The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   February 8 , 2017 
Sunday Worship      
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
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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.
Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight!

5:15pm Dinner: 
Baked Potato Bar, Suggested Donation $5
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30pm Prayer Service (PC)

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship.

Choirs will not be meeting this week.  Join us again next week!

New Faith Journey groups will begin on Wednesday, February 8 and Sunday, February 12 
All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings at St. Mark's that give visitors an opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call. Those who wish to join our congregation will be welcomed as new members at Easter time, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. This is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from 12:15-1:30pm  and another one on Wednesdays that meets from 6:00-7:15pm.  A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at  253-752-4966  or by email at

Coming Soon! Blessing in Abundance Campaign
God has been good to us at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows! Our membership and our capacity for mission has continued to grow over the years, and we have found many ways to be engaged in meaningful ministry with people inside and outside our walls. As we continue to hear God's call to use our gifts in faithful and generous ways, we now have the potential to make an even greater impact  by reducing our mortgage debt and redirecting that money to strengthen ministry at St. Mark's and in our community. You will hear all the details of this in just a few weeks, so stay tuned! 

Living Your Faith: Stewardship Notes
Reflections on our 2017 Theme of "One Great Song" by Bruce Sadler

The most perfect and beautiful song ever written could be sitting on the piano of some composer, but no one would ever know of it because it was never practiced, played, performed or listened to. Likewise, the Word would never have been known if it was not spoken, sung, listened to, or put into practice.  Members of St. Mark's Lutheran by the Narrows are blessed with an abundance of ways to be part of our great song and live into the Word.  Through your generous stewardship of time and talent, we are able to provide many options to be engaged.  We offer three choices  on Sunday for Word and Sacrament, a host of  Wednesday evening activities, eight Ministry teams open to all members, a host of choirs, education for adults and children, and plenty of wonderful fellowship.  At this place for grace, our One Great Song is beautiful and never-ending.

2017 Mexico Mission Trip
We are looking forward to another great opportunity in 2017 to build houses and deepen relationships with people in Mexico. The dates for this year's mission trip are  June 23-July 1 . As always, the trip is open to people who are High School age or older. All those who are interested in learning more about this year's Mexico Mission trip are invited to an Interest Meeting on Sunday, February 26 at 12:15pm. You are welcome to get some lunch first in the Parish Commons and then join us for the meeting.

St Mark's Reads" is On!

"Healing the Heart of Democracy" by Parker Palmer is available once again.  You are invited to purchase a copy, read it, and participate in congregational discussions throughout the next many weeks.  The first set of discussions will take place during Adult Forum (9:45-10:45am) on Sunday, February 12th and 19th, and will be hosted by Michelle Marshman and Ben Summerour.  Hope to see you there.

Women Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity
Presented by  AM  associated ministries
Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity - Interfaith Women's Conference Connections.  Hope.  Commitment.  Saturday, March 4, 2017  8:30 - 4:30.  Curtis Senior High School, University Place, WA.  Registration is open.  Cost $35 for full day.  Reserve your seat today.

Women of St. Mark's
We held a meeting on January 25th to distribute the 2016 Bazaar funds.  Present at the meeting was Carol Paulson, Pat Geary, Barb Meyers and Ingelaurie Lisher.  As is our practice, the $8,000 (balance of funds after expenses) was distributed with 50% to In-house Church needs and 50% to Outreach programs.

We were pleased to be able to distributed funds for the School Backpack Program, Empowering Life, Refugee families, Quilters and Youth Service Trips.

We also distributed funds for the Youth Courtyard, Kitchen Walk-in Refrigerator Fund and Kitchen needs.  

Thank you to all who requested funds.  We appreciate the time and care spent explaining what was needed.  We were able to accommodate most of the needs of all who requested funds.

Our next Bazaar will be held on  November 4, 2017.  Our Bazaar helps fund many needs of the Church and Outreach programs.  Of concern this year will be to generate enough funds to expand our church kitchen with a larger walk in refrigerator and additional kitchen storage.

Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community Celebration

Please Join Us! As we Celebrate the of the appointment of R. Kevin McFeely as President, CEO of Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 3:00pm at St Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows

Presided by Bishop Richard Jaech of the Southwestern Washington Synod. 

All are invited to share in this celebration of Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community's new leadership. 

Reception to follow. 

New Knitting Group
Like to knit?  A group will be meeting on Feb. 15th at 1:30pm Fireside Room to work on prayer shawls or other knitting projects you have going on. 
Calling All Those Who Sew!
The Quilters need your help sewing quilt tops together at home.  See the table in the Narthex for sewing instructions and kits.  Any questions, contact Pat Buck or Celesta Smith (253-229-7726)
Needed: Layette Makers!

There is a need for someone to help serge layette kits (blankets and diapers) or loan the quilters a serger for this work. For more information, contact Randi Holland (253-905-5693)

2017 Women's Retreat postponed
Regretfully, Pilgrim First Conference Center informed us that they double-booked the weekend we had reserved for our Women's Retreat.  We are currently looking for other retreat spaces that fit our needs.  The earliest possible retreat dates would be in the Fall.  The Adult Faith Formation team will provide updates as more information is known. 
Socks Needed!

Thank you to everyone who has donated scarves, hats, gloves and socks to the Family Housing Network. The needs are ongoing, especially for socks (yes, even clean used ones). Donations can be dropped off at the church office.
St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool will begin accepting enrollment paperwork for the 2017-18 school year in February. Current preschool families and children or grandchildren of St. Mark's Church members can register beginning February 1st; registration for the surrounding community will open on February 15th. Children must be two-and-a-half by Sept 1st to enroll in the 2/3s class; age 3 by Sept 1st to enroll in the 3/4s class; or, age 4 by Sept 1st to enroll in the PreK class. Please turn in paperwork as well as a non-refundable $75.00 registration fee to Anne Zimmerman. Registration paperwork can be found online ( or in the church office. Please contact Anne with questions (253) 759-4929

Empowering Life's St. Valentine's Celebration
Saturday, February 11th from 6-8pm.
Piano bar entertainer Kacey Evans will be back for Empowering Life's annual fundraiser. Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunityto learn more about how (beyond backpacks with school supplies) 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 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.

Make Your Shopping Dollars Go Further

If you shop on Amazon for the holidays, please consider designating St. Mark's (or your other favorite charity) to receive the money Amazon donates from each purchase. Login through and type in "St. Mark's Lutheran by The Narrows" to select our church. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday School 3yrs-4th grade. 9:45-10:45 in CFC 
VBS leaders meeting-Thurs. Feb. 9 6:30pm in the Library. Come help us brainstorm ideas for the 2017 program.

Sunday Youth Faith Formation Classes 9:45-10:45am:
  • 5/6th grade-Unit Rewind with Mary and Linda
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation-Moses with Bruce and Carl
  • 9-12th grade-The Bible-"A book like no other" with Ingelaurie
"Let's Be Real"-a conversation with youth about race today!  Sunday, Feb. 12 12:40-4:45pm (grades 9-12)  at Peace Lutheran Church, Hilltop. Sign up on the youth board by TODAY if you plan on attending. Framed around the movie Remember the Titans.  

Compline and Cupcakes!  Sunday, Feb. 19 (grades 8-12) 7:30-11:00pm.  Bring $$ for at treat at Cupcake Royale. Sign up on the youth board by Feb. 12. 

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast --Tuesday, Feb. 28 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons. Hosted by the youth. Sign up on the youth board with what you can assist with by Feb. 22.
Thursday, Feb. 9 at St. Mark's!  Youth Choir will NOT meet this week.
Summer 2017!
High School Summer Immersion Trip July 6-9, 2017 (Thursday to Sunday)  10-12th grade youth (current) Stevenson WA Cost: $100.00 per person. $50.00 Deposit are being accepted now. Spaces are limited to 10-12 youth. During our 4 day trip we will walk and serve alongside Native Americans who live along the Columbia River as well as community members from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Team meeting--Sunday, Feb. 26 12:15-1:15pm in the Fireside Room. 
Montana 2017! July 15-22 It is not too late to sign up!
  • 6-9th grade youth (current) Servant Trip- Cost: $622.00 per person Includes lodging, meals, transportation, and more. $150.00 due Jan 29 to guarantee your spot.  Limited Scholarships are available and you can fund-raise to get your  balance reduced.  6-9th grade parents you will register and pay for your son/daughter through the church.   See Montana info on youth board.
  • 10-12th grade youth-Summer Camp at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp July 16-21(travel dates July 15 &22). Check out for more information and to register your child-you will do this on your own. But let me know so we have room for them in the van. 
  • 4-5th grade youth (current) are also headed to Flathead July 16-21(travel dates July 15 & 22) Cost: $410.00 for camp PLUS $40.00 to St. Mark's for misc. expenses (Silverwood, transportation, etc). Limited scholarship funds and fundraising opportunities are also available.  We will be going with the 6-9th grade servant trip, and any high school youth wanting to go to camp.  Informational Meeting for children and parents will be Feb. 12 11am in the Fireside Room.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 12 -  The Adult Forum provides opportunities to reflect on Christian faith in light of current events and the daily decisions we need to make. Topics vary, leadership is shared, and the conversation is lively.oised to be Church in a rapidly changing, post-modern culture.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 12-February 26: "Matthew for Everyone" Today we take a look at Jesus' parables.  What do they teach us about the reign of God?  About our role in that reign?  About how God brings growth in our lives?  All are welcome to join the conversation, led this week by Pastor Gary Peterson.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
Our Muslim Neighbors - Using the work of seventeen Muslim and Christian scholars, we will examine reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we can all participate in building relationships across the lines of faith

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura.  

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
In the new year they will be studying Martin Luther's Small Catechism  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.  
At Bible Study Luncheon men and women read and discuss the scripture texts appointed for the upcoming Sunday. The pastor who will be preaching on the texts guides the conversation.

Fred Meyer Giving

Did you know that Fred Meyer stores has a Community Rewards Program?  For more information on how to connect your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to giving at St. Mark's, click here. 

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