The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    November  25 , 2015 
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.
No Wednesday Church Night Tonight/Office Closed on Thursday and Friday
Please enjoy this time of Thanks and rest with your families.  Activities will resume on Sunday. 
No Regular Sunday School, Special Event-"All Creation Sings"
ALL AGES TOGETHER this  Sunday, November 29th, in the Children's Faith Center.  On this first  Sunday of Advent, there are NO REGULAR  SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES FOR CHILDREN/YOUTH....all are welcome to participate in Advent-centered activities under the theme of "All Creation Sings."    All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  Assemble an Advent wreath (supplies are downstairs--donations are welcome); make an Advent chain,  color a sheet for the Nativity Scene Wall, and visit stations to put together an age-appropriate creche.  Family Advent devotionals are available also.
Come and be surprised!

Welcome New Members!
Last Sunday (November 22) we welcomed the following new members to St. Mark's:  Donna Brzezinski; Gerry & Ginny Currens; Colleen Hacker; Sally Hyde & Bud Sizemore; Anne Lucky; Teena Minnis; Carrie & Elliot Standish, James, Andrew; Elaine Vogt & Dorothy Nelson; and Vivian Watters

We also celebrated with Teena Minnis, James Standish and Andrew Standish as they received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.

Plans for Giving
Thank you to everyone who has filled out a plan for giving! We are grateful for your continued support and generosity to our ministry at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. To date, we've received more than 127 plans for giving compared to 213 received in 2015. As a reminder, the church council relies on plans for giving in order to plan and budget accordingly.  If you have not yet done so, please fill out the response card for your intended support for the first six months of 2016 (Click here for a copy of the pledge card). Thank you for giving and helping us plan for the year ahead!
Adult Faith Formation Resources for Advent

Daily Devotionals-"Creator of the Stars of Night" is the Advent Devotional published by Luther Seminary.  
You are welcome to pick up a copy at the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex on Sunday, or you can subscribe to an email version at

"While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent", Wednesday, 6:15pm, Dec 2&9, Fireside Room
What will you bring me?  How can this be?  Where is the one?  Together we will listen to questions posed by our biblical ancestors, and share our own questions about the mystery and the hope of this season.  Gather around the fire for exploration and conversation!

"Living Well Through Advent: practicing patience with all your heart, soul, strength, mind" Sundays, 11am, December 6, 13 &20, Parish Commons Classroom
This class is designed for those who seek wellness in body, mind and spirit during a season that can feel stuffed and frantic.  Using a daily devotional from Living Compass (, the group will practice and pray for the things that make for peace.  (Each group participant will receive a complimentary copy of the devotional).  

Luther 500 Festival 2017
June 19-25 OR October 2-8, 2017.  This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by their families.  For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher.  Official registration packet and materials coming soon.  Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare). 
Chase the Chill
The Chase the Chill campaign has successfully given approximately 140 warm scarves and hats to those who may be living in chilly circumstances. They have been distributed to folks at the Tacoma Rescue Mission, Nativity House and My Sister's Pantry.  We encourage everyone to continue knitting and crocheting so that we will be able to spread warmth again in late January/early February. (Hats have been requested!) We have LOTS of donated yarn for anyone who would like to drop by the office and pick up a skein or two or by seeing Jan Pence and Linda McKeller on Sunday mornings after the 8:30 service.

Current Financial Summary

Please click here to view the information in a larger font.  If you have any questions or would like further information about these numbers, please contact Treasurer Barb Meyers, or Manager of Finance and Operations Jen Droubay.

Boy Scout Wreaths
Thanks to all who purchased wreaths, garlands, etc from the Boy Scouts.  The items will be delivered to the church Sunday, November 29th.  Questions? Contact Jeni Keister: (253) 566-6884.

St. Mark's Mexico Auction Donors!

Calling all gracious donors from this past St. Mark's Mexico Auction! Please accept our apologies for excluding your donation to the St. Mark's Mexico Auction from your recent statement of giving. We will put a more robust process in place for future events, but in the meantime are using our credit card processor's website to try to identify our donors from this past auction. If you have not yet received an email from us, please contact Jennifer Droubay at  with the dollar amount and last 4 digits of the credit card you used so that we can include the donation in your end-of-year statement for tax purposes. Again, apologies for the inconvenience and many thanks for your generous gift and patience.
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 ).
New Communion Bread
Have you noticed a change in our communion bread recently? Unfortunately, our communion bread supplier, Great Harvest Bread Company has recently closed.   For years they have given us a generous contribution with their challah bread.  We are grateful for their years of giving to us and we wish them well in all their new endeavors.  

We are also thankful that several members of the congregation have shown the willingness to bake the bread that we are now serving at communion.  We appreciate your gift!

Annual Children's Christmas Program
St. Mark's Sunday school children are getting ready for their annual Christmas Program to be presented on December 13 .  The K - 4th grade children will be presenting "The Loaned Ranger" at  4:00 pm  on  Sunday, December 13 Preschool ages 3 and 4 will share "Song of the Stars" during  11:00 worship on December 13.
A rehearsal is scheduled for  December 12 at 9:00 for Preschool ages and  9:30 am. for K - 4th grade.  There are many ways to volunteer and help with the programs.  

Please let Char Leone (P3's & 4's)  or Amy Wigstrom (K - 4th) know if you can help with costumes, props and staging, setup, or other planning details.

Fair Trade Bazaar!
Come to the Fair Trade Bazaar on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 from 8:30-12:00 in the Parish Commons.  By purchasing handcrafted merchandise, you support artisans and farmers around the world.  Receiving a fair wage helps build healthier and more sustainable communities worldwide through independence to provide basic needs such a food, shelter, health and education for children and their families.  Treasures available for purchase at the Fair include hand woven baskets, pottery, jewelry, scarves, ornaments candies and coffees to fill your tree and stockings! For more information about the non-profit organization that we purchase our products from visit  SERRV works with artisans and farmers in 30 countries so we can offer items to you for purchase at the Fair Trade Bazaar!

Our friends from L'Arche will also have items for sale on November 29th. Items include wreaths, crafts and honey! 
Adopt a Family For Christmas
Once again, we are blessed to sponsor 32 families in our midst and in our community who are in need of food for Christmas dinner and gifts for family members. Please prayerfully consider giving two (2) gifts to an individual or making a cash contribution for food.  
  • Sunday November 29, look for the Christmas tree in the Narthex. 
  • Take a paper ornament (includes a #, information on the family member, and their suggested "wish list")
  • Write your name and phone number on the attached blank paper ornament and put it in the manila envelops on the wall.  
  • Purchase and wrap 2 gifts. Be sure to TAPE the person's ornament # onto EACH gift.  
  • Return gifts to the church no later than Sunday, December 20th
Questions? Contact: Judy Droubay 253-759-6720or Mary Jo Holum 253-752-3304. 

Holiday Decorating Time
Calling all helpers.  Yes, it is that time of year, we will be decorating our church for Christmas on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29th.  Lots of hands are needed so please join us from 9am to noon and we'll make our church shine for the Christmas Season.  Have questions: contact Mim Krabler, phone; 253-380-8047.  We hope to see you there.  Merry Christmas!
Visit to Namibia Part One
By Joan Nelson

Sunday morning Pr. Dama Shimakeleni, ELCIN's General Secretary, drove with Pr. Ron Kempe (who would be preaching), Steve Appelo (our photographer), and me from the ELCIN Parish House in Oniipa, where we were staying, to the Eenghango Parish Lutheran church, where we met Pr. Lyauvika Nashuuka, their very impressive young pastor.  Pr. Nashuuka is holding the photo greeting we brought from St. Mark's children. 

Because pictures tell the story best, I'm going to give you a piece of the story each week.

Sing-a-long Messiah

Mark your calendars to participate in a Sing-A-Long of Handel's Messiah presented to the community by Christ Lutheran Church, 8211 112th St SW, Lakewood, WA  98498.   The performance will be held on December 6, 2015  at 2:00 p.m. and will be directed by Dr. Anne Lyman, Director of Choral Activities at Tacoma Community College, Artistic Director of the Seattle Bach Choir, and recently Choral Director at the University of Puget Sound.   Singer and listeners welcome!  For more information contact  or the church at 253-588-0331.

Women's Advent Brunch
December 5, 2015 (9:30-11am). "Ring In the Advent Season" -- featured the Bells of St. Mark's, special devotions, and craft projects.  Stop by the table in the Narthex to purchase tickets ($10 adults; $6 children ages 10 and under; Or purchase a table of 8 for $70)

Shared Housing Donations Needed
The St. Mark's GSA continues our mission to deliver personal hygiene items for the Housing 4 Success Program in Tacoma. WIth the arrival of cooler weather, note focus items:  hand lotion/cream for sensitive skin, Chapstick, socks . Other needs: bath soap/ shower gel/face wash; toothpaste/brushes; shampoo & conditioner, including ethnic haircare products for African-American hair; deodorant & razors (male and female); nail clippers; files; cotton swabs. Leave in the marked bin near the Church office.  

Shared Housing Services : Housing 4 Success provides transitional housing, case management and training to homeless youth and young adults in Tacoma.

Adult Faith Formation

There will be NO 9:45 Adult Forum or 11am Adult Class  November 29. Please consider joining the Cross-Generational Advent Event in the Children's Faith Center.

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
This fall we are discussing the book of Esther. All are welcome! Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We will meet on December 2 and then take a break over the holidays. Questions? please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
The Wednesday Text Study will not meet this week (Nov. 25)! Join us again next week. Gather for lunch and for  conversation and study around the text that will be heard in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by the pastor who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.   

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
Midweek Renewal will not meet Nov. 25. We resume Dec. 2.   
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 CafĂ© 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

There will be no Spark Notes or Sunday School this week . Please join us for the Cross-Generational Advent Event!
Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to 
supplement Sunday School lessons.

Youth Choir (6-12 th grades) will NOT be meeting this Thursday, Nov. 26 th. See you all again December 3 rd.
Youth Group (6-12 th grades) meets again Dec. 3 for fun and games in the Parish Commons.
9-12th grade Pie Making Event! Wednesday, November 25th 12-2pm at the church. Bring a 9x9 baking dish and a pie pan with you and $5.00 to help cover supplies. Sign up on the Youth Board by Nov. 22nd if you plan on attending.
Cross-Generational Advent Event! Sunday, Nov. 29th 9:45 and 11am in the Children's Faith Center. No regular Sunday school class that morning. See table in Narthex for more information.
Elementary Sunday School Christmas Program- December 13 -- 
St. Mark's Sunday School children are getting ready for their annual Christmas Program.The K-4th Graders will be presenting "The Loaned Ranger" at 4:00pm and the Preschool children, ages 3 and 4 will share "Song of the Stars" during the 11:00am worship. There are many ways to volunteer and help with the program. Please let Char Leone or Amy Wigstrom know if you can help with costumes, props, staging, setup or other way.

Rehearsals have begun:
  • Sundays during the 9:45am hour for all grades.
  • Dec 6th 1pm for K-5th grade Leads
  • Dec. 12th 9am Preschool rehearsal; 9:30 elementary age rehearsal
  • Dec. 13th Program Date! Preschool children will share the gospel message with the congregation during the 11am worship service; Elementary age program at 4pm. Cookie Reception to follow.
Interfaith Bible Study

You're invited to join an Interfaith Bible Study with members of Temple Beth El, Bethany Presbyterian Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and our own St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. The topic of our study this Fall is: "Finding God in the Other."  We'll explore Bible stories that teach us to see God in those who are different from us. From Hagar the Egyptian slave to Cyrus the Persian conquerer, we'll explore how God works in and through those whom God chooses, whether we like it or not.
Dec. 3, 7:00pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, led by Pastor Jan Ruud

To receive the Bible readings and discussion questions ahead of time, add your name to the sign-up sheet in the narthex or contact Pastor Ruud at:

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!