The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   April 12 , 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.
No Wednesday Night Church Night 
There will be no Wednesday Night Church night tonight.  Join us again next week.  

Holy Week Schedule

Thursday, April 13th
5:30pm Seder Meal- Please sign up in the narthex
7:30pm Worship with Holy Communion and Stripping of the Altar

Friday, April 14th
7:30pm Worship- The Passion Story according to Matthew, with sacred art.

Saturday, April 15th
7:30 pm Easter Vigil Worship with Lighting the New Fire, Scripture Stories, Affirmation of Baptism and Receiving New Members
8:30pm Easter Vigil Party and Welcome of New Members

Sunday, April 16th
8:00, 9:30 and 11am, The Resurrection of our Lord - Festival Worship
Easter Breakfast served from 8:30-11:30am
No Sunday School or Adult Classes
A New Faith Journey group will begin on Wednesday, April 26

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join this 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.  It will meet from 6:00-7:20pm. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Ruud by phone at 253-752-4966 or by email at

Blessing in Abundance: Our Cup is Running Over

Thanks to the generosity of all those have returned Commitment Cards, we have now gone beyond our goal of $1 million for the Blessing in Abundance capital appeal, and we are still waiting to hear from many more households. Currently, gifts and pledges to the capital appeal total $1,015,415.  That is cause for great celebration! Our next very important goal is to match or exceed last year's total  pledges to the General Offering Fund. This is vital to our ministry as we move forward. So far,163 households have pledged a total of $605,294 to the General Offering Fund. We still have a considerable distance to go on that side of things, so we are asking everyone to return their Commitment Card to us by Sunday, April 23. Thanks again to all of you!

Congratulations to these who received bibles on Palm Sunday: Ben Caseley, Audrey Sonnen, Jake Kennedy, Kate Shouse, Marena Baker, Signe Ockfen, Patrick Myers, Lucie Meers, Lauren Meade, Rowan Laughlin, Makayl Handy, and Anthony Crocco.   
Seder Meal

You are invited to join us for an educational Seder Dinner on Thursday, April 13 at 5:30pm in our St. Mark's Parish Commons.  If you are able to join us, please add your name(s) to the sign up sheet in the Narthex. 
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 (beginning April 19th) 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 will be available beginning Sunday, April 30th.  The congregation received a generous gift from the estate of Art and Bernice Bowers which will allow more students to apply for congregational scholarships.  If you are an undergraduate student at a  or enrolled in a degree program at a Community or Technical College, please stop by the Scholarship table in the narthex, beginning April 30th, or contact Pastor Shjerven or Ingelaurie Lisher for an application.  Completed applications are due Sunday, May 28th.
L'Ache Plant Sale

Join us the morning of Sunday, April 30th for the Annual L'Arche Plant Sale!
Fair Trade Bazaar!

Just in time for Mother's Day!
Spring Fair Trade Bazaar
April 30 & May 7, 2017
9am - 12pm
When you buy Fair Trade, you are helping to reduce poverty, support environmentally-friendly production practices and safeguard humane working conditions for people around the world. 
Shop for beautiful handcrafts and fine food products:
Hand-woven baskets
Stylish women's accessories and jewelry
Unique home and kitchen wares
Delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and spices
And more!
Cash and check sales only.

uestions? Email Susan Newsom,

  Small Grants Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Small Grants Program from St. Mark's Endowment Fund. This Fund has grown over the years to the point where we are now able to make yearly disbursals from the annual distributions. The Small Grant Program is intended to extend the mission of our congregation beyond expenditures supported through regular offerings (e.g., to ministries and other work of the church at home and abroad). This year, proposals for small grants up to $500 will be considered by the Endowment Committee. More detailed instructions and an application form can be found on the Church website ( under the "Giving" tab (Mission Endowment section) or a hard copy may be picked up in the Church Office. The deadline for submission is April 28, 2017. Please contact Jennifer Droubay at the Church Office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!
Peace Community Center Benefit Dinner

You are cordially invited to attend the annual Peace Community Center benefit dinner, Learners to Leaders, April 29th, to be held at PLU's Olson Auditorium. Table hosts from St. Mark's this year are John and Carol Avery and Don and Barb Haueisen. Join us for an evening of good food and fellowship and an opportunity to learn more about what is happening with this Tacoma Hilltop organization providing vital support for area students. St. Mark's has had a long and rewarding history with Peace Lutheran and Peace Community Center.  As a congregation, we recently reaffirmed that relationship by allocating 5% of pledged funds in the Blessings in Abundance campaign to go to PCC.  Tickets for the dinner are available at  For those attending the dinner for the first time, please be our guest.  Let one of us know and we can take care of dinner tickets.  In either case, be a part of a St. Mark's table supporting this ministry.  Please contact one of the Haueisens at 360-329-6880 or, or one of the Averys at 253-759-6365 or with questions or to confirm you interest in attending.  

WPC  NEPAL: Returns to St. Marks on April 23

Visit the Friends of Women Protection Center, Nepal table on April 23, 2017 and learn about their work in the "Fight Against Human Trafficking".  Beautiful scarfs and jewelry created  by  Nepali women in the safe house vocational program will be available.  Learn more about the permanent safe house construction progress, their appreciation of  St. Mark's 2016 donation towards furnishing their kitchen and the Gala Fundraiser on September 16, 2017.   For more information,
St. Mark's Knitting Group

The knitting group will meet next Wed., 4/19 at 1:30 in the Fireside Room. Please contact Torun Parker with any questions, 253-759-7830

Elbe Church Annual Meeting

You are invited to attend the Historic Elbe Lutheran Church Annual Meeting to be held on Sunday, April 23, at 1:30pm in Elbe.  The monthly worship service will be held at 2:30pm, followed by a coffee hour.  

Women of St. Mark's

Mark your calendars!  Our spring luncheon will be held on May 20th.  Please join us for a few hours of friendship and music.  More on this later!

As summer approaches, begin working on your contributions for our Annual Bazaar.  Put on your crafting hat and help us with your homemade items.  We are planning on having Craft nights to learn new crafts and enjoy a night out with friends.  Dates and times to follow.

Direct your questions or suggestions to Barbara Meyers at or 253-370-4251.
Preschool Needs

Business owners, we are looking for some sponsorship for our first annual St. Mark's Preschool Golf Tournament  on May 13th. If you are able to make a tax-deductible donation to our preschool (which will go toward much needed new playground equipment) in exchange for some advertisement and recognition (plus a golf entry) at a 9-hole tournament at Highlands Golf Course,  please contact Anne Zimmerman: (253) 752-4929 or . Tickets for golfing will go on sale later in April.   

Our Daily Bread: A day to celebrate and cultivate congregation hunger programs

Join the Synod Hunger Committee on Saturday, April 22nd at The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd in  Olympia from 10am - 3pm. This free educational event will include worship, panels, sharing, learning, breakouts sessions and lunch (free-will offering for lunch).  This Free program supported by grants from  ELCA World Hunger and Thrivent Financial. Contact the office on how to register. 
Congregational Care

St Mark's Caregiver Support Group meets the first and third Friday of each month at 10:30am in the Fireside Room.  Please talk to Pastor Shjerven or Parish Nurse Patty Reinkensmeyer if you are interested in learning more about this group.

Family Housing Network coming May 6!

St. Mark's will again host up to five homeless families May 6-13. Volunteers are needed to prepare rooms, host the families, provide meals, help with child care and clean up at the end of the week! Thanks to all of the faithful volunteers who have committed to this ministry over the last four years. We welcome new volunteers to join us! See the signup table in the narthex.
More Family Housing Network Needs:

Family Housing Network is in desperate need of hygiene items for  men, women, and children who access their services. Their supply of both regular and travel size items is nearly depleted.  This is a list of the types of things they normally keep on hand:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash & soap
  • Combs & brushes
  • Lotion
  • Feminine pads (maxi & mini)/tampons
  • Feminine panty liners
  • Deodorant
  • Razors/shaving cream
  • Tips
  • Mouth Wash
  • Finger nail clippers/files
  • Ear plugs
  • Shower shoes
  • Toilet paper
They are also  very   short of linens for shelter beds.  They accept gently used or new twin  fitted and flat sheets and pillow cases, twin blankets and twin blankets, and new pillows.

Donations can be brought to the FHN signup table or dropped off at the church office.
Thank you!

Easter Flowers

If you would like to contribute to the beauty of our Sanctuary on Easter Sunday by donating flowers, it is not to early to leave your gift. Cost of a plant is  $10.00, checks should be made out to St. Mark's Lutheran, please write in the memo line "Easter Flowers Fund" and can be given anytime until Easter Sunday.  This year our plants will be tulips. You will be able to take home your plants following the 11:00am service on Easter.    Thank you for helping us to beautify our church on this special Sunday. 

Easter Choir 2017!

This is the perfect year for everyone to have a chance to sing in the Hallelujah Chorus. Even if you missed a rehearsal, it is not too late to join in. Please visit our resource webpage for all the information about dates of rehearsals, all the materials you will need to learn the music, and other information.

I would love to have you be part of the choir - everyone should sing Hallelujah at some point in their life, and I hope this year will be a good opportunity for you!

Cooper Sherry

Cinco de Mayo Festival

In support of St. Mark's 2017 Mexico Mission trip, our annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will be held on Friday, May 5th beginning at 5:30.  Tickets will be on sale in the Narthex between services on April 9, 23 and 30 ($5 per person or $20 for a family).  Please plan to join us for a fun-filled evening that includes dinner, crafts, games and door-prizes!
Mexico Mission Trip 2017

St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will take place this year from June 23- July 1.  If you are interested in being part of this mission team, please return a completed Interest Form (available at Welcome Center) to either Melanie Summerour or Sarah Moore Sherry by March 19 th.  All team members should plan to attend the following meetings: Sunday, April 23rd at 12:15; and Tuesday, May 2nd at 6:30.  We will meet in the Youth Room.
Join us for Interfaith Encounters!

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.

Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows: Topic: Jesus
6730 North 17th Street, Tacoma

Monday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. at the University Place Public Library:  Topic: Mohammed
3609 Market Place West, University Place


Join World Vision on May 6, 2017,  at Gas Works Park in Seattle, where your registration fee provides CLEAN WATER to 1 PERSON! You will be with  over 11,000 other runners at 740 locations around the world that are running/walking a 6K on the same day to change a life!     Visit the table in the Narthex for information and sign up at Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill, 253-732-3479.  
LWR Supply Drive - Two More Sundays! 

Would you consider providing items to make a Personal Care Kit and help us exceed our annual give of 100 kits to help those in need around the world?!  We have supplies for nearly 40 kits and two more Sundays to collect.  Kits will be lovingly built, followed by a potluck dinner on April 23, 4:30-6:00 p.m. Visit the table in the Narthex for more information. ITEMS NEEDED: Bath towels (52"×27"), Bar soap (3oz +), Toothbrushes, Sturdy combs, Metal nail clippers. Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479. Thank you for your support of this mission!  

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. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool has begun 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

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Thurs. April 13: No Youth Group; No Choir
Easter Breakfast -Sunday, April 16th 8:30-11:00am in the Parish Commons. Suggested minimum donation $5.00 per person. Money raised goes to subsidize and support upcoming youth events and trips for 2017-2018-such as the servant week in Montana, ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, annual Synod Youth Retreat, May Holden Youth weekends and much more! 
No Sunday School this week-April 16th Easter Sunday! Classes resume April 23rd. 
High School Servant Trip:  July 6-9 (Thursday to Sunday). Cost: $100.00 We are headed to the Columbia River for a weekend of service and leaning more about the Native American community who live on the river. See the youth board for more information and how you can sign up to go. 
Montana Servant Trip meeting!  Sunday, April 30th 12:15-1:00pm in the Youth Room. 
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board. Registration opens September 15. 
High School graduates pick out Quilts Sunday, April 30th . Graduates will be blessed on Sunday, June 11th at all 3 services. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
There will be no Adult Forum until after Easter.  Join us again on April 23.
April 23rd - The series entitled "Painting the Stars" concludes with a session that explores Mysticism as an expression of evolving faith.  All are welcome.  Thank you to Pr. John Rosenberg for leading this engaging series throughout the year!  

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
There will be no Adult Class until after Easter.  Join us again on April 23. 
April 23rd - "Healing the Heart of Democracy: the Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit".  If you have not had the chance to discuss Parker Palmer's book, please join the conversation over the next two Sundays at 11:00.   The first week we will discuss the ideas found in the Prelude and Chapters 1-3.  The second week we will discuss the remainder of the book.  (If you have not read the book but are interested in hearing about Parker's ideas, you are welcome to attend).
Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
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, March15th, 22nd, 29th, April 5th.

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
We begin March 29 exploring God's will for us as stated in the Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer, using Greg Laurie's As It Is in Heaven, a thought-provoking book. 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

Member, Leischen Moore,  will be presenting a recital of music theatre song entitled "From Gold to Platinum" on April 28th at 7pm in the Atrium of the University Place Library.  For more information visit,

A Memorial Service for Ed Bushnell will take place at St. Mark's on Saturday, April 22nd at 2:00 pm.  You are invited to gather to give thanks for Ed's life and for the promises that are his in Christ Jesus.

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!