The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 December 20 , 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
       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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No Wednesday Night Service Tonight. 
Activities will resume January 17th.  
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Service
Sunday 10/24 
10am -Worship with Holy Communion 
4pm - Candlelight Service with Holy Communion (Childcare Available)
6pm - Candlelight Service with Holy Communion (Childcare Available)
9pm - Candlelight Service with Holy Communion 
11pm - Candlelight Service with Holy Communion 
Monday 10/25
10 am - Worship with Holy Communion
Tuesday- Friday (10/26-29)
Office Open 8:30-Noon, Closed Afternoons
Family Housing Network Coming December 30th.  
Thanks to all of the faithful volunteers who have committed to this ministry for the families who will be arriving on December 30.   I will be sending you an email on/about December 27 updating you on the duties/activities you volunteered for with instructions about when and where to leave items/food you will be bringing and other details about the various jobs you volunteered for.  Thank you all for volunteering.   If you have questions, you may email me or call me.  or 253 229-0486.
Epiphany Event January 6, 2018 at 5pm.  

The Wise Men from the east will be passing by Saint Mark's on January 6th. "Epiphany" On their way to find the new King, Jesus. Fun will be had by all! Good food, great company, wise men, camels, maybe even a surprise! Sign up in the Narthex on Sunday the 31st. Bring the family and friends. It all starts at 5:00 pm.

If you can't make it to sign up at church you can call the office or email Jean at  See you all there!

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 2017 must be received by the Church office before the office closes at noon on Friday, December 29th. 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...
  • If you have securities in your portfolio with large capital gains, you may be able to transfer part or all of a position to St. Mark's while paying no taxes on the capital gains and deducting the full, current value of the securities as your charitable gift. This may work well if you have held a security for a long time and have built up significant gains. (Please consult with your tax advisor for specific guidance.)
  • 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 the check out 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 make donations in one of these ways, 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!

November Financials
November was a challenging month for the general budget. Offerings were below budget by nearly $21,000 and were 20% below actual offerings in November last year. We are now $42,153 behind budgeted offerings for the fiscal year (FY; July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018). This is 10.6% below actual offerings last year over the same time period.
Expenses continue to be below budget as well ($2,731 below budget for November). Expenses are currently $14,248 below budget for the FY. This is 5.4% less than actual expenses over the same time period last year. The main driver of the year-over-year difference remains the lowered mortgage payment that took effect in August.
Fiscal year-to-date, we have spent $41,915 more than we have "brought in." We expected expenses to exceed income by $16,574 at this point in the FY, given the historical cyclicality of offerings. With both offerings and expenses below budget, we are $25,341 "worse" than expected going into December.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions or for more detail. Thank you!

Advent Poetry
Advent Poetry.  Adult Forums during Advent focused on poetry, and we're collecting poems to put in a little book, "St. Mark's Little Book of Advent Poetry."  If you weren't able to attend but would like to submit a poem, please email Michelle Marshman, by the end of the year.  

Mexico Mission Trip 2018
 In case you're considering being part of St.  Mark's annual mission trip to Mexico, the dates for this year's trip are  June 22nd - June 30th.  Stay tuned for additional information in early  2018.

Donate Blood
Donate a pint to save a life!  St. Mark's will host a blood drive from 8 am - 2 pm on Sunday, Dec. 31st.  Sign-up for the time that works best for you.  Sign-up sheets are located on a table in the narthex.  Contact Diana Busch ( or 253-572-5158) with questions.  

Please remember to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water, and bring a photo I.D.

Thank you for your support in this life-saving mission.
How is my gift used?  After donation, your volunteered blood is separated into three components (plasma, platelets, and red cells).  These components are then transfused to a patient who may need either a combination of these components or a single component.  This is how your donation can save up to three lives! BloodworksNW donations are distributed to 70 hospitals and clinics in western Washington. BloodworksNW is a nonprofit, volunteer based blood center, serving our community for over 75 years.
Questions? Call us at 1-800-398-7888 or visit our website

Sign Up to Have Your Holiday Shopping Dollars Help St. Mark's

Did you know that St. Mark's can earn "free"  money nearly every time you shop at Amazon, Fred Meyer, or Bartells? These companies will donate money to our church at absolutely no cost to us - and it can really add up. Every dollar earned will be applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund. Please take the time to sign up, following the instructions below. The same information can also be found on our church website under the Ways to Give Financially tab. Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office if you have any questions.
Amazon Smile
St. Mark's can benefit financially almost any time you shop with Amazon! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, shopping features, and Amazon Prime member benefits as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile at the same price. Since you use the same account on and AmazonSmile, your shopping cart, Wish List, registries, and other account settings remain the same. 
To register, go to Under your Accounts & Lists menu, click into Your AmazonSmile, search for "St Marks Lutheran By the Narrows", and designate St. Mark's from there.
Fred Meyer
If you have a free Rewards Card at Fred Meyer, nearly every purchase you make there can benefit St. Mark's. (If you don't have a card, applications should be available at all registers or at the Customer Service Desk.) You just need to link your card once to St. Mark's. Go to If you don't have an online account, you will need to create one. Then scroll all the way to the bottom of page and click on Fred Meyer Community Rewards link --> click on Re-enroll or Link your Rewards Card Now and search for "St. Mark's Lutheran Church by the Narrows." You will continue to receive Rewards Points, Rebates and Fuel Points.
Bartell Drugs
St. Mark's can earn from 1% to 4% on eligible purchases from Bartells if you have a free 'B' Caring Card. (If you don't have a card, you can pick one up at any Bartell Drugs.) There are three ways you can choose to link St. Mark's to your Bartell's card: (1) complete a hard copy "escrip" registration form at the store; (2) call 1-800-931-6258; or (3) register online at

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday morning classes for children 3 years old to 12th grade will be on break Dec. 24 & 31st.
Home for the Holidays Breakfast- Thursday, Dec. 21st for our college age students. 10:00-11:00a.m. in the Fireside Room. RSVP to Ingelaurie Lisher at 253-752-4966 ext. 104 by Wednesday afternoon.
Coming up:
"GATHERING AROUND CHRIST'S TABLE" Communion Milestone Event for 4-year-old, Preschool age children and their parents (older children who have not participated in this gathering are also welcome).  Sunday, January 7, 2018 9:45 am in the Sunday School Wing.

I am still collecting--May Holden Youth Weekends Registration  forms. Found on the youth board. May 25-27 is the most popular weekend so far.  Registration form and deposit due Dec. 31st.  Please indicate which weekend works best for you and we will go with the one that works best for the most people. I am registering our group on Jan. 3rd and will only register those I have a deposit for-however checks will be not deposited until I know for sure your child can attend the weekend we pick.
Synod Youth Retreat Feb. 9-11th at Camp Arnold- grades 7-10th Registration form on the Youth Board-deposits and registrations being accepted-final payment due 1/31. Featuring guest Musician and Speaker--Rachel Kurtz (from Holden Village last year). If any youth grades 6, 11 or 12th want to attend please let me know as space is available.
We are headed to Montana again this summer... July 22-27, 2018. (no extra travel days) Youth grades 6-9th (completed spring 2018), however 5th grade and 10-12th grade youth interested in camp, my attend as well. We are not holding spots this year as we are just going to camp.  Please register your child at   beginning January 22, 2018. Pathfinder (6/7th gr); Trailblazer (8/9th gr) and Senior High (10 gr +) programs.
  • Pay your deposit through the camp and then any final balance or money owed will be paid to the church and we will pay the camp. Please contact Ingelaurie Lisher as soon as your child is registered.
  • Adults/parents interested in attending, please let Ingelaurie know soon for planning purposes.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
This Fall, as our 11am 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. Will not meet Dec. 24 and 31.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
There will be no midweek renewal until January 17th.  
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
 We will  begin reading and discussing Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio, a study of  our strength in Jesus to overcome the obstacles and habits that hold us  down. Questions, Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. Will not meet Dec. 19, 26 and Jan. 2.

Women's Bible Study; Wed. 9:30 am 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. Will not meet Dec. 20 and 27.

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom. 
Gather for lunch and for conversation and study around the texts that will be hear in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.  Will not meet Dec. 20, 27 and Jan. 3.

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Send it to by 8am on Tuesday. All items will be run for 2 weeks prior to the relevant date and will be edited for length. Don't forget to send your member notes and news!