The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 January 24 , 2018 
Sunday Worship      
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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
       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 Night Church Night Tonight. 
5:00-6:30pm- Dinner: Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs, Coleslaw and
Applesauce.  Suggested Donation: $5
5:00-5:30pm- Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00pm- Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45pm- Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00pm- Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20pm- Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45pm- Holy Moly
7:30pm- Evensong

Pie Bakers Needed
One of Pastor Phil Rue's favorite desserts is pie, so we want to enjoy pie together when we say thank you to him at our Congregational meeting this Sunday, January 28. If you would like to make one or more pies that we can enjoy together at the meeting, please contact the church office by Friday morning. Thanks!

Interfaith Encounters
You are invited to join us for the next Interfaith Encounter which will be on Tuesday, January 30 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Tacoma. We begin at 6:30 PM and our topic this month is the experience of people who have converted to one of our faith traditions as adults.

Greening The  Congregation!
Anyone who has an interest in helping us care for creation by reducing our carbon footprint and adopting faithful practices as a congregation and as individuals is invited to an interest meeting on Thursday, February 1 at 5:30 PM. We will meet in the Fireside Room at St. Mark's and enjoy a conversation with Jessica Zimmerlie from Earth Ministries.

Please Join Us at our Congregational Meeting on 1/28 
All members of St. Mark's are asked to be present for the first semi-annual meeting of 2018 which will take place on Sunday, January 28. Lunch will be served at noon, and the meeting will get underway at 12:15pm. Childcare will be provided. At the meeting, we will honor and thank Pastor Phil Rue for his ministry with us as Visitation Pastor. We will also reflect on our new theme for 2018, get important updates from congregational leaders, view highlights of ministry in 2017, hear a Treasurer's Report, discuss ways to apportion funds from a major bequest from the estate of Nina Derek, and vote on a minor bylaw change to move our second semi-annual meeting from May to June each year. We hope you can be with us on that special day! 

December 2017- Monthly Financial Update

December offerings followed the trend of recent months. We are currently 11.5% behind budgeted income for this fiscal year (FY) and 10% behind actual giving over the same six months last year. That being said, it is worth pausing to express gratitude for the entirely free-will donations that come in from our congregation. People have given nearly half a million dollars already this FY - to general operations and ministry alone - and that is something for which we can truly give thanks. (We're still behind though, so here are the numbers...)
Offerings for the month of December were $129,826. This was $21,078 (14%) below budget and 8.5% behind December 2016 actual giving. This brings us to $63,231 (11.5%) below budgeted offerings for the FY and 10% behind actual giving over the same time period last year.
Expenses were $1,853 (2%) under budget for December, bringing us to $16,100 (3%) under budget for the FY. Reasons for this remain the same as in preceding months, with the biggest impact coming from savings realized through staff reconfigurations.
Given that income is below budget, but expenses are too, we now have $44,134 less in the General Fund than we had budgeted. We generally expect the first half of the FY (July through December) to have a net inflow (i.e., income greater than expenses given the holidays) and the second half of the FY (January through June) to have a net outflow (i.e., income less than expense). Given that the General Fund is now sitting essentially flat (-$562), this puts us in a challenging position going into the first part of 2018, when we already anticipate spending more than we bring in.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!

Faith Journey Begins Soon 

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is an opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal that is patterned after Christ's way of welcoming people into community. Taking its shape from one of the earliest forms of Christian faith formation, it begins with an open-ended time of getting acquainted where your stories and questions set the framework for discussion. This is followed by times of Bible reflection, personal renewal, and discernment about your own Christian vocation.    All those who would like to join our congregation will be welcomed into membership through baptism or affirmation of baptism at the Easter time. This is not an expectation, but an open invitation! There is a Faith Journey group which meets on Wednesdays (beginning on January 31) and one that meets on Sundays (beginning on February 4). A meal is served at both times and childcare is always available.  To sign up for Faith Journey, contact our church office at 253-752-4966 or add your name to the list at the Welcome Center in the Narthex. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ruud via email at j or by phone at the same number for our church office.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast

Feb. 13 5:30-7:00pm in the Parish Commons. Live music, photo booth, activities for children and of course all the pancakes you can eat. Fun for all ages!  Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth.

Mexico Mission 2017

Interest meetings  to learn more about St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will be held in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, February 6th at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, February 11th at 11:00.  The trip, which includes building several small homes for families and offering VBS activities for neighborhood children, will take place this year from June 22nd -June 30th.   Please contact one of the trip co-leaders, Melanie Summerour ( or Sarah Moore (, if you are unable to make either meeting but would like to learn more.
For those who have previously gone on the mission trip and are considering going again this year , please contact Melanie or Sarah, complete an interest form (at the Welcome Center), and turn it into the office.

Continued need for the Youth of Shared Housing Services

There is a continued need for  full size hygiene items  for homeless youth, ages 15-22, as they get settled into shared housing situations, on their way to a better life!  These items help improve chances of getting a new job or feeling confident to finishing their education.  Please, consider picking up an extra shampoo and conditioner, deodorant or bath wash when purchasing your own and drop it in the SHS bin outside the church office.This show of support will help send a message that we care and their young lives are worthy.

Items of need-
shampoo / conditioner, toothpaste /toothbrushes/ floss
deodorant , soap/ body wash
feminine hygiene, disposable razors
skin/ face lotions, hair dressing / curling creme
new or gently used bath and hand towels
new or gently used sheets/pillow cases twin or full

Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed. 

Memorial Committee

St. Mark's Memorial Committee met December 13 and discussed requests being made for use of funds in this account.

 1.  A request for funding for a cover for the Harpsichord and a stool to go with it was made and approved.  Jackie Stenger, one of the committee members  offered an antique stool which will be suitable and her gift is greatly appreciated.
  2. A request for funds was made and approved to purchase new communion chalices as the current ones are showing wear.
  3. The courtyard furnishings are continuing to go forward with funds held in reserve.

The Memorial Committee will meet again on March 14 for their quarterly meeting.
2018 Women's Retreat Registration is Open

You may register for the retreat in the Church Office between 9:30-11am on Sunday morning.  For more information, pick up a flyer on the Welcome Center or talk to Pastor Shjerven. 

Thrivent Members!

Are you a member of Thrivent?  If so, do you know that you have up to $500 to use each year for ministries and mission projects that are important to you?  Thrivent Action Team dollars are often not spent because people are unaware of them.  Stop by the table in the Narthex to sign the "Yes, I am a Thrivent Member" information sheet and pick up information about both Thrivent Choice dollars and Thrivent Action Team dollars (two different pots of money).  Questions?  Contact Deacon Ingelaurie Lisher (

365 Days Of Christmas

Are you and your family travelers?  Our church would enjoy sharing your travel memories through a special "world" Christmas Tree.  Share and keep a memory of your trip on a special Christmas tree for the lobby of the downstairs Sunday/Preschool area.  To participate we ask you to purchase an ornament from your travels anywhere in or outside the US and we will place it on our "kids world tree" Christmas 2018.  You will see a basket inside the downstairs entrance and in the main upstairs office area marked Christmas Travel Ornaments.  You can also give it directory to Mim Krabler or contact her at  Please place ornament in tissue for protection and make sure that the travel destination in on the ornament.  For years to come you can enjoy your travel memories through browsing St. Mark's Kids Tree Every Christmas.  Happy traveling and thank you for helping us decorate our "World Kids Tree".  
St. Mark's Preschool Updates

St. Mark's Preschool will be accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year very soon!  Current Preschool families and church members are welcome to turn in paperwork beginning February 1st. Registration will be open to the general public beginning February 15th. 

We are hosting an Open House on Tuesday, February 6th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for anyone who would like to visit our space and meet our teachers. Contact Anne Zimmerman at or 253-752-4929.

SMLC Awarded PSE Conservation Grant

We're excited to share with you that St. Mark's received a small energy conservation grant as part of our recent office window replacement project. This past fall - using some of the funds that our congregation has set aside for long-term maintenance - we replaced all the old, single pane office windows with energy efficient ones. We contacted Puget Sound Energy as part of our efforts and were awarded a grant that paid for more than 25% of our project! These new windows are helping St. Mark's be a better steward of our environment and our finances. (And keep your eyes open for new smart thermostats around the building...) If you have any questions or would like more details, please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office.

St. Valentine's Celebration

Saturday, February 10, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Jeseka Marimba Band will perform in concert for  Empowering Life's annual fundraiser.  Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunityto learn more about how we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman (Purdy) and Mission Creek Correction Center for Women in Belfair... and their families.   
$15.00 is the suggested donation.  Auction item donations are appreciated.
 Make your reservation at our table in the Narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307.  Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday Morning Classes for children and youth  3 years old to 12th grade meets each week from 9:45-10:45a.m. in the CFC & Youth Wings.
Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Jan. 25:  6:30pm Youth Choir meets in the Choir Room with Cooper. All are welcome! 
Feb 1: 5:30pm Youth Group in the Parish Common; 6:30pm Youth Choir with Cooper in the Choir Room. 
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:
  1. Pick your child's age group-Pathfinder (6/7th gr.), Trailblazer (8/9th gr.), or Senior High (10-12th gr.). 
  2. Pay your deposit with the camp. 
  3. Let Ingelaurie Lisher,, know that your child is going to Camp with St. Mark's by Feb. 28. 
  4. St. Mark's will provide transportation, great adult leaders and help you fundraise if you want too earn some $$ to help pay for the week.   
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast-Feb. 13 5:30-7:00pm  in the Parish Commons. Live music, photo booth, activities for children and of course all the pancakes you can eat. Fun for all ages!  Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth and Thrivent Action Team funds!
1st Grade Lord's Prayer Milestone Event Sunday, Feb. 25 9:45a.m.  This learning event is for all 1st grade students and their parents. Please let Ingelaurie know by Feb. 18th if you plan on attending, so I make sure we have enough supplies, etc. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum: 9:45 a.m. PCC
The  Adult Forum  provides opportunities to reflect on Christian faith in light of current events and the daily decisions we need to make. Topics vary, leadership is shared, and the conversation is lively. 

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. 

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15 p.m. 
Jan 17- All Will Be Well: healing stories in Mark's gospel--We will engage our congregational theme, "For the Well-Being of All" by exploring the scope, style and content of Jesus' healing ministry.  You are free to bring your dinner or dessert with you to the classroom for our discussion!
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room
Questions, Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. 

Women's Bible Study; Wed. 9:30 a.m. 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 resumes today, Jan. 10th.
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.   
St. Olaf Choir to Sing in Seattle
The St. Olaf Choir, with 75 mixed voices, is one of the premier a cappella choirs in the United States. Since its founding in 1912, the choir has set a standard of choral excellence and remained at the forefront of choral artistry. The ensemble's annual tour brings its music and message to thousands of people across the nation and around the world. Conducted since 1990 by Anton Armstrong, the St. Olaf Choir continues to develop the tradition that originated with its founder, F. Melius Christiansen.
They will be touring the West Coast this year, starting at Seattle's own Benaroya Hall on Wednesday, January 31st @ 8 p.m. You may purchase tickets to the Benaroya Hall concert here.  They continue down the West Coast making stops in Portland, Eugene, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and many other locations, ending in Paradise Valley, AZ. 

Have an item for the bridge?
Send it to by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. All items will  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!