The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 February 7 , 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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Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight 
5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn, salad
  Suggested Donation: $5
5:00-5:30 p.m. Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00 p.m. Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45 p.m. Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00 p.m. Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20 p.m. Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30 p.m. Evensong

Thank You from the Rues
Thank you to Pastors Ruud and Shjerven, all our wonderful staff, and you members and friends from St. Mark's for your very kind and gracious farewell at our congregational meeting. Mary and I love being a part of this worshipping, serving community, and it's been nothing but privilege to serve with you as staff. Thank you for wrapping us in your warmth, so well expressed via the beautiful quilt. We look forward to enjoying your graciousness further with the time away at St. Andrews Retreat Center on Hood Canal. And, we expect we'll still be with you, off and on, as members and friends. Thank you all.

Lent Book Groups
Lent Book Groups begin Sunday, Feb. 18th at 11 a.m. Sign up now!
  • Of Mess and Moxie: wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life by Jen Hatmaker
  • From Wild Man to Wise Man: reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr
For more information, consult the info cards in the pew racks or stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex.

VBS Planning Meeting

Please join us for a brainstorming and planning session for this years Vacation Bible School at St. Mark's on Sunday, February 11th at 11:00 a.m. in the Children's Faith Center (Sunday School Wing). For additional information please contact Celesta Smith, Sunday School Coordinator at

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, February 8 at 5:00 p.m. Pot Luck in the Parish Commons with our Fourth Quarter friends (age 75+) to share food and wisdom. F ind a St. Mark's person(s) in the third quarter to bring along. Please note start time at 5:00 p.m. this month. 

Thursday, March 15 (Third Thursday free museums) 6:00 p.m. at Chihuly Museum of Glass. Optional happy hour dinner meet at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Ave at 4:45 p.m.

Please contact the church office for additional information. 

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast

Feb. 13th  5:30-7:00 p.m. 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 and Thrivent Action Team funds!

Luther Rock Opera

Luther Rock Opera at First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo on  Sunday, March 11th. See the youth board for more information and to sign up to carpool out to Poulsbo. We will leave St. Mark's at 2:45 p.m. Questions? Contact Ingelaurie Lisher at

Women of St. Mark's

Please join us on  Wednesday, Feb. 21st at 4 p.m. to discuss requests for Bazaar funds and help us determine distribution.

Save the date for our Spring Tea to be held on  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at noon.  Bonnie Wascher and Barbara Meyers are co-chairing this event.  We are in the planning stage right now and will be needing your help to make this event spectacular.  We will have a fashion show starring Katie Cootsona's 2017 dresses.  Models are needed in sizes 6 to 14.  Please contact Katie  (206-484-9195) if interested. 

We will have a table in the Narthex in a couple of weeks.  Please stop by. Your help is needed with desserts, setup, and cooking.  We will provide all the recipes for the desserts. We will have a planning session on  Wednesday, Feb. 21st after we decide on the Bazaar Funds distribution.  Please join us and help make this a spectacular event for the Women.  

St. Valentine's Celebration

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

Jeseka Marimba Band will perform in concert for  Empowering Life's annual fundraiser.  Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction, and an opportunity to 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.

Mexico Mission 2017

Interest meetings  to learn more about St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will be held in the Fireside Room on  Sunday, February 11th at 11:00 a.m.  The trip, which includes building several small homes for families and offering VBS activities for neighborhood children, will take place this year from June 22nd -June 30th.   Please contact one of the trip co-leaders, Melanie Summerour ( or Sarah Moore (, if you are unable to make either meeting but would like to learn more.
For those who have previously gone on the mission trip and are considering going again this year , please contact Melanie or Sarah, complete an interest form (at the Welcome Center), and turn it into the office.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday morning classes for children and youth 3 years old to 12th grade meet each week from 9:45-10:45a.m. in the CFC & Youth Wings.

1st Grade Lord's Prayer Milestone Event Sunday, Feb. 25th   9:45a.m. This learning event is for all 1st grade students and their parents. Please let Ingelaurie know by Feb. 18th if you plan on attending, so I make sure we have enough supplies, etc.

Synod Youth Retreat---if you signed up to attend we depart St. Mark's at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 and return by 12 noon on Feb. 11. What to bring and all the forms you need were sent out to families last week.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Feb. 8: 6:30 p.m. Youth Choir in the Choir Room with Cooper; Feb. 15: 5:30 p.m. Youth Group in the Parish Commons with Ingelaurie and Nate, 6:30 p.m. Youth Choir with Cooper in the Choir Room

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 is now open 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. 28th.
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. 
SR ALYVE (9-12th gr.) Game Night-Friday, March 16th 5:30-7:30 p.m. here at St. Mark's! Pizza dinner provided. Sign up by March 11th if you are attending. Bring your favorite board/card game to share.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum- Sundays 9:45 a.m. PCC
"For the Well-Being of All"-Our conversation will center on this year's congregational theme. What does "Well-Being" mean to us? What wisdom does scripture have to share with us? Join Pastor Shjerven as we explore this together.

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. 
Though Feb. 7th - All Will Be Well: healing stories in Mark's gospel series wrap up. You are free to bring your dinner or dessert with you to the classroom for our discussion!

Beginning February 25th- 8 p.m. -Devotional Classics- Have you ever wondered about the people we commemorate in Wednesday worship each week? Christian history is filled with people of faith who shared their wisdom through writing. During Lent we will have the chance to read some of the writings of those whom we remember at Prayer Around the Cross. If you are interested in being part of this reflection group with Pastor Ruud and Pastor Shjerven, please sign up at the Adult Faith Formation Table
in the narthex.
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room
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 
Gather for lunch, conversation, and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.   
Share Your Heart This  February- LWR Care Kits

This February consider donating supplies for one or more LWR Personal Care Kits! There will be 200 bags in the Narthex, each with a Valentine listing supplies needed. You can also drop off larger supplies of items for a kit build in April. LWR shipped 153,560 kits in 2016 to 14 countries including Haiti, Lebanon, El Salvador and Niger. Kits are provided to those who have lost everything in a natural disaster or violence.  Provide hope through a bar of soap. Supplies: Bath Towel, 3-4oz bar soap, toothbrush (pkg), metal nail file, large tooth plastic comb.  
Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill 253-732-3479.

Support NW Nourish Pierce County Food Bank!

Enjoy lunch and support the Food Bank!

The Habit Burger Grill is having a pre-opening event on  Tuesday, February 13th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  ALL THE PROCEEDS (not just the profits) FOR THIS TIME PERIOD WILL BENEFIT THE FOOD BANKS OF NOURISH PIERCE COUNTY.  The Habit Burger Gill is at  2601 N Pearl St will be having their official opening the following week.

Many St. Mark's members volunteer at the NW Nourish Pierce County Food Bank in the Proctor District.  Last week we served 166 families on Wed. and 115 families on Saturday.  Nourish Pierce County is the new name for FISH Food Banks of Pierce County.  Did you know that for every $1 raised, $7 worth of food is distributed?

St. Mark's is one of six churches  who provide 4 volunteers on Wednesday and 4 volunteers on Saturday on a rotating basis to complement the regular food bank volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Olsen

Continued need for the Youth of Shared Housing Services

There is a continued need for  full size hygiene items  for homeless youth, ages 15-22, as they get settled into shared housing situations, on their way to a better life!  These items help improve chances of getting a new job or feeling confident to finishing their education.  Please, consider picking up an extra shampoo and conditioner, deodorant or bath wash when purchasing your own and drop it in the SHS bin outside the church office.This show of support will help send a message that we care and their young lives are worthy.

Items of need-
shampoo / conditioner, toothpaste /toothbrushes/ floss
deodorant , soap/ body wash
feminine hygiene, disposable razors
skin/ face lotions, hair dressing / curling creme
new or gently used bath and hand towels
new or gently used sheets/pillow cases twin or full

Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed. 

St. Mark's Preschool Updates

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. 

Walking to Jerusalem update

We are departing New York bound for Europe. So far we have traveled 4203.8 miles from Tacoma and are about a third of the way across the pond.  We have decided to book passage on a passenger-carrying freighter!  The ship is the CGA CMA container ship named the St. Laurent.  This ship was built in 2015, is 190 meters long and has a dead weight of 27,000 tons.  The St. Laurent has an international crew, a captain and 3 officers in addition to 28 crewmembers.  The crewmembers are there to maintain the ship, cook and entertain themselves.  We take advantage of their hospitality and enjoy international flavors in addition to music from around the world.  More importantly after we exercise we have time to contemplate the world around us.  So, stop. Relax.  Meditate.  Water.  As the Ancient Mariner said, "water, water everywhere and all the boards did shrink; water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink".  Water is our staff of life, physically and spiritually.  We have been blessed with water and largely take it for granted.  Just yesterday there was a Super Bowl commercial telling us that some people have to walk 6 hours to have water at home.  There are many villages in Palestine that have running water for 4 hours each week.  We have lead-poisoned children in Flint, Michigan, have allowed citizens of Puerto Rico to drink suspect water, watched a drought in California turn into deadly fires and then into devastating floods.  Spiritually we are brought into a Christian community through the waters of baptism, and we are continually renewed, refreshed, and restored by those waters.  As we continue our voyage across the Atlantic, think about water.

Medical Supplies Needed                            
We have received a request for help with medical supplies for  a client who is being discharged from a nursing home  on February 11 th   due to not having medical insurance.  The family has no money and the only medical insurance they will be getting is Alien Emergency Medical, which provides for people whose citizenship status precludes them from other assistance. Unfortunately Alien Emergency Medical has a waitlist of 18 months.  Below are listed some medical supplies needed.
Everyday pill holder, large calendar, washable and reusable incontinent pads and underpads, Depends, wipes, gloves, gauze, blood glucose meter, test strips and lancets, hospital bed, patient lift, Isosource 1.5 calorically dense complete nutrition with fiber (case)

If you can help with any of these items or know of a source for them, please contact:
Latonya Rock
Case Manager
Rapid Rehousing
Thank you from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

People of St. Mark's,

 As a new year begins, I'm so grateful for your support for migrant and refugee families. You have embodied Christ's call to care for people in need and to extend the hand of welcome to all those who seek refuge. On behalf of those we serve, I thank you for your generous gift to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. 
 Your gift is providing an urgent response to the global crisis, which has reached catastrophic proportions. You are providing advocacy, support, and care to counter the fear and hate that has put lives--and our values as a nation--in jeopardy.
 Despite all that's unknown about the future, our resolve is unwavering--and you make it possible!
 Last year, friends like you helped us resettle more than 7,000 refugees, giving each one the tools to rebuild their lives. Your care also extended to more than 1,205 refugee children who were alone and in dire need. And, with your help, LIRS continues to advocate for the needs of all migrants and refugees in desperate need of welcome.
 Because of you, I have hope. Together, as people of compassion and perserverance, we can face these frightening times and stand alongside migrants and refugees...bringing hope, bringing help, bringing the love of a neighbor to all

In faith,
Linda Hartke
President and CEO
Church Office Hours

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

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Send it to by 8:00 a.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!