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 September 22-28
First Presbyterian Church of Round Lake
Ruling Elders: Reinard Bosma, Susan Kruger, Gail Widman, Ronda Sammons, Arnold Meyer, Brenda Vogelaar, Neil Robinson, Jolene Thomsen, and Kyle Wendland.
Clerk of Session: Brenda Vogelaar
Church Secretary, Treasurer and Organist: Becky DeJong
Church Co-Treasurer and Financial Secretary: LaRae Wood
Multi-Media Coordinator: Jerry Wood
White House and Grounds Caretaker: Donna Watje
Custodian: Shellie Williams
Christian Education Committee: Beth DeRoo, Jennifer Rehnelt, and Anna Robinson
Memorial Committee: Jolene Thomsen, Linda Koning, and Bobbi Habben
Concerned Christians Committee: Bob Widman, Jon Untiedt, and Donna Anderson
Ministers: Members of the Congregation and our Church Family
Pastor: The Rev. Robert D. Bartlett
We pray for our ministries:
  • Monthly financial support of the Helping Hands Pregnancy Center and the Manna Food Pantry in Worthington
  • Monthly support of the Lakeside Center at Okoboji
  • Monthly support for the construction of storm-resistant housing in the Caribbean thru GoServe Global Sukup Safe T Homes
  • Annual serving of a meal at The Banquet in Sioux Falls, SD with the First Presbyterian Church of Brewster and the Bethel Lutheran Church
  • Sharing in worship, fellowship, ministry, as well as sharing the pastoral services of our pastor, with our sisters and brothers in the Brewster Presbytery Church
  • Ministry of hospitality to those who receive lodging in our Parish House when visiting family and friends in Round Lake
  • Join with the Bethel Lutheran Church in hosting an Easter Breakfast and a Christmas Breakfast for our community at the R.L. Community Center
  • Provide camp scholarships for children attending Summer Church Camps         
  • Join with the local boy scouts in packing and providing food baskets/gift certificates to local residents in need (including gifts for their children) during the Advent/Christmas Season
  • Annual participation in the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child
  • Provide financial support for a congregation in Hamburg, IA following flooding in Spring, 2019
  • Provide financial support to the Wee Kirk Conference for those who serve small, rural congregations
  • Supporting and encouraging our pastor as he ministers on our behalf through his service to the Presbytery
We remember in prayer: 
  • The congregations, pastoral leadership, staff and other faithful servants of the Presbytery
  • Kathy Knips from Lismore and Randy Knuth from Osakis as they recover from surgery and Lynne Matthews as she prepares for knee replacement surgery.
  • All victims of natural disasters (such as Hurricane Dorian, 2019 flooding, and storms that resulted in tornadoes, mud slides, etc.); as well as those who are struggling through a variety of personal tragedies!
  • Farmers, and all who depend upon agriculture, during this time of uncooperative weather, high fixed costs, depressed crop prices, and an uncertain future.
  • Those dealing with health issues of every kind including our custodian Shellie Williams recovering from cancer surgery in Rochester, MN and the pastor of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Round Lake who is also fighting cancer.
  • Those who are struggling with the burden placed upon our society by those well-meaning social justice warriors who fail to realize how their “good intentions” have led to so many of our social ills such as mass casualty shootings, intolerance of those with different beliefs, the break-down of the traditional family structure, an appreciation for the vital role provided by religious and spiritual practices, and the creation of entitlement thinking and victim identities which encourages racism, injustice, violence, and societal breakdown.
  • Members of law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, and members of the United States Military services and their families
  • The faithful ministries and for the future of each small, rural congregation in our presbytery and for a successful soup and sandwich dinner on September 22nd by the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church of rural Rushmore.
  • The Sessions of the Round Lake, Brewster, and Westminster in Worthington Sessions as they prayerfully work together to identify ways of joining together in faithful, imaginative, energetic ministries that bring Christian renewal into our communities and Glory to God.
SanDawna Ashley is out of the office teaching The Art of Transitional Leadership in Buffalo September 16-20.
Karen Lange is out of the office on Thursday and Friday volunteering at the Willmar Public Library Used Book Sale.
Prayer List

  • For Rev. Dawn Carder and family on the death of Dawn's son-in-law
  • For the family of Mary Hansen of Browns Valley
  • For Rev. Steve and Genevieve Tyykila and family on the death of Steve's mother
  • For Rev. Michael Roys, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Winnebago
  • For Rev. Elaine and Kent Boyd at First Presbyterian Church of Amboy
  • For the family of Rev. Don Crissinger-Clark, who passed away July 24.
  • For Rev. David Poppen, who had a motorcycle accident on July 21. He has served churches in Ellsworth, Rushmore Emmanuel, Slayton and Iona.
  • Sue Thompson, Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Maynard
  • Rev. Araceli Itzep from the Occidente Presbytery
  • For Beatriz (Betty/Beti) Cifuentes, the treasurer of the Partnership Committee, who is beginning chemotherapy.)
  • For the "Men in the Mirror" program. Men from Occidente that MVP supported financially to attend the classes a couple of years ago are going to share the information they gained with different churches in the eastern and central parts of Guatemala. They, along with the chaplains of the national Presbyterian church, will also be training Christian policemen in what they learned from "Men in the Mirror."
Upcoming events at a glance

Oct 3: "Preaching in Times of Transition" webinar by Gerald Lui begins at 10:00 (email Karen Lange to register)
Oct 15: Boundary Training at FPC Redwood Falls
Nov 2: Presbytery meeting at FPC Redwood Falls
Nov 11-13: Pastor Retreat at Presbyterian Clearwater Forest
Making the Ask Recording is available

Thanks to Shirley Carter for her presentation on "Making the Ask" on Tuesday, September 10. If you were not able to take part in the webinar or would like to review the information, the recording is linked below. The first few seconds of the video is audio only, but when Shirley begins, you can see the video.
Matthew 25 congregations in Minnesota
*Dawson | First Presbyterian Church
*Edgerton | First Presbyterian Church of Edgerton/Lismore
Grand Rapids | Community Presbyterian Church
*Mankato | First Presbyterian Church
*Redwood Falls | First Presbyterian Church
Tecumseh | First Presbyterian Church
Two Harbors | United Church of Two Harbors
*Windom | First Presbyterian Church

Most of them are Minnesota Valleys Presbytery congregations!
U = University    
Kirk = Scottish for Church
First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud would like to extend an invitation to all Minnesota Valleys congregations: Please connect your Young Adults with us if you know of any who will be returning to St. Cloud, or headed here for their first semester of college. We will strive to be their University Church while they are in our community. We offer times for worship, fellowship, and volunteering. If you have a young person to connect, please contact:
Mark Giese, Director of Youth & Campus Ministry
First Presbyterian Church
340 5 th Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN
Ph. 320-251-8277
Worship : Sunday mornings at 10:00am
Fellowship & Service for students : tba
Books of Order now available

The PDF of the 2019-2021 Book of Order has been added to the PCUSA Store website and is available for free download

The Presbytery has ordered Books of Order for congregations at a cost of $8.50 each. We will ask for postage reimbursement if we mail them.

Planning Calendar Orders

The PC(USA) Store will ship out Presbyterian Planning Calendars in August, and we have ordered calendars for congregations for $9.50 each. This 16-month calendar will begin in September and end December 2020. We will ask for postage reimbursement if we mail them.

Results from the GA amendments

Here is a link to the Presbyterian Outlook’s article on the General Assembly amendments:
Clearwater Forest Board of Directors and Leadership Team invites you to join us for brunch in Willmar!

Saturday, September 28 from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Willmar, 312 6th St SW
RSVP to Karen Lange

Enjoy an hour of fellowship, conversation and food, while learning about what we've been working on, how to best support Clearwater and our vision for the future!
Our Next Webinar in Transformation Going Beyond Change
Thursday, October 3

Preaching in Times of Transition: Imaginative Preaching
Gerald Liu
Gerald C. Liu is assistant professor of worship and preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his BA in Music at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University (during which time he was also a theological fellow at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany), and his PhD from Vanderbilt University with a concentration in homiletics and liturgics. He has previously served as a British Methodist Minister in Nottingham, England before becoming ordained in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. Currently he volunteers as a minister in residence at Church of the Village, a United Methodist congregation in Manhattan. His classes and publications explore curiosities about the arts as theological resources and phenomena, Asian American identity, multicultural worship, and the production of believable public Christian witness.

Join Rev. Liu in a discussion about how the biblical canon can shape weekly preaching into an arc of messages rooted in the ever-expanding call to new identities in Christ, adaptive living, and welcoming all people for the glory of God.

Email Karen Lange to register. The webinar is free.
Save the date for Boundary Training
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. 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.
Save the Date :
Pastors’ Retreat
November 11-13, 2019

Leaning Tree Lodge
Presbyterian Clearwater Forest
16595 Crooked Lake Rd
Deerwood MN 56444
Begins with lunch on Monday and ends before lunch on Wednesday.
Cost: $40, includes meals and lodging

Please email Karen Lange your attendance plans by September 30.

Come and enjoy the fall beauty of Presbyterian Clearwater Forest and spend time with presbytery colleagues. We will reflect on the year of transformation and take a deep breath. The retreat is in the planning stages, but mark your calendars to attend.

Retreat Speaker Rev. Jennifer Hope Kottler is a spiritual director/certified life and leadership coach and yoga teacher in private practice in Florence, SC. An ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with standing in the United Church of Christ, Jen serves clergy and lay leaders who want to deepen their own spirituality and lead their communities with intentionality and grace. Jen facilitates retreats and events for congregations, non-profit organizations, and church leaders. In all her work, Jen incorporates ancient spiritual practices with modern techniques including Energy Leadership Coaching and Conversational Intelligence®. Jen is married to Rev. Gavin Meek, Transitional Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk in New Harmony Presbytery (NE South Carolina) and she enjoys hiking, tennis, cooking for family and friends, and traveling with Gavin.
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
  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 --
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