The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    December  23 , 2015 
It's Nearly Christmas
ELCA Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, shares a Christmas video message with the nationwide membership of the ELCA.  

Sunday Worship      
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
Click Here
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 Tonight

There will be no regular Wednesday Night Church Dinner, Classes and Choirs.

Regular Wednesday Night activities will resume January 13th.  
Christmas Holiday Services

Thursday, December 24th
4:00pm - Family Christmas Eve Worship
6:00pm, 9:00pm, 11:00pm Christmas Eve Worship (Childcare available at 6pm in the nursery)

Friday, December 25th 
10:00 am Christmas Day Worship

Sunday, December 27th
8:30am, 9:45am, 11:00am Christmas Carol Hymn Sing (no Sunday School or Adult Classes)

Holiday Office Hours

December 24 - 8:30am-12pm (office closed Dec. 25)
December 28-31 - 8:30am-12pm (office closed Jan. 1)
Note:  all year-end gifts must be received in the office (or postmarked) by noon on Dec. 31

A Good Problem To Have
Babies and children are being baptized in such record numbers that help could be used in keeping the baptismal quilt bin full. Quilts should be made with cotton or bamboo batting and cotton fabric, be a minimum of 36" x 45" inches large (but no larger than 60" x 60") and need not be made of 'nursery' or 'juvenile' fabric. Exercise your imagination!

The 2015 PLU Christmas Concert
The 2015 PLU Christmas Concert will be televised on December 24th at 9:00pm and on December 25th at 7:00pm (KCTS, channel 9). The concert features the Choir of the West, University Chorale, and the University Symphony Orchestra.
Another Way to Give
A law that allows some individuals to make a tax-free gift to St. Mark's and/or other charities from an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) has been reinstated. The Protecting America from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 has made the IRA charitable rollover retroactive for all of 2015 and the provision will remain in effect for 2016 and beyond. If you or an eligible family member has been waiting to make an IRA transfer this year, you must act now to take advantage of this opportunity.

The provision applies to those of you who are 70½ or older, allowing you to transfer up to $100,000 from your individual retirement account (IRA) directly to a qualified charity without counting that distribution in your income.

Here's how it works:
  • The transfer must go directly from the IRA to the charity, based upon written instructions you provide to your IRA administrator.
  • The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you still benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
  • If you have not taken your required minimum distribution for the calendar year in which the transfer is made, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.
  • The transfer may be made in addition to any other charitable giving you have planned.
  • If you made a gift to a qualified charity of up to $100,000 directly from your IRA in 2015, your gift will qualify under the new law.
  • Your direct transfer from your IRA may be to one or more charitable organizations, including St. Mark's Lutheran Church
  • To qualify for a tax break this year, your gift needs to be made by Dec. 31, 2015.
If you are interested in this opportunity, or if you have any questions, please contact your IRS Administrator or your tax advisor.

Women's Retreat 2016!
SAVE THE DATE--2016 Women's Retreat,  February 19-20th, Pilgrim Firs Conference Center.  Registration will open in mid-January.

A Connect and Care TimeBank Annoucement
December and January are great months to do exchanges! Need help getting up holiday lights? - find a handyman at the TimeBank. Need someone who cooks well to help with party planning? - find someone at the TimeBank.  Want help cleaning up the yard to ready it for Spring? - check the TimeBank.  I'm sure you can think of many more...give it a try!  Pat Witt, Connect and Care TimeBank Coordinator.
Save the Date
Wednesday, Jan. 6th  5:30pm at St. Mark's, Epiphany Event and youth fundraiser.  Fun for the whole family.
Luther 500 Festival 2017
Info and registration forms are available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). I've got 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment/deposit to reserve your spot is due  Jan. 15. Info. meeting Jan. 10th 12noon in the Fireside Room.  Tour dates:  June 19-25, 2017  you pick one you want to attend and book your own airfare. The group will meet up in Wittenberg Germany.  This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by parent/s. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare).  

Tai Chi Classes

There will be no Tai Chi classes in December. We will resume  January 9  (at  9:30am ) with "Tai Chi for Arthritis". Questions? Call Earl Steen  (253-756-8925 ).
Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
The Adult Forum is on break for Christmas,  classes will resume January 10th. 

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
The Adult Class is on break for Christmas,  classes will resume January 10th. 

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
Resumes Tuesday, January 5th.  Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We are taking a break over the holidays and will begin a new study, January 6 on the Book of Acts. Questions? please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
The Text Study is  in on break for Christmas,  classes will resume January 6th. 

First Tuesday Women's Bible Study/Circle, 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
No Midweek Renewal, it will resume January 13th. 
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, Fireside Room, 10-11:15am
A new women's group has been formed especially for younger women. The group will meet the first Friday of each month for coffee, pastry and conversation around issues in our lives, looking at how faith might affects those issues. The online magazine Café will be used as our initial resource. You can check out the magazine at . For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
Sunday school is on break-Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

Wed. Jan. 6th 5:30pm Epiphany Event and Fundraiser-at the Church. Sign up in the Narthex/foyer at the Epiphany Table. Chili dinner will be served. Fun and activities for the whole family.

Thurs. Jan. 14
  • Confirmation Rewind...5:30-6:30pm for youth who have missed a class or two and want to catch up. Meet in the Parish Commons Classroom.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades) begins for the year. 6:30-7:30pm. 


Sunday-Monday Jan. 17/18 Post Confirmation Retreat--(for all 9th graders and their faith companions). It's not too late to sign up-see the youth board for more information.
Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 4-12th? Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  Also take a look at '17 & '18.
Member Notes and News
St. Mark's member, Matt Shimkus is performing in THIS CHRISTMAS, a new work by a local playwright at Taproot Theatre in Seattle. "Leah plans the perfect Christmas, but her husband (Matt) is preoccupied, an inept waitress could spoil everything, and Christmas Eve rapidly spins out of control as uninvited guests show up. Will this be the worst Christmas ever, or will Leah open her heart to new ways of celebrating the moments that make life beautiful?"  The show runs through Dec 26. Tickets:  or call 206.781.9707 

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!