The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
May 9, 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)
Congregation of the week of May 13-19
First Presbyterian Church of Iona
Clerk of Session: Erv Smith
Elders: Suzie Gengler, Glen Hart, Betty Rosenberg, Larry Rosenberg, Grace Hart
Head Ushers: Alvin Boock, Doug Hart, Larry Rosenberg
Treasurer: Betty Rosenberg
Secretary: Suzi Gengler
Pianists: Cheri Paulsen and Judy Cowen
Custodian: Valerie Veld
Groundskeepers: Arlan Veld and Alvin Boock
CRE: Deb Klaassen
  • those who are facing health concerns
  • those who are in health care facilities
  • for "normal" spring weather
  • of joy and praise to God for being able to meet together and worship Him
  • of gratitude and thanks for those who have served our country and also for those who continue to serve.
Craft and Fellowship Time
To help finance some of our church's local mission projects that we support, we are hosting a "craft and fellowship" evening on June 6th.  We will be making a prayer yarn doll.  This prayer yarn doll holds in her hands the words, "This little doll has nothing to say.  She just sits quietly and reminds you to pray."  The class meets at our church and is open to anyone who wishes to attend by registering with Pastor Deb.  We hope to hold more "craft and fellowship" evenings in the future.
Presbyterian Planning Calendars - order by Friday

Email  Karen Lange your congregation's calendar order, or use the linked  order form. They are $9 each, checks payable to the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys. Order by May 11.
Mission Initiative Scheduled for the May Presbytery Meeting

Submitted by Mark Ford

The Commission on Presbytery Life is asking all congregations to share their mission activities at the Tuesday, May 22 Presbytery meeting at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Renville. The focus of the meeting of the Presbytery is on the mission activities of the churches within our Presbytery. Each church is asked to display their mission activities and to highlight one special mission activity. Since space is limited, please bring a small table.

We would like to have everyone share again their mission projects so that others may be inspired (or led by the S pirit) to see other opportunities for doing mission. Dora the Explorer will be the theme to encourage everyone to bring their mission information and to view the mission work of other churches. Each church that has a display will have a Dora sign and those who visit booths will get their mission passport stamped or marked. At the end of the Presbytery meeting, there will be a random drawing for door prizes for those who complete their mission passport. Door prizes are inspired by our Occidente partners and by Dora, who is from Central America.
Keep following the Valley Bridge for more updates!

More about the May Presbytery Meeting

Rhonda Kruse, Mission Engagement Advisor from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will be leading a pre-presbytery forum on mission at 10:00 a.m. Visitors and Presbytery Commissioners are invited to attend.

Special Offering at General Assembly, and at the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery meeting in May

Submitted by Scott Prouty

During General Assembly, our Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, will be leading General Assembly participants in a march to the downtown jail in St. Louis to release prisoners. These people have been imprisoned for petty crimes because they could not afford to pay the $200 fine at the time of their arraignment. They have been put in jail and forgotten. These folks end up losing their jobs and they become disconnected from their families all because they did not have $200. They can sit in jail for several years. This tends to only happen to people of color. 
We are going to take a special collection at General Assembly to release people from jail but I asked the Stated Clerk while I was down in Louisville for committee leadership training if we could bring money from our presbyteries and churches and of course he said, "yes" with enthusiasm.
There are currently sixty people to release in St. Louis that have been sitting there for years, but others will be released in other cities with the funds that are collected. 
The timing of this release of prisoners will make the nightly news in St. Louis and may be picked up nationally as to what the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. is doing. We will be releasing people from jail that have long paid their dues. 
We will be taking a special offering at our presbytery meeting to help in this worthwhile cause. Please join us in bringing some justice to the world to some people that have been locked up for years for spitting on the sidewalk or urinating in an alley. 
Please pray that this act during General Assembly sends a powerful message of love, hope and justice to our whole  nation in the name of Jesus of Christ. 
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

In 2018 the 223rd General Assembly of the PCUSA will meet in St. Louis, MO. from June 15 - June 23. The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys will have two voting commissioners attending along with two staff persons, a Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD) and two alternate commissioners. Scott Prouty is the Teaching Elder Commissioner and Deb Hess is the Ruling Elder Commissioner. Julia Prouty is the Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD) and Pam Prouty and SanDawna Ashley are the staff persons attending. Anne Veldhuisen and Stan Menning will attend as alternates.

Committee assignments have been made as follows. Deb will serve on General Assembly Procedures; Scott will serve as moderator for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Julia on Theological and Church Growth Issues and Institutions. Pam will be serving as a floor parliamentarian during the plenary sessions.

The Presbytery, individuals and churches, is being asked to join in 40 days of prayer beginning May 15 and concluding June 23. The theme for this General Assembly will be
"Renewing the Vision: Kin-dom Building for the 21st Century." There will be an article in the Valley Bridge each week with suggestions for prayer for each day of the week. Each Sunday the prayer suggestion will be "General Assembly." Pastors, please incorporate prayers for GA into your congregational prayers. This week we will pray for the city of St. Louis and begin praying for each of the committees. You will find the committee name in bold followed by a description of their responsibility and their primary staff. If you save this you will be able to use it to pray for the work of the committees and plenary sessions the week of G.A.

Prayer Suggestions

Tuesday, May 15
Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery; Staff, Volunteers and Churches, as they prepare for G.A.

Wednesday, May 16
A positive effect on the people of St. Louis from the presence of the PCUSA in their city.
Thursday, May 17 
Bills and Overtures: Docket of the assembly and referrals of business to assembly committees after commencement of General Assembly; appeal of persons denied the right to speak at a public hearing; review requests for distribution of material to commissioners; review requests from agencies to schedule meetings, hearings, briefings during   assembly meeting; recommend approval of time limits on debate; review and recommend approval of General Assembly Minutes; requests for presentations to the assembly; review protests, determine if entered in the minutes, prepare response if needed; report on assembly committee requests for establishment of special committees or commissions. Moderator; Cheni Kahonji, Vice-Moderator; Ryan Landino, Committee Assistant; Bridget Green. There are 21 commissioner members, 7 Young Adult Advisory Delegates (YAADs) and 1 Theological Student Advisory Delegate (TSAD).

Friday, May 18
General Assembly Procedures: Consider matters related to: meetings of the assembly and standing rule amendments, except those items assigned to the Way Forward committee; per capita budget; operation of the office of the General Assembly; statistics; publishing of reports; General Assembly Nominating Committee process; special committees; commissioners and advisory delegates credentials/leaves of absence GA child protection policy; reports of the Self Review of the ACC, GACOR and Advisory Committee on Litigation. Moderator: Y. Dianna Wright Vice-Moderator Madeline Alvarez, Committee Assistant; Kevin Porter, Parliamentarian; Bronwen Boswell There are 40 commissioner members, 12 YAADs and 2 TSADs. They have 21 items of business to consider. Deb Hess serves on this committee.
Saturday, May 19
The Way Forward: Consider matters related to: reports of the Way Forward Commission, All Agency Review Committee and 2020 Vision Team and overtures and business related to national structure and funding. Moderator: Cynthia Jarvis, Vice-Moderator: Veronica Goines, Committee Assistant; Steve Yamaguchi, Parliamentarian: Paul Hooker. There are 47 commissioner members, 14 YAADs, and 2TSADs.
Sunday May 20
General Assembly  
You are invited

Harrison Community Presbyterian Church , 14110 105th Ave NE, Spicer, MN will celebrate their 150th Anniversary on Sunday, May 20. The program and open house are from 1:30 - 3:00. For more info, contact Lori Dietz at  or 320-894-8589.

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Worthington will celebrate their 145th Anniversary on May 20 with Worship at 10:00 a.m. 
Now is the time

May 13 - Mission Worker Sunday:

May 19 - 1001 New Worshiping Communities:

May 20 - Pentecost Offering:

Attention Clerks!
Clerk training will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. 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.
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, 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.
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.
Apply  to the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program  today !! 
Final round for the 18-19 season open until June 1. National sites only are available.
Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, transportation and student-loan repayment options throughout the duration of the service year. For more info, visit the FAQ tab at the top of the YAV homepage. Also, follow @yavprogram as current YAVs take over the account. Help plants seeds of service and spread the word!
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

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

Part-time Visitation Pastor in Brooklyn Center  who would be working with our pastors 28 hours a week, visiting parishioners and providing spiritual and practical support to those in need. Link to more info
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.
MLK Jr. remembrance Friday, Partnership with the National Guard, 
Donations needed to support refugees, Plan a pre-election Respectful Conversation
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