The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   December 21 , 2016 
Sunday Worship      
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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.
Blue Christmas/Longest Night Worship Service Tonight

For some, the darkest season of the year evokes complex feelings...grief, loneliness, longing.  On the longest night of the year we will gather to bring these experiences before God, pray together, and hear words of hope and courage.  Similar to "Prayer  Around  the Cross", will will gather in the Parish Commons, Wednesday, December 21st at 7:30pm.  All Are welcome.  

Christmas Worship Schedule

Saturday, December 24th
  • 4pm Family-Oriented Service
  • 6pm Traditional Service (childcare provided in the nursery)
  • 9pm Traditional Service
  • 11pm Traditional Service
All Christmas Eve services will be in the Sanctuary and will include Holy Communion and Candle-lighting

Sunday, December 25th
  • 10am Christmas Day worship with Holy Communion
Sunday, January 1st
  • 10am Christmas Season Hymn-Sing with Holy Communion
Please note that there will be 1 worship service on both Christmas and New Year's Day

December Generosity

Historically, our offering income in December represents a significant amount of our total income for the fiscal year, so we build our budget on that recurring practice of giving. As you celebrate God's bounty with gifts to loved ones in the Christmas season, we thank you for the generous support you give to sustain and strengthen the ministry of our beloved congregation!

November Financials Update

November saw a return to the negative trend in actual versus budgeted income. Total General and Mortgage fund income for November was $86,610, or $10,664 short of budget. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, we are now $29,947 short of projected total income. Total offerings are essentially flat (0.3% down) versus the same period last year. The good news continues to be that we are also spending less than we budgeted, to the tune of $3,161 for November and $14,171 fiscal year-to-date. So instead of the "bottom line" being the full $29,947 below budget, we are $15,776 behind. The General Fund balance is still positive, with approximately $10.4K. Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office at 253-752-4966. Thank you!

Peace in Action

Thank You from the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize!
Due to the generosity of the Tacoma community (including several members of St. Mark's), the "Peace in Action - Refugee Project" raised enough money to put together 13 (THIRTEEN) Restart Kitchen Kits for refugees! The kits have been delivered to Lutheran Community Services. We are so grateful to all who donated!
Merry Christmas from the GTPP Board!
Janet Ruud, Tom Heavey, Lisa Ottoson, Amanda Feller, and Bill Lincoln
St. Mark's Reads 2017

This is the 5th year we have read a common book as a church community!  The selection this year is "Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit" by Parker Palmer.  Discussion groups will meet on Sunday mornings (1/15, 1/22, 1/29) OR Wednesday evenings (1/18, 1/25, 2/1).  You may order the book online in either paperback or e-reader version.  If you would like an order placed for you, stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex on December 4th or 11th.  Cost is $14, paid before book is ordered.  Books will arrive before Christmas and can be picked up in the Church Office.  We hope you will be part of this anniversary year of St. Mark's Reads!

Advent Devotional from Luther Seminary

Luther Seminary is once again providing a daily advent devotional called "Savior of the Nations, Come".  It is available online at www.luthersem/edu/advent/  Hard copies are also available at the Welcome Center.

Thank You For Your Year-End Giving

Just a quick reminder that St. Mark's documents year-end gifts in accordance with IRS regulations. Cash contributions are deductible only in the year in which they are made. This means that any contributions you'd like to deduct for tax purposes in 2016 must be received by the Church office  before the office closes at noon on Friday, December 30th. Per IRS rules, mailed checks will be dated as of the date they were mailed; credit card gifts are deductible in the year in which the charge is made. Gifts of securities are considered delivered upon receipt in St. Marks's account at Charles Schwab (please contact the Church office for account information).
Finally, as you plan your year-end giving... did you know that if you have securities in your portfolio with large capital gains, you may be able to transfer part or all of a position to St. Mark's while paying no taxes on the capital gains and deducting the full, current value of the securities as your charitable gift? This may work well if you have held a security for a long time and have built up significant gains. (Please consult with your personal tax advisor for any specific guidance.)
Feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Pat Buck at the Church office  (253-752-4966) if you have any questions.

Flower Chart 2017

The flower chart for 2017 is on the bulletin board outside the office.  You are invited to sign up for a Sunday to place flowers on the altar to celebrate, honor or remember special people and occasions in your life.  You have a choice of providing the flowers yourself or paying $40 for an arrangement to be delivered by Safeway.  Thank you.

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 will be on break Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Coming up...2017 and beyond!
  • Epiphany Event Fundraiser-Wednesday, Jan. 11th 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's.  Prep work-Jan. 8th 1100a.m.-2:00p.m. Sign up on the Youth Board to help out.
  • 9th grade Post Confirmation Retreat-Sunday, Jan. 15-Monday, Jan. 16 Cost: $20.00 per person. Sign up by Jan. 8th if you are attending.
  • Synod Youth Gathering (grades 7-12)-Feb. 3-5th Cost: $130.00 per person. Sign up with a $60.00 deposit by Jan. 8th if you are attending.  Registration forms on the youth board now.  
Epiphany Event 2017! 
Visit the Camels at the table in the Narthex this Sunday.   Sign up for the Epiphany event being held January 11 at St. Mark's.The family fun begins at 5:30 p.m. with chili, hot chocolate, hot cider, cookies and more. We will follow the star with the wise men to find Jesus. You will also have an opportunity to hear about and support our St. Mark's Youth. Some of their events coming up include the National Youth Convention, mission trips to Montana and Bible Camp. Please sign up so we know how much chili to prepare. Questions contact Jean Steingrebe 360-275-8111.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
Adult Forum is on Christmas break this week, classes will resume January 8th.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
Adult Class is on Christmas break this week, classes will resume January 8th.  
Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
There will be no Midweek Renewal this week. Classes will resume January 18th.

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura.  Fully Alive will be on break until January 3rd. 

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
Is on break until January 4th.  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.  Is on break until January. 

Member Notes and News        

On Sunday the 18th of December we welcomed by the Sacrament of Baptism Reeve Michael McGregor, son of Justin and Tina McGregor at the 11am worship service.               
Peace Community Center Job Openings          

We are currently looking to fill two very important positions at the Center.  Below are summaries for both positions and both are posted on our web site at:

Finance & Administration Manager
This position will provide leadership for Peace Community Center's financial and operational functions and implement the infrastructure and systems needed to support our strategic objectives.  Primary responsibilities include finance, HR, IT and facilities.  Position is 32-36 hours/wk @$18-$22/hr. and open until filled.

Program Director: High School, College & Career
This position is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of the Center's Hilltop Scholars high school and post-secondary programs; and will oversee visioning, planning and overall management for both programs.  Primary areas of focus will be academic coaching and tutoring, college & career access and college completion.  Position is full-time @ $55,000-$62,000/yr and open until filled.

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