The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 November 14 , 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, green beans, 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

ELCA Response to California Wildfires

WIldfires are raging in the state of California, and there are many urgent needs that need to be met. If you are looking for a way to support the people and communities impacted by the fires, please click here

Giving Tree 2018

Our Christmas Giving Tree supports families from DeLong Elementary School. Look for ornaments on the tree in the Narthex the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 25). Each ornament represents an individual, and we ask that you purchase two gifts for the person, using the details provided on the ornament. Gifts need to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 9. New this year: gifts should be delivered unwrapped, please attach the tag information clearly on both gifts. There will be a festive wrapping party on December 16, and delivery the following week. If you are interested in joining the wrapping party or delivery group please call the Church office at 253-752-4966.

Habitat for Humanity
If you missed the chance to work on the Building on Faith/Thrivent Builds house earlier this summer, please join me on  Saturday, November 17. We will  be putting the finishing touches on the house, such as: interior trim, touch-up painting, and exterior landscaping. Please contact Tom Geary, twgeary@aolcom, or 253-549-2668, for more information on how to sign-up.

Special Request for Blankets for Shared Housing Services

It is getting cold out! As we at St. Mark's continue the collection of hygiene items for homeless youth served through SHS, we have received a special call for the donation of new and gently used blankets of any size. Blankets can be taken to the church office, and hygiene items can be dropped in the SHS bin outside the office.  Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed. Questions? Contact Roz Lueck-Mammen at 253-565-6398.

Needed items:
shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss
deodorant , soap, body wash
feminine hygiene, disposable razors
hair dressing / curling creme
new/gently used bath and hand towels, sheets/pillow cases twin or full

Rock City Church Has Invited Us to Join Them for a Worship Service and Meal this Saturday, November 17, at 5:30 p.m. 

It was good to have Pastor Annie Jones-Barnes with us in October, and now we are looking forward to joining her and her congregation at their place of worship. You can come for the worship service alone at 5:30 p.m., but we hope you can also stay for the meal that we will share together following the service. If you want to bring something to share, you can bring a hot dish, salad, or dessert. Rock City is currently worshipping at Westminster Presbyterian Church, which is located at 5236 E. B Street in Tacoma. 

You are invited to an Interfaith Celebration of Gratitude on Tuesday, November 20, at 7 p.m.

Join us as we come together in peace and community at Thanksgiving to reflect on gratitude and compassion. For more than a quarter of a century, this annual gathering has brought together people of many faith traditions. The service may include choirs and participants from the Bahá'í, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Center for Spiritual Living, The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Sufi, and Unitarian Universalist faith traditions. This year's servicewill be at  First Christian Church of Tacoma , which is located at 602 N. Orchard Street.  A reception and fellowship time will follow the service.  

Do You Like to Bake Bread?

We are currently looking for more bakers who lovingly provide the bread for weekly communion at St. Mark's. Bakers simply sign up for the Sundays they prefer, follow our tried-and-true recipe for the communion bread, and then bring it to Church for us to share at the Lord's Table. If you would like to do this, please contact our Church office and we will get you set up for a brief orientation. Thanks!

Third Quarter

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

Thursday, November 15, at 6 p.m. meet at Tower Lanes, 6323 6th Ave, for mini golf, food and drinks.

Friday, December 14, 7:30-9 p.m., St. Charles Borromeo "Messiah".

Wednesday, December 19, 5:30 p.m. meet at church for Christmas sing-along and fellowship.  

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
9:45 a.m. Adult Forum  Please invite family, friends, and neighbors who own rental properties in Pierce County to the  Adult Forum at 9:45 a.m. in the Parish Commons Classroom this Sunday, November 18. Alexis Eykel from the Landlord Liaison Program at Associated Ministries will be here to talk about the program and its benefits to both landlords and renters. For more information, go to:

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study is on hiatus until December 2.

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study:  The 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. This fall we will study the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or (253) 363-8202.

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Midweek Renewal 6:15 p.m., Parish Commons Classroom

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. 

October 2018 - General Ministry Fund Financial Update

Offerings for October were $17,881 below budget ($70,275 versus budgeted offerings of $88,156). Fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), we are now $19,920 below budgeted offerings of $313,793, and just 1.6% above 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 October were $2,448 below budget, spending $83,344 versus a budgeted $85,792.FYTD, we are $12,166 below budgeted expenses of $356,675. In light of below-budget offerings, we are trying to be as mindful of expenses as possible, but we have several large (unplanned) property maintenance items that are going to hit our books soon and erode these current "savings" versus budget. Projects include repairs to our music/youth wing drainage and fire/life safety upgrades that were noted at our last inspection.
The bottom line for October is that we spent $12,615 more than we brought in versus our projection to bring in $2,614 more than we spent. This puts us $15,229 "behind" budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are $6,960 "behind" budget on a "net" basis(i.e., looking at total inflows and outflows). We have spent $48,842 more than we have brought in versus a projection to spend $41,882 more than we brought in at this point in the fiscal year.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. 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. 

One of St. Mark's benevolence partners is Faith Action Network. In 2011, Washington Association of Churches and the Lutheran Public Policy Office in Olympia merged to create Faith Action Network. It is an interfaith statewide partnership striving for a just, compassionate, and sustainable world through community building, education, and courageous public action. Please learn more about it here.

St. Mark's Preschool Director Opening

St. Mark's Preschool has enjoyed a history of excellent leadership over the years, and is ready for a new chapter to begin! If you have a background in Early Childhood education (or equivalent experience), are a member of St. Mark's (or excited to become one), and administrative experience, we invite you to consider this position. Click to access the Job Description and Application Process,  or you can find the documents in the Church Office. If you have questions about the position, please contact Pastor Shjerven ( or Preschool Board Chair Julie Milasich (

Sign Up to Have Your Holiday Shopping Dollars Help St. Mark's
Did you know that St. Mark's can earn "free" money nearly every time you shop at Amazon, Fred Meyer, or Bartells? These companies will donate money to our church at absolutely no cost to us--and it can really add up. Every dollar earned will be applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund. Please take the time to sign up, following the instructions below. The same information can also be found on our church website under the  Ways to Give Financially tab. Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office if you have any questions.
Amazon Smile
St. Mark's can benefit financially almost any time you shop with Amazon! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, shopping features, and Amazon Prime member benefits as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile at the same price. Since you use the same account on and AmazonSmile, your shopping cart, Wish List, registries, and other account settings remain the same. 
To register, go to Under your Accounts & Lists menu, click into Your AmazonSmile, search for "St Marks Lutheran By the Narrows", and designate St. Mark's from there.
Fred Meyer
If you have a free Rewards Card at Fred Meyer, nearly every purchase you make there can benefit St. Mark's. (If you don't have a card, applications should be available at all registers or at the Customer Service Desk.) You just need to link your card once to St. Mark's. Go to If you don't have an online account, you will need to create one. Then scroll all the way to the bottom of page and click on Fred Meyer Community Rewards link --> click on Re-enroll or Link your Rewards Card Now and search for "St. Mark's Lutheran Church by the Narrows." You will continue to receive Rewards Points, Rebates and Fuel Points.
Bartell Drugs
St. Mark's can earn from 1% to 4% on eligible purchases from Bartells if you have a free 'B' Caring Card. (If you don't have a card, you can pick one up at any Bartell Drugs.) There are three ways you can choose to link St. Mark's to your Bartell's card: (1) complete a hard copy "escrip" registration form at the store; (2) call 1-800-931-6258; or (3) register online at
Thank you in advance!

Children's World Christmas Tree

Children's World Christmas tree for our downstairs entry is still asking for ornament donations. We have collected many from all over the world and from local sites as well making it exciting to visualize our upcoming Christmas tree. We still need more. Keep St. Mark's in mind when you travel and even when you unpack your home tree ornaments. Perhaps you have a few spare items that would fit our world tree theme. This is a donation that will be fun for you to see year after year as you are reminded of  your travel journeys.  Green baskets are located downstairs, in the office, and on the Christmas table in the narthex. Please place your ornaments in any of these baskets. Thank you for your donation. Questions? Contact

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!