The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 January 17 , 2018 
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. 
5:00-6:30pm- Dinner: Potato bar, Chili, Salad
Suggested Donation: $5
5:00-5:30pm- Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00pm- Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45pm- Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00pm- Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20pm- Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45pm- Holy Moly
7:30pm- Evensong

Evensong Prayer Service Resumes
Our Wednesday night candlelight prayer service which goes from 7:30-7:50pm each week has resumed, and we have added a social time afterwards for all who would like to enjoy some dessert and to visit for a while. Please join us whenever you are able! 

Please Join Us at our Congregational Meeting on 1/28 
All members of St. Mark's are asked to be present for the first semi-annual meeting of 2018 which will take place on Sunday, January 28. Lunch will be served at noon, and the meeting will get underway at 12:15pm. Childcare will be provided. At the meeting, we will honor and thank Pastor Phil Rue for his ministry with us as Visitation Pastor. We will also reflect on our new theme for 2018, get important updates from congregational leaders, view highlights of ministry in 2017, hear a Treasurer's Report, discuss ways to apportion funds from a major bequest from the estate of Nina Derek, and vote on a minor bylaw change to move our second semi-annual meeting from May to June each year. We hope you can be with us on that special day! 

Faith Journey Begins Soon 

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is an opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal that is patterned after Christ's way of welcoming people into community. Taking its shape from one of the earliest forms of Christian faith formation, it begins with an open-ended time of getting acquainted where your stories and questions set the framework for discussion. This is followed by times of Bible reflection, personal renewal, and discernment about your own Christian vocation.    All those who would like to join our congregation will be welcomed into membership through baptism or affirmation of baptism at the Easter time. This is not an expectation, but an open invitation! There is a Faith Journey group which meets on Wednesdays (beginning on January 31) and one that meets on Sundays (beginning on February 4). A meal is served at both times and childcare is always available.  To sign up for Faith Journey, contact our church office at 253-752-4966 or add your name to the list at the Welcome Center in the Narthex. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ruud via email at j or by phone at the same number for our church office.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast

Feb. 13 5:30-7:00pm in the Parish Commons. Live music, photo booth, activities for children and of course all the pancakes you can eat. Fun for all ages!  Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth.

Year-End Giving Statements

Hello! Just a heads up from your friendly finance team... Based on feedback we received last year (which was our first full fiscal year that did not coincide with the calendar year), we are trying to make year-end giving statements clearer for each of our donors.
Many of you will receive two statements for the end of December. The statement on white paper and stamped at the top with "Calendar Year Statement For Tax Purposes" summarizes your giving from January 1st through December 31, 2017. This statement gives you the information you need for year-end tax documentation. If you gave an offering on or after July 1, 2017 (the start of our new fiscal year), you will also receive a statement on green paper summarizing your giving from July 1 through December 31, 2017. This statement gives you a view of both your pledge for the current fiscal year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) and your giving thus far toward that pledge.
We hope these two statements give you a clear picture of your giving. We sincerely thank you for your generosity and ongoing support of the mission we share at St. Mark's! Please contact Pat Buck or Jennifer Droubay in the church office (253-752-4966) with any questions.

2018 Women's Retreat Registration opens Sunday

You may register for the retreat in the Church Office between 9:30-11am on Sunday morning.  For more information, pick up a flyer on the Welcome Center or talk to Pastor Shjerven. 

Walking To  Jerusalem Update

We covered 903 miles for our first week of travel.   We made it all the
way to Miles City, Montana!  Miles City is an adventure.  Population is
8410.  There are 5 hotels so we chose the Red Rock Village Inn for the
night.  Entertainment for tonight will be with the Miles City Caledonian
Society for their dinner dance which features Scottish dancing, bag pipes  and dinner.  Those who choose might stop in at the Bison Bar for more  local adventure.

Please continue to submit miles to us at .  If you  miss a week just send your miles the next week.
Peace and Justice

Justice for All: Advocacy, Education, Organizing, January 21st, 3:30-5:30pm, St. Leo's Church, Tacoma

Come learn about the issues Faith Action Network will be focusing on during the 2018 legislative session and find new ways to engage in legislative advocacy during the training.  To RSVP email  Questions?  Call Amber at 206-625-9790

Thrivent Members!

Are you a member of Thrivent?  If so, do you know that you have up to $500 to use each year for ministries and mission projects that are important to you?  Thrivent Action Team dollars are often not spent because people are unaware of them.  Stop by the table in the Narthex to sign the "Yes, I am a Thrivent Member" information sheet and pick up information about both Thrivent Choice dollars and Thrivent Action Team dollars (two different pots of money).  Questions?  Contact Deacon Ingelaurie Lisher (

Christmas Needed

Are you ready to get rid of your present Christmas tree????????
St. Marks downstairs lobby is looking for a tree 8 feet or taller to use at the entrance of the childrens' classrooms.  You will read in another article the fun plans for this tree for 2018.   If you have a tree you can donate please contact Mim Krabler ( and we will arrange to pick it up now or in December for 2018 Christmas.

Chase the Chill Update

We donated 48 scarves and 24 hats to two agencies (Food Bank and Community Youth Services Teen Homeless Center) in December Thank you to everyone who continues to knit and crochet for this ministry.

St. Mark's Preschool Updates

St. Mark's Preschool is taking over Round Table Pizza Clubhouse on Tuesday, January 23rd. Please consider ordering pizza for take out, or dine in...the Preschool will receive a portion of the profits from the whole day! The address is 2629 N. Pearl Street. We hope to see you there!

St. Mark's Preschool will be accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year very soon!  Current Preschool families and church members are welcome to turn in paperwork beginning February 1st. Registration will be open to the general public beginning February 15th. 

We are hosting an Open House on Tuesday, February 6th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for anyone who would like to visit our space and meet our teachers. Contact Anne Zimmerman at or 253-752-4929.

SMLC Awarded PSE Conservation Grant

We're excited to share with you that St. Mark's received a small energy conservation grant as part of our recent office window replacement project. This past fall - using some of the funds that our congregation has set aside for long-term maintenance - we replaced all the old, single pane office windows with energy efficient ones. We contacted Puget Sound Energy as part of our efforts and were awarded a grant that paid for more than 25% of our project! These new windows are helping St. Mark's be a better steward of our environment and our finances. (And keep your eyes open for new smart thermostats around the building...) If you have any questions or would like more details, please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office.

St. Valentine's Celebration

Saturday, February 10, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Tacoma Marimba Band will perform in concert for  Empowering Life's annual fundraiser.  Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunityto learn more about how we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman (Purdy) and Mission Creek Correction Center for Women in Belfair... and their families.   
$15.00 is the suggested donation.  Auction item donations are appreciated.
 Make your reservation at our table in the Narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307.  Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday Morning Classes for children and youth 3 years old to 12th grade meets each week from 9:45-10:45am in the CFC & Youth Wings.
Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) resume this week Jan. 18: 5:30pm Youth Group-Chase the Chill Service project. Wear your Thrivent Shirt, if you have one. Snacks provided. 6:30pm Youth Choir meets in the Choir Room with Cooper. All are welcome!
Jan. 21st is the deadline to sign up for the Synod Middle/High School Youth Retreat Feb. 9-11th at Camp Arnold- Turn in your registration form and deposit to Ingelaurie this week to reserve your spot. Final payment is due Jan. 31st. We have 5 more spots open.
The Youth (6-12th grade-entering 2018) are headed to Montana this summer... July 22-27, 2018 (no extra travel days) at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Registration opens Jan. 22 at .
  1. Pick your child's age group-Pathfinder (6/7th gr.), Trailblazer (8/9th gr.), or Senior High (10-12th gr.).
  2. Pay your deposit with the camp.
  3. Let Ingelaurie Lisher know that your child is going to Camp with St. Mark's by Feb. 28.
  4. St. Mark's will provide transportation, great adult leaders and help you fundraise if you want too earn some $$ to help pay for the week.   
Jan. 21 Houston Team meeting for youth and adult leaders 12:15-1pm in the Youth Room.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum: 9:45 a.m. PCC
Jan 21 - Together we will take a look at the ELCA's draft Social Statement called, "Women and Justice".  Pastor Ruud will host the conversation.  

Adult Class- Sundays 11:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room
As our  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. 

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15 p.m. 
Jan 17- All Will Be Well: healing stories in Mark's gospel--We will engage our congregational theme, "For the Well-Being of All" by exploring the scope, style and content of Jesus' healing ministry.  You are free to bring your dinner or dessert with you to the classroom for our discussion!
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room
We will discuss Chapter 3 of Goliath Must Fall. Questions, Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. 

Women's Bible Study; Wed. 9:30 a.m. 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 resumes today, Jan. 10th.
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.   
St. Olaf Choir to Sing in Seattle
The St. Olaf Choir, with 75 mixed voices, is one of the premier a cappella choirs in the United States. Since its founding in 1912, the choir has set a standard of choral excellence and remained at the forefront of choral artistry. The ensemble's annual tour brings its music and message to thousands of people across the nation and around the world. Conducted since 1990 by Anton Armstrong, the St. Olaf Choir continues to develop the tradition that originated with its founder, F. Melius Christiansen.
They will be touring the West Coast this year, starting at Seattle's own Benaroya Hall on Wednesday, January 31st @ 8 p.m. You may purchase tickets to the Benaroya Hall concert here.  They continue down the West Coast making stops in Portland, Eugene, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and many other locations, ending in Paradise Valley, AZ. 

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Send it to by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. All items will  run for 2 weeks prior to the relevant date and will be edited for length. Don't forget to send your member notes and news!