The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   Aug 31 , 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 Manager
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 Begins September 14th.

Please join us for dinner, evening prayer and children's programs beginning September 14th.
Fall Sunday School Event, September 11th

Children's Faith Formation Fall Sunday school is set to begin with an intergenerational focus on September 11 following our Day of Service at L'Arche on September 10 and continuing emphasis on God's creative activity in nature.    Teachers will be installed and blessed; families will receive information on the coming Sunday school year; and kids will receive a blessing as they begin a new school year.  Regular classes begin on September 18.  Registration for Sunday school helps us keep information up to date on your child--forms are available each Sunday in the Narthex and on-line this week.  Are you interested in teaching?  There is room for you on one of our teaching teams and we would love to have you consider this important ministry with children!  Teachers ARE needed.  See the display table in the Narthex on Sundays or talk with/e-mail Char Leone (  

God's Work, Our Hands! Join us at L'Arche Farm and Gardens. Sign Up Now!

Sign up NOW for the "GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS." EVENT AT L'ARCHE FARM AND GARDENS on Saturday, September 10.
People of all ages are invited to join us for outdoor worship (under a large covering called "The Barn") from 11:30am-Noon; a Potluck Lunch with greetings from leaders of the L'Arche Community from Noon-1:00pm; and Service Projects at L'Arche from 1:00pm-2:30pm.  We'll probably do some weeding, trimming, clearing of brush, planting, and domestic chores. You can choose the project you want to participate in when you are there. We are asking each household to bring a dish for the potluck which can serve about 10-12 people. We will provide beverages and plates, cups, etc. If you can't be there for all three events, just indicate which ones you plan to attend when you sign up. If you would like a ride from church, you may indicate that as well when you sign up. Also, the first thirty people to sign up will receive a "God's Work Our Hands" T Shirt.  You can sign up on the large easel in the narthex, or by calling the church office at 253-752-4966. You may also email us at: .  We are excited for this opportunity to strengthen our ties with the L'Arche community and do God's work with our hands! The address for our gathering place at L'Arche is: 12303 36th Ave. E., Tacoma

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!

Help Children's Faith Formation Replenish Our Supplies

Needed:   Crayons in 24 packs, Crayola washable markers, glue sticks, and scotch tape.
Thanks for any contributions you can make to help refresh supplies for our Sunday school kids!  

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Sunday School (preschool-12th grade) Teacher training-Sunday, September 10th 9-11am in the Parish Commons.
Youth Faith Formation (grades 6-12) September Start up dates and times:
  • Sunday, September 11th 9:45am-Cross-Generational Event in the Children's Faith Center, for all ages.
  • Thursday, September 15th 5:30-6:30pm
    • o   3rd year/9th grade Confirmation class with PCC. This group meets through Oct. 27
    • o   Confirmation Orientation for 7th grade youth and their parents in the Fireside Room
  • Sunday, September 18th 9:45am
    • o   5/6th grade youth-outside location TBA. Your regular room beginning on Sun. Sept. 25th will be the Teal Room in the Youth Wing.
    • o   7th grade youth Rite of Welcome, beginning of worship
    • o   7/8th grade youth-following Rite of Welcome, 9:55am or so activity with teachers outside, location TBA. 

Friends of WPC NEPAL

Returning September 11 is Betty Kazumura, Board Member of the Friends of the Womens Protection Center in Nepal which operates a safe home in Haetuda, Nepal, that supports programs to rescue girls who are trafficked.  When rescued WPC Nepal provides support to programs that provide a path for girls to reintegrate into society. Betty will have jewelry and scarfs for purchase, made by those seeking a new income, and information on their work and upcoming fundraiser September 24. Please stop by and say hello! 
Contact Catherine Terrill, 253-732-3479 if you have any questions.

A Kuwait Initiative Enlivens Refugee Children

By Herman Diers

TOYS!  Yes, toys are of crucial importance, alongside of food, clothing and shelter for refugee children, according to Dr. Adnan Alshatti, a professional psychologist from Kuwait City who leads a massive initiative that works with refugee children in northern Lebanon.

In an address at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Tacoma WA on August 14, Dr. Alshatti, a larger-than-life, charismatic and engaging figure, revealed, "You can just see the children come alive with new vitality as they play with their toys."

Under Dr. Alshatti's leadership Kuwait is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to serve refugees encamped in northern Lebanon, offering them food and medical services.  However, his primary focus now is on education.  Syrians at the camps are hopeful that they will be able to return home when it is safe.  However, says Dr. Alshatti, "what kind of future does their country have when a whole generation is left without education?"
FISH Food Bank Update: What do 20, 171 and 4,734 have in common?

In February, St. Mark's joined with 5 other churches in the north end of Tacoma to help distribute food at the NW Tacoma FISH Food Bank at Mason Methodist Church in the Proctor District. Twenty volunteers from St. Mark's have devoted over 171 hours to help provide food to 4,734 people in need!  And those are just the days when our volunteers were scheduled!

The Food Bank is open for about 4 hours every Wednesday and Saturday. Since January, there have been 8,941 client visits who picked up food to help feed 30,423 family members.  About 2% are infants, 25% are between 3 and 18, 46% are between 19 and 54, and 27% are 55 and older.  In June of this year 41,919 pounds of food helped feed the needy.  A special THANK YOU these local businesses who regularly donate:  Pearl Street Safeway, Target, Legendary Donuts, Papa Murphy's pizza, and the Tacoma Food Co-op.

Family Housing Network returning Sept. 17-24!

Beginning Saturday, September 17, St. Mark's will again host up to five homeless families with children. This is our fourth year as part of the Family Housing Network. Volunteers are needed to bring meals, prepare bedrooms, and host the families during the evening and overnight. See the signup table in the narthex!

Long-Term Property Maintenance Reserve Update

You may recall that in 2015, our congregation started funding a reserve for large-scale facilities projects needed around the church. Thanks to your generosity, we have over $21,000 in that fund to date and have an additional $17,000 in the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget that was approved at our  May 22nd  congregational meeting. We will start seeing the benefits of our collective stewardship toward the end of August, as Washington Patriot Construction begins to replace the woodpecker-damaged siding on the northwest corner of the sanctuary (replacing cedar siding with Hardie siding/trim). Washington Patriot is just one of the firms that bid this project, and is a legacy firm of Wade Perrow, who constructed our parish commons/preschool addition. We are so excited to take this first, readily visible step toward caring for our facility through the long-term property maintenance fund. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay at the church office  (253-752-4966 ).

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 is August 21-September 18 (all items needed).  Our goal is to pack 100 school kits with the Youth in October.  In 2015, LWR delivered a total of 152,585 school kits around the Globe!  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! 

Please drop-off supplies in the Narthex and look for updates on needs as we start collecting!     

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: )

St. Mark's Preschool
St. Mark's Preschool is accepting registration packets for the 2016-2017 school year. Classes are available for children ages 2.5-6 years old.  To get more information and/or a registration packet, visit the preschool's website, or contact Anne Zimmerman (253) 752-4929 M-F 8:30-2:00.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Classes are on hiatus for the summer, please join us again in the fall!

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!