The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 September 26 , 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: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, 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

August 2018 - Monthly Financial Update

August was just the second month of our new fiscal year here at St. Mark's. Offerings for the month were $67,819 versus a budget of $71,511 (i.e., $3,692 below budget). On a fiscal year-to-date (FYTD) basis, we are $6,059 below budgeted offerings, but 3.5% above actual offerings over the same time period last year. This is something for which we give thanks! As we discussed at our last Congregational Meeting, the budget for this fiscal year is only 1.3% higher than last year's budget; however, it is 7.8% above our actualgivingfor last year. This means that we will need to give about $76,000 more than we gave last year in order to fully fund our ministry, as envisioned in the budget that we approved. While this is certainly a challenge, it may also be viewed as a collective opportunity for growth together as a congregation. And while we are early in the fiscal year, it is good to have a clear understanding of what we need to do to meet our congregation's financial goals and obligations.

Expenses for the month were $80,207 - nearly equal to budgeted expenses of $80,543 (i.e., $336 below projected expenses). FYTD, we are under budgeted expenses by $4,714, but we are clearly still at the very start of the fiscal year and it is fair to expect things to move around a lot in the coming months.

The bottom line is that we spent $11,949 more than we brought in for the month versus our projection to spend $8,782 more than we brought in (i.e., we were "worse than" our net budget by $3,167).FYTD, we are within $1,000 of budget, spending $36,663 more than we have brought in versus a projection of spending $35,728 more than we brought in. 

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you!

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.

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. 

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.

Produce Palooza Update


What began as a one-time event is now going on Sunday morning #7. Produce Palooza' s goal has been to match St Mark's members who have an overabundance of garden produce with those who are excited to have fresh produce available. A side benefit has been gardeners exchanging tips, stories, and recipes with each other as well as with those who do not have gardens. And, it's all free!

Each Sunday we have had at least two tables filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, flowers, and herbs. We never know what will be donated from one Sunday to the next but that's part of the fun. A huge thank you to those gardeners who have donated produce each week. Everyone who leaves with something appreciates your generosity.

We'll continue Produce Palooza for another Sunday or two depending on how long people have extra produce. If you have something from your garden that you'd like to share, please bring it on Sunday morning. Everyone is encouraged to come check us out. We're located outside near the exterior office doorway. Our hours are 9:30-11 a.m.  We hope you'll stop by.

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)

Women of St. Mark's

Come join us on Friday, September 28, in the Youth Room for our Craft Night. We will be assembling the Snowman Chocolate Bars, a favorite at the Bazaar. Hope to see you there! 

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.  

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.
  • 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.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
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. 

Join Earth Ministry for  Testimony Training  for an overview of two local campaigns i n Tacoma:  1.) Halting the LNG facility next to the Puyallup Tribe's land and waters, and  2.) Preventing further fossil fuel projects through a strong Tideflats Sub Area Plan.

Wednesday, October 10, 6-7 p.m.
St. Leo Catholic Church
710 S 13th St
Tacoma, WA 

Earth Ministry will provide training and resources to make it easy for you to share your faith values on both projects. You will leave ready to testify at the LNG hearing on October 30 or submit a written comment online. You'll also be prepared to advocate at the City Council meeting on October 23 for a strong land use plan to protect the Tideflats moving forward.

This event is open to all who want to practice advocating through values-based storytelling. Please spread the word by sharing our  Facebook event. Contact with questions. 

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!