The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   May 24 , 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 
5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Chicken, Rice and Mushroom 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 Evensong (PC)

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship.  

Save These Dates in June!

Sunday, June 4 at 12:15pm:  ALL CONGREGATION MEETING
At this semi-annual meeting of our congregation, we will adopt a mission focused budget for the coming year, elect lay leaders to key positions, celebrate the success of our capital appeal, hear about Pastor Ruud's upcoming sabbatical, get updates on important ministries, and reflect on our theme of "One Great Song". Lunch will be served, starting at noon and childcare will be provided.

Come help us celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Pastor Shjerven's ordination! There will be a program in the sanctuary, followed by a reception in the Parish Commons. We hope you can join us!

Marimba Camp

Marimba Registration is open for adults and youth!
  • Adult Marimba Workshop: Saturday, June 3rd - morning or afternoon sessions.
  • Summer Youth Marimba Camp: Mon-Fri, August 21-25 (grades 2-12)
Cost: $50 per person

Forms are available on a table outside the church office, and can be turned in to Linda or Nicole in the office. Space is limited, so get your registration in soon!

Questions? Send to:

Care of Creation Summer Hikes

The Care of Creation committee is sponsoring four hikes this summer--one per month alternating between Fridays and Saturdays. The heavy precipitation (snow) this year will likely preclude getting above 5,000 feet until late July or early August. We can adjust the destinations as we get closer and know the conditions better.  The dates and tentative destinations are listed below.  

Saturday, June 24:  Rattlesnake Ledge, Packwood Lake, or Rampart Ridge

Friday, July 21:   Summit Lake

Saturday, August 5: Chinook Pass
Friday, September 8: Sunrise (Rainier) or Hurricane Ridge (Olympics)

We will meet at the church at 8 a.m. on the appointed days and form car pools.  Hikers should have water, sun cream, sun glasses, lunch, first aide, camera, extra clothing, good hiking shoes, and money to help defray the costs of gas for drivers.  We will not go if it is raining.
For more information contact: Tom Hulst 

Prayer Chain

We are re-establishing our Prayer Chain at St. Mark's and we welcome your participation.  The mission of the Prayer Chain is to communicate requests for prayers to a network of individuals who are committed to the ministry of prayer for people in need. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please send us your email and we will add you to the list. 
April Financials Update

Offerings in April were $105,225 or nearly $18,000 ahead of budget for the month. While we are still below budgeted offerings for the year by more than $44,000, this is the "right" direction for the last quarter of our fiscal year! Thank you to each of you for helping move closer to meeting our approved budget for the year. Compared to last year, giving is basically flat (0.8% above) for the same period, with total income of $876,221 and $868,787, respectively.
Expenses in April continued to be well managed, coming in $2,835 below budget. Spending for the fiscal year is now under budget by more than $28,000. Much of that "under-spending" continues to be from staffing reconfigurations. Expenses are 6.2% above last year over the same time period, at $866,905 and $816,526, respectively.
The strong offerings in April brought our fiscal year-to-date "bottom line" (income vs. expense)  back from a negative at the end of March ($8,722) to a positive at the end of April ($9,316). Sincere thanks for your continued generosity and support of our ongoing ministry and mission. As we heard from the Stewardship team during worship recently, we have an opportunity to finish the year strong together!
Please contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions (253-752-4966) .

Funerals of Long Time Members

Jeanne Forseth, Friday, June 2 at 2:00 pm
Dennis Hulbert, Sunday, June 4 at 4:00 pm

One Great Song: The Book of Psalms

As we explore this year's congregational theme, "One Great Song", we turn our attention to Israel's songbook.  The Psalms are a collection of 150 songs and poems that have been sung and recited for more than 3,000 years. They are beloved by both Jews and Christians and have shaped the imagination and strengthened the faith of people.  Together we will drink from this deep well as we spend 5 weeks studying the Book of Psalms.  Note-There will be two opportunities to be part of this study:  Wednesdays at 6:15pm  or Sundays at 11:00am (beginning May 7th).  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven 

St. Mark's Scholarship

St Mark's Scholarship applications for the 2017-18 academic year are available.  If you are an undergraduate student, or enrolled in a degree program at a Community or Technical College, please stop by the counter outside the Church Office to pick up an application and/or ask questions no later than May 28th. 
L'Arche Summer Interns

L'Arche Tahoma Hope is looking for summer and yearlong assistants to join our community. As an assistant you will  provide direct care support to adults who have intellectual disabilities, foster unity and inclusion at home and in the broader community, and grow personally through relationships of mutual care and support. For more information, please email: or visit our website:

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 opened April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information.  Click here for the registration form. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Thanks to Steve Wolbrecht for helping lead the High School youth to Holden Village this past weekend.
The last day of Sunday school for children 3 years old to 12th grade is Sunday, June 11.
Thursday Nights at St. Mark's for youth grades 6-12: May 25 Youth Choir 6:30p.m.; June 1 Youth Group 5:30p.m.-last one of the school year, Youth Choir 6:30p.m.
Montana Team Potluck dinner- Everyone from Elementary to Servant Trip to High School Campers and their family.Wednesday June 14 5:30-7:00p.m. Bring a side dish to share, hot dogs, brats and beverages provided.
*All paper work should be into Ingelaurie by June 4 at the latest.
CYFF Ministry Team meeting-Tues. June 13 7:00p.m. in the Fireside Room.
Faith Formation for children Summer 2017!
Summer story time begins Sunday, June 25 through Sunday, August 27 during the "Word" portion of the service at 9:45a.m. Vacation Bible School-Maker Fun Factory will be heldJuly 31-Aug. 4 9:00a.m.- 12:15p.m. See the table in the Narthex for more information and how you can get involved in this fun faith formation program.
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board. Registration opens September 15.
Annual Music on the Lawn Fundraiser and Event will be held August 19th-youth and parents contact Jean Steingrebe to sign up to help and earn $$ for your trip. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
May 28 -   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.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
May 28- 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.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
May 24- 
Midweek Renewal  is a time to be refreshed by the promises of God and our connections with each other. This gathering is nestled between dinner and Prayer Around the Cross. It provides time for a contemplative hearing of scripture, sharing our stories, and gaining insight from those who have gone before us (the man or woman who will be commemorated at the Evening Prayer service).  

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
5/24 and 5/31 We will end the Wednesday night program year with Martin Doblmeier's new film: "American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story". We are ladies of varying faith experiences who share insights and questions. Please join us! For more information, contact Linda Durant, 253-363-8202

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.

Member Notes and News

Three of St. Mark's youth will be performing at Orchestral Recital Series.  Elizabeth Busch-Conway will be performing on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:30pm  at UPS's Schneebeck Concert Hall and Eleanor and Olivia Sherry will perform at First Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 27th at 3pm.   This is a wonderful program where youth get to perform piano works with full orchestra. 

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!