The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 November 22 , 2017 
Sunday Worship      
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
Click Here
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
Join our mailing list.
No Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight!
Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.  There will be no church night tonight.  
Joining our Staff! 
We are happy to announce that Katie Cootsona and Emillie Binja will be joining our St Marks staff this week. Katie will be our new church office receptionist on Thursdays and Fridays. She is replacing Nikki Spaulding, who did an outstanding job in this position. Emillie will be taking over Teresa Handy's responsibilities for hospitality on Sundays, as Teresa shifts her work hours to cover important things during the week. Please help us welcome Katie and Emillie in their new roles at St. Mark's!

Giving Tree
Please prayerfully consider giving two gifts to an individual (or individuals if you wish) or a cash contribution to help purchase food. Look for the Christmas tree in the Narthex today. Specific instructions will be provided about purchasing and returning gifts by Sunday December 10 th. Thank you for sharing and caring.

Advent Devotionals
Advent Devotionals from Luther Seminary are available on the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex.  You are invited to pick up your FREE copy to use as a resource during the season of Advent.

October Financial Update
Offerings for the month of October were slightly above budget (by $1,376). The is the first month of the fiscal year (FY) in which we have met our budgeted income, which is obviously a welcome and hopeful move in the right direction. Thank you! Even with this month's positive results, we are still $21,235 below budgeted offerings for the fiscal year-to-date (YTD). This is also 8.0% below last year over the same time period.
Expenses for the month of October were $1,925 (or 2.3%) below budget. This brings us to $11,517 below budgeted expenses YTD and 6.0% below actual expenses last year over the same time period. The main driver of the year-over-year difference is the lowered mortgage payment that took effect in August.
We have currently spent $29,966 more than we have brought in this FY. We anticipated that we would have spent $22,395 more than income at this point. Given that both offerings and expenses are below budget, the net result is that we are $7,571 lower than the budgeted bottom line.
If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office.

The Church Office Is Now Open Sunday Mornings!
The church office will now be open Sunday mornings from 9:30am-11am.  Feel free to stop by! 
Women's Advent Brunch, December 2nd, 9:30-11:30am
Women's Advent Brunch.  Tickets $10.  There will be brunch, a music program and materials to make a special Christmas card.  Stop by the table in the Narthex to sign up.  Contact Barbara Meyer at 253-756-9352.
Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar!
November 26 and December 3,  9:00am-12:00pm in the Parish Commons

Stop by and start your Christmas shopping for beautifully handcrafted items made by artisans and farmers worldwide!  St Mark's orders merchandise from SERRV, a non-profit, who creates long-term connections with artisans and farmers. By purchasing Fair Trade items we create change by empowering womensending more children to school, & protecting the environment by providing support to artisans and farmers worldwide through the purchase of their products!
Shop for:   Festive ornaments, Nativity scenes and Christmas d├ęcor , h andcrafted jewelry, woven baskets, colorful scarfs and stocking stuffers PLUS c hocolates, teas, coffees, soups, oils and spices!

Car Needed
A wonderful young couple, both grads of Luther College, need a vehicle getting to and from work.  One works at Nativity House, a local faith-based homeless shelter.  The car would need to be inexpensive to keep.  If you have any thoughts on this, please contact Cathryn Cummings: 253-225-8448 cathryncummings@cbbain 
Messiah Sing-along!
Celebrate the Christmas season by singing-along or listening-along to Handel's Messiah on December 3, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 8211 112th St. SW, Lakewood, WA.  Bring your own musical score or one will be provided.  

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

Greetings from the Guatemala Habitat for Humanity Team
Submitted by Elizabeth Skarshaug

Eighteen members of the Guatemala Habitat for Humanity Team arrived in Guatemala City on November 3, 2017 to work for one week building clean air stoves for ten families. The team also created a secure foundation for a four-room home for an additional family. The Habitat team returned home on November 12, 2017.

Clean air stoves are part of healthy home kits, which include three parts: clean air stoves, a water filtration system, and latrines. Our Habitat team built two clean air stoves per day for the five days we worked. Two teams of four people worked on each of two stoves per day while the other ten team members worked on creating the foundation for a four room home. The eighteen team members rotated to different duties each day in order for us to experience all aspects of the work the Guatemala affiliate wanted us to complete.

Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers!

Our local Habitat affiliate invites you to come help build houses in the Tillicum neighborhood. Earlier this summer, teams from St. Mark's worked on the Building on Faith house, and now even more houses are being built in the same area. There are two ways to get involved: If you would like to pick a date and join others who will be at the site that day, you can visit the web site ( ) and use the VolunteerUp module to sign up. Or, you can volunteer to be part of a group from St. Mark's by contacting Deborah Herforth (email , or phone  206-372-1433 ). Please come out and join the fun! 
Family Housing Network Coming December 30th

St. Mark's will again host up to five homeless families from December 30, 2017  to January 6, 2018.  Volunteers are needed to prepare rooms, host the families, provide meals, help with child care, help in the kitchen,  and clean up at the end of the week! Thanks to all of the faithful volunteers who have committed to this ministry over the last four years and to those of you who signed up on Sunday, October 29.  We welcome new volunteers to join us!   The sign up table will be available again on the following Sundays:  November 19, 26, and December 3.  Elizabeth Skarshaug

Chase the Chill Update!
This week we donated 40 scarves and 20 hats to the Community Youth Services-Pierce County program to be given to the teen homeless shelter which provides beds for youth ages 12-24. It's been a cold few weeks which a rainy forecast so they were very happy to receive our boxes of knitted and crocheted warmth. We will continue to donate hats and scarves during the fall and winter. During these months please leave your finished items on the table outside the office and feel free to pick up another skein or two of yarn for your next project. Thank you! 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
No Wednesday and Thursday evening programs this week.  
Coming up...
Advent Adventure!  Sunday, Nov. 26 9:45-12noon in the Parish Commons classrooms. Come make an Advent Wreath for your home.Supplies (candles, foam rings and greens) provided. Suggested donation $10.00 per wreath.
Christmas Book Fair from Sparkhouse (a branch of Augsburg Fortress Publishing) will be held Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. See the table in the Narthex for more information.
St. Mark's Sunday School presents the classic Nativity Story "Journey to Bethlehem"  Sunday, December 10th 4:00pm  All are Welcome! Potluck dinner to follow in the Parish Commons Please bring a dish to share with at least 10-12 people.  A-I Side Dish; J-Z Main Dish. Dessert and Beverages provided.
May Holden Youth Weekends Registration form is on the Youth Board-For youth grades 9-12. 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.
Synod Youth Retreat Feb. 9-11th at Camp Arnold- grades 7-10th Registration form on the Youth Board. Deposit due Dec. 15
Montana 2018! For youth grades 6-9th grade (completed in June of 2018) Camp dates July 22-27 (21 and 28 are travel dates). Info meeting Thurs. Nov. 30th 6-6:30pm in the Youth Room--for parents and youth. 
Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
There will be no Adult classes on Sunday, November 26th.   Everyone is invited to participate in Advent Wreath-Making (Parish Commons Classrooms) and the Fair Trade Bazaar (Parish Commons).

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
Crossways Bible Study will resume on Sunday, December 3 rd.

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.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
November 22nd: No Midweek Renewal 
November 29th- Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals series continues with a showing of documentary filmmaker Martin Doblmeir's "Bonhoeffer".  The New York Times called this film "A touching narrative on the nature of faith.  Powerful and shocking".  Note:  The movie will begin at 6pm sharp in order to show it in its entirety.
December 6th- Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals series concludes with a look the life of Dorothy Soelle.  Class will begin at 6:15pm 
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.

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.

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.  

Have an item for the bridge?
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!