The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   Sept 14 , 2016 
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!

5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CFC)
5:15pm Dinner: 
 Hamburgers (veg option), baked beans, potato salad and Cake, Suggested Donation $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:15pm Holy Moly (CFC)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (FR)
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.

God's Work, Our Hands!
Thank you to everyone who attended the God's Work, Our Hands event at L'Arche Farms last Saturday!  We worshiped, potlucked and served together to help the community of L'Arche. 

Faith Journey Beginning Soon

New Faith Journey groups will begin on  Sunday, September 25 at 12:15pm  and  Wednesday, September 28 at 6pm .

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings at St. Mark's that give visitors an opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call. Those who wish to join our congregation will be welcomed as new members in November, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. This is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from  12:15-1:30pm   and another one on Wednesdays that meets from  6:00-7:15pm .  A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted  on Wednesday  nights. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at  253-752-4966  or by email at .

Peace and Justice

It's that time of year again!  Registration is open for the 2016 Pierce County Hunger Walk, which is Sunday, October 2nd at 2pm.  Please consider walking as a member of the St Mark's Team.  You may register online at  Click under the "Get Involved" tab, where you see Pierce County Hunger Walk.  Our team name is St Mark's Tacoma (note punctuation).  If you are not able to walk, but would like to donate, follow the instructions on the website, or put a check in the offering basket on Sunday.  Just be sure to put "Hunger Walk" in the memo line.  Thank you!

Interfaith Bible Study: This Thursday at 7pm at Temple Beth El

Join members of Temple Beth El, Bethany Presbyterian Church, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church for this monthly series that will look at Bible stories and prophetic witness related to the challenging process of choosing and then living with leaders in our ever-changing world. This coincides, of course, with state and national elections in the United States, so there will be good opportunities to discuss the relevance of these passages for our lives today. At our gathering this week, Rabbi Bruce Kadden will lead a study of Torah stories related to the selection of kings in Israel.

Congregational Luncheon and Guest Speaker, Sunday October 2nd, 12:15pm

On Sunday, October 2nd at 12:15pm Guest Speaker, Dr. Kevin O'Brien will present "Cloud of Witnesses", Dr. O'Brien will help us make connections between wisdom teachers of the past and current environmental issues we face (ie climate change). 

Kevin O'Brien received his PhD in Ethics and Society from Emory University in 2006 and received the KT Tang Award for Faculty Excellence in Research (2015-16).  We are delighted to have him as our guest.

Please sign up on the easel in the narthex on September 18th or 25th to reserve your seat at the luncheon ($5 meal donation requested).
Crossways Coming to St. Mark's

Sundays, 4:30-6pm Beginning September 18th
Cost: $30 to being; $20 for each new student booklet (approx. every 10 weeks)
Ever wish you had a better grasp of each book of the Bible-and how its message relates to that of all the others? You are invited to sign up for Crossways-a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible.
Crossways is a 60-session course, typically taught over two academic years.  At St. Mark's, a community of learners will come together each Sunday afternoon for an hour and a half and be immersed in the biblical story.  During the week, individuals will reflect on what they are learning through the use of a Student Booklet.
St. Mark's member, Dr. Traci Drake, will be your guide for this journey.  Traci has taught the Crossways series in prior congregations and considers it one of the best tools with which to deeply explore the biblical narrative. Traci has many years of ministry experience and has recently completed the candidacy process in the ELCA.
For more information and/or to sign-up for Crossways, stop by the table in the narthex.  

Refugee Resettlement Bathroom Kits, Thank You!

Generous donations from St. Mark's members and the Tacoma Peace Prize Committee allowed us to pack 44 bathroom kits to distribute to new refugees in our community.   Each bin has 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels, 6 wash cloths, a package of toilet paper, a shower curtain with rings, a wastebasket, liquid hand soap and a bar soap.   Mohammed from Lutheran Community Services drove the bins to their storage facility, and they will be distributed from there as families arrive.   This Iranian family arrived on September 8 and will receive one of our bins.  Thank you to all!

Save the Date: Harvesting Hope

St. Mark's will host chinaconnect's annual Fall Dinner of Friday, September 23rd.  
Sunday School Thank You!

Thank you to families who donated markers, crayons, and other supplies to replenish our Sunday school supplies.  You contributions were very much appreciated!!
Hiring SMLC Hospitality Host (aka Cook Extraordinaire)!

We are actively seeking a candidate to provide delicious meals for  Wednesday evening dinners (beginning 9/14) and  Sundaylunches (beginning 9/18) from mid-September through mid-June. This job includes planning, prepping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up after meals. A desirable candidate would be comfortable with commercial kitchen appliances and be largely self-led, while working well within a team environment. We would be happy to speak with church members, as well as non-members that you would recommend. Please contact the church office for a position description or provide a letter of interest and resume to Jennifer Droubay ( or  253-752-4966). Thank you!

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Holy Moly  for children begins September 14, 6:15-7:15pm in the Youth Room

Milestone Markers & Blessings coming up:
"Beginning Sunday School" with 3 year olds (and newly starting 4 year olds) and parent/s on  September 25, at  9:45 in your child's class room.
"Coming to the Lord's Table" with 4 year olds and other early elementary who have not attended previously, on  October 2 at 9:45.  Location will be announced.

All Children and Youth Faith Formation classes are in session.
  • Children 3 years old to 4th grade meet in the Children's Faith Center(CFC) from 9:45-10:45am.
  • Children and youth grades 5-12th meet in the Youth Wing, unless otherwise indicated.
    • Sunday, September 18 9:45am-room changes
      • 5/6th grade meet in the back of the narthex with Mary and Linda-there will be signs.
      • 7th grade youth Rite of Welcome, beginning of worship, then 7/8th grade Confirmation meet in Pastor Jan's office with Bruce Sadler.
      • 9-12th Fireside Room with Ingelaurie Lisher
Youth Ministry-Grades 6-12 Fall Start dates:
  • Thursday, September 15, 5:30-6:30pm
    • 3rd year/9th grade Confirmation class with PCC. This group meets through Oct. 27
    • Confirmation Orientation for 7th grade youth and their parents in the Fireside Room
  • Thursday, September 22, 6:30-7:30pm
    • Youth Choir for grades 6-12th with Cooper Sherry
  • Sunday, October 2, 11-11:45am SR ALYVE (9-12th grades) Breakfast Club in the Fireside Room. Breakfast will be provided.
  • Thursday, October 6, 5:30-6:30pm
    • Youth Group for grades 6-12th with Ingelaurie Lisher and Nate Nolting
2016 Hunger Walk- Sunday, October 2,  2pm at Ft. Steilacoom. Youth and parents are encouraged to attend. Register at . See youth board or green flyer in pew racks for details. 

Family Housing Network Thanks you

Thank you to the many volunteers who signed up to help with our Family Housing Network host week September 17-24 . Your efforts will help us make St. Mark's a temporary home for families with children and enrich our congregation with this ministry. We look forward to welcoming our guests!
LWR: "We Need School Kits"

It's that time! With school supplies at their lowest prices of the year, our annual drive to collect school supplies for LWR School Kits goes through September!   Our goal is to pack 100 school kits with the Youth in October.  Imagine having to choose between a meal or purchasing a notebook. Project Promise School Kits are sent to places where even the few required school supplies may be more than a family can afford. Thank you for helping children reach their full potential!
Contact Catherine Terrill  at 253-732-3479 with any questions.  Please drop-off supplies in the Narthex.   

GREATEST NEED: Notebooks, Sharpeners, Pens, Scissors

School Kit Contents:
Spiral Notebooks  (70 page-8" x 10.5")
#2 pencils  (unsharpened)
Pencil sharpener 
Blunt scissors
Blue or black ballpoint pens  (no gel)
Ruler  (30 centimeter)
Crayons  (16 or 24 pack)
Eraser  (2.5"

Pierce County Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference

Saturday, September 17- The annual Pierce County Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference is an opportunity for individuals and families to learn about Alzheimer's and other dementias, get practical tips and skills, hear about local resources and pick up important information from area providers.  The keynote with Dr. Stephen Thielke, MD, will focus on managing agitation and challenging behaviors with and without medications.  Breakout sessions include home modifications, hospice & end of life, legal issues, paying for care, meaningful activities and a hands-on dementia experience.  The Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference is free.  Registration at  8 a.m. ; keynote at  9 a.m. ; event ends at  1 p.m.  at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1315 N. Stevens in Tacoma.  Refreshments provided.  RSVP is required  online  or by calling  (253) 798-8787 .  Complimentary respite care is available by contacting Cascade Park Gardens - call  (253) 475-3702 .  Call  (253) 798-4600  for event details.

Drivers Needed

  Drivers needed to transport St. Mark's member to Sunday worship.  If you are willing to drive one Sunday per month, talk to Pastor Shjerven or Pastor Rue.
Take Them A Meal Volunteer Recruitment

Take Them A Meal: Continuing a long church tradition of providing food to support members who are ill or having a life difficulty, St. Mark's  is compiling  a list of members who would like to be potential meal providers. Potential meal providers would be notified by e-mail of meal requests.  Please call or  e-mail Janet Duris if  you would like to be a potential meal provider or if you would like additional information.  (Telephone: (253)582-4991 / e-mail: )

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
September 18, 25-Care of Creation Series
In keeping with our congregational theme, "Let All Creation Praise!",  St. Mark's members will lead us in reflecting on our faithful relationship with the natural world.  This week's leader is Don Haueisen, "Can Capitalism Solve Global Warming".   Next Sunday:  John Rosenberg, "Painting the Stars".

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
St. Mark's member Clara Eickoff attended the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August as a Voting Member (young adult).  She will share her experiences and reflections and update us on the workings of our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Next Sunday:  "Embracing a Life of Meaning", DVD series with poet/author Kathleen Norris (5 week series).

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the Fireside Room
We will begin our year with Diana Butler Bass as our guide.  Her newest book, "Grounded: Finding God in the World" is an excellent entry into our congregational theme, "Let All Creation Praise!".  Pastor Shjerven will be summarizing the main themes and thoughts of the book, and inviting everyone into reflection and conversation. (You do not need to buy the book.) All are welcome to be part of the discussion.
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
Will be studying the Book of Acts.  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Gather for lunch and conversation and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday.  Conversation will be guided by the pastor who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group. 
Community Events

Author Brian McLaren will be speaking at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (901 N. J street, Tacoma) on Tuesday, September 20th at 7:30 pm.  He will be speaking about his new book, "The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian".  The event is free and open to the public.

The 6th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference will take place at PLU on Thursday, September 29th.  The theme is "Free At Last: Perspectives on Racial Justice".  For more information, or to sign up to be part of a group going to the evening lecture, stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex.

Have an item for the bridge?
Send it to by 8am on Tuesday. All items will be run for 2 weeks prior to the relevant date and will be edited for length. Don't forget to send your member notes and news!