The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   February 15 , 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 Tonight!

5:00 om Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner: 
Taco Soup, 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 Prayer Service (PC)

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

Coming Soon! Blessing in Abundance Campaign
Did you know that St. Mark's is now the largest Lutheran congregation in our ELCA Southwestern Washington Synod? We have been richly blessed and we excited about the opportunity to not only take care of our own needs as a growing congregation but reach out to help sister congregations who are need of our support. That's why we have decided to share 10% of all gifts to the Blessing in Abundance capital appeal with two local ministries that you will hear much more about in March. Stay tuned for details!
Small Groups!

Small Groups meetings have begun.  Thank you to Janet Grant, Bob Riler, Kim Meade, Ingelaurie Lisher and Clare and Jan Walters for their willingness to lead this year. If you were hoping to connect with a Small Group this winter, but haven't had the chance, talk to Pastor Shjerven this week.  There is room for you!

Living Your Faith: Stewardship Notes
Reflections on our 2017 Theme of "One Great Song" by Bruce Sadler

The most perfect and beautiful song ever written could be sitting on the piano of some composer, but no one would ever know of it because it was never practiced, played, performed or listened to. Likewise, the Word would never have been known if it was not spoken, sung, listened to, or put into practice.  Members of St. Mark's Lutheran by the Narrows are blessed with an abundance of ways to be part of our great song and live into the Word.  Through your generous stewardship of time and talent, we are able to provide many options to be engaged.  We offer three choices  on Sunday for Word and Sacrament, a host of  Wednesday evening activities, eight Ministry teams open to all members, a host of choirs, education for adults and children, and plenty of wonderful fellowship.  At this place for grace, our One Great Song is beautiful and never-ending.

Overwhelmed By the Needy in the World?
by Paul Baughman

Do you like to get more bang for you buck? Try "Lutheran World Relief." They report that in 2015 they have spent $43.3 million in impacting the lives of over 4 million people experiencing poverty around the world.  That represents 85.7% of their total expenses.  Fundraising took 7.7% and general management consumed only 6.6%.  What charity do you know that puts better than 3/4 of their income to the cause they support?  I found on of the cancer causes asking for my support, spends 64.7% for fundraising.  Check it out at

A couple other helpful sources are, which has information regarding a "coffee and cocoa initiative" reaching 427,000 people at 22 projects in the Philippines and other similar places.

And realizing new potentials in Nepal can be viewed at  This work touched 20,000 people, 1708 households, with 2,914 food packs and 4,699 household receiving quilts, personal care kits, and tarpaulins for shelter, plus 100 water filtration units for schools. 

Hungry for more? Try

2017 Mexico Mission Trip
We are looking forward to another great opportunity in 2017 to build houses and deepen relationships with people in Mexico. The dates for this year's mission trip are  June 23-July 1 . As always, the trip is open to people who are High School age or older. All those who are interested in learning more about this year's Mexico Mission trip are invited to an Interest Meeting on  Sunday, February 26 at 12:15pm . You are welcome to get some lunch first in the Parish Commons and then join us in the narthex for the meeting.

DeLong Backpack Program

It is time to start saving plastic grocery bags for the DeLong Backpack program.  Beginning July 12th, plastic grocery bags will not be available in Tacoma stores.  We use 4,680 bags per year to provide food for 65 students each week. 
2017 St. Mark's Reads:  "Healing the Heart of Democracy" by Parker Palmer

Each year we have the opportunity to read a book together and join in community discussions.  The first set of discussion is underway (see Adult Forum announcement).  If you are not able to participate in the February discussions on Sunday morning, mark your calendars for Thursday, March 9th and Thursday March 16th (7pm) OR Sunday, April 23rd and Sunday, April 30th (11am).  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven ( 

Lutheran Music Program
Do you know an 8 th  -12 th  grade musician who is involved in choir, band or orchestra? Lutheran Music Program offers two- and four-week summer residential academies where students grow musically through study and performance while participating in daily worship in a supportive community.
On Friday, March 3 rd at 7 pm, we invite you to learn more about our program at the home of Geoffrey and Amy Boers in Milton, just north of Tacoma. Dessert and excellent company will be provided. Please call or text Amy at 253-686-9610  if you plan to attend and look us up at

Women Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity
Presented by  AM  associated ministries
Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity - Interfaith Women's Conference Connections.  Hope.  Commitment.  Saturday, March 4, 2017  8:30 - 4:30.  Curtis Senior High School, University Place, WA.  Registration is open.  Cost $35 for full day.  Reserve your seat today.

Women of St. Mark's
We held a meeting on January 25th to distribute the 2016 Bazaar funds.  Present at the meeting was Carol Paulson, Pat Geary, Barb Meyers and Ingelaurie Lisher.  As is our practice, the $8,000 (balance of funds after expenses) was distributed with 50% to In-house Church needs and 50% to Outreach programs.

We were pleased to be able to distributed funds for the School Backpack Program, Empowering Life, Refugee families, Quilters and Youth Service Trips.

We also distributed funds for the Youth Courtyard, Kitchen Walk-in Refrigerator Fund and Kitchen needs.  

Thank you to all who requested funds.  We appreciate the time and care spent explaining what was needed.  We were able to accommodate most of the needs of all who requested funds.

Our next Bazaar will be held on  November 4, 2017.  Our Bazaar helps fund many needs of the Church and Outreach programs.  Of concern this year will be to generate enough funds to expand our church kitchen with a larger walk in refrigerator and additional kitchen storage.

New Knitting Group
Like to knit?  A group will be meeting on Feb. 15th at 1:30pm Fireside Room to work on prayer shawls or other knitting projects you have going on. 
Calling All Those Who Sew!
The Quilters need your help sewing quilt tops together at home.  See the table in the Narthex for sewing instructions and kits.  Any questions, contact Pat Buck or Celesta Smith (253-229-7726)
 To access the instructions online, click here. 
Needed: Layette Makers!

There is a need for someone to help serge layette kits (blankets and diapers) or loan the quilters a serger for this work. For more information, contact Randi Holland (253-905-5693)

Socks Needed!

Thank you to everyone who has donated scarves, hats, gloves and socks to the Family Housing Network. The needs are ongoing, especially for socks (yes, even clean used ones). Donations can be dropped off at the church office.
St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool will begin accepting enrollment paperwork for the 2017-18 school year in February. Current preschool families and children or grandchildren of St. Mark's Church members can register beginning February 1st; registration for the surrounding community will open on February 15th. Children must be two-and-a-half by Sept 1st to enroll in the 2/3s class; age 3 by Sept 1st to enroll in the 3/4s class; or, age 4 by Sept 1st to enroll in the PreK class. Please turn in paperwork as well as a non-refundable $75.00 registration fee to Anne Zimmerman. Registration paperwork can be found online ( or in the church office. Please contact Anne with questions (253) 759-4929

Make Your Shopping Dollars Go Further

If you shop on Amazon for the holidays, please consider designating St. Mark's (or your other favorite charity) to receive the money Amazon donates from each purchase. Login through and type in "St. Mark's Lutheran by The Narrows" to select our church. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday School 3yrs-4th grade. 9:45-10:45 in CFC 
Sunday Youth Faith Formation Classes-Feb 19 9:45-10:45am:
  • 5/6th grade-Unit Rewind take 2 with Mary and Linda
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation-Rahab with Ingelaurie
  • 9-12th grade-The Church an Imperfect Family with Clara
Compline and Cupcakes!  Sunday, Feb. 19 (grades 8-12) 7:30-11:00pm-- you don't have school the next day. Bring $$ for a treat at Cupcake Royale. Let Ingelaurie know by Wednesday PM if you plan on going!  

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast --Tuesday, Feb. 28 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons. Hosted by the youth. Sign up on the youth board with what you can assist with by Feb. 22.

Thursdays at St. Mark's-grades 6-12!  Feb. 16:  5:30-Youth Group; 6:30 Youth Choir. Feb. 23 5:30 Cooking workshop--yes we will eat too; 6:30 Youth Choir

Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey! 6-12th grades. 
Friday, March 10 (game time 7:35pm) meet at St. Mark's at 6:15pm. Cost: $18.00 per ticket. Sign up and pay by Feb. 26 to reserve your spot.
Summer 2017!
High School Summer Immersion Trip July 6-9, 2017 (Thursday to Sunday)  10-12th grade youth (current) Stevenson WA Cost: $100.00 per person. $50.00 Deposit are being accepted now. Spaces are limited to 10-12 youth. During our 4-day trip, we will walk and serve alongside Native Americans who live along the Columbia River as well as community members from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Team meeting--Sunday, Feb. 26 12:15-1:15pm in the Youth Room.
Montana 2017! Final deadline for all age groups-Feb. 28!  
  • 6-9th grade youth (current) Servant Trip- Cost: $622.00 per person Includes lodging, meals, transportation, and more. $150.00 due ASAP guarantee your spot.  Limited Scholarships are available and you can fund-raise to get your balance reduced.  6-9th grade parents you will register and pay for your son/daughter through the church.   See Montana info on youth board.
  • 10-12th grade youth(current)-Summer Camp at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp July 16-21(travel dates July 15 &22). Check out for more information and to register your child-you will do this on your own. But let me know so we have room for them in the van. 
  • 4-5th grade youth (current) are also headed to Flathead July 16-21(travel dates July 15 & 22).  Cost: $410.00 for camp PLUS $40.00 to St. Mark's for misc. expenses (Silverwood, transportation, etc.). Limited scholarship funds and fundraising opportunities are also available.  We will be going with the 6-9th grade servant trip, and any high school youth wanting to go to camp.  

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 19 -  Michelle Marshman and Ben Summerour will lead the second half of our discussion on Parker Palmer's, "Healing the Heart of Democracy".  (Please see "St Mark's Reads" announcement for future opportunities to discuss the book)

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 19-February 26: "Matthew for Everyone" -Pastor Gary Peterson will lead the study of chapters 15 and 16.  All are welcome; no need to have previously participated.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
Our Muslim Neighbors - Using the work of seventeen Muslim and Christian scholars, we will examine reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we can all participate in building relationships across the lines of faith

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
In the new year they will be studying Martin Luther's Small Catechism  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

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.

Fred Meyer Giving

Did you know that Fred Meyer stores has a Community Rewards Program?  For more information on how to connect your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to giving at St. Mark's, click here. 
Thank you!

My heartfelt thanks to all who supported for me during this past year of cancer treatment.  Your prayers and love lifted me during the difficult times.  Special appreciation to those who so willingly provided transportation during the eight months it took to recover from a compression fracture and also to those who brought me meals.  I have felt the Lord's love through you and have been truly blessed. 
-Pamelia Olson

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