The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 December 26 , 2018 
Sunday Worship      
8:30 a.m. Blended
9:45 a.m. Contemporary
11:00 a.m. Traditional
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
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St. Mark's Staff
Sigi Helgeson, 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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NO Wednesday Church Night Tonight

Wednesday night dinner and programs for all ages will resume on Wednesday, January 16.

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 2018 must be received by the Church office  before the office closes at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 31. 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...
  • 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 out the check 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'd like to donate in this way, 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!

November 2018 - General Ministry Fund Financial Update

Offerings for November were $6,443 below budget ($71,559 versus budgeted offerings of $78,002). On the positive side, this is 4% higher than actual giving last November. Fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), we are now $26,363  below budgeted offerings of $391,795, and 2.1%  above last year actual offerings over the same time period. As mentioned in prior financial updates, we need to be 7.8% above last year's actual giving to make budget this year.
Expenses for November were pretty much right on budget, spending $82,426 versus a budgeted $82,584. FYTD, we are $12,324 below budgeted expenses of $439,259.
The bottom line for November is that we spent $9,505 more than we brought in versus our projection to spend $4,332 more than we brought in. This puts us $5,173 "behind" budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are $12,133 "behind" budget on a "net" basis (i.e., looking at total inflows and outflows). We have spent $58,347 more than we have brought in versus a projection to spend $46,214 more than we brought in at this point in the fiscal year.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you!

Chase the Chill

The temperatures are falling and the seasons are changing which means it's time for us to Chase the Chill   again this year. All knitters and crocheters are invited to create warm hats and scarves to be donated to shelters in Tacoma and to distribute to those who are living outdoors. Yarn has been donated for this project and is free to anyone who would like to make a hat or scarf to contribute. Please stop by the church office to pick up yarn or to pick up a Ziploc bag filled with a hat and scarf to keep in your car to give to anyone you see on the streets who might need some warmth. You could add other things to the bag that you think might be useful to someone, i.e. a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small gift card to McDonald's for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, whatever you choose. For more information talk with Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller .

Third Quarter

Those in the third quarter of life, ages 50-75ish, are invited to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.

Thursday, January 10, we will meet in the Parish Commons at 6:00 p.m. for a potluck and game night. Please bring your favorite board or card game and some food to share.

Thrivent Action Team Dollars

Don't forget to sign up to use your Thrivent Action Team dollars before the end of the year. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday Mornings for youth:  We are on break December 30. All children and youth are invited to participate in an Epiphany rotational Sunday School on January 6 in the CFC.  

Middle School (6-8th) Movie Night! Friday, January 4,  5-7 p.m. at St. Mark's. Pizza  dinner included. Sign up on the Youth Board or email Ingelaurie by December 30  if you plan on attending.

High School Bowling: Sunday, January 20, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sign up by January 13 if you plan on attending. Cost: $10.00pp

8-12th gr. Synod Youth Retreat: February 8-10  at Camp Arnold, Eatonville:  Cost: $100.00pp (scholarship $$ available). Sign up & register by January 6 to reserve your spot. More info on Youth Board.  9th graders this is your 3rd yr. Confirmation Retreat; see email from Ingelaurie for details. 

May Holden Youth Weekends!  May 24-26 (Fri.-Sun.), 9-12th gr. Registration form and info on the Youth Board. Deposit and Registration form due January 20. Cost: $205.00pp  Scholarship $$  available. Contact Ingelaurie with questions. 

Summer Service Trip (grades 6-8): We are headed back to the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana, June 28-July 6, 2019. This is a service learning trip: some hard work and cultural experiences. Spaces are limited! Info meeting for youth and parents: Tuesday, January 8, 5:30-6pm in the Youth Room.  *There will be a few spaces for high school students to be leaders on this trip.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
Sunday classes will resume on January 6.

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study continues on December 30.

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study: Will resume on January 9, 2019 The 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. Newcomers are welcome and would best arrive at 9:15. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. We are studying the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant at 253-363-8202 or

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom is on break until January 2: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Midweek Renewal is on break until January 16.

Lydia Circle: Due to the first Tuesday falling on a holiday (New Year's Day), Lydia Circle has temporarily moved to Thursday at noon on that week, that's January 3. Come join us with the Gather magazine Bible Study. New members welcome. 

Fully Alive Bible Study, Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Our topic is Women of the Bible, The Beautiful and The Ugly. Please join us. 

Speak Up: Moral Voices

The Peace and Justice Committee at St. Mark's suggests we all consider using our moral voices to advocate for justice in the following areas: food, housing, creation, and immigration.

Thank you for your prayers and action during 2018 to live as Jesus teaches us. For 2019, as the ELCA Advocacy team recommends, please commit to learn about an issue you're less familiar with, and join us in speaking out with those in poverty, those in need, those facing oppression or living in fear. Read more about where we've been, the opportunity, and why here.

Church Office Hours

The church office is open  Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon, 1:00-4:00 p.m . and  Sunday from 9:30-11:00 a.m.

*The door to the office is locked during preschool hours (8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.); please knock or ring the doorbell and someone will let you in promptly!

Have an item for The Bridge?
Send it to by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. All items will  run for two weeks prior to the relevant date, and will be edited for length. Don't forget to send your member notes and news!