The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 June 20 , 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
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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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ELCA Presiding Bishop and Other Faith Leaders Issue Joint Statement Regarding the Current Policy of Separating Families at the U.S. Border

Our Presiding Bishop, Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, joined many others in speaking out against the current policy that is being enforced at our borders. You can read the statement at this link: 

You can also join ELCA efforts to support migrant children from Central America by donating to AMMPARO,  a  holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, to accompany children today and in the future. You can learn more about how to get involved and make a donation at:

In our local community, we work closely with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS). You can help them give direct support to detained children by making a contribution at their website and, while you are there, you can learn a lot more about their efforts:  

You are Invited to an Interfaith Discussion with Bishop Jaech and Rabbi Jaech on July 24 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows

Come join a discussion with Bishop Rick Jaech of our ELCA Southwestern Washington Synod and his cousin, Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, as they discuss the Christian and Jewish faith tradition and the spiritual pilgrimage they have each made. Rabbi Jaech is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel located in Northern Westchester County above New York City. They look forward to having a family interfaith discussion with all of you.

Weekly Walking for Wellness on Wednesdays

Begins Wednesday,  June 20,  and will go throughout the summer. Those who are interested will meet at  3:30 p.m.  in front of the Wellness Center at TLRC and go for a short, easy walk around the neighborhood. Please sign up in the church office or on the back table in the Narthex. All are welcome to come (wheelchairs and walker friendly), this will be an accessible walk. Questions? Contact Pastor Sigi Helgeson, , or call the church office.

Fiscal Year-End Giving

As fiscal year (FY) 2017-2018 draws to a close, we want to be very deliberate to ensure your offerings are directed as you intend them to be. There are three specific things that will help make sure your gifts are applied correctly:
1. Please indicate to  which fiscal year your gift should be applied (either FY17-18 ending June 30th or FY18-19 beginning July 1st). While this obviously does not affect anything from a tax perspective, if you pledged, it does determine to which pledge the gift is applied. If you do not specify a fiscal year, your gift will be applied according to when it was dated (for a check), when it was charged (for a credit card), or when it was received (for cash).
2. Please indicate for  what purpose (e.g., regular offering, mortgage retirement) your gift is intended. There are many families who have graciously pledged to both causes and our Financial Recording Secretary needs your assistance to ensure your offering is used as you intend.

3. Finally, if you receive giving envelopes, please try to use these envelopes for your gift whenever possible. It makes it easier for our weekly counters and helps us make sure we acknowledge the correct giver and direct the gift to the correct fund.

Thank you for your faithful support of the ministry and mission of St. Mark's. Feel free to contact Pat Buck or Jennifer Droubay in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions.

May 2018 - Monthly Financial Update
Please join us as you are able, in these last two weeks of our fiscal year, to finish in a healthy financial position! Offerings for the month of May were 14% below budget and 14% below actual offerings in May of last year. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, we are now $63,626 below budgeted offerings and 6.2% behind last year's offerings over the same time period.
Expenses continue to come in below budget as well. We spent $11,921 less than budgeted in May. Fiscal year-to-date, we are now under budgeted expenses by nearly $45K. The drivers remain largely the same as in preceding months (e.g., lowered mortgage payments, staffing assumptions, strong meal donations, benevolences below budget because offerings are below budget).
The financial bottom line for May was that we spent $6,551 more than we brought in (only $80 different than what was budgeted). For the fiscal year, we have spent $10,566 more than we have brought in, leaving the general fund with a negative balance. It is likely we will need to draw down on our operating reserve at year end.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you.

Your Long-Term Maintenance Dollars Hard at Work!
This week, you'll start seeing some improvements in our upper and kitchen parking lots. On Monday, June 18, and Tuesday, June 19, a contractor replaced patches of deteriorated asphalt with nice, new smooth ones! This will help accessibility as we remove tripping hazards and protect our paving from further deterioration by the elements. It is likely you will be able to maneuver around the cones to still park in the upper lot - but don't forget the lower lot is available. Stay tuned for sealcoating of all our lots the first week in July! Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions.

St. Mark's Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 St. Mark's Scholars:  Ella Banken, Hanna Frazier, Hadley Gormley, Thomas Harris, Will Kruithoff, Madi Larson, Ethan Marshman, Dane Meade, Lily Oellerich, Libby Postovoit, Sarah Rodin, Olivia Sherry, Eric Spear and Emma Summerour. God's blessings to each of them as they pursue their education!

Marimba Summer Camp

Back by popular demand, a Marimba experience is being offered this summer for children:
  • 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.

Care of Creation 2018 Hikes

The Care of Creation hike this Friday, June 22, will be to High Rock Lookout  near the entrance to Mount Rainier NP. It is about a  3.2  mile round trip (short and about 1,400 foot gain). Pretty much snow free. The road up is a decent forest service road with SUVs preferred. A little bit of washboard.  Again we'll form car pools, leave the parking lot at church at 8 a.m. and should be back between 5 and 6 p.m. Bring sunscreen, water, lunch, camera, binoculars, etc. Please email or call Tom Hulst if you have any questions:; 253-460-2683.
Women of St. Mark's

Our first Craft Night is happening on  Friday, June 29! I hope you have all marked your calendars and are ready for a fun night of conversation and crafting!

We will meet in the Fireside Room at 6 p.m. until around 9 p.m.

We have two projects for this first night! We will be stuffing dogs and cats and dolls and their toys. Additionally, we will be making colorful scented bath salts.

Come for the conversation and crafting!

The following sessions will be on  July 27August 31September 28, and October 26. Watch The Bridge for changes in dates. Times will be the same. Join us when you can. Sessions are open to all!

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.

Third Quarter Summer Fun

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

Thursday, July 12, 6:50 p.m.  Rainiers game at Cheney Stadium. Please eat beforehand or plan on buying concession food. We will meet by the ticket windows at  6:50 p.m.  and each buy our own $15.50 general admission ticket. The game starts at  7:05 p.m.  against Fresno. 

Thursday, August 9, 5:45 p.m. Happy Hour dinner at Duke's, 3327 Ruston Way. Optional bike ride meet at Duke's lot at  5:00 for leisurely cycling along Ruston Way before happy hour.

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 accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year! 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Summer Story time begins June 24  and runs through  August 26  at the  9:45  hour for children five years old to 3 rd  grade (incoming). Younger children need to bring an adult. Leaders this Sunday: Ingelaurie Lisher and Angelie Stahlnecker.

2018 Houston:  Sunday, June 24, 11:00 a.m. Blessing in Worship, wear your Gathering T-shirt. 

Please keep the youth and adults attending the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in your prayers: Ava Montgomery, Abby Reiser, Claire Lambert, Sam Marshman, Ben Shjerven, Tristen Sharp, Jack Banken, Annika Hoseth, Kaelen Hoseth, Kyan Calhoun, Amber Gainey, Kirsten Iverson, Rutaha Joel, Robert Heckard, Ray and Pastor Rebecca Shjerven and Ingelaurie Lisher. We leave Tuesday, June 26, meet at the airport at 4:45 a.m. Follow us at:
Mark your calendars...
  • JR/SR ALYVE Family BBQ (youth and parents) Thursday, July 12, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Lisher/Sadler home. Brats and hot dogs provided. Bring a side dish to share. RSVP by July 8 if you are attending,  
  • Music on the Lawn Event and Fundraiser Saturday, August 25, 3:00 p.m. at the Reynolds. Tickets available soon.
Travel Adventure VBS 2018
We are busting at the seams with kids signed up for VBS! VBS is officially FULL, however, we have started a waitlist.  Your support in one of the following ways would be greatly appreciated:
  •  Adult and/or Youth volunteers (5 more needed).
  • We are looking for the following items:  Pop-up/EZ-UP tents (to be borrowed only), fake flowers (donate or borrow), Mexican-style blankets (donate or borrow), fruit (grapes, apples, tangerines/cuties), used CDs (donate).

Adult Faith Formation

Summer Series begins in July. Wednesdays, July 18 - August 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m.  For the Well-Being of All: praying with heart, soul, strength and mind.  Look for details in future editions of The Bridge and Parish Life.

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.  Please contact Tom Geary or Deborah Herforth for information or details. You can reach them by email at or .

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. 

Below is a YouTube link concerning the separation of children from their parents at the southern U.S. border pursuant to the policy recently announced by the administration. We should be updated on this important immigration issue so we can speak with a "Moral Voice".

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!