The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 January 16 , 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: Grilled cheese, tomato soup, 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

Orpha Forsythe  Memorial Service

A Memorial Service for Orpha Forsythe will take place on Sunday, January 20, at 3 p.m. at St. Mark's.  You are invited to attend as we give thanks for her life and remember the promise of resurrection.

Save the Date: January 27, 2019

Coming January 27 is the St. Mark's Ministry Fair. The Fair will allow you opportunities to learn how you can serve in the different ministries of St. Mark's. Visit the different tables and get your passport stamped to enter a drawing for a prize. This fair will run from 9-11:15 a.m. and will be followed by our semi-annual congregational meeting. See the schedule below, save the date, and plan to attend!

"Passport to Mission" Sunday at St. Mark's Schedule 

9:00-11:15 a.m.: Ministry Fair in the Parish Commons-pick up your passport and receive stamps as you "tour" the variety of ministries that exist in our congregation and find ways you can be involved.

12-12:30 p.m.: Lunch for all children, youth, and adults.

12:30-2 p.m.: Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting for all voting members, m ovie time for children and youth.

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

December 2018 - General Ministry Fund Financial Update
Offerings for December were $26,388 below budget ($114,660 versus budgeted offerings of $141,048). This is $15K or ~12% lower than actual giving last December. Fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), we are now $52,751 below budgeted offerings of $532,843, and 1.6% below last year actual offerings over the same time period. As mentioned in prior financial updates, we need to be 7.8% above last year's actual to make budget this year.
Expenses for December were $5,042 below budget, spending $88,178 versus a budgeted $93,220. FYTD, we are $17,366 below budgeted expenses of $532,479.
The bottom line for December is that we brought in $26,733 more than we spent versus our projection to bring in $48,078 more than we spent. This puts us $21,345 "behind" budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are $33,478 "behind" budget on a "net" basis (i.e., looking at total inflows and outflows). We have spent $31,614 more than we have brought in versus a projection to bring in $1,864 more than we spent at this point in the fiscal year.
Please join us at our semi-annual congregational meeting on Sunday, January 27, to discuss our financial situation as we move toward budget season for our next fiscal year! And as always, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you.

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).

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!

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. Youth grades 5-12: January 20: 5/6th grade meets in the Teal Room with Angelie and Irv, Unit 8 Jesus the Savior; 7/8th grade Confirmation meets in the Youth Room with Bruce and Carl-you will be discussing Christian Denominations; 9-12th grade in Fireside Room with Pastor Shjerven-Prayer week 2.

Holy Moly for children 5-8 years old  resumes this Wednesday, January 16, 6:15-6:45 p.m. in the Teal Room with Ingelaurie.

Thursday Nights for youth at St. Mark's (6-12th gr.): January 17: Youth Group 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m. January 24: Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Youth Marimbas 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Synod Youth Retreat: I am registering our group on Tuesday!  For youth grades 8-12. February 8-10, 2019. Registration forms and more info available on the youth board. 9th graders: this is your confirmation retreat; see Ingelaurie or your email for more info and your special rate.

Save your spot! High School May Holden Youth Weekends: May 24-26, 2019. See the youth board for registration form and more info. Sign up by this Sunday, January 20 to reserve your spot. 
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
9:45 a.m. Adult Forum, PCC:  Deacon Ingelaurie Lisher will share reflections on her 2018 sabbatical.

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study, the Gospel of Matthew, part 2.

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:  New Series Begins:  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. 

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, Tacoma; register at  (until Feb 11); for additional information, see Welcome Center.

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.

Please take a moment to update yourself on advocacy and actions concerning protection of God's creation across the globe in this short video by Climate Reality

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!