The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
September 19, 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 September 23-29
Emmanuel Presbyterian Church of Rushmore
Clerk of Session: Randy Jacobs
Treasurer: Janet Smid
Ruling Elders: Matt Larson, Gayle Larson, Randy Jacobs, Ron Wiertsema, Shirley Heidebrink, Vernette Wiertsema
Church Secretary: Darcey Groen
Pastor: Rev. Paul Snyder

Pray for members of our church that are healing from various conditions.
Pray for those who are grieving in our congregation and community.
Pray for the Spirit to lead Emmanuel and First as they discern how the Spirit is guiding them to work together.
Pray for a safe and productive harvest.
Pray for those affected by the hurricane.
Pray for our sister congregation, Zion Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth.
Calling All Workers

During the 1950s, there were not many government buildings you could enter without seeing the man with the long white goatee, wearing a striped vest and top hat, with his finger pointing and eyes glaring at you and the caption underneath, saying "I Want You." If you haven't already figured it out, this well-known poster featured Uncle Sam, the military's advertisement. Today the military uses more intriguing advertisements. The new advertisements feature men and women accomplishing tasks we could only imagine back then, the catchy ads showing adventurous foreign lands to be explored, advanced technology computers and satellites, 50-million-dollar flying machines that cloak themselves and you can only hear the sonic boom when they pass by. Then after all of this eye-catching, curiosity-raising advertising, the announcers say "Be All You Can Be in the Army," "Fly high with the Air Force," "The Marines are looking for a few good men" and "The Navy, begin the journey." These slogans have been eye and ear catchers; I would imagine most people can remember hearing one or all of these slogans.
Just as intriguing as all of this sounds, God says something very similar! Isaiah Chapter 6 describes a whole ceremony in the temple. The angels cried exalting God "holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." The sight was so magnificent as the glory of God filled the temple, that Isaiah feared for his life. Next, God asked a question: "who shall I send, and who will go for us?" Isaiah replied, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah had two revelations in this encounter, he recognized his sinfulness and discovered he was saved to serve.
Each person that has been plunged in the fountain of Christ's blood, saved by the power of God's love, forgiven from all our transgressions has been saved to serve. Presbyterians believe "Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ is a joy and a privilege. It is also a commitment to participate in Christ's mission. A faithful member bears witness to God's love and grace and promises to be involved responsibly in the ministry of Christ's Church. Such involvement includes proclaiming the good news in word and deed, taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation, lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support, studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life, supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents, demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church, responding to God's activity in the world through service to others, living responsibly in the personal, family, vocational, political, cultural, and social relationships of life, working in the world for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment, caring for God's creation, participating in the governing responsibilities of the church, and reviewing and regularly evaluating the integrity of one's membership, and considering ways in which one's participation in the worship and service of the church may be increased and made more meaningful." (G-1.03040)
This is the fine print that came along with the gift of salvation. Each time Christ called a disciple, He commanded, "follow me." Follow me in serving others, help me to do God's will on earth as it is in heaven. It is common knowledge that the Stewardship Season in congregations is stressful as nominating committees search for new leaders. The faithful also sometimes dread signing up for another term to do what others are unwilling to do. How could this season be different? What would it be like to invite members to only serve in areas in which they feel truly called? What would it be like to bless the decisions for individuals to beg off, to say no not at this time? We know that when people serve in ministry areas that utilize their spiritual gifts that they engage with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. Paul in his letter to the Romans says we use our gifts as a proportion of faith. We allow our spiritual gifts to grow as we grow spiritually. The acronym S.H.A.P.E. explains how to determine your spiritual niche. S = spiritual gift; H = heart; A = abilities; P = personality; E = experience. Each of these added together will help you find where you fit best and how you should serve in ministry. God is calling all workers, are you listening?
Below are a few resources on Stewards and church leadership. Each author engages the deeper question of the Stewardship of Life: time, talent and resources. As you think about serving, consider this quote from Parker Palmer, "Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent." Samuel Proctor was known for saying "we are called to give purpose, meaning, coherence, direction, and authenticity to the total human sojourn." His words point us to a grand surmise about the journey's end, will we hear the words "well done, good and faithful servant."
Stewardship Resources:
Adam J. Copeland, Beyond the Offering Plate, A Holistic Approach to Stewardship.
Marie T. Cross, The Price of Faith: Exploring Our Choices about Money and Wealth.
Joan S. Gray, Joyce C. Tucker, Presbyterian Polity for Church Leaders, Fourth Edition.
Earl S. Johnson, Jr., Selected to Serve, Second Edition, A Guide for Church Leaders.
Gradye Parsons, Our Connectional Church.
Mike Slaughter, Karen Perry Smith. The Christian Wallet Spending, Giving, and Living with a Conscience.

Prayer Concern

We ask for prayers for Rev. Jim and Cynthia Krapf and family at the death of Jim's mother on Tuesday, Her funeral was on Saturday.
Jim & Cynthia Krapf
808 4th Ave
Worthington MN 56187-2325
Contribute to  Disaster Relief-Hurricane and Typhoon Relief (DR000194)
Board of Pensions News and Deadlines

Sessions, it is time to begin building your Board of Pensions employee contracts. See the BOP site for new benefits videos, calculators to estimate cost and much more.
  • October 12: This is the last day to submit your final 2019 Employer Agreement on Benefits Connect.
  • October 29-November 16: Annual enrollment is open for employees to elect 2019 benefits.
Selecting 2019 Benefits page link: 
Don't miss the video at the bottom of their page to view the "What's New for 2019" video/slideshow.

Downloadable guide:  Guide to Selecting 2019 Benefits
Ending Racism Conference

The synod is offering the presbytery one registration scholarship to the 10th annual Overcoming Racism Conference: Overcoming Racism In Spite Of... , November 2-3, 2018 at the Metropolitan State University in St. Paul . If you are interested in attending contact the presbytery office. For conference information see:
October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Minnesota Valleys pastors actively serving congregations are invited to a Pastor's Appreciation Day at Green Lake Bible Camp in Spicer on Monday, October 22, from 11:00 - 3:00. Lunch will be provided. Please let Karen know your attendance plans.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas
  • Words of Affirmation. Make copies of notecards for everyone in the congregation to fill out and present to the pastor, spouse and family.
  • A night out. Give clergy families a night out to a local restaurant.
  • PrayerOrganize a prayer calendar so each pastor is prayed for every day of the month.
  • Daily Gift for the Month. Each day one member delivers a gift to the pastor. Choose something of special interest to the pastor such as a bag of their favorite candy, fishing lure, tickets, etc.     
  • Sabbath Retreat. Time for the pastor to attend a spiritual retreat for their own spiritual well-being.
  • New Equipment. Some examples include: Ipad, laptop, cell phone.
  • Library Addition. Provide a gift card for the pastor to choose what is needed for his/her library.
  • Continuing Education. Offer financial assistance to further the pastor's education.
  • Fitness Tracker. A great idea for helping your pastor maintain physical health by tracking anything from steps, heart rate, sleep, calories, and more.
  • House Cleaning. Go as a group or hire a professional to care for the house inside and out. Consider a house washing, vehicle detailing, lawn maintenance, window cleaning and more.
  • Pay for a gym membership. Gym memberships might be out of the range of many pastors. The gift of a gym membership can lead to greater health, vitality, and community connection.
What's Good About The Good News? Rethinking Evangelism

Focused on the Sarasota Statement (2017), this retreat and workshop for pastors and elders will provide an opportunity to re-think evangelism in a post-Christian world. From dinner on Friday night through lunch on Saturday we will delve deeply into not just how-to-bring-in-new-members, but why we make the effort to enlarge our circle of faith.


Friday Sept 28
Dinner: 5:30 pm
Worship: 6:30 pm
Evening Discussion: 7:15 pm, The Sarasota Statement as an Evangelical Document

Saturday Sept 29
Breakfast: 8:00 am
Worship: 9:00 am
Presentation: 9:45 am, A History of Evangelism and the Term "Evangelical" in the American Church
Discussion: 11:00 am, The Sarasota Statement, Prophetic Witness, and Intentional Evangelism 
Lunch: 12:30 pm
Concluding Session: 1:30 pm, Reclaiming Evangelism as Good News for All


Clearwater Forest
16595 Crooked Lake Road
Deerwood MN 56444

Hosted by the Committee on Congregational Vitality of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, we encourage Teaching and Ruling Elders within the PTCA to attend. Cost is 50.00 dollars per person for PTCA members and members of churches within the PTCA. Scholarships are available. 

It is our pleasure to welcome the Reverend Dr. SanDawna Ashley as facilitator for our discussions.
All are welcome to attend Safety Training Event in Mankato

Thursday, October 11
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Bethany Lutheran College
700 Luther Drive
Mankato MN 56001

Church Mutual is proud to partner with ALICE, a leading active shooter response training organization, to help you act in the face of violence and save lives.
Snacks and hors d'oeuvres will be provided by Church Mutual Insurance Company

9:00 - 9:05    Welcome and Intro 
Tim Marks, Church Mutual Insurance Company
9:05 - 10:40   Premises Security and ALICE Training Overview 
John Aunan, Risk Control Consultant, Church Mutual Insurance Company. Mike Christianson, Department of Homeland Security. Justin Neumann and Chris Baukol, Mankato Police Department
10:40 - 10:45  Break
10:45 - 11:15  Legal Aspects of Security Programs 
Virginia Cronin, Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd
11:15 - 11:45  Introduction to Background Checks and Employee and Volunteer Screening 
Lori Lord, Trusted Employees
11:45 - 12:00  Questions for the Panel

On the day of the event, use the main entrance to the Bethany Lutheran College campus, and follow the signs posted to be directed to the location of the event.

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)

Camp Scholarship Thanks

From Kresley:
I had the most amazing time at camp! I met so many amazing people that I will forever have friendships with! I learned so much about God, and my love and faith grew so much in just five short days! Everyone there was so nice and polite.

We played many fun games, but my favorite part of camp was worship. Every day we would meet twice a day in the chapel for worship. In worship we would sing, dance, and grow closer to God as a whole.

Everyone there was extremely nice and supportive. We faced many challenges where we had to look for God for motivation to keep our heads up. Everyone is treated equal, no matter their God given talents.

I had the time of my life with my new forever friends. I learned so many new things, and my faith will only continue to grow closer to God.

Thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to go and meet new people, and have my faith grow closer to God. I appreciate the opportunity greatly!

From Abra:
My name is Abra, and this summer I attended Lakeshore Center at Okoboji. I went to the Night Owls themed camp and had an amazing time staying up late and waking up late too. I thought it was really cool how all the counselors were from all different places. While having fun and making a lot of friends, I also learned more about Christ. I can't wait to go back next summer.
Support Education for Children in Our Sister Presbytery in Guatemala
by Jim Krapf
Education yields opportunities. You can support this possibility for children in our sister presbytery of Occidente. Donating $250 scholarships provides funds for a student's required uniforms, books, and other expenses for a year.

Their next school year begins in January. We send the scholarships in late October.  You can mail your checks made out to the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys to the presbytery office. Any amount is appreciated; but $250 per student is the goal. You may consider making this more than a one year commitment.

This support would be in addition to the six scholarships that are provided through our presbytery's Occidente Partners budget. Keeping our donations at current levels could support more children beyond elementary into middle and high school.

Donors will receive photographs, academic reports, and thank you notes from children and/or their parents. We do not reveal the donors to the recipients to avoid further requests for assistance. We have found presbytery-to-presbytery arrangements are a fairer more manageable way to offer assistance. Occidente's Committee on Ministry will continue to select the recipients from among their now 20 churches.
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.
Leadership on the Line

Join the Presbytery in a book study of
Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change
by Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky
Pastors, sessions and church leaders are invited to read along with other co-learners as we take the transformation conversation one step further.  During our Zoom and in-person discussions, we will explore the topics of productive change, lowering the risk of change agents, avoiding leadership traps, and answering the question-What does it mean to see new chapters in ministry. These are just a few of the themes we will discuss. Leadership on the Line is a Harvard Business book commonly used by religious organizations. The book includes religious themes easily adaptable for the church context. The remaining Zoom book discussion will take place on 
September 20 - Chapters 8-11
11:00 am instructions
Topic: Leadership on the Line Zoom - 11:00
Time: Sep 20, 2018 11:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,493531445# or +16465588656,,493531445#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 493 531 445

6:30 pm instructions
Topic: Leadership on the Line Zoom - 6:30
Time: Sep 20, 2018 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,501661203# or +16465588656,,501661203#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 501 661 203
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
Scholarship Funds for Racial Ethnic Students available from Synod of Lakes and Prairies

The Student Scholarship Fund is an educational assistance program designed to encourage racial ethnic students in their preparation for academic success in higher education. Students must have a permanent residence within the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and be active members in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation. The synod is committed to partner with students and schools for leadership development and quality instruction of clergy and lay persons for lifelong service. Application awards are based on personal achievement, financial need and recommendation from a teacher and pastor. Completed applications are due September 30 and must include an official transcript and financial aid statement.

Six New Things
See what's happening on our Facebook site:
Like us on Facebook