The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 January 23 , 2019 
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
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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: Spaghetti, meatballs, bread, green beans, 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

January 27 is Passport to Mission Sunday at St. Mark's!

Please join us on this festive day when we remember our calling to be a congregation engaged in the mission of Jesus Christ!
  • Worship at 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 a.m.: Bishop Rick Jaech will preach at all three worship services.
  • Ministry Fair from 9:00-11:15 a.m.: Pick up your passport and receive stamps as you tour the variety of ministries that flourish in our congregation and learn how you can be involved. The Parish Commons will be filled with tables hosted by people who are eager to share their story.
  • Lunch from Noon-12:25 p.m.
  • Congregational Meeting from 12:25-2:00 p.m.: We are asking all voting members of the congregation to be present at this semi-annual meeting when we gather under our 2019 theme of "Companions on the Way."
  • Movie-Time for Children: During the Congregational Meeting, children will gather in our sanctuary to watch a popular movie on our big screen. Childcare will also be available in our Nursery for small children. 

Dinner with International Students: Saturday, February 2, 6 p.m., Parish Commons

St. Mark's has been blessed by the presence of many international students over the years. Come for this evening of learning and celebrating with students from Indonesia, Egypt, Palestine, and many other parts of the globe. Traditional dishes from each country will be served, and there will be opportunities to visit with all of the students. This event is free of charge and everyone is invited!

Troubled Waters or River of Life?  Christian worship and care for Earth's waters

Saturday, February 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 310 N. K Street, Tacoma

In this conference we explore water-the one thing upon which all of life depends-and Christian commitments to care for our local waters in Western Washington: an ethic of care flowing from Christian worship. Speakers include Benjamin Stewart, Todd Hay, and Samuel Torvend, in addition to Priest Janet Campbell and Musician Kathryn Nichols (Christ Episcopal).
Cost: $30.00, which includes morning refreshments, a vegetarian lunch, and all conference materials.  Register online at  BEFORE FEBRUARY 11.

Family Housing Network Update

As you might already know, FHN has been on hiatus to reevaluate the program and develop a plan to better address the needs of families in transition. The shelter program has been restarted with some important changes:

1. Instead of moving weekly from one host site to the next,  families will be housed for six months at a time at two rotating host sites. St. Mark's will no longer be a host site. Between now and March 20 the host site is Bethlehem Baptist Church, located at 4818 Portland Ave., Tacoma.
2. FHN currently has funding to provide overnight staffing at the host sites, so there will not be a need for volunteer overnight hosts.
3.  There WILL be a need for volunteers to provide hospitality and provide, serve, and clean up after evening meals at the host site. FHN is calling on the churches and organizations in the existing network to commit to doing this for a week at a time. As part of this network, we at St. Mark's plan to continue our support.
We are looking for volunteers to help provide meals and hospitality, especially over the next few months. Please stop by the Family Housing table at the Ministry Fair on January 27 or contact Paula at

Calendar Year-End Giving Statements
Hello! Just a friendly reminder from your finance team...Our fiscal year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019) does not coincide with the calendar year; therefore, we provide you two giving statements in January (if necessary) to distinguish tax year giving from fiscal year giving. This works as follows:
Anyone who gave during 2018 will receive a statement on white paper that is stamped at the top with "Calendar Year Statement for Tax Purposes." This summarizes your giving from January 1 through December 31, 2018. This statement gives you the information you need for year-end tax documentation.
If you also gave an offering on or after July 1, 2018 (the start of our new fiscal year), you will receive a second statement on green paper summarizing your giving from July 1 through December 31, 2018. If you pledged, this statement gives you a view of both your pledge for the current fiscal year and your giving thus far toward that pledge. If you did not pledge, you will simply receive a summary of your giving-to-date for this fiscal year.
We hope these two statements give you a clear picture of your giving. We sincerely thank you for your generosity and ongoing support of the mission we share at St. Mark's! Please contact Pat Buck or Jennifer Droubay in the church office (253-752-4966) with any questions.

Third Quarter

Those in the third quarter of life, ages 50-75ish, are invited to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.

Friday, February 15, at 6:00 p.m. we will meet in the Parish Commons for a potluck and panel discussion about the joys and challenges of living in the third quarter of life. Please bring some food to share.

Thursday, March 21, at 6:00 p.m. we will meet in the Pacific Ave lobby of the Tacoma Art Museum for free museums night. You are also welcome to join those who can come to Zeek's Pizza on Pacific for Happy Hour at 4:45 p.m. ($3 off pizza; $3 off some beers; $1 off wine).

New Scout Troop Forming!

A new Scout troop is forming for girls, ages 10-17.  We will meet at St. Mark's in the youth room every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. We are a fun, active, inclusive group looking for individuals interested in adventure, camping, and leadership. We will also be one of the first troops in the state to welcome females and provide them with a path to Eagle Scout. For more information, please contact Jeni Keister, 253-579-7710 or Ingelaurie Lisher also has additional information.

St. Mark's Preschool: Round Table Pizza Takeover!

Mark your calendars! St. Mark's Preschool is having a Round Table Takeover on Tuesday, January 29! Enjoy pizza and the preschool gets a portion of the sales for the entire day! Lunch or dinner! Eat in, take out or delivery! Round Table Clubhouse - 2629 N Pearl St. Thank you!

Quilters are back for the spring season!

Join us Mondays from 9 a.m.-noon (PC). " NO SEW" tasks need volunteers. If you are not available Mondays, please consider sewing quilt tops at home. Assortments available in the Narthex or Church Office.

Grief Support Group

There will be a Grief Support Group meeting in the Fireside room on Friday, March 8, from 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Women of St. Mark's

Please join us on Wednesday, January 23, at 4:00 p.m. for our annual meeting to distribute the Bazaar funds. We will meet in the Library.  Come help us distribute the funds!

Stop by our table during the Ministry Fair on January 27. We would love to meet you!

Upcoming Olympia Advocacy Days

The Peace and Justice Committee continues to emphasize the importance of advocacy to do justice. Legislators agree that it's valuable to hear from voters because:
  • they want to hear stories of impact (current or proposed laws' positive or negative impacts); 
  • they rely on well-researched information from advocacy organizations with strong track records; 
  • and they want to understand the potential consequences of proposed legislation directly from impacted people and their advocates. 

This year there are several Advocacy Days in Olympia for you to consider. An Advocacy Day generally consists of a gathering time, with workshops about how to speak with legislators and what legislation to emphasize. Next is usually time with other attendees from your legislative district to agree on who will speak when about what. Then there is a rally on the Capitol steps followed by a box lunch. In the afternoon you meet with your two representatives and one senator; this time is already scheduled through the sponsoring organization. Most days conclude with a closing time to share stories and be thankful. All of the Advocacy Days listed below attempt to be bipartisan and focus on what's best for all Washingtonians. Please use the links to find the details and sign up for one or more today! 

February 14:  Interfaith Advocacy Day sponsored by Faith Action Network  *St. Mark's will be carpooling from church so please let the office know if you'd like to join us.

If traveling to Olympia is not for you, please call or write to your legislators using the information provided on the websites above. Speak up: your moral voice matters.

Chase the Chill

The temperatures are falling and the seasons are changing which means it's time for us to Chase the Chill   again this year. All knitters and crocheters are invited to create warm hats and scarves to be donated to shelters in Tacoma and to distribute to those who are living outdoors. Yarn has been donated for this project and is free to anyone who would like to make a hat or scarf to contribute. Please stop by the church office to pick up yarn or to pick up a Ziploc bag filled with a hat and scarf to keep in your car to give to anyone you see on the streets who might need some warmth. You could add other things to the bag that you think might be useful to someone, i.e. a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small gift card to McDonald's for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, whatever you choose. For more information talk with Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller .

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Sunday morning classes for children and youth take place at 9:45 a.m. G rades 5-12 : January 27: 5/6th grade meets in the Teal Room; 7/8th gr. Confirmation meets in the Youth Room with Bruce and Carl; 9-12th gr. in Fireside Room with Catherine and Jack.  
Beginning Sunday, February 10: High School Students! Come to  The Well 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Meade's home. A time for highs and lows and reconnecting with friends and God. See postcard for address.

High School Youth Ministry Summit,  Sunday, February 3, 11 a.m. Parents will meet in the Fireside Room with Ingelaurie; youth meet in the Youth Room for breakfast goodies with Bruce.

Thursday Nights for youth at St. Mark's (6-12th gr.):  January 24: Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Youth Marimbas 7:30-8:30 p.m. January 31: Youth Choir 6:30-7:30pm in the Choir Room.

Save your spot! High School May Holden Youth Weekends: May 24-26, 2019. See the youth board for registration form and more info. All paperwork and deposits need to be turned in no later then January 27 to Ingelaurie's box in the office.  
Middle School Service Learning Trip: W e are headed back to Rocky Boy in Box Elder MT for current 6-8th graders, June 28-July 6, 2019. See the youth board for registration/applications and more info about the trip. High School and Adult leaders-see youth board to sign up to volunteer for the week. Applications and deposits due February 3. Check them out at
High School Service Learning Trip (current 9-12th grade youth):  July 14-21, Shoshone Idaho, near the Idaho Panhandle Mountains. Info on the youth aboard. Registration and deposit due by February 3 or shortly thereafter. However, if you know you are going please let me know soon, so we can reserve you a spot. Check them out at:

Adult Faith Formation

2019 St. Mark's Reads: The selection for our community read this year is Anne Lamott's Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. The book is available in various formats on Amazon or can be purchased at the Ministry Fair on January 27 for $14.00. Hosted book discussions will take place in February. Watch The Bridge and Parish Life for dates.

2019 Women's Retreat: March 8-9, Camp Burton, Vashon Island. We gather under our congregational theme "Companions on the Way" for relaxation, learning, prayer, and time in nature.  Cost: $100.00, which includes triple occupancy (private bath) room and three meals (assistance available-talk to Pastor Shjerven). Registration opens February 3 and closes when space is filled. All women are welcome!

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study:  The 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. Newcomers are welcome and would best arrive at 9:15. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. We are studying the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant at 253-363-8202 or

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal, 6:15 p.m., PCC:  The Trinity as Divine Dance; Using some of the work of Fr. Richard Rohr, we will brush off our images of the Triune God. Participants do not need to purchase Rohr's book, as we will use only selected portions, along with short DVD clips. All are welcome!

Lydia Circle: Meets first Tuesday of the month at noon. Bring your own lunch. We use the Lutheran Women's  Gather magazine. We welcome NEW members! Come join us.

Fully Alive Bible Study, Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Our topic is Women of the Bible, The Beautiful and The Ugly. Please join us. 

St. Valentine's Celebration: 
Saturday, February 9, 6:00 - 8:00  p.m.  at St. Mark's   

Elegant desserts , a  silent auction , and an opportunity to 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. 

Jekesa Marimba  Band

 $15.00 - suggested donation. Auction item donations are appreciated.
Make your reservation at the table in the narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 180 3, Gig H arbor, WA 98335 with the number in your party.

Witnessing to God's Grace by Working with Incarcerated Women and their Families

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.

The Bible calls us to do justice, which often means working to change laws to ensure more justice for all. Several of us will be going to Faith Action Network's Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia on Thursday, February 14, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., including training workshops and visits with our state legislators. Please let Pr. Shjerven or the church office know by February 1 if you'd like to attend and carpool with us. You can find FAN's 2019 legislative agenda here.

Memorial Service for Richard Moe

A Memorial Service for Richard Moe will take place on Saturday, February 9, at 2 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University.  All are welcome to join in celebrating Dick's life!

Tickets on Sale Now! Interfaith Women's Conference

Registration is now open for our second biennial Interfaith Women's Conference, to be held on  Saturday, March 9, in University Place . Visit our website to read about the 35+ workshops and 40+ presenters highlighting the theme  "Seeking Peace: Our Journey." This unique event draws 600 women of all faiths and goodwill to come together to experience the power of unity and discover new ways to strengthen our communities. The conference is designed for women interested in exploring the potential and power of interfaith collaboration, renewing their personal spiritual life, and engaging with their community to spur positive change.  Associated Ministries is also proud to present An Evening with Elizabeth Smart at the Rialto Theatre the evening before the conference.  More information about Elizabeth Smart and tickets can be found here.

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!