The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   November 23 , 2016 
Sunday Worship      
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St. Mark's Staff
Phil Rue, Visitation
Ingelaurie Lisher, Youth and Family
Music Ministry
Contemporary Music Ministry
Manager of Finance and Operations
Office Coordinator
Just Shopping

Just Shopping is an Internet Fundraising Program at St. Mark's. It's part of a three-tiered plan to eliminate our building debt by 2023. On-line purchase made through our website with affiliate companies helps pay off our building loan. Thank you for your support and please share this internet shopping opportunity with your family and friends! For more information, click here to visit our website. 


       Contact Us  
St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows

6730 N. 17th St.
Tacoma, WA 98406

Office: 253-752-4966
Preschool: 253-752-4929
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No Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight

There will be no Wednesday Night Church Night tonight, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Activities will resume next week. 

New Members

This Sunday we welcomed the following members through Affirmation of Baptism:

Andy and Betsy Larsen, Lee and Pat Holum, Irv and Angelie Stahlnecker, Paul Hirschl, Rick and Donna Walker, Duane and Carolyn Petersen, Diane Cornforth, Tom Sherfinski and Nancy Howe. 

Holden Evening Prayer

Holden Evening Prayer returns next week, on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm. During the Advent and Christmas seasons, we will be using Holden Evening Prayer for our mid-week worship services in the Parish Commons. This is a beautiful service that is meant to be sung near the close of the day. We hope you can join us for this candlelight prayer service which concludes at 7:55pm. 

Get Ready for St. Mark's Reads

Our community reading selection for January 2017 is Parker Palmer's book, "Healing the Heart of Democracy".  The Adult Faith Formation team will be taking orders for the book in the narthex on December 4th and 11th.  If you would like to place an order, please bring your checkbook or cash.  The cost is $14 per book.  Questions?  Contact Mary Jo Larsen 

October Financials Update

The month of October showed some improvement in actual income versus budgeted income. While we are still under budgeted income on a fiscal year-to-date basis by more than $19K, this month stemmed the decline we saw in August and September. The good news on the expense side continues to hold: ministry teams and staff are managing expenses carefully to be responsible stewards of the donations we receive. Expenses are approximately $11K less than budgeted on a fiscal year-to-date basis. One other thing to be very grateful for is that giving is actually up versus the same period last year by 3.5%.
Further growth (of 5% versus actual last year) is needed to meet the expanded ministry and facility upkeep goals that we set as a Congregation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller at the Church office at (253) 752-4966. Thank you for your continued generosity and faithfulness

Christmas Decorating!

Saturday, November 26th is the day...Christmas decorating!  We need your help.  Trees to trim, wreaths to hang, garlands to drape...all to get ready for our favorite church season, Advent and Christmas.  You only need to give a few hours on Saturday morning.  With lots of helpers, we will finish by noon.  Men and women equally put to work! Coffee and donuts provided.  See you at the coffee pot.  Call Mim Krabler (253-686-9373) with questions or suggestions.  

Women of St. Mark's

Advent season is coming!  Come join us for a morning of good food, visiting, and relaxation.  The St. Mark's Women's Advent Brunch ticket sales have begun!  Get your ticket and come enjoy a lovely brunch, singing, enjoying an Angel Story presented by Sharon Bonea.  We will also have an Angel craft.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 3rd, 9:30 - 11:30 AM.  Tickets on sale at all services on Sunday and are also available for sale in the Church Office.  See you there! Any questions, contact Barb Meyers(
The Annual Women's Thank Offering will be received on Sunday, November 27th at all three worship services.

Chase the Chill!

This is our second fall/winter of knitting and crocheting scarves and hats to give to those who are living outdoors or in shelters.  We have an abundance of yarn that has been donated to this ministry.  Please stop by our overflowing yarn table in the Narthex to pick out a skein or two to take home, then bring back your finished gifts and we will distribute them.  If you have any questions about his project, please talk to Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller.  You will find us at the yarn table! Thanks for helps us keep others warm. 

News from Your Backpack Program

Last month some of us were invited to present our back pack program to our Jewish neighbors at Temple Beth El. In response to that meeting Saint Mark's Back Pack Program was chosen to receive their  "Thanksgiving Offering of food" . Their generous donation is very much appreciated. 

So far this year we are delivering 53 food bags each week to DeLong Elementary School. The Social Worker at the school thinks that the need will be 60 or more by the end of November. Many Thanks to everyone who donates food and money to this much needed program.

Adopt a Member of A Family for Christmas

If you are adopting a member or two from one of our families in need, this is what to do:
1.Take a colored symbol (paper ornament) from the tree.  Sign your name and phone number on the matching symbol underneath.  Place the symbol with your name on it in the manila envelope for our records.

2. PLEASE WRAP TWO SEPARATE GIFTS!!!   Place the number from your symbol on both gifts to insure the right person gets them both.  We will put name tags on the packages before we deliver them.  


3. RETURN your wrapped and numbered gifts to St. Mark's by Sunday, December 11.   They can be placed under the Christmas tree.  

Questions???? Celesta Smith 272-8391,  Judy Droubay 759-6720, or Mary Jo Holum 752-3304
You can make a difference.
Thank you for caring and sharing.

Peace in Action!

Peace in Action! - Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Refugee Project

At the 2016 Laureate Recognition Banquet on September 22nd, the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize launched a project (with Lutheran Community Services) called "Peace in Action!" in order to support refugees in our area. Guests at the banquet gave generously. We ask that you join them. With your support, we want to raise funds - by December First - for as many "Kitchen Restart Kits" as possible for refugees settling in our area.

Join us in celebrating the 130th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty (which was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886) by honoring what it stands for. Just go to the GTPP website for further information and to make a contribution.
A donation of $200 will buy the necessary items for one  Kitchen Restart Kit. A donation of any amount will help.

Contact Janet Ruud if you would like more information or if you would like to join the "Kit Assembly Party" (tentatively set for December 9) and help us put together the kits. ( Janet Ruud 253-564-2832

Family Housing Network

St Mark's will be hosting families from the Family Housing Network the week of 
December 31 to January 6, 2017 .   Helpers are needed to work various jobs to support the families during their stay.  Please stop by the FHN tables  on Sunday  morning to sign up to help us as we provide meals, housing, and hospitality for these families.    A table for signing up to help will be available on Sundays,  November 13
, 20, and 27.

Make Your Shopping Dollars Go Further

If you shop on Amazon for the holidays, please consider designating St. Mark's (or your other favorite charity) to receive the money Amazon donates from each purchase. Login through and type in "St. Mark's Lutheran by The Narrows" to select our church. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. 

Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar

November 27 and December 4,  8:30am-12:00pm in the Parish Commons
Stop by and start your Christmas shopping for beautifully handcrafted items made by artisans and farmers worldwide!  This season merchandise is from Ecuador, Egypt, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Philippines,  Uganda, & Vietnam!     St Mark's orders merchandise from  SERRV, a non-profit, who creates long-term connections with artisans and farmers. By purchasing Fair Trade items we create change by empowering womensending more children to school, & protecting the environment by providing support to artisans and farmers worldwide through the purchase of their products! For questions, contact Susan Newsom or Catherine Terrill.
Come see...
  • Festive ornaments, Nativity scenes and Christmas d├ęcor 
  • Handcrafted jewelry, woven baskets, colorful scarfs and back again, leather wallet stocking stuffers 
  • Chocolates, teas, coffees, soups, oils and spices from Ghana, Israel, Nepal, South Africa, USA

LWR and Nativity House Needs
Lutheran World Relief needs: bars of soap and hand towels.  Contact Randi Holland


Nativity House needs: warm, slightly used men's jackets. Contact Cathryn Cummings


Children and Youth Faith Formation

Advent Adventure! Sunday, November 27 9:45-11:30am in the CFC. Activities for all ages-Make an Advent Wreath, color a scene for our Advent wall, and much more.Donation accepted to help cover the cost of Advent Wreath supplies.

St. Mark's Sunday School children present the Christmas Story on December 11
  • Preschool/Pre-K-Singing and presentation of the Luke 2 Christmas story during the 11:00a.m. Worship Service.
    • Sat. Dec. 10 9:00-9:30a.m. Dress rehearsal at St. Mark's in the Sanctuary
    • Sun. Dec. 11 10:15a.m. costumes and warm up
    • Elementary age children (grades K-5th) Present Sheep in Heavenly Peace a musical retelling of the Luke 2 text. 1:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
      • Sun. Dec. 4 2:00p.m.-principal cast rehearsal in the Sanctuary
      • Sat. Dec. 10 10:00a.m. Dress rehearsal in the Sanctuary 
      • Sun. Dec. 11 12:30p.m. Costume call
Lunch will be served on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12:00-12:45p.m. in the Parish Commons. Please sign up in the Narthex or the CFC by Sun. Dec. 4th if you and your family plan on participating (suggested donation $5.00 per person).
6-12th grade Spring/summer trip info. meeting for youth and parents-Tuesday, November 29 6-7:00p.m. in the Youth Room.
CYFF Committee Meeting- Tuesday, November 29 7-8:00p.m. in the Fireside Room

December 10th-Fundraiser Opportunity-  6 youth are needed to help with a dinner at church from 5-8:00p.m. Sign up on the Youth Board by Dec. 4th if you can lend a hand.
Coming up...2017 and beyond!
  • Epiphany Event Fundraiser-Wednesday, Jan. 11th 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's.
  • 9th grade Post Confirmation Retreat-Sunday, Jan. 15-Monday, Jan. 16 Cost: $20.00 per person. Sign up by Jan. 8th if you are attending.
  • Synod Youth Gathering (grades 7-12)-Feb. 3-5th Cost: $130.00 per person. Sign up with a $60.00 deposit by Jan. 8th if you are attending.  Registration forms available December 2.
  • May Holden Village Youth Weekends are back! For youth grades 9-12th. We are looking at May 19-21 as our 1st choice weekend or May 26-28 2nd choice (Friday super early AM-Sunday late PM). See the Youth Board for more info. 
  • June 19-25 Luther 500 Festival--we have 2 spots left in a double room. This is a cross-generational trip, so youth attend with a parent/guardian. Cost: approx. $1200.00 per person (includes hotel lodging, 2 meals a day, admission to sites/museums, etc. and tour transportation) airfare to Germany separate.
  • July 6-9th (10-12th grade completed) Servant Trip--Cost TBA. Stevenson WA
  • July 15-22 (6-9th grade) Montana Service Trip to Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp.  An elementary age and high school option will be offered as well. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
November 27, "Painting the Stars"- We celebrate the communion of science and faith by hearing the wisdom of theologians like Barbara Rossing, Bruce Sanguin and Rachel Held Evans.  Pastor John Rosenberg will host our conversation.

December Sundays in Advent,  9:45 Forum-Advent and Christmas with the St. John's Bible-Each Sunday in December we will gather to sing hymns and learn about one of the great works of contemporary sacred art-The St. John's Bible.  Neal Sobania will guide us through the history and process of SJB, and will introduce us to the prints that illuminate the Advent and Christmas texts.  December 4, 11, 18  Parish Commons Classroom

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
November 27,  What Christ's Prayers Teach Us About God-In the final session, we explore Jesus' prayer for unity among his followers.  Pastor Shjerven will host the conversation.

December Sundays in Advent, 11:00 Adult Class-The Beatitudes-
In Advent we begin hearing the story of Jesus again, with Matthew as our primary storyteller throughout the year.  Join guest teacher Scott Shelton as he leads a discussion of Jesus' teaching in the Gospel of Matthew: the Beatitudes.  December 4, 11, 18

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
This week, November 23rd, we will not meet for Wednesday class, in preparation for the Thanksgiving Holiday  Next week: 
New series begins: The birth of Christ according to Matthew

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
Will be studying the Book of Acts.  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Gather for lunch and conversation and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday.  Conversation will be guided by the pastor who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group. 
Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom

Thank you!

Dear People of St. Mark's, 

The Synod in Namibia Task Force extend its thanks for your kind and compassionate donation to the Evangelical Church in Namibia, one of our synod's partners in our companion relationship.  

To be able to watch the relationship grow and see the results of our giving has been a privilege.  

We will pass your donation on to Namibia at once. 

Thank you, and God's Blessing, Rachel L., Chair

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