commissions/committee of the Presbytery will begin at 10:00 a.m. Those church commissioners and pastors who are not yet serving on a Presbytery commissions will be putting together hygiene kits for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program while the Presbytery commissions are meeting. Presbytery Life is providing materials to put together a few kits, but we are asking churches to also send items from the list below (or money) with your commissioner/pastor so that we can complete as many kits as possible. Please invite members of your church to collect the following items and bring them to the May 21st Presbytery meeting. Please contact Presbytery Moderator Mark Ford at or 218-232-8131 if you have questions.   
Hygiene Kit
(Value $15)
1 — hand towel (approximately 16" x 28", no fingertip or bath towels)
1 — washcloth
1 — wide-tooth comb (remove from package)
1 — nail clipper (UPDATE: nail clippers with metal files or emery boards attached are now accepted; remove from package)
1 — bar of soap (bath size in wrapper)
1 — toothbrush (in original packaging)
10 — Band-Aids® or other adhesive bandage strips

Please do not add toothpaste to the Hygiene Kit. Toothpaste which has an extended expiration date will be added to international Hygiene Kit shipments just prior to shipment. Seal all items in a one-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure.
Prayer List

Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
Sue Thompson, Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Maynard
Grant Applications Sought

The Mission Redevelopment Committee of First Presbyterian Church, Madelia is seeking applications to receive grants. Qualifying projects may include:

  • Development, formation, or redevelopment of Presbyterian churches
  • Evangelism or recruitment of new members
  • New building construction
  • Renovations or capital improvements
  • Presbyterian sponsored mission projects

A written letter of application describing the project, other funds available for the project, and the amount of grant requested should be submitted to the Mission Redevelopment Committee and postmarked by May 1, 2019. Grants will be selected and distributed by May 31, 2019.
Mission Redevelopment Committee
PO Box 156
Madelia MN 56062

27th Festival of Homiletics - 2019 Minneapolis
"Preaching as Moral Imagination"

Once upon a time, preachers and churches had a primary role in shaping the moral imagination of a community, a society, even a nation. What happened? “Preaching As Moral Imagination” will inspire and encourage preachers to embrace, once again, their identity as those called to give voice to God’s vision of goodness and mercy, to recover and re-imagine leadership in the church that seeks justice for all. Be inspired by God’s Word proclaimed by some of the nation’s finest ministers and teachers. Experience the fellowship of hundreds of preachers. Learn and worship in an atmosphere that’s dynamic, friendly, nurturing, and prophetic. Come renew, refresh, and recharge your spirit. Come and tap into God’s moral imagination for the sake of the world God loves.
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 MN

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 - NOTE DATE CHANGE
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 --