The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 December 12 , 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 Church Night Tonight

5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Potato bar, chili, 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. Midweek Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30-8:00 p.m. Evensong

2018 Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Services

All services include carols, Holy Communion, and candle-lighting.
4 p.m. Family worship (no nursery care)
*5:30 p.m. Traditional worship with organ and choir (nursery care provided)
*7:30 p.m. Contemporary worship with Praise Band (nursery care provided)
11:00 p.m. Traditional worship with organ and choir (no nursery care)
*Please make note of time change from last year.

Christmas Day 10:00 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion.

All ages are invited to a Christmas Sing-along and Caroling on Wednesday, December 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m.   

We will sing favorite carols together at church from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Then, we will divide up into groups and go caroling to homes that are in close proximity to St. Mark's. We'll return to church around 6:40 p.m. for hot chocolate and cookies. We are really wanting this to be a community event, so please invite friends and neighbors to join us. 

"Blue Christmas" Candlelight Prayer Service on Wednesday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m.

We will gather in our Parish Commons at St. Mark's for this quiet and healing service. The songs and readings and prayers will speak to all of us, but they have been especially chosen for people who are grieving or lonely or longing at this time of the year. You are all welcome, and if you know of anyone else who might appreciate this service because of life circumstances right now, please invite them to join us. 

Los Posadas

The Los Posadas Event  that was scheduled for December 22 will not be happening. We will look forward to other ways of getting connected with Mision de Belen in 2019.

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!

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 .

2nd Time Around Holiday Gift Drive Report

WOW!  Your donations were of high quality and quantity! Your generosity will bring smiles to the faces of over 200 family members who rely on the food bank in the Proctor District every week! Most of these families do not have access to other agencies which provide gift support at Christmas. Thank you for sharing with people in need! I hope St. Mark's will be involved with this project again next year.  Mary Olsen, Project Chair     

Third Quarter

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

Friday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. Symphony Tacoma presents Handel's Messiah at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish, 7112 S. 12th St, Tacoma. Please buy tickets for yourself at

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.

Living Well through Grief and Loss

When someone you love dies, you experience grief in a number of ways. Grief is a natural emotion, and it is experienced differently by each person. Depending on your relationship to the person who died, how death came to him or her, whether you were able to say goodbye, your beliefs, your background, and your personality, each of us reacts and processes the grief in a different way. As you walk through your season of grief and loss, you may find yourself feeling a range of emotions including sadness, regret, anger, guilt, relief, and a yearning to see the person again. All of these emotions, which are natural and normal, are given to us by God to help us understand our world. 

As you walk through a season of grief you are invited to journey with others for a 6 week class. The class meets at 5:45 p.m. following the 5:00 p.m. dinner, which you are welcome to attend. We will finish by 7:15 p.m. so those who wish may worship together at Evensong. We will meet in Pastor Ruud's office. Pastor Sigi Helgeson will facilitate this group using materials from Living Compass. Brochures with more information about the class are available at the Welcome Center. If you want to come to the class please contact the church office or pastor Sigi at

Children and Youth Faith Formation

December 16 is the last day of Sunday school for the year. We resume January 6 downstairs in the CFC for a special Epiphany Rotational Event for all children and youth.

Youth and Family Christmas Caroling, Cookies, and Cocoa: Thursday, December 20, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Sign up on the youth board so we have enough cookies.

High School Christmas Movie Matinee: Friday, December 28, 1-3:00 p.m. at St. Mark's. Sign up on the youth board by December 23 if you are attending.

Synod Youth Retreat (gr. 8-12) February 8-10, 2019. Registration forms and more info available on the youth board. 9th graders-this is your confirmation retreat-see Ingelaurie or your email for more info and your special rate. Registration forms and deposit due January 6.

High School May Holden Youth Weekends: May 24-26, 2019! See the youth board for registration form and more info. Sign up by January 20 to reserve your spot. 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
9:45 a.m. Adult Forum Please join us Sundays in December for a four-part series celebrating Advent through poetry and art. Come and be newly inspired as we listen to familiar stories of John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, and others through diverse poetic voices and classical art.

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study continues.

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study:  The 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. This fall we will study the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or 253-363-8202.

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Midweek Renewal 6:15 p.m ., Parish Commons Classroom;
Names for the Messiah: An Advent Study, by Walter Brueggemann, will serve as our guide for session on December 12. Using the oracle from Isaiah 9, we will examine what it means to call Jesus Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. 

Lydia Circle: Meets first Tuesday of the month at noon. Bring your own lunch. We use the Lutheran Women's Gather magazine. We welcome NEW members!

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. 

Immigration is in the news daily, whether it's about family separation or about wage levels in the Tacoma Detention Center. It's easy to become discouraged or indifferent while people are suffering. Please take time to reflect this Advent on those in the shadows of darkness. You can offer light through your prayers, understanding, and action. Many opportunities for study and action appear in this tool kit provided by our Presbyterian friends.

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!

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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!