The Valley Bridge
The weekly newsletter from the
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
September 27, 2017
 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)
Regular Presbytery office hours are 8:00 - 5:00 Monday - Friday
Congregation of the week: October 1-7
Hope Presbyterian Church of Spicer
Elders:  Larry Bratsch, Nancy Gjerde, Howard Jones, Greg Mulder, Sarah Sampson, Pam Sigafoos, Bill Schurman, Jeff Wersal and Eldon Williams
Nancy Birkeland, Clerk of Session
Missy Leuthold, Director of Missional Outreach
Karen Bents, Ministry & Staff Assistant
Jerry Bents, Treasurer
Maggie Harp, Music Coordinator/Organist/Choir Director
Joni Hahn-Lamphere, Custodian
Prayer Requests for:
  • Our Session/Search Committee as it seeks a full-time interim pastor.
  • Our staff, Deacons and Personnel Committee as they fill voids during the search for an interim pastor.
  • Our congregation that it may remain strong, patient and supportive of each other during the process of seeking an interim pastor and, ultimately, a full-time called pastor.
  • The pastor(s) whom God is calling to serve and lead Hope Church.
  • All those who will be attending the Presbytery's God Chat Apps hosted by Hope Church.
  • Our shut-ins and those in our congregation with health concerns.
  • Our leadership at the Presbytery.
World Communion Sunday

In 1933 Rev. Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr, moderator of the General Assembly and pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, conceived of the notion of World Communion Sunday. When asked why he came up with the idea, Rev. Kerr said, "World Wide Communion Sunday symbolized the effort to hold things together, in a spiritual sense. It emphasized that we are one in the Spirit and the Gospel of Jesus Christ." World War II was in full force, and showing the unity of the church was an important sign of God's presence in the world. Today, Christian unity is of no less importance.  The world today does not look at us as denominations of Christians, but Christians...the Body of Christ. Our collective witness to God's presence in the world is in essence our true witness.

As we sit at table this Sunday, welcomed by the Spirit and gathered as the people of God to eat and drink remembering Jesus, remember what Christ meant when he said "I am the bread that gives life." Also ponder the words of the Apostle Paul written to the Philippian Church, "If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." (Phil. 2:1-3).

By Andrew King
We will sit down where feet tire from the journey.
We will sit down where grief bends the back.
We will sit down under roofs wrecked by artillery.
We will sit down where cries sound from cracked walls.
We will sit down where heat beats like hammers.
We will sit down where flesh shivers in cold.
We will sit down where bread bakes on thin charcoal.
We will sit down where there is no grain in baked fields.
We will sit down with those who dwell in ashes.
We will sit down in shadow and in light.
We will sit down, making friends out of strangers.
We will sit down, our cup filled with new wine.
We will sit down and let love flow like language.
We will sit down where speech needs no words.
We will sit together at the table with no edges.
We will sit to share one loaf, in Christ's name, in one world.
Rev. Ashley
Buckets for Hurricane Relief

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance needs buckets! They are currently out of clean-up buckets to be sent to areas affected by flooding in Texas and Florida, etc. First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud has secured a (donated!) semi truck to ship as many buckets as we can to the PDA warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas. What once was a congregational challenge to "adopt a bucket" in St. Cloud has now become a call to "Fill the truck." We'll take your completed buckets and include them in our shipping. Or, don't have the time or interest to shop for items and assemble the buckets? We'll also take donations (money or specific items on the list). We are currently arranging with local retailers to order items by the case and then will assemble the clean-up buckets here. We are hoping to ship by mid-to-late October. The need is real, folks. Consider how you and your congregation, family, workplace, neighborhood might choose to respond. This is not to replace your congregation's or personal giving to the PDA ministry - this is a tangible way to encourage those who've thought about how to respond to Hurricane Relief but haven't yet, or want to do more. Contact Mark Giese ( at First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud for more info, or with specific questions and/or donations. Ph. 320-251-8277  Or visit to download a list along with more info. 

Claim these donated books

We recently received a generous donation of books for giveaway. Those in the Lay Academy may find them especially helpful. Please contact Karen at the presbytery office to claim yours and arrange for pickup or shipping (at your cost).
  • Companion to the Constitution: Polity for the Local Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), 1999
  • The Book of Confessions, 1996, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Practicing Our Faith, by Dorothy C. Bass
  • A History of Israel, by John Bright
  • The New Pastor's Guide to Leading Worship, by Barbara Day Miller
  • Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, by Bart D. Ehrman
  • Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers, Third Edition, by Joan S. Gray, Joyce C. Tucker
  • The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right, by Michael Lerner
  • Introducing the Reformed Faith: Biblical Revelation, Christian Tradition, Contemporary Significance, by Donald K. McKim
  • Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up with Has Lost Its Meaning, by Rev. Scotty McLennan
  • First Easter: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures by Paul L. Maier
  • Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief, by Huston Smith
  • The Story of the Reformation, by William Stevenson
  • Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, by Marjorie J. Thompson
  • The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright
Commission/Committee Members and General Assembly Commissioners, alternate and YAADS sought
The Commission on Representation (COR) will be meeting in late September to begin their work to fill all the presbytery commissions and committees. Also they will be reviewing applications received to be a General Assembly Teaching/Ruling Elder commissioner, alternate or Young Adult Advisory Delegate. If you are interested in any of this, please fill out the personal information form or the application for GA. If you have questions about any of the positions, please talk with Stated Clerk Pam Prouty or Sara McKay, chair of the COR.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
PADVN Annual Congregational Awareness and Worship Resource packets

In every congregation of every faith, victims, survivors and abusers sit in our pews. Some are listening for words of recognition, understanding, comfort and healing, hoping to hear that the church stands with them and wants them to choose life. All need to hear a clear message that violence in our homes is against the will of God. Our silence makes us complicit to the suffering.

Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) invites you to make your church a place where the gospel of wholeness is heard and lived out. We offer the following resources to aid you in that journey.
  • Ten Things Your Congregation Can Do About Domestic Violence | Download
  • 2016 Resources:  What Can Your Congregation do? | Download
  • 2015 Resources: Take Back the Night, Clothesline Project, Silent Witness Initiative, Empty Place at the Table | Download
  • 2014 Resources: Breaking the Silence; Introducing Men In The Mirror curriculum | Download
  • 2013 Resources: Stories of Hope and Restoration | Download
  • 2012 Resources: Entering the Brokenness | Download
  • 2011 Resources: Human Trafficking and the Intersect with Domestic Violence | Download
  • 2010 Resources: Parent/Youth Relationships | Download
God Chat Apps: A Life of Prayer
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9:00 - 3:30
Hope Presbyterian Church

Come to deepen and strengthen your prayer life!
Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his
disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
Don't miss this multigenerational event - it will be a full day of learning about living a life of prayer.
Your ticket ($15) covers the full cost of your participation for the event. It includes our fabulous  speakers, coffee and snack at registration, lunch, and a snack for the ride home.
The church is hosting their annual bazaar that day - feel free to shop!
Sessions and speakers
Prayer and the Presence of God. Kara Root. Plenary speaker
Why Pray? In the valley, on the mountaintop and everywhere in between. Robin Hasslen
Centering Prayer. Sr. Katherine Howard
Aids to Contemplation: Tools and Resources for the Journey. Nathan Lamb
Yoga, Meditation and Devotion. Angie Ray
Let's Talk: The Basics of Prayer. Leanne Thompson
Personal Prayer for Everyone on Earth: How prayer apps help us fulfill the Great Commission. Chris Lim 

Contact Karen Lange to register

Final Promo
October Ordination Anniversaries

10/05/1999  Karen Anderson
10/31/1999  SanDawna Ashley
10/24/1984  Mark Chamberlain
10/08/1989  Sue DeNio
10/15/1978  Nancy DeVries
10/02/1999  Mark Ford
10/19/2008  Cory Germain
10/18/1981  Dwight Johnson
10/05/1971  Jim Krapf
10/30/2005  Nathan Lamb
10/24/2013  Andrew Turner
10/31/2010  Anne Veldhuisen

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.

Discipleship: Pam Bush, , 507-823-4697
EvangelismAnne Veldhuisen,, 507-215-5617
Mission: Richard Lawrence, , 320-260-9639
Mission: Darlene Scherbing, , 320-292-2610
Spiritual Leadership: Tom Voigt, , 612-875-6398
Stewardship: Rick Hauge, , 507-829-5227
Worship: Darin Seaman, , 320-251-8277
Lakeshore Center at Okoboji,  October 13
Pastors and CREs: Here is a great opportunity for you to spend a day with preacher/teacher/author Tom Long.  He will be in the area to teach a class for the new Academy and will be doing this day long workshop at the Lakeshore Center at Okoboji on Friday, October 13
Teaching Fish to Walk: Church Systems and Adaptive Challenge
featuring Dr. Peter L. Steinke

Today's culture offers us both great challenges and opportunities for ministry. Easy answers won't cut it; we need to change and adapt. That's hard work. But there are people who can guide us.

"Teaching Fish to Walk: Church Systems and Adaptive Challenge," will draw on the deep and long experience of Dr. Peter L. Steinke, author and internationally respected church consultant. The workshop will begin with lunch at 12:00 noon on Monday, November 13, and conclude at 12:00 noon, Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center in Farmington, Minnesota.

This lifelong learning event will support and equip congregations in their exploration of faithful means to follow the Holy Spirit into a changing world. Clergy, Commissioned Pastors, and lay leaders are encouraged to attend as individuals or by forming a small team from a congregation. Through support from the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area and the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, we are able to keep the cost reasonable.


  • $100 ... Resident Rate
Five sessions with Peter Steinke, lodging on-site (double-room), three meals (lunch and dinner Monday, breakfast Tuesday), and all workshop materials.
All rooms are double rooms, in order to maximize on-site participation. You will be assigned a roommate unless both you and your desired roommate list each other on your registration form.
  • $80 ... Non-Resident Rate
Five sessions with Peter Steinke, two meals (lunch and dinner Monday), and all workshop materials.
Registration for Presbyterian Church USA teaching elders and leaders opens Wednesday, September 20.
If there are open slots, other denominational clergy and leaders will be invited to register beginning Monday, September 25, 2017.

Contact Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter, PTCA:, 651-357-1150. 
Pastoral Leadership Opportunities

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

Randall Presbyterian Church, Randall
- Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03892.AC

First Presbyterian Church, Saint James - Solo Pastor
   Ministry Information Form - 03802.AD

First Presbyterian Church, Fulda - Solo Pastor, 3/4 time
   Ministry Information Form - 03782.AD

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

Witnessing for Peace and Wholeness in a Land called 'Holy'
A Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine
April 29-May 12, 2018

For more information, including a sample conference schedule and information from past conferences, visit or contact the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program at 800-728-7228 x5805 or 502-569-5805.

The Giving Magazine

This magazine has become a premier stewardship resource for churches and denominations throughout North America. Each magazine is packed with resources to support stewardship in the local church. Articles explore the intersection of faith and giving, offer practical information on Christian stewardship for all generations, and critique the newest resources on stewardship.  Click here for more information.

Link to Pastor's Tool Box for Stewardship:
Six New Things
"There are other ways to talk" - Invite a Tutor to church
Rivers of Racial Justice - 31 events
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