The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 September 19 , 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
Click Here
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
Join our mailing list.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Dijon chicken, rice, green beans, 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

We Welcome Teena Minnis as our Sunday Lunch Host at St. Mark's

Teena will put her natural gifts of hospitality and grace to work as the host of our  Sunday lunches, which are served in the Parish Commons at  noon every week. We are glad to add her to our staff and we are thankful for her willingness to serve in this way!

Men's Retreat in October

All St. Mark's men are invited to join us for a time of rest, renewal, recreation, fellowship, devotions, prayer, learning about Thomas Merton, and getting to know other men from our congregation. We will gather at Camp Burton on Vashon Island on October 19-20, and the cost of the retreat is $120. Scholarship assistance is available. Our guest speaker will be Dr. David Golemboski. In addition to his teaching and writing, David speaks on the life and work of Thomas Merton, and he serves as Vice President of the International Thomas Merton Society. Pastor Jan Ruud will host the event and lead our devotional and prayer time together. You can register by contacting the church office or stopping by the table in the Narthex on Sunday morning. Space is limited, and we ask that you provide a $50 down payment at the time of registration.

Faith Journey Groups Begin Soon                                                                                
Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings hosted by Pastor Ruud 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. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from 12:15-1:30 p.m. (beginning on September 30) and another one on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:15 p.m. (beginning on September 26). A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted on Wednesday nights.

Interfaith Encounters Resume on September 25

We are looking forward to resuming our monthly gatherings with Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The first fall gathering will be at St. Mark's on Tuesday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m. We will hear from presenters and discuss what our three faith traditions teach about racial justice. 

Bring Your Animals to be Blessed on October 4 

We are inviting the whole neighborhood to our annual Blessing of the Animals on  October 4 at 5:00 p.m. in our church courtyard. Please invite your neighbors and friends to join us as we remember God's love and blessing for all creatures, great and small. This year, we will serve refreshments after the brief blessing and each pet will receive a certificate. 

We Are Collecting Used Towels to Give Away at the Blessing of Animals

If you have any used towels that you would like to share with a pet owner, please bring them to St. Mark's by October 3. Any towels that remain after the event will be brought to the Humane Society. 

Greening Congregation Meeting This Thursday

All those who would like to join our Greening Congregation efforts are invited to our monthly meeting this  Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Participants can get involved in any part of this broad effort, which includes building and grounds, education, worship and liturgy, community engagement, and advocacy.  We hope to see you there!

Fall Friday Night at the Movies at St. Mark's
September 21, 6:30-9:30 p.m., PCC

Have you ever watched a film that changed your perspective on life?  And then wanted to talk about the movie? Join us this Friday, September 21, 6:30-:9:30 p.m. We'll gather in the Parish Commons to watch The Way , a 2010 Spanish drama produced and written by Emilio Estevez, starring his father, Martin Sheen. The film follows the journey of a father who walks the Camino de Santiago, a traditional pilgrimage route, in memory of his deceased son.  Please bring either your preferred drink or appetizer to share.

Join us for the 2nd Annual Gathering of Lutherans and Catholics on October 11

Once again, we will be gathering at St. Charles Boromeo Catholic Church for a great evening of shared faith and community building together which will include dinner, dialog, and worship. Our theme this year is: "CAN WE TALK? How We Engage in Difficult Conversations as Baptized People of God."  We are excited to have Dr. Kevin O'Brien and Dr. Marit Trelstad from PLU as our guest speakers. The dinner begins at  6:00 p.m. and the event will conclude at  8:30 p.m. Please sign up for the event by going to this link:, or by adding your name to the sign-up sheet in the Narthex at church. We hope to see you there!

Troop 216 Family Day

Troop 216 is having a family day at St. Mark's for boys (11 yrs +) interested in joining our troop. We will be building a monkey bridge or tower using pioneering skills, lashing, and knots as well as some CPR dummies to introduce CPR skills. We will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs. We'll have a great time. It will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, October 6. For more information, contact Doug Dingman, Scoutmaster, at 206-255-4962.

Ukranian Family News

Thank you to the many in our congregation who donated furniture and household supplies, and food for the pantry to welcome our new refugee family from the Ukraine. The St. Mark's quilters provided beautiful quilts for their beds, and they are eager to meet all who have helped them start their lives in this country. They are very thankful for our support!

We are mentoring a family of six: Oksana (age 40) and Ruslan (age 38) and their three children, Elizabeth (10), Mark (7), and Danyil (5) plus Oksana's mother, Liudmyla (age 68). They arrived in late August from the central Ukraine (hometowns of Kanev and Korsun) where, as members of the Protestant minority, they experienced persecution, intimidation, and violence from the state sponsored Orthodox church.   

The children all attend Lake Louise Elementary School in Lakewood which is a few blocks from their Lakewood apartment. Oksana and Ruslan will begin English classes at Pierce College at the end of September, and are eager for our help with pronunciation and practicing English so they can find work. Ruslan has carpentry experience and Oksana worked in a clothing factory. Please contact John Avery(  and 253-759-6365)  if you are able to help practice English, primarily weekdays while the children are in school.
Liudmyla retired from her work in botany after experiencing a stroke a few years ago, and so her verbal skills are more limited. Her daughter Lesia (and sister to Oksana) moved to the Everett three years ago with her husband -- and they had a joyful reunion last month. They are so happy to be nearby, and thankful that their family is safe from the violence of their home country.   

They hope to visit our church, and thank everyone personally, perhaps in November after they have learned more English. Meanwhile, they are attending a Slavic church in the Lakewood area.

Thank you to our congregation for this ministry of hospitality and welcome to this family who, like all refugees, need a safe place to call home!

Produce Palooza! Sundays in the Courtyard, 9:45-11:00 a.m.

Produce Palooza will continue each  Sunday  until our gardens are finished for the season. Please feel free to share your bounty.

Fall School Kit Drive Update - Lutheran World Relief
Thanks so much for the abundant donations so far! We will be collecting supplies through September!

Last year St. Mark's delivered 225 school kits to LWR, and LWR delivered 214,690 school kits to 17 countries!  Starting August 25 through September, you will be able to pick up and fill one or more ORANGE bags that will be delivered to one child OR just pick up a supply list and shop for the items you choose. This St. Mark's ministry of collecting supplies, packing, and shipping kits allows children to attend school in their communities!  Pencils and paper help write a positive future ! Contact Catherine Terrill with ? at 253-732-3479.  Blessings!

(4) Spiral bound notebooks (8" X 10 ½")  most needed       
(1) 12" ruler (metric/inches)
(1) pencil sharpener
(1) blunt scissors
(5) pencils -unsharpened
(5) ballpoint pens (blue or black)
(1)  2 ½" pink eraser
(1) box crayons (16 or 24 crayons)

St. Mark's Memorial Funds

The Memorial Fund Committee at St. Mark's has the joyful task of distributing money that is given in loving memory of people who have died. This month, memorial gifts were allocated to the cover of costs of building three new marimbas for our new St. Mark's Youth Marimba Group (thanks to Jon Rodin, who built the instruments), new bookmarks with ribbon markers for the hymnbooks in our sanctuary, and a station near the sanctuary entrance for headsets that go with our new Hearing Loop System. Money given in memory of Paul Baughman was also given to support the Mexico Mission trip.


The next meeting of the Memorial Committee is scheduled for January 16.

Women of St. Mark's

Our September Craft Night will be on  Friday, September 28, in the Youth Room. We will be assembling the Snowman Chocolate Bars, a favorite at the Bazaar. Come join us for a fun night of conversation and crafting a popular Bazaar item. Hope to see you there! 

The Women of St. Mark's will have a table each  Sunday in the Narthex.  Stop by to sign up for help working at the Bazaar, Lefse making or just to let us know you will be bringing in your wonderful hand work for the Bazaar.

We have fabric ready for all of you sewers that would like to help the Quilters. We need quilt tops sewn together for the Quilters. Instructions and fabric available on the table.   

If you have a question, please call Barbara Meyers at 253-756-9352 or send me an email at

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Upcoming Milestone and Marker Events:
  • Sunday, September 30: Welcome to Sunday Morning Faith Formation with Char Leone in the CFC at 9:45 a.m.--this event is geared towards 3 year old students and their parents. RSVP by Sunday, September 23, if you plan on attending. 
  • Sunday, October 21: 1st Communion Instruction with Pastor Rebecca and Celesta Smith 9:45 a.m. in the CFC for children 4 years old and older, parents attend with their child. RSVP for this event by October 14 if you plan on attending.
3rd year confirmation: 9th grade
  • Wednesday, October 24-Serve dinner at Peace Community Center 4:40-6:30 p.m. Sign up by October 21 with Ingelaurie Lisher if you are able to attend.
Wednesday programs for children have begun--Holy Moly runs from 6:15-6:45 p.m. in the Youth Room with Char Leone. Children's choirs meet at the following times: Little Angels 5-5:30 p.m.; Joyful Noise 5:30-6 p.m.; Jubilation Choir 6-6:45 p.m. with Cooper Sherry in the Choir Room.

Thursday Nights at St. Mark's  for youth grades 6-12th  begins September 20! Youth Group: 5:30-6:30 p.m. with Nate Nolting. Youth group is held the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month. Youth Choir also begins September 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Choir Room with Cooper. Choir is held weekly.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
9:45 a.m. This Sunday's Care of Creation Adult Forum it entitled "Whales in the Salish Sea." Dr. Kadee Lawrence, Education Director at the Foss Waterway Seaport, will be the featured speaker. She will discuss whale habitat and livelihood in the Salish Sea. Dr. Lawrence was previously Director of the Highline College Marine Science Center and currently leads education and outreach programs at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma. She has been engaged in analysis of whale deaths, necropsies, on a number of occasions and has many years of experience in studying sea mammals. Dr. Lawrence grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, ironically the largest whaling port in the world. She received her BA degree from Colgate University and Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire.

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study has begun. Crossways is a comprehensive Bible study that is taught over the course of 2 years. If you did not participate last year, you are welcome to join the group as they start up again this fall. Materials cost $20 every 10 weeks (scholarship money available).

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Women's Morning Bible Study:  The 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. Ladies begin gathering about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We are ladies 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: "Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis." In September and October we will study this historic document, written by several "elders" in the Church. This document calls for Christians to be very clear about our identity in Christ and the necessity to reject the rise of oppression based on race, gender, identity, and class. To view the document and learn of its origin, go to  

Note: We also have an opportunity to be part of a multi-congregational study of "Reclaiming Jesus" which will be taking place on Monday evenings throughout the fall. Pick up a schedule on the Welcome Center if you are interested in studying with our Christian neighbors.

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. 

Associated Ministries holds quarterly meetings to inform and educate yourself regarding the background, context, and challenges related to the issue of homelessness. The next meeting is Thursday, September 20, at 5 p.m. Here is more information about it:

Member Notes and News

Free to good home: A roll of 45" quilting batting, with an unknown number of yards remaining on the roll.  Call Sally Ann McLean at 253-756-7608.

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!

Have an item for The Bridge?
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!