The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   August 30 , 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
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
Join our mailing list.
New "No Parking" Signs 

The city of Tacoma has posted new "No Parking" signs on the south side of 17th.  Please watch for them.  
Wednesday Night Church Night will resume on September 13th. 
Sunday after church lunches will resume on the 17th. 

Church Office Closed Friday Afternoons 
The church office will be closed on Friday afternoons through 9/22 while Nikki is on maternity leave.

GOD'S WORK OUR HANDS DAY OF SERVICE, Saturday, September 9th

This year we have the opportunity to partner with Habitat's Building on Faith house, for which St. Mark's is a sponsoring congregation! Sign up on the board. 

*Opportunity for Children and Youth (Under 16 yrs) 10-11:30 a.m. at St. Mark's with potluck lunch.  LWR School Kit building.  Parents must accompany their children.  Sign up by September 3rd. 

Sabbatical Update from Pastor Ruud

As August draws to a close, my gratitude for these sabbatical days continues to expand. Thank you, again, for this unique gift! In my desire to explore the Pacific Northwest more fully, I was pleased to spend the first ten days of August in Alaska. My brother-in-law and I visited Ketchikan, Petersburg, Juneau, and Sitka via the Alaska Marine Highway, and then we drove from Anchorage to Denali National Park. We brought the sun with us throughout the trip, and each day exceeded my expectations for adventure and discovery. In addition to the books I mentioned in my previous sabbatical update, I added two new ones while traveling north. The first is a compilation of letters, journals, and essays by John Muir entitled "The Wisdom of John Muir" (Wilderness Press). On his many visits to Alaska, Muir was overwhelmed by the natural beauty and the potential of human beings to either protect it or exploit in selfish and destructive ways. Muir's spiritual orientation was guided by a profound reverence and awe for the creative power of God and the sacred inter-relatedness of all living things. That reminded me of St. Francis of Assisi, so I did more exploring of Francis' own spiritual orientation, which connects all of this with a deep and abiding gratitude for the love of God made known to us in Jesus Christ. This led me to a new favorite book called "Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth" (Franciscan Media).
Some might think that all of this focus on the natural world is out of place in a month when the evils of white supremacy and antisemitism are tearing the fabric of our human community and when people are perishing in flood waters in many countries of the world. In truth, it is all more intimately connected that we can ever imagine. Thomas Berry, who was deeply influenced by the life and teaching of St. Francis, said: "The human community and the natural world will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will both perish in the dessert."
During my first week with you in October, we will commemorate the feast day of Francis of Assisi, and I look forward to the joy of re-uniting with all of you at that significant moment in the life of the Church. At present, I am enjoying a week of walking, reading, and reflecting in Paris, France. I know, it's not the Pacific Northwest, but it's a stopping point on the way to the wedding of our daughter, Sonja, in Luxembourg. My family will join me shortly and we will travel together for the wedding and then Sonja's graduation in Geneva, Switzerland. Before returning home, Linda and I will visit the French village of Le Chambon sur Lignon, where we lived thirty years ago. Historically, the residents of this rural village are deeply connected to the land, but they also stood up fearlessly to white supremacy and antisemitism during the second world war. Their example continues to inspire all those who refuse to separate one part of creation from another.
I'll be thinking of you and praying for you as you start a new cycle of worship and ministry in September. "A bientot!" (See you soon!)

Tanzanian Bishop to Visit

The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and his wife, Janet, will be guests at St. Mark's on Sunday, September 17. The Rev. Dr. Fredrick Shoo was elected to lead the 6.5 million member church in 2015. He previously served as the Bishop of the Northern Diocese where he earned the title of "The Tree Bishop" for his efforts to plant thousands of trees as a way to save the receding snows of Kilimanjaro (google Bishop Fredrick Shoo and check out the PBS video). He will be available for a Question and Answer Adult Forum and will bring a greeting at our 11:00 AM worship. We are honored to host the Shoos, and invite you to note this opportunity on your calendars.

Habitat For Humanity Update

St. Mark's has one more workday coming up: Saturday, September 9th.  To sign up, please contact Deborah Herforth by email at or by phone 206-372-1433
Sunday School Teaching Teams

You can make a difference in a child's life!  Join one o four Sunday School Teaching Teams this year for a fun and rewarding opportunity to share your faith.  The year is divided into three 3 month sessions.  Please consider a commitment to teach one or more sessions every other Sunday as part of a two person team.  Stop by our table in the Narthex or contact Celesta Smith at
Family Housing Network Thanks You!
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who contributed to the host week for Family Housing Network which we just completed. We welcomed four families, 8 adults and 15 children, which is the largest group we have hosted since we became a host site in 2013! Only our willing volunteers make this possible. Our next host week will be Dec. 30-Jan. 6.

Women of St. Mark's
Our second Craft Night on Tuesday, August 22nd was a fun night of fellowship and sewing.  We created beautiful Periwinkle Table Mats that will be available for purchase at the Bazaar!  Big THANKS to Bonnie Wascher for providing the fabric and instructions for making these wonderful fall and Christmas items!  Thanks to all who attended and helped with this project!

Our next Craft Night is  Friday, September 29th.  Mark your calendars and join us for another fun night making Popcorn Snowmen.  All the supplies will be provided, we need helping hands to assemble the Snowmen.  We will also be assembling the Wood Tags project.  Please plan on joining us!

We have craft schedules available at our table in the Narthex.  Make sure you pick one up to take home! 

If you have an item in mind that we can easily create please contact Barbara Meyers at  We are always looking for new items to sell at the Bazaar.  Hope to see you at one of our Craft Nights!

Continue to work on your handmade items for the Bazaar.  All the wonderful items you create make the Bazaar a success.  I encourage all to participate!

LWR Layettes Update

Thank you to all who have been donating flannel, hand towels and soap.  We have need for even more soap, hand towels and diapers.  Please drop off these things to the baskets in front of the office for use in putting together the final shipments of the year coming up the first of Nov.

Any questions call Randi Holland at 253-905-5693.

New Community Group "Third Quarter"

Christian friends in the "third quarter" of life are welcome to join a new community group at St. Mark's. Lori Clark and Steve and Martha Ward invite age 50ish -75ish to create a supportive and Spirit-filled community to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.
The inaugural Third Quarter event will be  Thursday September 7 from 6:00-8:00 pm, Gathering and Potluck at St. Mark's Parish Commons. 

Suggested future events are the second Thursdays of each month:
Thursday October 12 at 6:00, Mini Golf 
Thursday November 9 at 6:00, Game Night
Thursday December 14 at 6:00, Christmas Pot Luck and Tradition Share

Contact: St. Mark's Church office:  253.752.4966

Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference - September 16

The 2017 Pierce County Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference helps provide useful information and practical skills for individuals and families providing care or seeking more knowledge about Alzheimer's and other dementias.  This free event will be held Saturday, September 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1315 N. Stevens Street in Tacoma.   The featured speaker for the 2017 conference is Laura Wayman, known as "The Dementia Whisperer."  Breakout sessions will examine practical caregiving skills, the power of music, challenging behaviors, legal issues, dementia & social engagement and housing and care options.  Refreshments will be provided.  The conference is free but advance registration is requested at:  or by calling (253) 798-8787. 

Lutheran World Relief (LWR):  Fall School Kit Supply Drive! 

It's that time of the year to shop for great prices on LWR School Kit supplies for our annual drive with details at the table in the Narthex! This year our goal is  200 kits  and we are offering these options for participation: 
1) Pick up an orange school bag/supply list and return filled,
2) Donate supplies - greatest need is  spiral bound notebooks 8.5" X 10",  
3) Donate funds for shipping by leaving a check in the offering labeled LWR School Kits. 

Kits are sent to places where school supplies may be more than a family can afford. All donations are due by September 17! Thank you! 
Contact Catherine Terrill or Celesta Smith with questions or visit

Friends of Women's Protection Center, Nepal 

Construction of the Friends of WPC Nepal Safe House has made amazing progress, and plans are for completion in November/December with an inauguration in early March in Heatuda, Nepal!  Through the recent monsoon season, the workers have continued to work to make this dream home a reality to help victims of human trafficking.  St. Mark's generous gifts to the safe house construction and kitchen has help make this possible. The organization sends their sincerest thanks to our congregation! The Friends of WPC, Nepal, will hold their 7th Annual Hope For Freedom Gala fundraiser on September 16, 2017, 5:00 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. 
For more information visit or contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479.  

National Lutheran Choir presents "Una Sancta"

The National Lutheran Choir commemorates 500 years of Protestant Reformation, and the transformation of Christ's church, with a concert of choral music-both ancient and modern-that brings the historical journey to life. Under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien, the 64-voice National Lutheran Choir, based in Minneapolis, seeks to strengthen, renew and preserve the heritage of sacred choral music. More information at

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 7:30pm
Lagerquist Concert Hall
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Ave. S., Tacoma, WA 98447
More info:         
Sunday, October 1, 2017 - following 4pm Evensong
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
1444 Liberty St. SE, Salem, OR 97302

Care of Creation Summer Hikes

The Care of Creation committee is sponsoring one more hike this summer--one per month alternating between Fridays and Saturdays.   
Friday, September 8: Sunrise (Rainier) or Hurricane Ridge (Olympics)

We will meet at the church at 8 a.m. and form car pools.  Hikers should have water, sun cream, sun glasses, lunch, first aide, camera, extra clothing, good hiking shoes, and money to help defray the costs of gas for drivers.  We will not go if it is raining.
For more information contact: Tom Hulst 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Children and Youth Faith Formation Leaders Orientation and Training will be held Thurs. Sept. 7 from 7:00-8:30p.m. in the CFC/Preschool Wing.
Children's Faith Formation! Thanks to everyone who helped with Summer Story Time this summer! 
Sunday AM Classes begin Sept. 10 at 9:45a.m for the following ages/grades:
  • Children age 3/4yrs age and parents Welcome to Sunday School Milestone Event in the CFC/Preschool Wing.
  • K-4th grade students and parents Sunday School Kick-Off Event. 9:45am--Registration and Opening; Followed by a time to meet the teachers and experience a Sunday morning with your child.
  • 5/6th grade students will meet in the Youth Wing-lower level with Mary Olsen and Irv and Angelie Stahlnecker. Registration forms will be available for you to complete.
Children's choirs and Holy Moly begin Wed. Sept. 13!   Note some time changes
  • Little Angel's Choir (Preschool age): 5:00-5:30pm
  • Joyful Noise Choir (K-2nd gr.): 5:30-6:00pm
  • Jubilation Choir (3-5th gr.) 6:00-6:45pm
  • Holy Moly for children 5-8 yrs old 6:15-6:45pm
Youth Faith Formation:

Confirmation Students (7/8th gr.) Sept. 10:
  • 11am Rite of Welcome for 1st year (7th gr) students during worship
  • 12-1:30pm Welcome Potluck-bring something to share and Orientation all students and parents in the Parish Commons.
Sunday AM Classes begin for youth grades 7-12th on Sunday Sept. 17.
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation youth in Youth Room with Carl and Bruce
  • 9-12th grade the Fireside Room with Ingelaurie
Thursday Nights at St. Mark's begin Sept. 21 for youth grades 6-12!
  • 5:30pm Youth Group-meets the 1st & 3rd Thurs. of each month in the PC. 
  • 6:30pm Youth Choir-meets every week with Cooper in the Sanctuary.
SR ALYVE (9-12th gr.) Parent and Youth Open House and Fall Kick-off Event ! Saturday, Sept. 23rd from 2-4pm at Ingelaurie and Bruce's home. Lawn games, snacks and a chance to reconnect after summer break. RSVP to Ingelaurie at 253-752-4966 ext. 104 or by Sept. 17th if you are attending.
Now is the time to start planning on attending the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details, costs, etc. are on the youth board and registration opens September 15. We will be registering by October 15, a deposit of $150.00 is due by October 8th to guarantee your spot. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Fireside Room
Adult Forum is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
Adult Class is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
Midweek Renewal is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
Fully Alive is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Women's Bible Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.
Noon Wednesday Text Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.  

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