The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
October 31, 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 November 4-10
Faith Presbyterian Church of Silver Lake
Transition Pastor: Murphy Ashley Jr
Clerk of Session: Laura Piper
Treasury: Margie Nelsen
Secretary: Megan Bisek
Choir Director: Barb Wawrzyniak
Leadership Team
Elders: Brent Posusta, Donna Morang, Margie Nelsen, Laura Piper, Jerry Quast, Bruce Svanda, Doris Jerabek, Jan Wanous
Deacons: Joleen Nowak, Linda Prochaska, Jacki Rossi, Helen Jensen, Joy Nunvar, Barb Quast, JoLen Bentz, Betty Williams, Doris Wraspir
Faith Presbyterian Church of Silver Lake is active in the community and McLeod County. The Faith Church ongoing mission project is McLeod County Food Shelf; we do several promotions throughout the year.  Common Cup Ministry, in our neighboring community, is another ministry that we participate in a faithful way.  We participate in school drive. We are active in the Backpack program every week we pack bags which supplies weekend food for qualifying students at the Lakeside school. We are placing 29 bags each week, and they are sent home on Friday with a student.  We are thankful for a successful coat drive for Common Cup Ministry. Last September we had a mission brunch freewill offering and a personal care product. Our donations were made to the food shelf, Common Cup and McLeod Alliance for Domestic Abuse.  Faith Worship on Wednesday (WOW) children mission project is raising money for a pair of goats (Presbyterian Giving Catalog).
Prayer Concerns:
  • A bountiful harvest for our farmers
  • Prayers for the successful stewardship program
  • Several of our church members in the hospital or recovering at home
  • Gary Warner (former Clerk of Session) and his wife with "man's best friend" move from Silver Lake to another part of Minnesota to be close to family.
  • Faith Choir is participating in "Coming Together in Song, XII" A major fundraiser of Common Cup Ministries Sunday, November 18, 2018, at 4 pm. At Christ the King Lutheran Church 1040 S. Grade Rd SW, Hutchinson, MN 55350
All Saints Day

Tomorrow, the Church celebrates the Invisible Church on All Saints Day. We believe in life and death we belong to God. Hebrews 12:1 speaks of the Great Crowd of Witnesses. As we recall those who have joined the Church Triumphant, let us give thanks for their faithfulness, witness, and courage. We remember the witness of the Protestant Reformers. We remember the strong advocates for justice and those who reminded the Church of our duty to be the conscience of the state. "The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool" (Dr. Martin Luther King). Powerful words such as "If I sit next to a madman as he drives a car into a group of innocent bystanders, I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver" ( Dietrich Bonhoeffer) continue to inspire us to pray with our hands and feet.

Calvin spoke of the elect as those who continued to proclaim Christ in death as in life. As we give thanks for those who are well known to the world for their Christian witness, let us also give thanks for those dear to us. For the shoulders in which we stand in ministry we give thanks. Let us pray:

Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
     Book of Common Prayer, 1979

Check out these musicians at FPC Pipestone on Sunday, Oct 28:
Presbytery Break-out Sessions
At the Presbytery meeting on Saturday, November 3rd in Dawson, there will be three break out sessions for conversation and discussion. The first is: Church Buildings, led by Galen Smith, Al Jergensen, and Mark Ford. The second topic is: Stewardship, led by Anne Veldhuisen, representatives from Faith Presbyterian in Silver Lake, and a representative from Redwood Falls. The third topic is Faith and Spiritual Formation, led by Pam Prouty, Doug Dent, and Elaine Boyd.

Submitted by Mark Ford
Fall Back!

Daylight Saving Time 2018 ends on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 a.m. local time. At that time you should set your clocks and watches back to 1 a.m., if they don't do it themselves.  For those who go to sleep before midnight, you'll want to change your clocks next Saturday night, November 3, before turning in.
Our Faith, Our Vote: Resources for Presbyterians to Engage with the 2018 Midterm Elections

In line with a legacy of affirming the right for all citizens to participate in the democratic process, the 223rd General Assembly passed an overture calling on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to oppose, "any efforts to restrict participation in elections, including, but not limited to, voter suppression initiatives and racially based and/or partisan gerrymandering."

The following resource list is designed to help congregations and members offer witness to the values and promises of a just and equitable electoral process. In addition to the links presented below, be sure to watch our webinar on engaging congregation members in the upcoming election.

Link to more info
Presbyterians Today publishes 'God Lifts the Lowly' based on Mary's Song of Praise

LOUISVILLE - As a pastor, I am reminded weekly during Sunday's prayers of people that life is not easy. I listen as those in the pew ask for comfort, guidance, healing and hope. I listen, and then I pray for our laments to turn into songs of praise.
Mary had a song of praise - one that thanked God for looking favorably upon her and the plight of her people - and so in planning this year's Advent devotional, I thought it was fitting to hear from Mary and to be reminded once again that God sees us, hears us and is with us always. 

Presbyterians Today's new Advent devotional for 2018 is based on verse 52 from Mary's Song of Praise - also known as The Magnificat -found in Luke 1: He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.

After reading verse 52, I began thinking about my low moments in life and how God raised me up out of the muck. I began thinking about all those who have gifted me with their songs of praise - beautiful notes of God looking on them with mercy. I especially began thinking about the special-needs saints God has brought into my life, and how their songs of praise, sung amid adversity, made me realize God has a song for us all. It doesn't matter who we are or what our circumstances or challenges might be. Songs of praise can come from our lips.

Just ask Andrew Weatherly, who wrote the poems and created the original oil paintings for this devotional. Andrew was in my Sunday school class while I was a seminary intern at South Presbyterian Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Born with Down syndrome, Andrew hasn't let anything stop him, and he now uses his art to raise awareness of the capabilities of those with special needs. Recently, Andrew was inducted into Closter, New Jersey's Hall of Fame. His name now displayed on a wall in the library next to the names of professional athletes, actors, scientists, doctors, professors and other artists.

Kris Van Tatenhove joins me in writing this devotional. The father of a special-needs son, Krin knows what it is like to fight "the system" so that his son can have the same opportunities as those who are labeled "normal." Krin and I have spoken about the challenges and blessings of those who are called "different" and we find ourselves often wondering who can define "normal."

As for me, this project is close to my heart. I have a special-needs brother who struggles to find his place in the world. Born in the 1960s at a time when doctors, teachers, social workers, even my parents, didn't know what do with him, his time of Advent waiting seems endless. It's hard at times to keep the faith that God is working on my brother's song of praise. But isn't that what the season of Advent invites us to do - to trust God even in our darkest days?

May this devotional, inspired by Mary's song, be an Advent blessing to you. May it be the reminder we need that no matter what, God lifts us up. And so, get ready to sing a song of praise!

Donna Frischknecht Jackson is editor of Presbyterians Today and a rural ministry networker in Washington County, New York.

The presbytery office will order these Advent devotionals in bulk for interested congregations. Please order from  Karen  at the presbytery office by November 16. If our order reaches at least 100, we'll place the order, and the cost will be $2.00 per copy, plus any shipping to each church.
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. Zoom instructions will be in the newsletter closer to that date.
Board of Pensions News and Deadlines

Elect your 2019 benefits 

Annual enrollment - your chance to make changes or elect benefits coverage for 2019 -  ends Friday, November 16.

Log on to Benefits Connect to see your choices and costs and elect coverage for 2019. Even if you want to keep the coverage you have now, it's important to take action to make sure you'll have the coverage you want effective January 1.
  • an annual enrollment Quick Start Guide;
  • Guide to Your Healthcare Benefits 2019;
  • Key Provisions of the 2019 medical options; and
  • the Benefits Plan at a Glance 2019 booklet.
Annual enrollment is your only chance to make changes or elect benefits coverage for 2019, unless you have a qualifying life event during the year (such as getting married or adopting a child).

Don't miss out - make your elections by November 16!
Christmas Open House - Dec 3

Come to the presbytery office on Monday, December 3, to our Christmas Open House from 11:30-2:00. The staff will make lunch; we will visit, maybe sing some carols, listen to Christmas music.
Join us!

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 to reserve spot
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!

Planning Calendars  Order from Karen Lange at $9 each. You can pick them up at the presbytery office, or if you would like yours mailed to you, we ask that you would pay the postage.
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

First Presbyterian Church, Mankato - Full-time Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03792.AEO

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 --

Also: First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal - Interim Pastor, 3/4 time
                Link to position description
Clearwater Forest seeks Director of Outreach and Programs

Applications are being received until October 30 or until filled. The position is full-time, year-round.
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
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