The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
November 21, 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)
Karen Lange is on vacation next week, so no Valley Bridge on Nov 28.
Also, please note the Dec 1 Triennium deadline 
noted in the body of this newsletter.
Congregation of the week of Nov 25 - Dec 1
Hope Presbyterian Church of Spicer
Interim Pastor: Rev. Dr. Leah Elrod
Clerk of Session: Nancy Birkeland
Treasurer: Jerry Bents
Ministry & Staff Assistant: Karen Bents
Director of Missional Outreach: Missy Leuthold
Music Coordinator: Maggie Harp
Custodian: Joni Hahn-Lamphere

Prayer Concerns: Our search for a Pastor, Our Mission Trip to Houston, Texas-team will be leaving on Saturday, November 24th for one week.

Missy Leuthold, Director of Missional Outreach, will be doing short-term missionary work beginning in January of 2019 through an organization called the World Race. She will be serving in 11 different countries in Central America, Asia, and Africa. Hope Presbyterian Church Women will be hosting a fundraiser on Sunday, December 16 th  from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to help with her missionary work.  You can follow her ministry journey at   
Congregation of the week of December 2-8
Maine Presbyterian Church near Underwood
We have a very active and faithful group that make up the session of Maine Presbyterian Church:
Clerk of Session - Linda Gronner
Elders - Catherine Barner, Cheryl Barry, Jim Crouse, Kris Hanson, John Moe, and 
Marian Waswick,
State Supply Pastor - Rev. Tom Junkert
The last two summers, we have had a mission focused on reaching out to raise not only funds but awareness and participation. Last summer we invested in a well for a small town in Nicaragua, which was identified through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. This past summer our outreach was to assist the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls with funds to secure a new transportation van. Nearly $6,000 was raised in those two summers for those missions. 
A newly organized MAINE FELLOWSHIP is focusing the whole congregation in reaching 
out to  a number of different agencies and social services. Currently we are in the midst of 
an outreach to the homeless in our area and those in the midst of transitional housing. The MF has been sewing a quilt for the Salvation Army, and encouraging the congregation in the  ingathering of needed supplies for the Richville Clothing Bank and the Salvation Army. 

On the fourth Sunday of each month a special offering is received for the work and ministry
of Hospice and the Salvation Army.
Special prayer concerns; The victims  and firefighters of wildfires in California; members and friends in various physical and spiritual need; friends traveling with the PEB 20th Anniversary  of the schools in Pakistan; and our upcoming Advent and Christmas celebrations.  
We were thrilled to have Rev. SanDawna Ashley as our guest in the month of November and 
appreciated her presence with us in worship.
Wisdom from Saint Patrick

As you prepare for the holiday, I join with you in giving thanks for life, meaningful work, good relationships and the countless ways God provides for our wholeness.  I pray as we move between the seasons that we will experience Christ in surprising ways.  May you have a safe and happy holiday.  Enjoy your family and friends. 
Adapted from St. Patrick 
Christ with us,
Christ before us,
Christ behind us,
Christ in us,
Christ beneath us,
Christ above us,
Christ on our right,
Christ on our left,
Christ when we lie down,
Christ when we sit down,
Christ when we arise,
Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of us,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of us,
Christ in every eye that sees us,
Christ in every ear that hears us. 
--Saint Patrick
Blessings and Peace. 

Leadership Development and Educational Training
All pastors and congregational leaders are invited

Hopeful Conversations About Human to Human Relationships:
Moving beyond hatemongering, fear, scarcity, and miseducation

January 22, 2019 -  9:30 - 3:00
Presbytery office, Willmar

Speaker: The Rev. Samuel Son, Manager for Diversity and Reconciliation, the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Religious, community, and education leaders are invited to a conversation about human to human relationships hosted by the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery and the Presbyterian Mission Agency PC(USA). Participants can expect a safe place to dialogue around issues on how we see and hear the other. The day-long event will work to equip participants to return to their communities tooled with enhanced listening attitudes and better equipped to positively enhance relationships in our diversifying communities.
Reservation Fee: $15.00 lunch
Location: Minnesota Valleys Presbytery office, Willmar, MN
Registration Opens: December 3, 2018
Commissioner, Ruling Elder, Deacon Training

On January 12th the presbytery will hold a joint Presbytery Commission/Committee member and New Ruling Elders and Deacons training event at the Hope Presbyterian Church of  Spicer from 9:30 - 4:00. All commission members are asked to attend the January 12th full day training.

The schedule for the day:
9:30       Registration
10:00     Opening Devotions and Plenary Speaker in the Sanctuary
11:45     Lunch
12:30     Ruling Elders, Deacons, Commissions/Committees meet separately 
(15 minute break at 2:00)
3:30       Closing in the Sanctuary
4:00       Departure
Advent Resources

The Commission on Transformation and Development invites you to consider the following resources for possible use in your Advent Planning and Worship practices.  We are not suggesting you replace your current practices or steer you in a certain direction.  We simply are trying to provide some additional tools for your use.  Blessings to you as you prepare.
a. A resource from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship:
b. A resource from the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
e. Ecumenical resources for advent:
f.  Please check out and their resources.
Free Advent Devotional
Each year I craft an Advent devotional for my two presbyteries. If you would like to make it available to your congregations, (free of charge of course!), you will find it linked. Feel free to share with any, all, or none as you wish. The PDF prints as a booklet.
My only request is that there be no charge for the document. Congregations who wish to make hard copies will have to pay paper and copying cost to distribute it to their people, which is enough of an expense.

Brad Monroe
Pastor to the Presbytery
Grand Canyon and de Cristo presbyteries
2019 Per Capita  - $41.35 Total
$27.00 for Presbytery
$5.40 for Synod
$8.95 for GA
November Book Read: Rebuilding the Foundations

Join the Presbytery in a book study of Rebuilding the Foundations: Social Relationships in Ancient Scripture and the Contemporary Culture by John Brueggemann and Walter Brueggemann, Westminster John Knox Press. The Zoom discussion on the introduction and first two chapters will be on Thursday, November 29, at 11:00 am and 6:30 pm. 

11:00 am instructions
Topic: Book Discussion 11:00
Time: Nov 29, 2018 11:00 AM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,478990155# US (San Jose)
+16465588656,,478990155# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 478 990 155
Find your local number:

6:30 pm instructions
Topic: Book Discussion 6:30
Time: Nov 29, 2018 6:30 PM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,674744917# US (San Jose)
+16465588656,,674744917# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 674 744 917
Find your local number:
Christmas Open House

Minnesota Valleys Presbytery
Monday, December 3
11:30 - 2:00

Unto Us a Child Is Born and Unto Us a Son Is Given!

As we begin the Season of Advent and Christmas join your colleagues and friends for a presbytery-wide lunch, Christmas music and a special time of being together.
And if you'd like to bring your guitar, flute, horn, kazoo--whatever--and play some carols with us--all the better! Looking forward to seeing you on Dec 3rd!
Mid Council Financial Network - Sharing Resources

November 6-9, Karen attended the Mid Council Financial Network meeting in Austin TX, and shares here some of the resources from that event.

For your Session, Personnel & Budget Committees:
Your Church: Employer & Small Business -  provides basic guidance regarding your church's obligations as an employer and a business. It includes information about employment and governance along with valuable links to resources on taxes and labor law. From the Insurance Board.
Per Capita - The General Assembly Per Capita Budget
Inspiring Generosity - Texas Presbyterian Foundation - A guide available on their site with five keys to inspiring generosity - hard copies available to order on their site.

For Church Treasurers:
Church Treasurer's Manual - put together by the people from the Presbytery of San Jose. They will also be coming out with a shorter manual for small churches.
Payment Fraud Controls - from PNC Financial Services

Legal Issues:
Update from Legal Counsel - Cory Halliburton. Includes sample policy regarding sexual harassment.

Thank You Lens of Stewardship - Rosemary Mitchell - Presbyterian Mission Agency

Theological Education:
Theological Funds Development - Lee Hinson-Hasty - As the baby boomers retire, there will be an even greater need for pastors. Giving to the Theological Education Fund will decrease these pastors' student debt load.

Cyber Security:
Cyber Security Threats - David Dinkel. Top learnings - Never click on attachments or links from unknown senders AND be careful even with businesses you know. Call the sender before acting on any asked-for payment that you don't recognize, especially if it's not the address you have on file for that business. Upgrade/update devices regularly and backup daily.

2019 Presbyterian
Youth Triennium

Get Ready  for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium - a gathering held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, faith growing gathering! Five days that help form a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and in this world!

Event Essentials

DATES:                      Monday, July 15th - Sunday, July 21st (includes travel days)
LOCATION:                Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
AUDIENCE:                High School Age youth entering freshman through graduated seniors
THEME:                    "Here's My Heart"
REGISTRATION FEES: Anticipated Cost - $625.00 to $650.00
                                (Registration fee includes all programming, food, lodging and travel)  


DECEMBER 1ST:  Congregation RSVP Forms   Due with $100 deposit per participant
JANUARY 7TH:    Registrations Forms Available (Presbytery Website)
FEBRUARY 4TH:   Registrations due, along with $250.00 payment for each participant
MAY 6TH:            Final Payment Due

Contact Mark Giese: ∙  320-251-8277 (church) ∙ 320-493-8272 (cell)

Young Adult Volunteers Sought
Spread the word! Applications for the 2019-20  Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program open Oct. 1. All  sites  available.  
The YAV program is an ecumenical, faith-based year of service for young people, ages 19-30. Volunteers accompany local agencies faithfully working to address root causes of poverty and reconciliation. YAVs serve during the academic year, August to July.
Help plants seeds of service and share!

Per Capita and Mission Dollars

The Commission on Operations is asking congregations to henceforth send their per capita and mission dollars directly to the presbytery office - 4055 Abbott Drive, Willmar MN 56201. If checks have already been sent to the Synod, that is just fine.
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
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Crosslake - Pastor (for a designated term)
   Ministry Information Form -  11950.AD0

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 --
Large Cross to Give Away

Western Presbyterian of rural Fergus Falls has a cross, approximately 8 feet by 4 feet, that was used in our sanctuary. Is anyone interested in this cross?
Contact John Lindholm at
Six New Things
Conversations that give life
$300,000 in new grants
The devil lives in our phones
See what's happening on our Facebook site:
Like us on Facebook