The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 December 6 , 2017 
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
       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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Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight!
5-6:30 pm Dinner
Suggested Donation $5: Spaghetti, Green Beans, Bread, Salad
5-5:30 pm Little Angels Choir
5:30-6 pm Joyful Noise Choir
6pm Praise Team
6:15- 7:20 pm Mid-week Renewal
6-6:45 pm Jubilation Choir
6:15-6:45 pm Holy Moly
7:30-8 pm Evensong
New Members and Baptisms
We welcomed the following children to the waters of Baptism on Sunday, Dec. 3:  Asher Nelson Mahugh, Ewan Brian Johnson, Ofelia and Soleil Marmalejo, and Keira and Mia Frazier.  
We welcome the following members through Affirmation of Baptism: Melanie Parker and Charles Ford, Stan and Sharon Stenersen, Valerie Marmolejo and Ofelia and Soleil, Heather Clauson and Hannah and Aiden, Jennifer Evelund and Wyatt and Walker, Jamie Cronce, Ron and Gerrie Green, Ron and Libby Frazier and Keira and Mia, Steve and Martha Ward, and Judy Smriga. 

All Congregational Caroling and Cookies
All-congregational caroling  and cookies on Dec. 13.
5:30 caroling
6:30 cookies/cocoa
Please bring cookies to share!
One Final  Sunday  of the Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar

This is the  last day  to s top by and shop for beautifully handcrafted items made by artisans and farmers worldwide!  Your purchase creates change  by providing support to artisans and farmers who make so many lovely items for us to enjoy or give including :   Festive ornaments,  h andcrafted jewelry, woven baskets, colorful scarfs, stocking stuffers PLUS c hocolates, teas, coffees, soups, oils and spices!! 

Save the Date- Women's Retreat
2018 Women's Retreat-Friday, February 23th (dinner) through Saturday lunch-Camp Burton, Vashon Island.  Look for more information in the new year!

Advent Devotionals
Advent Devotionals from Luther Seminary are available outside the Church Office.  Please feel free to pick one up today, or receive copies from

Thank You for Your Year-End Giving!
Just a quick reminder that St. Mark's documents year-end gifts in accordance with IRS regulations. Cash contributions are deductible only in the year in which they are made. This means that any contributions you'd like to deduct for tax purposes in 2017 must be received by the Church office before the office closes at noon on Friday, December 29th. Per IRS rules, mailed checks will be dated as of the date they were mailed (verifiable postmark); credit card gifts are deductible in the year in which the charge is made. Gifts of securities are considered delivered upon receipt in St. Marks's account at Charles Schwab (please contact the Church office for account information).
Finally, as you plan your year-end giving, did you know...
  • If you have securities in your portfolio with large capital gains, you may be able to transfer part or all of a position to St. Mark's while paying no taxes on the capital gains and deducting the full, current value of the securities as your charitable gift. This may work well if you have held a security for a long time and have built up significant gains. (Please consult with your tax advisor for specific guidance.)
  • Once you are age 70 1/2, you are required to take a Required Minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA. If you have your investment account holder make the check out directly to St Mark's, you still get credit for the RMD, but should pay no taxes on the withdrawal. (Please consult with your tax advisor for specific guidance.)
  • If you make donations in one of these ways, please notify our Financial Recording Secretary (Pat Buck; of the amount and financial institution, so we can give you proper credit for your gift. Donor names often do not appear on the check or other documentation from financial institutions.
Feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Pat Buck at the Church office (253-752-4966) if you have any questions. Thank you!

Chase the Chill Thanks You!
Our drop off team met with the director of Community Youth Services Pierce County to deliver 40 scarves and 25 hats to homeless youth.  Thank you for being part of keeping our young homeless warm! Yarn is always available.  

Donate Blood
Donate a pint to save a life!  St. Mark's will host a blood drive from 8 am - 2 pm on Sunday, Dec. 31st.  Sign-up for the time that works best for you.  Sign-up sheets are located on a table in the narthex.  Contact Diana Busch ( or 253-572-5158) with questions.  

Please remember to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water, and bring a photo I.D.

Thank you for your support in this life-saving mission.
How is my gift used?  After donation, your volunteered blood is separated into three components (plasma, platelets, and red cells).  These components are then transfused to a patient who may need either a combination of these components or a single component.  This is how your donation can save up to three lives! BloodworksNW donations are distributed to 70 hospitals and clinics in western Washington. BloodworksNW is a nonprofit, volunteer based blood center, serving our community for over 75 years.
Questions? Call us at 1-800-398-7888 or visit our website

Walking to Jerusalem Epiphany to Easter
This walk is an event for members and friends designed to encourage healthy activity, as well as time for prayerful thought. Our goal is to collectively accumulate 6,799 miles of exercise to represent the distance between Tacoma and Jerusalem.  You will be asked to report your miles each week for 12 weeks.  Miles will be included for walking, biking, running, rowing, aerobics, etc.  So, whether you cover one mile or much more each week, we need you.  Weekly progress will be charted on a map for display.  Join us in the Narthex between services to sign up or email 

Walkers who did not receive a bandana may stop by our table to pick one up  if they choose.
Community Group "Third Quarter"

Christian friends in the "third quarter" of life are welcome to join others age 50ish -75ish in supportive community to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.  

Thursday December 14 at 6:00, Christmas Pot Luck and share your Christmas tradition or favorite Christmas memories in the Parish Commons.

Thursday January 11 at 6:00, Pot Luck and "Living in the Third Quarter of Life" panel discussion
Thursday February 8 at 5:00, Pot Luck with our Fourth Quarter friends
Thursday March 15 (Third Thursday free museums) 6:00 at Chihuly Museum of Glass. Optional happy hour dinner meet at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Ave at 4:45 pm 
Thursday April 12 at 6:00, [stay tuned]
Thursday May 10 at 6:00, Pot Luck and Game Night
Thursday June 14 at 6:00, Pot Luck picnic [stay tuned for location with blooming flowers]
Thursday July 12 at 7:00, Tacoma Rainiers at Cheney Stadium
Thursday August 9 at 6:00, Pot Luck picnic and optional bicycle ride [stay tuned for location]
Thursday September 13 at 6:00, Ruston Way restaurant/brewery and optional walk on the new Ruston Way trail
Contact: St. Mark's Church office:   253.752.4966

Sign Up to Have Your Holiday Shopping Dollars Help St. Mark's

Did you know that St. Mark's can earn "free"  money nearly every time you shop at Amazon, Fred Meyer, or Bartells? These companies will donate money to our church at absolutely no cost to us - and it can really add up. Every dollar earned will be applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund. Please take the time to sign up, following the instructions below. The same information can also be found on our church website under the Ways to Give Financially tab. Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office if you have any questions.
Amazon Smile
St. Mark's can benefit financially almost any time you shop with Amazon! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, shopping features, and Amazon Prime member benefits as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile at the same price. Since you use the same account on and AmazonSmile, your shopping cart, Wish List, registries, and other account settings remain the same. 
To register, go to Under your Accounts & Lists menu, click into Your AmazonSmile, search for "St Marks Lutheran By the Narrows", and designate St. Mark's from there.
Fred Meyer
If you have a free Rewards Card at Fred Meyer, nearly every purchase you make there can benefit St. Mark's. (If you don't have a card, applications should be available at all registers or at the Customer Service Desk.) You just need to link your card once to St. Mark's. Go to If you don't have an online account, you will need to create one. Then scroll all the way to the bottom of page and click on Fred Meyer Community Rewards link --> click on Re-enroll or Link your Rewards Card Now and search for "St. Mark's Lutheran Church by the Narrows." You will continue to receive Rewards Points, Rebates and Fuel Points.
Bartell Drugs
St. Mark's can earn from 1% to 4% on eligible purchases from Bartells if you have a free 'B' Caring Card. (If you don't have a card, you can pick one up at any Bartell Drugs.) There are three ways you can choose to link St. Mark's to your Bartell's card: (1) complete a hard copy "escrip" registration form at the store; (2) call 1-800-931-6258; or (3) register online at

Family Housing Network Visit of Homeless Families

Thank you to all of the faithful volunteers who have signed up for various duties for the December 30, 2017 to January 6, 2018 visit of homeless families to our church.   Almost all jobs are now filled, so there will not be a sign up table on Sunday, December 3.   Still needed are overnight hosts for Sunday, December 31, 2017 and for Tuesday, January 2, 2018.   In addition, evening dinner hosts are needed for the same evenings, Sunday, December 31, 2017 and Tuesday, January 2, 2018 and for Saturday, December 30, 2017 and Thursday, January 4, 2018.   If you are willing to volunteer for any of these jobs, please contact Elizabeth Skarshaug at 253 229-0486 or by email at   People who signed up to help will receive an email reminder with the number of homeless people who will be coming to St. Mark's on December 26 or 27, 2017.   Elizabeth Skarshaug

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday School for children 3 years old to 12th grade runs through Dec. 17th, break Dec. 24 and 31st. Classes resume Jan. 7th.
Thursdays for youth grades 6-12th: Dec. 7th --Youth Group Christmas Party 5:30-6:30pm dinner will be provided. Bring a pair of fun holiday socks-with goodies inside (not over $10.00) for our sock exchange, 6:30pm Youth Choir; Dec. 14 6:30-7:30pm Youth Choir only
Christmas Movie Night!  December 21st 4:00-6:00pm for youth grades 6-12, snacks and goodies provided. Sign up on the Youth Board by December 17 if you are attending
St. Mark's Sunday School presents the a classic Nativity Story "Journey to Bethlehem"  Sunday, December 10th 4:00pm  All are Welcome! Potluck dinner to follow in the Parish Commons Please bring a dish to share with at least 10-12 people.  A-I Side Dish; J-Z Main Dish. Dessert and Beverages provided.   Youth Help is needed with the Christmas Program Potluck on Sunday, Dec. 10th.   Here is what we need :  3-4 youth from 3:30-5:30pm with set up and bringing food out; and 3-4 youth from 5:30-7pm clearing, dishes and clean up. Please let me know ASAP how you can lend a hand. 
May Holden Youth Weekends Registration  form is on the Youth Board-For youth grades 9-12. Registration form and deposit due Dec. 31st.  Please indicate which weekend works best for you and we will go with the one that works best for the most people. I am registering our group on Jan. 3rd and will only register those I have a deposit for. 
Synod Youth Retreat Feb. 9-11th at Camp Arnold- grades 7-10th Registration form on the Youth Board. Deposit due Dec. 15. Featuring guest Musician and Speaker--Rachel Kurtz (from Holden Village last year). 
"GATHERING AROUND CHRIST'S TABLE" Communion Milestone Event for 4 year old, Preschool age children and their parents (older children who have not participated in this gathering are also welcome).  Sunday, January 7, 2018 9:45 am in the Sunday School Wing

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
December 10, and 17 Advent Poetry and Carols.  Calling all poets and carolers - novices to professionals, and everyone in between!  Please join us in Adult Forums as we reflect on Christina Georgina Rossetti's poem, In the Bleak Midwinter, along with Lutheran pastor and poet Herbert Brokering's Advent reflections on Rossetti's work.  Time will be provided to write your own Advent poem, and on December 17th, we look forward to reading our poems to each other!  We'll also sing Advent carols each week led by Kirsti Ruud.  Bring your coffee/tea and celebrate the season of Advent. Hosted by Mary Jo Larsen and Michelle Marshman  

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
This Fall, as our 11am Adult Class, Dr. Traci Drake will offer Year 1 of Crossways, a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible.   To order the set of Learner books, please contact the church office.    The cost for books each trimester is $20.  Participants are asked to cover whatever part of that cost they are able to pay. Will not meet Dec. 24 and 31.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
December 6th- Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals series concludes with a look the life of Dorothy Soelle.  Class will begin at 6:15pm 
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
 We will  begin reading and discussing Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio, a study of  our strength in Jesus to overcome the obstacles and habits that hold us  down. Questions, Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. Will not meet Dec. 19 and 26.

Women's Bible Study; Wed. 9:30 am in the PCC1
We are ladies with varying faith and bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights.  With our current study, As It Is in Heaven by Greg Laurie, a thought-provoking book, we are studying God's will for us here on earth.   For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or (253) 363-8202.

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom. 
Gather for lunch and for conversation and study around the texts that will be hear in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.  Will not meet Dec. 20 and 27.

Thank you St. Mark's! 

'We are grateful and blessed to have the support and prayers of our St. Mark's family and friends. My very good news is continued improvement in my health.' Sharon and Earl Steen 

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