The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   February 22 , 2017 
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!

5:00 om Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner: 
Enchilada Casserole, Suggested Donation $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubilation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
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.

Coming Soon! Blessing in Abundance Campaign
Did you know that St. Mark's is now the largest Lutheran congregation in our ELCA Southwestern Washington Synod? We have been richly blessed and we excited about the opportunity to not only take care of our own needs as a growing congregation but reach out to help sister congregations who are need of our support. That's why we have decided to share 10% of all gifts to the Blessing in Abundance capital appeal with two local ministries that you will hear much more about in March. Stay tuned for details!
INTERFAITH ENCOUNTERS: A Monthly Study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scripture and Tradition

Come hear and discuss how Jews, Muslims, and Christians view Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed in each of our faith traditions. Each gathering will include presentations by Rabbi Bruce Kadden of Temple Beth El, Imam Ahmad Saleh of the Islamic Center of Tacoma, and either Pastor Sarah Wiles of Bethany Presbyterian Church or Pastor Jan Ruud of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. There will also be ample time for conversation and interaction between participants from all our faith communities.

Thursday, March 2nd at Bethany Presbyterian Church: Topic: Abraham 
4420 North 41st Street, Tacoma

Tuesday, March 28 at Temple Beth El:  Topic: Moses 
5975 South 12th Street

Tuesday, April 25  at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows: Topic: Jesus
6730 North 17th Street, Tacoma

Tuesday, May 23 at the University Place Public Library:  Topic: Mohammed
3609 Market Place West, University Place

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast! Tuesday, Feb. 28th Fun for the whole family!  5:30-7:00pm in the Parish Commons. Live Music, Pancakes, activities for children and more! Sponsored by the youth of St. Mark's. 

Season of Lent:  Adult Faith Formation Opportunities

Lent is a season set aside for renewal in our devotion and our faith practices.  The following Adult Faith Formation opportunities are designed to support our Lenten disciplines:

Martin Luther's Small Catechism- As we commemorate 500 years of Reformation, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has invited congregations to "dust off our Small Catechisms and take another look at the basics of our faith" (Living Lutheran, 9/16).  During the season of Lent, we will be doing just that.  New copies of Luther's Small Catechism will be provided ($5 donation appreciated, but not required).  Wednesdays, 6:15pm, March 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, April 5th.

Making Sense of the Cross: DVD series with Dr. David Lose -Participants are invited to "listen in" on an open conversation about the cross and encouraged to think about and experience its meaning for their lives.  Sundays, 11am, March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, April 2nd.

Violence Divine: Overcoming the Bible's Betrayal of its Non-Violent God -For many, the story of Jesus' crucifixion is troubling, not only because of his suffering, but because of the picture it seems to portray of a violent God who will only be satisfied through violence.  Through the power of DVD, scholar John Dominic Crossan will help us think about the history of interpreting the story through the lens of violence and ask us to consider the faithfulness of such an interpretation.  Could we be projecting our own violent tendencies onto God?  All are welcome to join this engaging conversation!  Sunday, March 5th and 12th, 9:45am Adult Forum  (**Note:  John Dominic Crossan will be in Seattle March 3-5th for a lecture series in the U District.  For tickets to any of his lectures, go to Brown Paper Tickets and search "Crossan")
Oh, Love, How Deep: Lenten Devotional from Luther Seminary -copies are available on the Welcome Center for anyone who would like to use this resource. 

January Financials Update

January offering income came in $5,939 above projections for the month. On a fiscal year-to-date (YTD) basis, this puts offerings $37,489 below budget and just slightly down versus last year's actual giving at this time. Expenses continue to be well managed - $4,091 less than projected in January and $20,112 under YTD. On net, this puts our combined General and Mortgage Funds up (actual YTD income v. actual YTD expenses) by $20,309. We had budgeted to be up by $37,405.

While offerings are just slightly under last year's actual ($5,386 or 0.9% below), in order to meet our financial obligations (e.g., payroll, utilities, and mortgage) and ministry targets (e.g., funds invested in the training of our Stephen Ministers, support of youth trips and activities), we need offerings to be 5% above last year's actual giving. We are very grateful for the continued generosity of this congregation; and know that the additional growth we approved by vote at last year's Congregational Meeting stretches and challenges us as individuals and as a congregation. We give thanks for the ministry of St. Mark's that goes on each and every day - both in our Church building and beyond our walls - and rejoice in the congregational aspirations of ministry growth together.

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office at 253-752-4966. Thank you!

Vacation Bible School 2017

Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 year old (by July 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 school year). Registration opens April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information. 

St. Valentine's Celebration Thank You!

A huge thank you to all who supported the St. Valentine's Celebration fundraiser here at St. Mark's on February 11.  Hosted by Empowering Life, a Lutheran nonprofit, the event raised funds to support Lutheran pastoral care and other programs at the Washington Correction Centers for Women in Gig Harbor (Purdy) and Belair.

We are grateful for the generous response from people at St. Mark's.  If you missed the event and would like to make a donation, please see Joan Nelson or mail your check to Empowering Life, P.O. Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.  

Overwhelmed By the Needy in the World?
by Paul Baughman

Do you like to get more bang for you buck? Try "Lutheran World Relief." They report that in 2015 they have spent $43.3 million in impacting the lives of over 4 million people experiencing poverty around the world.  That represents 85.7% of their total expenses.  Fundraising took 7.7% and general management consumed only 6.6%.  What charity do you know that puts better than 3/4 of their income to the cause they support?  I found on of the cancer causes asking for my support, spends 64.7% for fundraising.  Check it out at

A couple other helpful sources are, which has information regarding a "coffee and cocoa initiative" reaching 427,000 people at 22 projects in the Philippines and other similar places.

And realizing new potentials in Nepal can be viewed at  This work touched 20,000 people, 1708 households, with 2,914 food packs and 4,699 household receiving quilts, personal care kits, and tarpaulins for shelter, plus 100 water filtration units for schools. 

Hungry for more? Try

2017 Mexico Mission Trip
We are looking forward to another great opportunity in 2017 to build houses and deepen relationships with people in Mexico. The dates for this year's mission trip are  June 23-July 1 . As always, the trip is open to people who are High School age or older. All those who are interested in learning more about this year's Mexico Mission trip are invited to an Interest Meeting on  Sunday, February 26 at 12:15pm . You are welcome to get some lunch first in the Parish Commons and then join us in the narthex for the meeting.

DeLong Backpack Program

It is time to start saving plastic grocery bags for the DeLong Backpack program.  Beginning July 12th, plastic grocery bags will not be available in Tacoma stores.  We use 4,680 bags per year to provide food for 65 students each week. 
2017 St. Mark's Reads:  "Healing the Heart of Democracy" by Parker Palmer

Each year we have the opportunity to read a book together and join in community discussions.   If you are not able to participate in the February discussions on Sunday morning, mark your calendars for Thursday, March 9th and Thursday March 16th (7pm) OR Sunday, April 23rd and Sunday, April 30th (11am).  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven ( 

Lutheran Music Program
Do you know an 8 th  -12 th  grade musician who is involved in choir, band or orchestra? Lutheran Music Program offers two- and four-week summer residential academies where students grow musically through study and performance while participating in daily worship in a supportive community.
On Friday, March 3 rd at 7 pm, we invite you to learn more about our program at the home of Geoffrey and Amy Boers in Milton, just north of Tacoma. Dessert and excellent company will be provided. Please call or text Amy at 253-686-9610  if you plan to attend and look us up at

Women Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity
Presented by  AM  associated ministries
Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity - Interfaith Women's Conference Connections.  Hope.  Commitment.  Saturday, March 4, 2017  8:30 - 4:30.  Curtis Senior High School, University Place, WA.  Registration is open.  Cost $35 for full day.  Reserve your seat today.

Calling All Those Who Sew!
The Quilters need your help sewing quilt tops together at home.  See the table in the Narthex for sewing instructions and kits.  Any questions, contact Pat Buck or Celesta Smith (253-229-7726)
 To access the instructions online, click here. 
Needed: Layette Makers!

There is a need for someone to help serge layette kits (blankets and diapers) or loan the quilters a serger for this work. For more information, contact Randi Holland (253-905-5693)

Socks Needed!

Thank you to everyone who has donated scarves, hats, gloves and socks to the Family Housing Network. The needs are ongoing, especially for socks (yes, even clean used ones). Donations can be dropped off at the church office.
St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool will begin accepting enrollment paperwork for the 2017-18 school year in February. Current preschool families and children or grandchildren of St. Mark's Church members can register beginning February 1st; registration for the surrounding community will open on February 15th. Children must be two-and-a-half by Sept 1st to enroll in the 2/3s class; age 3 by Sept 1st to enroll in the 3/4s class; or, age 4 by Sept 1st to enroll in the PreK class. Please turn in paperwork as well as a non-refundable $75.00 registration fee to Anne Zimmerman. Registration paperwork can be found online ( or in the church office. Please contact Anne with questions (253) 759-4929

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 3yrs-4th grade. 9:45-10:45 in CFC 

Sunday Youth Faith Formation Classes-Feb 26 9:45-10:45am:
  • 5/6th grade-Unit 9 Conversion with Angelie and Irv
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation-Deborah with Bruce and Carl
  • 9-12th grade-with Zach Zimmerman
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast --Tuesday, Feb. 28 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons. Help is still needed, especially from 4-5:30pm and 6:30-8pm

Thursdays at St. Mark's-grades 6-12!  Feb. 23  5:30-Youth Cooking Workshop in the kitchen; 6:30 Youth Choir. March 2:  5:30 Youth Group; 6:30 Youth Choir

Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey! 6-12th grades Friday, March 10 (game time 7:35pm) meet at St. Mark's at 6:15pm. Cost: $18.00 per ticket. Sign up and pay by Feb. 26 to reserve your spot.
Summer 2017!
High School Summer Immersion Trip July 6-9, 2017 (Thursday to Sunday)  10-12th grade youth (current) Stevenson WA Cost: $100.00 per person. $50.00 Deposit are being accepted now. Spaces are limited to 10-12 youth. During our 4-day trip, we will walk and serve alongside Native Americans who live along the Columbia River as well as community members from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Team meeting-TODAY! Sunday, Feb. 26 12:15-1:15pm in the Youth Room.
Montana 2017! Final deadline for all age groups-Feb. 28!  
  • 6-9th grade youth (current) Servant TripCost: $622.00 per person Includes lodging, meals, transportation, and more. $150.00 due ASAP guarantee your spot.  Limited Scholarships are available and you can fund-raise to get your balance reduced.  6-9th grade parents you will register and pay for your son/daughter through the church.   See Montana info on youth board.
  • 10-12th grade youth(current)-Summer Camp at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp July 16-21(travel dates July 15 &22). Check out for more information and to register your child-you will do this on your own. But let me know so we have room for them in the van. 
  • 4-5th grade youth (current) are also headed to Flathead July 16-21(travel dates July 15 & 22).  Cost: $410.00 for camp PLUS $40.00 to St. Mark's for misc. expenses (Silverwood, transportation, etc.). Limited scholarship funds and fundraising opportunities are also available.  We will be going with the 6-9th grade servant trip, and any high school youth wanting to go to camp.  

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 26 -  "Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Faith"-In this monthly series of conversations, we celebrate the communion of faith and science and explore the promise of evolutionary Christianity.  Pastor John Rosenberg will lead the discussion.  No prior participation is required.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 26: Gospel of Matthew-In the final session of this series, we will consider the mystical story of Jesus' Transfiguration.  (This will also be the gospel text in Sunday worship)

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
Luther, the Reformation and the Small Catechism-We will watch the second half of Rick Steve's "Luther and the Reformation", produced for PBS, and discuss Luther's motivation for writing the Small Catechism.  All are welcome!

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
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.  
At Bible Study Luncheon men and women read and discuss the scripture texts appointed for the upcoming Sunday. The pastor who will be preaching on the texts guides the conversation.

Fred Meyer Giving

Did you know that Fred Meyer stores has a Community Rewards Program?  For more information on how to connect your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to giving at St. Mark's, click here. 
Thank you!

My heartfelt thanks to all who supported for me during this past year of cancer treatment.  Your prayers and love lifted me during the difficult times.  Special appreciation to those who so willingly provided transportation during the eight months it took to recover from a compression fracture and also to those who brought me meals.  I have felt the Lord's love through you and have been truly blessed. 
-Pamelia Olson

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