The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   August 2 , 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 is on hiatus and will resume in the Fall! 

Sabbatical Update from Pastor Ruud

After a nice visit with my mother in early July, I have enjoyed many outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest. The unusual streak of dry and sunny weather provided the perfect conditions for hiking and climbing in the Olympic mountains, kayaking beautiful stretches of the Hood Canal, backpacking on the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier, and fly fishing on the Hoh river in the northwest corner of our state. At the end of the month, I flew to Ketchikan, Alaska and am now heading north through the waters of the inland passage on Alaska State ferries. My reading list in July included THE MEASURE OF A MOUNTAIN by Bruce Barcott, PUGET'S SOUND by Murray Morgan, and BREAKING GROUND by Lynda Mapes. As I travel north through Alaska, I am reading PASSAGE TO JUNEAU by Jonathan Raban and THE GREAT UNCONFORMITY by an Alaskan author named Kate Troll. Through it all, I am also reading a thought provoking book called WATERSHED DISCIPLESHIP: REINHABITING BIOREGIONAL FAITH AND PRACTICE, edited by Ched Meyers. I hope that all of you are doing well! I will send another update near the end of August, after I have returned to Washington and spent time in other parts of our amazing state. I have been following the daily news as I roam, but I do so with the words of a contemporary poet named Gary Snyder in mind. He said: "The usual focus of attention for most Americans is the human society itself with its problems and its successes, its icons and symbols . . . the land we all live on is simply taken for granted-and proper relation to it is not taken as part of "citizenship." But . . . people are beginning to wake up and notice that the United States is located on a landscape with a severe, spectacular, spacey, wildly demanding, and ecstatic narrative to be learned. Its natural communities are each unique, and each of us, whether we like it or not-in the city or countryside-live in one of them . . . When enough people get that picture, our political life will begin to change, and it will be the beginning of the next phase of American life."
One Great Song

We dnesdays, 6:30-7:30pm.  

August 2nd-Lutheran Choral Tradition
August 9th-The past 50 years

Over the course of four Wednesdays we will explore 500 years of music in the Lutheran Church.  Thirty minutes of worship and learning will be followed by refreshments and a chance to visit.  
Faith, Sexism & Justice

Thursdays , 6:30-7:30pm.   August 3, 10, 17 & 24

The ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ invites you to join a growing conversation and to add your input. After receiving feedback from more than 100 Listening Events and hearing from several dozen specialists, the task force has written the study "Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations Toward a Social Statement" as a way to invite broad engagement with the questions and issues.

At St. Mark's we will be reading through this study over the course of six Thursdays.  Each week individuals will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the ELCA task force as a draft social statement is prepared.  Questions?  Contact Pr. Shjerven

Mission Creek Backpack Thank You!

Thanks to you, 43 students will be going to class this fall with new backpacks and school supplies. The moms at Mission Creek are excited to give them to their children this month as they prepare for school.
 A very big " Thank You" to the people who came out to help work on Habitat's Building on Faith house on July 22. It was a fun experience as we made progress by putting on the exterior sheathing for Ma Moore's future home.
But, it's not too late to jump in and help build this house! 
St. Mark's has two more workdays coming up:  Saturday, August 19, and Saturday, September 9. Even if you have not signed up before, you can still do so. All you need to do is to contact Deborah Herforth by email at or by phone at  206-372-1433.
GOD'S WORK OUR HANDS DAY OF SERVICE, Saturday, September 9th
 Many of you have been part of the ELCA Day of Service these past two years.  In 2015 we worked at DeLong Elementary School and park.  Last year we partnered with our friends at L'Arche Tahoma Hope.
This year we have the opportunity to partner with Habitat's Building on Faith house, for which St. Mark's is a sponsoring congregation!
Look for a sign up sheet in the narthex on Sunday, August 6th and 13th If you would like one of the gold "God's Work, Our Hands" t-shirts with our congregation's name on it, you will need to sign up by August 13th.  The shirts cost $8.00.
L'Arche Potluck Picnic!
You're Invited to L'Arche Tahoma hope's 40th Anniversary Potluck Picnic!

Please join us as we celebrate our 40th anniversary!
Please bring your favorite appetizer, side dish or salad. Main dish, beverages and desserts will be provided.

Date: August 5th, 2017
Time: 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: Snake Lake Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler Street, Tacoma, WA 98405
Let us know you're coming with an email to rsvp@larchetahomahope or call

Many thanks! The need for SHS continues

July 12 marks 4 years since our church's GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) initiated our congregation's contribution of personal care items to Shared Housing Alliance (SHS) in Tacoma, and I wanted to update you on our efforts.
The youth program serves homeless youth, 15-22 year olds, who may be fleeing abuse or neglect or told to leave their homes by parents not accepting of their sexual identity. About 90% of youth living on the streets have or are experiencing abuse, and it is important to move them into housing quickly. Primarily, SHS provides housing for homeless youth by matching them with people who have a spare room and a place in their hearts to temporary house a person while they are building their futures with help of the agency (contact me at 253-565-6398 or SHS if you would like to learn more about this program).
This is where we come in. Most come with only what they can carry in a backpack and/or box. Our main focus at St. Mark's has been to provide personal items to support them. Your donations make so much difference- not only monetarily, but sending a message that we care.
This week we delivered the following to SHS on S. 11th Street from you at St. Mark's-
12 lg. shampoo and conditioner
12 toothpaste and toothbrushes
12 deodorants
40 lg. bars of soap
5 body wash
1 hair dressing
1 curling creme
7 feminine hygiene
10 disposable razors
6 sun screen
20 small lotions
6 shower caps
30+ hotel-size shampoo and soaps (usually passed along to Nativity house/others)
2 shower curtains
Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed.
Roz and Roger Lueck-Mammen

Women of St. Mark's

We started our Crafts Nights on Monday, July 24th. We had a fun few hours "Stuffing the Cats"! These will be available for purchase at the Bazaar in November. We also tried our hands at making jute coasters, picking and wrapping colors. Thanks to all who attended!
Some of the other items we will be creating are the Snowman Chocolate Bars and a new Popcorn Snowman. We will have fun nights learning how to make Periwinkle Mug Rugs, decorating Christmas wood tags, making yo-yo garlands and any other item that we find fun to make and sell!
We have schedules available at our table in the Narthex. Make sure you pick one up to take home! We will need lots of hands when we start creating the Popcorn Snowmen and Snowman Chocolate Bars. All will be for sale at the Bazaar. Our table in the Narthex shows off some of the items we will be creating in the upcoming weeks.
If you have an item in mind that we can easily create please contact Barbara Meyers at We are always looking for new items to sell at the Bazaar. Hope to see you at one of our Craft Nights!
Continue to work on your handmade items for the Bazaar. All the wonderful items you create make the Bazaar a success. I encourage all to participate!
Summer Story Time

Summer story time runs through Sunday, August 27 during the "Word" portion of the service at 9:45 a.m. Volunteers are still needed, see the table in the Narthex. 

Family Housing Network August 26-September 2
St. Mark's will host up to five families with children from the Family Housing Network the week of August 26-Sept. 2. Volunteers are needed to provide meals, child care, overnight hosting and help with setting up and taking down beds for them. If you can help, please come to the signup table in the Narthex. Thank you for making this important ministry happen!
Ring in Some Summer Fun with St. Mark's Summer Bells!

Summer is a GREAT time to try something new and if you have ever wondered what it is like to ring a bell, I have just the thing!
St. Mark's Summer Bells happens every Thursday evening from July 6 th through August 24 th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm in the bell room (upstairs music wing.)
This blurb may start to sound Suessical, it's true, but anyone can ring a bell - yes anyone! And that's YOU!
You can ring one - or two --  or sometimes three! Little bells, big bells or even a bell tree.
Come with your can-do attitude for fun to all of the sessions, or maybe just one.
If you are 16 or older drop in just to play a beautiful bronze bell on any Thursday!
I hope you can experience the good vibrations with us this summer.
Previous bell experience is not necessary. Come and check it out, see what it's like. Who knows, maybe YOU are a born ringer and don't know it!
For more information contact
Karen Moats
Handbell Choir Director

Marimba Camp

Marimba Registration is still open for the children and youth camps!
  • 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 three more 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, 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. 
Children and Youth Faith Formation

Tacoma Rainiers-Tuesday, August 8 11:35a.m.  (game time). Cost: $13.00 per person, includes hot dog, chips and a beverage-if we get 20 or more to sign up. Sign up in the church office and pay by Wed. July 26-tickets will not be purchased if we don't receive your $$ by that date.Tickets will be available for pick up at the church July 30-Aug. 7. 
Faith Formation for children Summer 2017!

Summer story time  for children 5 years to 3rd grade during the "Word" portion of the service at 9:45a.m. Volunteers are needed to lead the following Sundays: 8/13, 20 & 27. Assistants are needed for each week.  Please see the table in the narthex if you can help. 
Vacation Bible School-Maker Fun Factory  will be held July 31-Aug. 4 9:00a.m.- 12:15p.m. Please register ASAP if you plan on having your child participate. 
  • Leaders Training/Orientation: Sunday, July 23 12noon in the Fireside Room and Tuesday, July 25th 6pm in the Fireside Room. You only need to attend one. 
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 3:00p.m. at Bob and Suzy Reynold's home. 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 Fireside Room
Adult Forum is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
Adult Class is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
Midweek Renewal is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
Fully Alive is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Women's Bible Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.
Noon Wednesday Text Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.  

Thank You

We want to thank our dear members for their prayers, cards and loving support.
I am doing well.  I have 2 more chemo's and daily proton (radiation) treatments, so we stay in Seattle during the week.
I should be through by late August, and then have a rest period before surgery.

We are so thankful for our St. Mark's family.  
Our Lord's Blessings to each and everyone.

In Christ,  Joan Torfin and Rod Hanke

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!