The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   June 1 , 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 Church Night is on Summer Hiatus 

Please join us again in the Fall!
Women of St. Mark's

Please join us for conversation and fellowship on June 14th, 7PM, in the Fireside Room at St. Mark's.  We will be discussing our plans for the fall.  We welcome your input and ideas.  Please contact Barb Meyers at  253-756-9352 with any questions. 
See you then!

Region 1 Women's Gathering, June 24th - 26th at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, WA.  Information and Registration form at The theme for this event is "Empowering Women by Grace through Faith".  Listen to women telling their stories in a format similar to "The View" on TV.  
Refugee Resettlement Planning Meeting-  Sunday June 12th

Following the Spring survey to assess congregational interest in helping a refugee family resettle in the Tacoma area, the Peace and Justice Committee is moving forward with plans to help a family relocated to our community in the next year.   If you would like to help with such tasks as transportation, orientation activities, setting up a house/apartment, being a language tutor or conversation partner, donating household items, provide financial assistance for transition needs, or more -- please join us for a planning session on Sunday, June 12 with John Forseth who works with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.    There are two sessions --  9:30am and 11:00am in the Parish Commons Classroom.  You only need to attend one session.    Mr. Forseth will guide us in how best to provide hospitality and support to a new family.    If you want to help, but cannot attend, please email Kathleen Campbell at or call 253.820.3297

Highlights from May 22 Congregational Meeting

With the excellent leadership of Bill Klancke, Anna Ahrens, Courtney Stringer, Jennifer Droubay and Barb Meyers, our Congregational Meeting on May 22nd was a great experience of being the church together for the sake of the world. During our time together, we:
  • reflected on our mission statement and told stories of how we see it being enacted in our life together
  • approved a Treasurer's Report for January-April of 2016 which showed that income was slightly over what was budgeted and expenses slightly lower for a positive variance of $3,604
  • heard a very good overview of stewardship at St. Mark's in the past, present, and future
  • adopted a "growth budget" for the next fiscal year which fulfills our commitment to restoring the second pastor position to full-time, slightly expanding the Manager Finance and Operations position, and setting aside more money for deferred maintenance.
  • approved a motion to move forward with plans for Mortgage Retirement, including the engagement of a professional consultant with money that has already been pledged for that purpose
  • elected new leaders to serve on our Church Council, Preschool Board, Scholarship Committee, and Mission Endowment Committee (see next article in the Bridge)
  • thanked outgoing elected leaders for their faithful service
  • thanked Becki Christian and Jan Pence for their fruitful ministry with us at St. Mark's
  • thanked Jim Pence for all the leadership he has provided over the years
All in all, it was a very positive expression of thanksgiving for all the blessings that God has given to us in our life together in this place for God's grace!

Welcome to Our Newly Elected Leaders

At our Congregational Meeting on May 22, we elected the following people to leadership roles at St. Mark's"

Church Council                                                                               President                                Anna Ahrens                                 
 Vice President                        Bill Klancke                                    Secretary                               Laura Oellerich                                
 Peace and Justice                  Kathleen Campbell                   
 Finance and Operations           Pete Indahl                                   
 Adult Faith Formation              Steve Ilyko                           
 Worship and Music                 Sharron Bonea
Preschool Board                                                         
 Kevin Meyers and Ilya Katsel
Scholarship Committee                                                       
Nina Banken and George Meers
Endowment Fund Committee   
Deborah Herforth and Jeff Ganung
We also said thank you to outgoing Church Council leaders, including Deborah Herforth, John Avery, Jon Rodin, and Larry Bitter, and to Troy Droubay, who finished his term on the Preschool Board.

Learn, Serve, Grow

The Learn, Serve, Grow response forms keep coming in, and we love reading every one of them! We have now heard from about 130 people, and we look forward to many more in the weeks ahead. You may bring your response forms to church this coming Sunday, May 29th and place them in the offering plate. If you can't be with us for worship, you can always mail your form to us and we will follow up with you.   Click here to read the Learn, Serve, Grow booklet which describes the many opportunities that exist at St. Mark's, and then take time to fill out this downloadable Response Form   as an expression of your own desire to live in faith. We look forward to another amazing year of ministry together!

June 11: Interfaith Dialogue on Peace Building

The Tacoma Buddhist Temple is hosting its first Public Interfaith Dialogue on Saturday, June 11, 1:00-3:00 pm, on the topic "Religious Approaches to Peace Building." Associated Ministries is co-sponsoring this unique interfaith forum and we hope you'll encourage our Buddhist friends by coming out to support this important, and informative, gathering.
The moderator for the dialogue will be Amanda Feller, Associate Professor of Communications at Pacific Lutheran University; she is a specialist in conflict resolution and peace building. Co-hosting the event is Erik Hammerstrom, Assistant Professor of East Asian and Comparative Religions at Pacific Lutheran University and member of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple.
Four faith traditions will be represented on the panel, providing interesting insights on the topic of peace building from unique vantage points; I'd imagine we are likely to discover more similarities than differences!
Representing the Buddhist tradition and serving as co-host of the event is Rev. Kojo Kakihara, minister at Tacoma Buddhist Temple. Representing Islam will be Turan Kayaoglu, Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at University of Washington Tacoma. The Baha'i tradition will be represented by Joshua Christy, Master's Degree student and Youth Mentor. The Christian perspective will be offered by Rev. Joseph Hickey-Tiernan, Priest-in-Charge at Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Olympia.
The Tacoma Buddhist Temple is located at 1717 S. Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma. The event is free and all are welcome.

Care of Creation: Summer Day Hikes

Mark your calendars! The Care of Creation Committee is sponsoring three day hikes during the summer of 2016.  The dates of the hikes are listed below:

  • Saturday June 25--Summit Lake in the Clearwater Wilderness
  • Friday July 15-- Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park
  • Friday August 5 -- Hike in the Olympic Mountains TBD
Each of the hikes is geared to hikes of  all ages and abilities.  The first one--Summit Lake-- is about a 1300 foot gain and extends in 3 miles one way.  A beautiful lake lies near the end of the hike and eye-popping pictures of Mt. Rainier await.  The visit to Sunrise on Friday July 15 should appeal to families and members of all ages.  People can take short nature walks near the parking lot and enjoy the interpretive center and lodge.  Others will be able to take longer hikes, to Burroughs Mountain or Fremont Lookout two to three miles in distance. 

Please meet at the church parking lot at 8am on each of these hikes so that can form car pools.  Be sure to bring water, sun glasses and sun cream, lunch, camera, binoculars, first aid kit; also bring some money to reimburse those who are willing to drive.   We will not go if the weather is wet and rainy.  

Be sure to call/text Tom Hulst at 253-227-9665 (or email with any questions.  

A Stewardship Temple Talk by Courtney Stringer

I often am asked, so what is Stewardship? One definition of stewardship is the willingness of church members to take active responsibility in the service of the church through voluntary contributions of time, money and natural gifts. These gifts include vocations, passions, opportunities and talents of all kinds.

Throughout the year, the stewardship ministry team is focused on three key messages which will shape my talk this morning:
  • Communication of stewardship facts and telling the story of St. Mark's
  • Gratitude for our past gifts of time, talent and treasure; and
  • Invitation to be generous in the future
The first key message is communication of stewardship facts and telling the story of St. Mark's.

A big push in our increased communication has been mission moments - where a member of the congregation will speak in church about why St. Mark's is meaningful to them or a way in which our ministry has touched their life.

Stewardship 101 and Stewardship 102 which are often found in the Bridge aims to keep the congregation informed about stewardship at St. Mark's. Increased communication enables us to be transparent about the needs of the church and Church Council has a responsibility to report to the congregation how we are doing.

Please continue reading this blog by clicking here. 
Mexico 2016 Mission Team Meetings

Next Planning meeting, June 5th at Noon in the Fireside Room.

Fabric Request for Worship Activity Bags

Children's Faith Formation is putting together Worship Activity Bags for young children for the summer months.  We are looking for fabrics to create kits for volunteers to sew into colorful bags, which will then be filled with quiet activities for children.   Do you have extra brightly colored or patterned fabrics that can be used?  We need several sets of ½ yard of child-friendly or brightly colored cotton fabric along with ½ yard of coordinating fabric.  Also needed is a total of 3 yards of medium fusible interfacing. Please contact Char Leone to donate or bring to the Children's Faith Center workroom marked for Char. Or, if you are willing to sew a bag or two (instructions provided), please let Char know---that would be greatly appreciated!  

Shared Housing Services : Housing 4 Success

Mark Merrill, the executive director of Shared Housing Services emailed to say " thank you to St. Mark's for all of the support and your belief in our mission."  In the youth program, "We are working on trying to put together move-in packages for the youth that would consist of full-sized set of sheets, blanket, pillow, socks (basic men's & women's ankle socks), bath towels & washcloths.  Most of the youths coming into our program only have what they are able to carry in a back pack or two. So getting them stabilized and settled with items that allow them to get a good night's sleep is important.

Currently, we at St. Mark 's  have supplied 3 move-in packages. Our goal is to supply a total of 10. Please, help with this goal by donating a part of a Move-In package.

Other greatest needs:  Toothbrushes 
Full size deodorants (men & women)
Feminine Hygiene products
Full sized Shave Cream (men & women)
Any African American specific hair or skin products
Other hygiene items

Shared Housing Services : Housing 4 Success provides transitional housing, case management and training to homeless youth and young adults in Tacoma. Please, place items in the basket marked GSA: SHS outside the church office. Questions: contact Roz Lueck-Mammen  253.565.6398

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

Sunday, 9:45, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
The  Adult Forum  provides opportunities to reflect on Christian faith in light of current events and the daily decisions we need to make. Topics vary, leadership is shared, and the conversation is lively.

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
Adults dig deep into a biblical or theological text, presented as a series. Material is chosen for the season, or in response to the group's curiosity.

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm, (our last meeting of the year will be June 8 and we will resume in October)
  Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 10:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. (NOTE Time Change - for June 8)
We are studying the Book of Acts. Questions? Contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or Our last session of this spring will be June 8 (we will resume Sept. 14).

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
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.

Lydia Circle (meets the first Tuesday of each month), Noon, Parish Commons Classroom 
A new women's Bible Study/Circle has been organized. Bring your lunch to the Parish Commons Classroom. All are welcome!  Contact: Louise Lindeman,
Midweek Renewal, Wednesday, 6:15pm, Fireside Room
"Worship Matters"-Why do we do what we do when we gather on Sunday mornings for worship?  Together we will explore the roots of the liturgy and how it finds diverse expression in Christian congregations throughout the world.  All are welcome!

Third Thursday" Theology on Tap"- 
for young adults meets at Wingman Brewery at 7:30pm on the third Thursday of each month. Contact Pastor Jan Ruud, 

Cafe Circle- Cafe Circle is on summer hiatus, see you again in September!

Children and Youth Faith Formation             
This week's Spark Notes are completed for the school year.  See you again in the fall. 

June 12 marks our last regular day of Sunday School.  It will be a day of appreciation and wrap-up, with ice cream cones for the kids and gestures of appreciation for our wonderful volunteer teaching staff!

Thursday, June 2 Youth group and choir end of the year BBQ 5:30-7pm at the Lisher Sadler home. RSVP by today, June 1 if you are attending.
Sunday, June 5-Last day of regular Sunday school June 12
  • 5th grade with parents Image of God Milestone event with Mary and Ingelaurie in the Teal Sunday school room.
  • 6th grade youth will meet in the Purple room with Catherine and Jack Terrill
  • 7/8th grade class in Youth Room-Apostle's Creed week 3 with Carl.
  • 9-12th grade Fireside Room with Clara and Mike
Congratulations 2016 High School Graduates: Ragadan Badir , Foss High School; Thomas Harris, Stadium High School; Cor Kruithof, Wilson High School and TCC Running Start; Caroline Laubach, Lakes High School; Luke Neuberger, SAMI (Science and Math Institute Tacoma) Lily Oellerich, SOTA (Tacoma School of the Arts); Nathan Payne, Bellarmine Prep.; Nicholas Wimberley, Wilson High school.
Discapoloza-9-12th grade (2016-2017 school year) Disc Golf event in Poulsbo! Friday, June 24th 1:30pm to 8pm. Cost: $10.00pp. Sign up by June 5th if you are attending-we need at least 5 youth and 1 more adult to make sure we go.
VBS 2016- August 1-5th 9:00am-12:15pm for children 4 years old to 5th grade(incoming) at St. Mark's-Cave Quest! Registration materials available in the Children's Faith Formation or in the Narthex. 
Youth and adult volunteers (class leaders and assistants) are needed to help out with the week. Please the info table in the Narthex or contact Ingelaurie Lisher at or at 253-752-4966 to see how you can lend a hand.
Summer Story Time Begins Sunday, June 19 9:45am worship service ONLY. Children 5 years to 3rd grade are invited to a brief retelling of the Gospel lesson during the sermon.  Children will be brought back into the sanctuary before the creed. Adult/mature youth volunteers are needed to teach-see the Summer info table in the Narthex for dates.  Regular Sunday preschool to High School Sunday classes are on hiatus June 19-September.
Summer 2017 Luther 500 Festival-a few more spots are left to attend with St. Mark's! 500 Anniversary Celebration of the Reformation in Wittenberg Germany, July 19-25, 2017. Cost: $1500.00 (hotel lodging, 2 meals per day, group morning and evening prayer, and all admissions/tours to "Luther" sites). Airfare is on your own-we will meet up in Wittenberg. Please see the youth board for more information or contact Ingelaurie Lisher. $110.00 registration deposit per person, plus a $110.00 lodging deposit-1 per room) is due ASAP. ½ of remaining balance due June 2016, final balance due December 2016. This is an intergenerational trip. 

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!