The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 February 21 , 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: Grilled cheese, tomato soup, 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. Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30 p.m. Evensong Lent Compline Service

Message from Pastor Sigi Helgeson
"You are my beloved." I can't think of a greater message than to hear those words. Can you recall a time when you maybe heard those words spoken to you, perhaps by a mother or father, or a grandparent, or your child, spouse, partner, or friend?  Try to recall a time when you knew you were dearly loved by another and how it made you feel. Perhaps you have said "I love you" to someone recently, maybe just this past week on Valentine's Day. The day when Hallmark makes a lot of money in figuring out the many ways to say "You are my one and only", "my beloved."
    "You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased." Jesus hears these words at his baptism by John in the Jordan River. It is interesting that in Mark's gospel, it is spoken to Jesus alone, and for his ears.  Even Jesus needed to hear that he was dearly beloved by God. It is out of that "belovedness" that Jesus is able to carry out his ministry and share that love with his disciples and the world. 
     You are beloved is something we all need to hear and feel.  Being cared for and loved is a basic human need. I have the privilege of going out as your visitation pastor to members and friends who can't make it to church for whatever reason.  As I am beginning this ministry of presence, I have become aware of how much folks just appreciate that someone has come to show that the community cares. It is wonderful to be part of this care ministry here at St. Mark's along with your pastors, Stephen ministers, parish nurses, and the care team. In many ways those of us who go out to visit on behalf of St. Mark's bring the message that "you are beloved of God" simply by being present. 
Even when the beloved one can no longer remember, and may not even know whom you are, they can still sense the love of God in a smile, a prayer, and a hug.
   If you or someone you love is in need of a visit from the church please don't hesitate to connect. 

     Pastor Sigi Helgeson is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the week. You can reach her at St. Mark's by email at or by calling the church office. 
Care team meets on Wednesday, February 28.

January Financials

January offerings exceeded budget by $11,374. This was 10.9% higher than offerings in January of last year. On a fiscal year-to-date (YTD) basis, we are still behind - but less so than last month! To make up this shortfall, we need the remaining five months of the fiscal year (FY) - on average - to have a result comparable to January. YTD offerings are $51,857 below budget and 7.4% less than actual offerings over the same time period last year.

January is the first month this FY in which expenses exceeded budget - spending $2,851 more than budgeted. There were two main reasons. First, we were able to pay out more benevolences than budgeted because our offerings exceeded budget. This is obviously a good thing! Second, we got hit with a large bill to correct an elevator "deficiency" noted during a recent Labor & Industries inspection. We knew the bill was coming and it did... (If you'd like more information on this fascinating ops issue, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay in the Church office.)

On a YTD basis, we are still well under budgeted expenses by $13,250. YTD expenses also continue to be lower than last year over the same time period, driven primarily by lower mortgage payments.
So, on the bottom line, we "beat" budget for January by $8,899, spending $3,228 more than we brought in (versus projected $12,127). On a YTD basis, we have spent $3,789 more than we've brought in. Our budget planned for income in excess of expenses by $31,445 at this point. Unfortunately, we should be in a net positive position at this time of the year, since we typically spend more than we bring in during the second half of the FY.

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!

Greening the Congregation

Our first interest meeting in early February showed that there is much support at St. Mark's for the mission of greening our congregation. We decided to focus our attention in the coming months on five "Green Fields" that are important to us. They are: 1.) Building and Grounds;  
2.) Education;  3.) Worship;  4.) Advocacy;  5.) Community Engagement. We hope to bring many more people into the process of planning and implementation, and we are inviting you to join us at our next meeting, which will be on  Thursday, February 22, at 6 p.m.  in the Fireside Room at St. Mark's. 
Peace and Justice

Chase the Chill Kits
Are you looking for something to give to people you meet while driving who look like they might need something to eat or to keep them warm? Pick up a Chase the Chill Kit (provided by the Youth and a grant from Thrivent) and hand them out to those in need. 

Peace Community Center Benefit Dinner
The annual Peace Community Center benefit dinner, Learners to Leaders, will be held  this year at the Tacoma Convention Center on Friday, March 9 . Table hosts from St. Mark's  are John and Carol Avery and Don and Barb Haueisen. Join us for an evening of good  food and fellowship and an opportunity to learn more about what is happening with this  Tacoma Hilltop organization providing vital support for area students. Tickets for the  dinner are available at For those attending the dinner for  the first time, please be our guest. Let one of us know and we can take care of dinner  tickets. In either case, be a part of a St. Mark's table supporting this ministry. Please  contact one of the Haueisens at 360-329- 6880 or; or one of the  Averys at 253-759- 6365 or with questions or to confirm your  interest in attending.

Share Your Heart This February- LWR Care Kits
This February consider donating supplies for one or more LWR Personal Care Kits! There will be 200 bags in the Narthex, each with a Valentine listing supplies needed. You can also drop off larger supplies of items for a kit build in April. LWR shipped 153,560 kits in 2016 to 14 countries including Haiti, Lebanon, El Salvador and Niger. Kits are provided to those who have lost everything in a natural disaster or violence.  Provide hope through a bar of soap. Supplies: Bath Towel, 3-4oz bar soap, toothbrush (pkg), metal nail file, large tooth plastic comb.  
Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill 253-732-3479.

Community Group "Third Quarter"

Christian friends in the "third quarter" of life are welcome to join others age 50ish -75ish in supportive community to share hope, laughter, and love through active events. 

Thursday, March 15 (Third Thursday free museums) 6:00 p.m. at Chihuly Museum of Glass. Optional happy hour dinner, meet at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Ave at 4:45 p.m.

Please contact the church office for additional information. 

Walking to Jerusalem Update - Week 6

Whew!  We finally made landfall in Europe at Lisbon.  We joined pilgrims on the El Camino Portugues, walking on fairly level ground while passing through beautiful countryside, forests, farms, tiny hamlets, and terraced vineyards.  We did manage to sample a bit of port in Porto and then crossed into Spain at Santiago de Compostela. This is the start, or end, of the El Camino Santiago.  This route is marked by scallop shell patterns on the roads and signposts. We have stayed in hostels along the way, shared experiences with other pilgrims, and even ate one of the local delicacies, "pulperias" an octopus dish. The end of the week has found us in Carrion de los Condes.  This town is at the geographic center of the Camino Santiago. We take shelter in the old monastery of San Zollo, take in the wonders of five major churches in a town of 2,160 residents, and enjoy the wonderful local bread, wine, and meat.  Thus far we have walked a collective 7287.5 miles!

Women of St. Mark's

Please join us on  Wednesday, February 21, at 4 p.m. to discuss requests for Bazaar funds and help us determine distribution.

Save the date for our Spring Tea to be held on  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at noon.  Bonnie Wascher and Barbara Meyers are cochairing this event.  We are in the planning stage right now and will be needing your help to make this event spectacular.  We will have a Fashion Show starring Katie Cootsona's 2017 dresses.  Models are needed in sizes 6 to 14.  Please contact Katie  (206-484-9195) if interested. 

We will have a table in the Narthex in a couple of weeks; please stop by. Your help is needed with desserts, setup, and cooking.  We will provide all the recipes for the desserts. We will have a planning session on  Wednesday, February 21 after we decide on the Bazaar Funds distribution.  Please join us and help make this a spectacular event for the women.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday morning classes for children and youth 3 years old to 12th grade meet each week from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the CFC & Youth Wings.

1st Grade Lord's Prayer Milestone Event this Sunday, February 25 at 9:45 a.m. This learning event is for all 1st grade students and their parents. 

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) February 22: Youth Choir with Cooper 6:30-7:30 p.m.; March 1 Youth Group 5:30 p.m. with Nate and Ingelaurie; Youth Choir with Cooper 6:30 p.m. 

The Youth (6-12th grade-entering 2018) are headed to Montana this summer... July 22-27, 2018 (no extra travel days) at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Registration is now open at:   See the Youth Board for more information and if you have questions on how to register. 
SR ALYVE (9-12th gr.) Game Night-Friday, March 16 5:30-7:30 p.m. here at St. Mark's! Pizza dinner provided. Sign up by March 11 if you are attending. Bring your favorite board/card game to share.

Luther Rock Opera at First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo-Sunday, March 11. See the youth board for more information and to sign up to carpool out to Poulsbo. We will leave St. Mark's at 2:45 p.m. Questions? Contact Ingelaurie Lisher at   Sign up by February 25 if you plan on attending. 

ELCA Youth Gathering/Houston Mtg. Thursday, March 22 5:15-6:30 p.m. for youth and adult leaders. 

Vacation Bible School will be held August 6-10 for children 4 years old to 5th grade (incoming). 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum Welcomes Special Guest on February 25
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman will be the Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth-El throughout the last weekend of February.  We are blessed to have him with us at St. Mark's on Sunday morning, February 25 in the Adult Forum, speaking on "Translating and Mistranslating Scripture". 
Dr. Hoffman focuses on bringing the Bible to life and is known for his "fresh insights and interpretations about religious life in the 21st century." He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and has served on the faculties of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College. Dr. Hoffman is the chief translator for the popular 10-volume series, My People's Prayer Book and for My People's Passover Haggadah. He is the author of the critically acclaimed In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language (NYU Press) as well as the popular books And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning and The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible.  (A full schedule of Dr. Hoffman's lectures at Temple Beth-El is on the community bulletin board outside the Church Office. These lectures are open to the public.)

Lent Book Groups
Sunday, February 18- Sunday, March 25, 11 a.m.-noon 
Of Mess and Moxie: wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life by Jen Hatmaker (please purchase book on your own); Fireside Room
From Wild Man to Wise Man: reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr (please purchase book on your own);  PCC #2
Wednesday, February 21-Wednesday, March 21, 8:00-8:45 p.m.
Devotional Classics: Selected readings for Individuals and Groups (book available to purchase in church office, $8); PCC

Lenten Class 
Sundays (9:45-10:45 a.m.) and Wednesdays (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Way of Life: A Study based on  The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian McLaren

Lent Devotionals
"Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow"- Luther Seminary Daily Readings-available at Adult Faith Formation table in narthex (regular and large print)
"Christ in Our Home"-January, February, March edition-available in basket outside Church Office (regular and large print)

PLU Wang Center Symposium
MIGRATION: toward an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of human mobility.  March 8-9 , Anderson University Center.  Free and open to the public; Registration is strongly suggested;

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m.  in the Fireside Room
Question? Contact Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. 

Adult Class- Sundays 11:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room
As our  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. 

Women's Bible Study; Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. in the PCC
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.

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the PCC
Gather for lunch, conversation, and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.

St. Mark's Preschool Updates

St. Mark's Preschool is accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year! 

2018 Homeless Services Fundraising Auction

Date: Saturday, February 24
Location: Bellarmine Preparatory School
Time: Doors open at 5:00 p.m.Dinner & Live Events at  7:00 p.m. 
Dress: Business Casual
Attitude: Fun! Come ready to celebrate the mission we share in our community!
Registration Deadline:  February 16

Thank You to Thrivent Financial 

Special thanks to Thrivent Financial for their grant to purchase food items for the Backpack Program.

An Afternoon with Robyn Carmichael, Pianist

Bethany Presbyterian Church (4420 North 41st Street, Tacoma) and Skelley Piano invite you to an afternoon with pianist Robyn Carmichael on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. Admission is free, donations will be recevied for performer expenses. A light reception follows.

Church Office Hours

The church office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon &1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-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!