The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 December 5 , 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: Tacos, chips and salsa, refried 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

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.

Cooper and Sarah's new songbook

Thank you from Cooper and Sarah: To all who supported our hymn-writing efforts and purchased our songbook,  Rooted and Grounded in Love, this past Sunday, THANK YOU very much! It means a great deal to us to be part of such an encouraging community.  For anyone who'd like to yet purchase a copy, you may do so at: .

Annual Christmas Fair Trade Bazaar

December 9, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Start your Christmas shopping with beautiful gifts that change lives! Every purchase at our Fair Trade sale helps marginalized artisans and farmers around the world create better lives for their families. Shop our selection of unique handcrafts, festive Christmas d├ęcor, and delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and spices. We welcome L'Arche to the Fair Trade Bazaar this Sunday, December 9!

NEW! We can now accept credit and debit cards, but cash or checks preferred.

Giving Tree 2018

Our Christmas Giving Tree supports families from DeLong Elementary School. Look for ornaments on the tree in the Narthex . Each ornament represents an individual, and we ask that you purchase two gifts for the person, using the details provided on the ornament. Gifts need to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 9. New this year: gifts should be delivered unwrapped, please attach the tag information clearly on both gifts. There will be a festive wrapping party on December 16, and delivery the following week. If you are interested in joining the wrapping party or delivery group please call the Church office at 253-752-4966.

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: It's a Win/Win!

Does your family have gently used toys, games, DVDs, decorations, and plush animals which are no longer being used? The NW Nourish Food Bank in the Proctor District is gathering gently used items for clients to select gifts for family members.  

Win #1 : Many of these families are not "connected" to agencies which will help them with gift giving and they were excited to pick out gifts last year! 

Win #2:  Just think of the space you could "free up" by donating items which are no longer being used.

Bring items to the box outside the church office before December 17.   
Questions? Visit the table in the Narthex on Sunday, November 25 or contact Mary Olsen 253-752-2844, or

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

Women of St. Mark's

Thank you to all who attended and participated in the Advent Brunch. The theme this year was "Ring in the Season" and we did just that! The Bell Choir was in attendance with their bells. What fun we had ringing and singing Christmas Carols. We laughed and sang and ate a scrumptious meal provided by Suzy Reynolds and her chopping team and were served by the men! We ended the morning with Christmas card making and beaded bookmarks. Stay tuned for more information about the January Business Meeting to be announced later this month.

Thank you again for all the help in the kitchen, serving our delicious meal, helping with the crafts, cleaning up the kitchen, and for all those who attended. I feel so blessed to begin this Advent season with laughter and song. We raised over $600 to send to WELCA for their Lutheran Women Seminary Scholarship!

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Sunday morning classes for children 3 years old to 12th grade meet from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in their designated spaces and rooms.

Sunday School Christmas program and potluck dinner: Sunday, December 9, 4 p.m.  in the Sanctuary. ( Full cast dress rehearsal:  Saturday, December 8, 9-11 a.m. )

Thursday nights for youth  (grades 6-12):  Youth group, 5:30-6:30 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Thursdays; Youth choir, 6:30-7:30 p.m. every Thursday; Youth Marimba Choir, 7:30-8:30 p.m. on 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.

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.

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 sessions on December 5 and 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. 

As a follow-up to the presentation on whales in this fall's Adult Forum here is a story in National Geographic about a dead sperm whale in Indonesia. Researchers found over 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach, including 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, and 1,000 pieces of string.  Read more in this link.

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!