The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   May 10 , 2017 
Sunday Worship      
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
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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
Just Shopping

Just Shopping is an Internet Fundraising Program at St. Mark's. It's part of a three-tiered plan to eliminate our building debt by 2023. On-line purchase made through our website with affiliate companies helps pay off our building loan. Thank you for your support and please share this internet shopping opportunity with your family and friends! For more information, click here to visit our website. 


       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 Night Church Night 
5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Hot Dogs, Watermelon, Chips and Applesauce, Suggested Donation: $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubilation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30pm Evensong (PC)

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship.  

Save These Dates in June!

Sunday, June 4 at 12:15pm:  ALL CONGREGATION MEETING
At this semi-annual meeting of our congregation, we will adopt a mission focused budget for the coming year, elect lay leaders to key positions, celebrate the success of our capital appeal, hear about Pastor Ruud's upcoming sabbatical, get updates on important ministries, and reflect on our theme of "One Great Song". Lunch will be served, starting at noon and childcare will be provided.

Come help us celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Pastor Shjerven's ordination! There will be a program in the sanctuary, followed by a reception in the Parish Commons. We hope you can join us!

Faith Journey Beginning May 10

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join this group hosted by Pastor Jan Ruud.  It will meet on Wednesdays form 6-7:20pm.  If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Ruud by phone at 253-752-4966 or by email at

Hunger Walk, May 20

Pierce County Hunger Walk  will be on Saturday, May 20th , 9:00 a.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. Due to the change in date, St. Marks will not be forming a team this year. To register as an individual, go to the
Prayer Chain

We are re-establishing our Prayer Chain at St. Mark's and we welcome your participation.  The mission of the Prayer Chain is to communicate requests for prayers to a network of individuals who are committed to the ministry of prayer for people in need. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please send us your email and we will add you to the list. 
Synod Assembly

Are you interested in attending the bi-annual assembly of our Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA (June 16-17) as a voting member?  St. Mark's will send 5 lay people, along with Pr. Ruud. The Synod Assembly will be at PLU this year. Please pick up an interest form at the Welcome Center and return to the Church Office by May 28th .
Funerals of Long Time Members

Doris Larsen, Sunday, May 21 at 3:00 pm
Jeanne Forseth, Friday, June 2 at 2:00 pm
Dennis Hulbert, Sunday, June 4 at 4:00 pm

Living Our Faith: Stewardship Reflections by Birger Nelson

We have just completed a very successful "Blessings in Abundance" campaign for which we can be grateful. 

One of the blessings we have at St. Mark's is an abundance of ministry options for our stewardship of time. 

Five years ago St Mark's received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant to study homelessness in our community.  It was a real eye-opener for me. 

As I drive over the Narrows Bridge to St. Mark's I see nothing but nice homes and well-manicured yards.  But we all learned that our community has many homeless families. 

As a result of this study, our church became part of the Family Housing Network, hosting as many as five families for a week three times a year.  This provides a number of opportunities for service, from meal preparation to overnight hosting. 

We also made a connection with DeLong Elementary School, which has the highest percentage of homeless students (10%) of any school in Tacoma.  St. Mark's supplies backpacks with food for the children to take home on weekends. We also provide "lunch buddies" during recess and lunch one day a week, of which I am one.  Just being there means a lot to these 4th graders.  It's something our "buddies" can count on in their difficult lives.  The commitment of my "time" has become an important part of my week.  

LWR Layettes - Thank You

Thank you to all who donated items to the 83 layettes that went out this past week to LWR.  We continue to put these together only with your help so please continue to bring in bars of soap (best buy is at Costco with a package of 10-12 bars), infant socks (badly needed), bag style or footless sleepers, cotton receiving blankets and diapers (always needed) and of course flannel to be made into blankets or diapers.  You can put your donations in the bins marked LWR near the office door.                                                                 
A special thank you goes out to Jana Skaga and Kim Lowe who have been so helpful to me in "wrapping" the layettes up.
Any questions please call Randi Holland at 253-905-5693

Women of St. Mark's

Tickets will go on sale for our Spring Luncheon beginning on Sunday, May 7th after the first service and the beginning of the third service.  Mark your calendars for May 20th,11:00 a.m.,and join us for lunch , special music, a paper craft and lots of conversation.  Tickets are $10 per person. 
Would you like to help with the luncheon?  Sign up sheets will be available.
Questions?  Contact Barbara Meyers at  or 253-370-4251.
Cinco de Mayo Festival Thank You!

The Mexico Team would like to thank all who supported the upcoming 2017 Mexico mission trip at Friday's Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.  If you were not able to attend the Fiesta but would still like to support the mission trip financially, you may send a check to the church office or use the church's on-line giving option in care of the Mexico fund.  Gracias!

Calling All Golfers!

St. Mark's Preschool is having their first annual golf fundraising event on Saturday May 13th,beginning at 1:00 p.m. and we'd love for you to join us. A $40 entry covers nine holes of golf, lunch & a beverage. You will helping to support the purchase of new playground equipment for St. Mark's Preschool and Church. There are some great prizes available too. Tickets will be sold in the Narthex on Sunday,May 7th, or you can contact Anne Zimmerman to reserve a spot: (253) 752-4929 or

One Great Song: The Book of Psalms

As we explore this year's congregational theme, "One Great Song", we turn our attention to Israel's songbook.  The Psalms are a collection of 150 songs and poems that have been sung and recited for more than 3,000 years. They are beloved by both Jews and Christians and have shaped the imagination and strengthened the faith of people.  Together we will drink from this deep well as we spend 5 weeks studying the Book of Psalms.  Note-There will be two opportunities to be part of this study:  Wednesdays at 6:15pm  or Sundays at 11:00am (beginning May 7th).  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven 

St. Mark's Scholarship

St Mark's Scholarship applications for the 2017-18 academic year are available beginning today.  If you are an undergraduate student, or enrolled in a degree program at a Community or Technical College, please stop by the table outside the Church Office to pick up an application and/or ask questions.
Join us for Interfaith Encounters!

Come hear and discuss how Jews, Muslims, and Christians view Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed in each of our faith traditions. Each gathering will include presentations by Rabbi Bruce Kadden of Temple Beth El, Imam Ahmad Saleh of the Islamic Center of Tacoma, and either Pastor Sarah Wiles of Bethany Presbyterian Church or Pastor Jan Ruud of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. There will also be ample time for conversation and interaction between participants from all our faith communities.

Monday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. at the University Place Public Library:  Topic: Mohammed
3609 Market Place West, University Place

LWR Kit Build, Thank You!

Thank you  to all the helping hands that donated items and packed 76 personal care kits that will be sent to the LWR distribution center in early May! If you would like to contribute to shipping (approximately $2.65/kit) you can include "LWR Kit Shipping" on your checks for shipping in the offering basket. We will be collecting supplies year-round as there is excitement to send 500 KITS this year to LWR and join  Lutherans across the U.S. in commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation . Please drop-off supplies in the baskets by the office.  Any questions, contact Catherine Terrill at

Vacation Bible School 2017

Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 year old (by July 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 school year). Registration opens April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information.  Click here for the registration form. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Holden Village youth-- all outstanding forms and payment to Ingelaurie Lisher by Sunday, May 14. We leave St. Mark's at 4:15am. on Friday, May 19. 
The last day of Sunday school  for children 3 years old to 12th grade is Sunday, June 11. Summer Story time will start June 25 during the "Word" portion of worship at 9:45am. each week through August 20. For children 5-8 years of age. 
Thursday Nights at St. Mark's for youth grades 6-12:  May 11 Youth Choir 6:30p.m.; May 18 Youth Group 5:30p.m., Youth Choir 6:30p.m.; May 25 Youth Choir 6:30pm.; June 1 Youth Group 5:30pm.-last one of the school year, Youth Choir 6:30pm. 
Montana Team Potluck dinner- Everyone from Elementary to Servant Trip to High School Campers and their family. Wednesday June 14 5:30-7:00pm. Bring a side dish to share, hot dogs, brats and beverages provided. 
VBS  July 31-Aug. 4 9:00a.m to 12:15pm. See the table in the Narthex for more information and how you can get involved in this fun faith formation program. 
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board. Registration opens September 15. Music on the Lawn Fundraiser will be held August 19th-sign up to help and earn $$ for your trip. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
May 14 -   ELCA Social Statements-What are they?  Where do they come from?  How are they used?  Join Pastor Shjerven as we take a look at the purpose and the process of writing the 12 ELCA Social Statements that guide our moral deliberation as a Church.   

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
May 14One Great Song-The Book of Psalms.  Session 2 will focus on the collection known as "Hallel Psalms".
Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
"One Great Song: the Book of Psalms"

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura. 

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
We are exploring God's will for us as stated in the Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer, using Greg Laurie's As It Is in Heaven, a thought-provoking book. We are ladies of varying faith experiences who share insights and questions. Please join us! For more information, contact Linda Durant, 253-363-8202

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.  
At Bible Study Luncheon men and women read and discuss the scripture texts appointed for the upcoming Sunday. The pastor who will be preaching on the texts guides the conversation.

Member Notes and News

Three of St. Mark's youth will be performing at Orchestral Recital Series.  Elizabeth Busch-Conway will be performing on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:30pm  at UPS's Schneebeck Concert Hall and Eleanor and Olivia Sherry will perform at First Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 27th at 3pm.   This is a wonderful program where youth get to perform piano works with full orchestra. 

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!