The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 May 23 , 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: Dijon chicken, rice, 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

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!

Thank You to Everyone Who Has Returned a Learn, Serve, and Grow Response Form! 

On Pentecost  Sunday, we gathered Learn, Serve, and Grow Response Forms during the offering at all three services. We will do the same thing this  Sunday, May 27, so please remember to being yours with you to worship. You can also mail your Response Form to us or drop it off at the church office during the week. To see all the opportunities that exist at St. Mark's, 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!

Thank You From the Islamic Center of Tacoma

We received the following note, along with beautiful flowers that were delivered by friends from the Islamic Center of Tacoma after we hosted the Iftar meal  on Sunday evening that was attended by more than 200 people:

Dear St. Mark's Church,
We at the Islamic Center of Tacoma thank you very much for hosting the Iftar. We truly appreciate the hard work of everyone that helped in the kitchen, setting up the hall, and cleaning up. They did an amazing job! Thank You!

Help Us Fund Ministry at St. Mark's with a Strong Push at the End of the Fiscal Year!

As any distance runner knows, a strong finish to the race requires a strong push at the end, and we are wanting to do that as a congregation in these last weeks of the fiscal year that ends on  June 30. As we note in the financial update, we have had a good year in so many ways, but our pace has been slower than last year when it comes to financial giving (5.4% behind last year) and this has left us with a significant amount to make up at the end. The good news is that we still have five weeks to hit our full stride! If you have made a plan for giving in this fiscal year, please do your best to finish strong in the these last weeks of May and June. If you have the means to go over and above what you planned to give, this is when your gifts will really make a difference! And remember, this race is all about funding the ministry that is transforming lives in our congregation, in our community, and around the world. 

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 schedule online at:

Thank you!

Marimba Summer Camps

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 is available with Linda or Katie in the church office. There is limited space, so we encourage people to register early for both children and adults. 

Care of Creation 2018 Hikes

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

Dates for Craft Nights for the Summer and Fall have been set to help prepare items to sell at the Bazaar.

Mark your calendars!   Our first session will be on  June 29 from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m.  We will meet in the Fireside Room for a fun night of crafting.  Come for laughter and conversation. Project to be determined.

The following sessions will be on  July 27August 31September 28, and October 26. Times will be the same. Mark your calendars and join us when you can. Sessions are open to all!

We will be "Stuffing Stuff", making Snowman Chocolate Bars and Popcorn Snowmen, and at least one night for sewing table mats. If you have an idea for something we can make, give me a call or send me an email.  Barbara Meyers, or 253-370-4251.

St. Mark's Preschool

St. Mark's Preschool is looking to hire a fun, team-oriented PreK teacher with at least two years of experience teaching 4-5 year olds. PreK teachers work M-Th from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pay will be between $14-$17/hr DOE. Please be prepared to provide a resume as well as three references. We look forward to hearing from you soon! 
Contact: Anne Zimmerman, St. Mark's Preschool Director,, 253-272-4929.

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 on 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
Prayers for our youth and adults headed to Holden Village this weekend:  Jack Banken, Carl and Kellen Reese, Ben Shjerven, Robert Heckard, Abby Reiser, Ava Montgomery, Kirsten Iverson, Tove Trelstad-Larsen, Ingelaurie Lisher, and Zach Zimmerman.

Sunday, May 27--Regular Sunday AM classes for children 3 years old to youth grade 6, 9:45-10:45 a.m.; 7/8th grade attends worship as a class at 9:45 a.m.; 9-12th grade will NOT meet this week. Classes run through 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   Aug. 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 24 Youth Choir; Wed. May 30 Children/Youth Choir Concert and Potluck dinner with families-5:30p.m.May 31 Youth Group end of the year party 5:30-6:30 p.m. here at the church-pizza and games-last day of youth group.
High School Graduation Milestone Event-Sunday, June 3 11:00 a.m. Worship Service

5th grade Milestone Event-Image of God- Sunday, June 3 9:45 a.m. for youth and parents. Teal Room in Youth Wing. RSVP by May 30 if you are attending.

2018 Houston Meetings:   Saturday, June 2, 3pm-6:45 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; Sunday, June 24, 11:00a.m. Blessing in Worship.

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

Sunday, 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.

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 .

Bandage Rolling for Global World Ministries
Tacoma Lutheran would welcome a few new folks to help make bandages for Global World Ministries. A team of people meets at the Tacoma Lutheran Chihuly Family Art Center every Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 to cut and roll bandages which are then shipped out to be used where most needed; most recently to Africa. All materials are supplied. If you are interested just come to the art center on Wednesday at 10:00. If you have questions you can call Diane Schurr at 253-267-5760. Thank you!

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.  In 2016, Congress enacted the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) with overwhelming bipartisan support. Since then, the GFSA has strengthened the accountability, implementation, and effectiveness of food security and nutrition programs. It is time for Congress to re-authorize the GFSA via HR 5129 and S 2269. Please contact your senators and representatives, asking them to do so. Rep. Reichert and Rep. Smith are already co-sponsors; if you reside in their districts, please encourage them to help shepherd this legislation through. Click here for a template from Bread for the World that we recommend you personalize.

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!

Member Notes and News

On Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Hall at the University of Puget Sound, Elizabeth Busch-Conway is playing Concertino in D Minor as part of the Orchestra Recital Series week of concerts. This is the 26th season of ORS concerts. Student pianists are accompanied by an orchestra of former/present college students and other musicians. No tickets are required. Donations are accepted and encouraged. 

St. Mark's member, Leischen Moore, will be appearing as Eliza Dolittle in the classical musical, My Fair Lady.  Performances are  run 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!