The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 May 16 , 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
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Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Enchiladas, refried beans, chips & salsa, 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 p.m. Evensong

Please Remember to Bring Your Learn, Serve, and Grow Response Forms to Church This Sunday

This coming  Sunday, May 20,  is Pentecost  Sunday  and we will be gathering everyone's Learn, Serve, and Grow Response Forms during the offering at all three services. To see all the opportunities that exist at St. Mark's, please take time to read through the Learn, Serve, and Grow booklet which is available in hard copy at church and online at this link. You can also click here to download a Response Form to print at home. We look forward to another lively and productive year of ministry together!

Save the Date!

Our next Congregational Meeting for all members of St. Mark's will be on  Sunday, June 10, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at  4:30 p.m. and there will be childcare and fun children's activities during the meeting. Please plan to join us!

Member Picture Directory

Our congregation has grown and changed in the last four years since our picture directory was made, which means it's time to put together a new one! Lifetouch Photography will again be creating this resource for us. You will receive a complimentary 8x10 photo and a copy of the new directory just by having your picture taken. Pictures will be taken on  June 19-23 and July 11-14 . Please stop by the table in the Narthex  on Sunday  to schedule your appointment or to get information about scheduling your appointment online. Thank you!

Marimba Summer Camps - Registration this coming Sunday!

Back by popular demand, two Marimba experiences are being offered this Summer for both children and adults:
  • Adult Marimba Workshop: Saturday, June 9
  • Youth Marimba Camp (3rd through 12th grade): August 20-24
  • Registration Fee: $50.00 (cash or check)
Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. this Sunday, May 20th. There is limited space, and so we encourage people to register early for both children and adults.

Join us for an Interfaith Iftar Meal at St. Mark's on May 20 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

This unique event will be jointly hosted by members of St. Mark's and the Islamic Center of Tacoma. Iftar is the meal that Moslems eat at the end of each day during Ramadan to break fast. We will gather at  7:30 p.m. to learn about the spiritual traditions of Ramadan, hear stories from Moslems who follow this path, and enjoy some time of dialog together. The meal, which is being provided by members of the Islamic Center, will begin at sundown (around  8:45 p.m.). To sign up, please go to this link and add your name to register. If you already signed up at church, we have added your name to the list and you don't need to anything more. If you are willing to provide help in the kitchen from  6:30-7:30 p.m. or  9:15-10:00 p.m., please call the church office. We hope to see you there!

You Are Invited To a Luncheon Celebrating The Wedding Of Sonja Ruud and Christian Steinbach

Sonja and Christian were married in Europe last Fall, and now we have the chance to wish them well at a luncheon that will be hosted at St. Mark's at   noon on Saturday, May 19 . You are all welcome to join us for this festive occasion!  If you haven't signed up, you can still do so by calling the Church Office. No gifts, please! Just come and enjoy the time together.

St. Mark's Scholarships for High School Seniors

Members of St. Mark's starting an undergraduate degree may apply for a St. Mark's scholarship. Information/applications are on the church website under the "Growing in Faith" tab. Applications from current high school seniors must be received by May 20. Questions? Contact Pastor Shjerven at

Care of Creation 2018 Hikes

The Care of Creation hike on Saturday, May 19 will be at Point Defiance Park instead of the Nisqually River Delta.  This will enable participants to attend the reception at the church for Sonja and Christian. We will leave the parking lot at 8 a.m. and return between 10:00 and 10:30. We look forward to the time together that day.

Care of Creation Hikes will average 4-7 miles (round trip) and will not exceed 1200 feet in elevation gain. Any questions please feel free to call or email Tom Hulst ( or (253) 460-2683). The June hike will take place on June 22, location TBD.

Women of St. Mark's

Stay tuned for the schedule for our Craft Nights.  We will make items to sell at the Bazaar in November and have a wonderful night of conversations and laughter.  If you have an idea we can create please contact Barbara Meyers at .

St. Mark's Preschool

St. Mark's Preschool is hosting it's 2nd Annual Golf Tournament at the Highlands Golf Course on  June 2.  We'd love to have your support as a golfer or a sponsor! Tickets to golf are $40 each, include lunch, and will be on sale in the Narthex 5/20 & 5/27. Please contact Anne Zimmerman with any questions:

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

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday, May 20  K-12th Children and Youth Choirs sing in Worship at 9:45 a.m.  Regular Sunday AM classes for children 3 years old to youth grade 12. 9:45-10:45a.m. Note some classroom changes this week: 5/6th grade in Library; 7/8th grade PCC 1; 9-12th grades PCC 2. Last day of class: Sunday, June 10.

Summer Story time begins  Sunday, June 24 & runs through August 26 at the 9:45 hour.  Volunteer sign up available in the Narthex or at August 5 & 12 as well as assistants are the only spots left for the summer.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th)-  Schedule until the end of the year:  May 17 Youth Group 5:30, Youth Choir 6:30May 24 Youth Choir; May 31 Youth Group end of the year party 5:30-6:30 p.m. here at the church-pizza and games.
High School Graduates Please  bring/submit all pictures to church for the video/slideshow and student's plans for the fall.  St. Mark's Scholarship closes May 20 for all High School graduates-see the website for more info

2018 Houston Meetings  Saturday, June 2, 3-6:30 p.m. with our Synod (youth and adult leaders); Wednesday, June 13, 5-6:30 p.m. BBQ dinner (youth and adult leaders) at the Lisher/Sadler home.

Travel Adventure VBS 2018
Join us this summer for Daniel's Courage in Captivity, August 6-10, from 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for children ages 4-entering 5th grade. To register or sign up to volunteer, go to

Adult Faith Formation

Wednesday, May 16, 6:15 p.m.-- "Eight Pillars of Joy," our last discussion of The Book of Joy  AND our last Wednesday evening class of the Spring. (Dinner and worship will take place May 23, but not Pastor Shjerven's class.)

Sunday, May 20, 9:45 a.m.  NO ADULT FORUM TODAY 
(Youth Sunday School will be meeting in the Parish Commons Classrooms as we host families from our community in the Youth Wing.)

11:00 a.m./4:30 p.m.  Crossways Bible Study meets in the Parish Commons Classroom.

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

Women's Bible Study Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. (9:15 for coffee, visiting) in the PCC
We are ladies of varying faith, Bible, and life experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights.  We are currently studying Discovering God's Will for Your Life. Join us! For more information, contact Linda Durant, or  (253) 363-8202.

Wednesday Noon 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.
2018 St. Mark's Reads
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams.  In 2016 two great friends, Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, spent time together reflecting on their lives of struggle and joy. What are the practices that lead to a joy-filled life, even in the midst of great pain and injustice? This year's Congregational Read is about friendship, faith, wisdom, and, yes, JOY.  Book discussions will take place Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. on May 2, 9, and 16; and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on May 6, 13, and 20.

Peace and Justice

Habitat for Humanity
Once again this year a team of volunteers from St. Mark's will help build a Habitat for Humanity house along with groups from local churches -- appropriately, the project is called "Building on Faith." The house is also part of the Thrivent Builds program this year and will be located in the Tillicum neighborhood of Lakewood, near JBLM. Tentatively, our workday will be Saturday, July 14, and like last year, we will probably have additional dates in August and September.  If you missed our display in the narthex on April 29, it's not too late to sign up as a member of our team! Please contact Tom Geary or Deborah Herforth for information or details. You can reach them by email at or .

Refugee Resettlement Team
St. Mark's is considering partnering with a refugee family as they get resettled in the Tacoma area.  In order to do this, we would need a team of leaders and volunteers committed to a year of ongoing support. If this is something you feel called to and would like to be part of the team, contact Pastor Shjerven ( or Kathleen Campbell ( 

Global 6K Walk for Water - Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m.  
Family fun, Global Impac t! Join World Vision's Global 6K Walk for Water at Gas Works Park, Seattle on  May 19. Race Entry of $50 provides clean water to one person (under 18 is $25).  Grab a postcard in the Narthex and join the Terrill's team "H2O TO GO" and sign up to ride in the church van. Every participant will wear a race bib with a child's photo benefiting from clean water...and go home with a T-Shirt and finisher medal. Last year over 30,000 participated on the same date across 14 countries! 6K: the average distance women and children walk everyday for water. Visit /Seattle6K . Contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479 with questions. JOIN THE TEAM and go farther together.


A series of workshops with the theme "Welcome the Stranger" have been held in Puyallup this past month. The last of the series is this Sunday ( May 20) at 3 p.m.  at Peace Lutheran in Puyallup. Immigration Attorney Minda Thorwald will share personal experience about undocumented people and the US detention system. She will reveal how people of faith can reach out to offer consolation and support to families affected by deportation and detention. The workshop will be held at Peace Lutheran at  214 E Pioneer Ave  in Puyallup.

Please click here to read Bishop Jaech's letter regarding protecting young children at our border. 

April 2018 Financial Update

Offerings for the month of April were 7% below budget and 12% below actual offerings in April of last year. On a fiscal year-to-date (FYTD) basis, we are now $51,522 below budgeted offerings and 5.4% behind last year's offerings over the same time period. We have just 1½ months left this fiscal year to "catch up" on offerings that support the core missions of our church. Please join us as you are able in helping to finish the year in a healthy financial position!

Expenses continue to come in below budget as well. We spent $7,059 less than budgeted in April. The majority of that "underspending" was attributable to our newly lowered mortgage payment which took effect in March ($9,227 down from $12,860); receipt of a $1,200 thermostat rebate from Puget Sound Energy; and actual timing of certain expenditures versus budget. FYTD, we are now under budgeted expenses by $32,910. With the exception of a new cushion now growing because of our lowered mortgage payment, the explanation remains largely the same as in preceding months (e.g., staff reconfigurations early in the year; less reliance on our hospitality budget as people donate enough to cover the cost of meals on Wednesday and Sunday; benevolences below budget because offerings are below budget).

The financial bottom line for April is that our underspending slightly more than offset the below budget offerings. We brought in $8,986 more than we spent versus a budget to bring in $8,770 more than we spent. This put us nearly "flat" versus budget (just ahead of) by $216. On a FYTD basis, underspending is not enough to offset the lower-than-anticipated offerings, leaving us $14,674 behind budget. We have spent $4,015 more than we have brought in, leaving the General Fund with a negative balance.

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

Thank You for Children's Care Kits Supplies

Thank you so very much to whoever donated the queen and king flannel sheets for the Children's Care Kits formerly known as Layettes.   I was able to make an unbelievable number of blankets and some diapers from all that you dropped off.

Randi and Jana

Thank You from Equal Exchange

Dear St. Mark's:

We're pleased to let you know that for the 2017 sales year, your congregation was among the top 5% of over 6,000 faith based groups who order our products, so THANK YOU for your continued dedication to promoting Fair Trade in your community.

We appreciate your commitment to small farmers and your support of the work that we are doing here at Equal Exchange to change the way trade is done in the world. 

Best wishes,
Rob Everts
Co-Director, Equal Exchange

Member Notes and News

St. Mark's member, Leischen Moore, will be appearing as Eliza Dolittle in the classical musical, My Fair Lady.  Performances are  May 18 through June 10 at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.  For tickets or more information visit

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!