The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   February 1 , 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 Tonight!

5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner: 
Lasagna, Suggested Donation $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00m Jubilation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30pm Prayer Service (PC)

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

New Faith Journey groups will begin on Wednesday, February 8 and Sunday, February 12 
All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey 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. Those who wish to join our congregation will be welcomed as new members at Easter time, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. This is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from 12:15-1:30pm  and another one on Wednesdays that meets from 6:00-7:15pm.  A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at  253-752-4966  or by email at

St Mark's Reads" is On!

"Healing the Heart of Democracy" by Parker Palmer is available once again.  You are invited to purchase a copy, read it, and participate in congregational discussions throughout the next many weeks.  The first set of discussions will take place during Adult Forum (9:45-10:45am) on Sunday, February 12th and 19th, and will be hosted by Michelle Marshman and Ben Summerour.  Hope to see you there.

Growth Groups-Last week to sign up!

If you have wanted to connect with others at St Mark's, but have found Sunday mornings a difficult time to find time and space to do so, Small Groups may be just the thing for you!  Meet weekly with a group of 6-10 people for conversation, reflecting on a passage of scripture, and prayer.  Choose a group that works for you:  Sunday noon, Monday evening, Thursday evening or Friday morning.  Sign up on the red easel in the narthex TODAY and you will be contacted via email.  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven ( ) or Pastor Ruud ( )

Calling All Those Who Sew!
The Quilters need your help sewing quilt tops together at home.  See the table in the Narthex for sewing instructions and kits.  Any questions, contact Pat Buck or Celesta Smith (253-229-7726)
Needed: Layette Makers!

There is a need for someone to help serge layette kits (blankets and diapers) or loan the quilters a serger for this work. For more information, contact Randi Holland (253-905-5693)

2017 Women's Retreat postponed
Regretfully, Pilgrim First Conference Center informed us that they double-booked the weekend we had reserved for our Women's Retreat.  We are currently looking for other retreat spaces that fit our needs.  The earliest possible retreat dates would be in the Fall.  The Adult Faith Formation team will provide updates as more information is known. 
Socks Needed!

Thank you to everyone who has donated scarves, hats, gloves and socks to the Family Housing Network. The needs are ongoing, especially for socks (yes, even clean used ones). Donations can be dropped off at the church office.
St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool will begin 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

Empowering Life's St. Valentine's Celebration
Saturday, February 11th from 6-8pm.
Piano bar entertainer Kacey Evans will be back for Empowering Life's annual fundraiser. Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunityto learn more about how (beyond backpacks with school supplies) we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman (Purdy) and Mission Creek Correction Center for Women in Belfair... and their families.
            $15.00 is the suggested donation. Auction item donations are appreciated.
            Make your reservation at table in the narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Make Your Shopping Dollars Go Further

If you shop on Amazon for the holidays, please consider designating St. Mark's (or your other favorite charity) to receive the money Amazon donates from each purchase. Login through and type in "St. Mark's Lutheran by The Narrows" to select our church. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday School 3yrs-4th grade. 9:45-10:45 in CFC 
Sunday Youth Faith Formation Classes 9:45-10:45am:
  • 5/6th grade-Resurrection with Mary and Linda
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation-Review with Bruce
  • 9-12th grade-Cross "Where God Is" with Clara
"Let's Be Real"-a conversation with youth about race today!  Sunday, Feb. 12 12:40-4:45pm (grades 9-12)  at Peace Lutheran Church, Hilltop. Sign up on the youth board by Sunday, Feb. 5 if you plan on attending. Framed around the movie Remember the Titans.  

Compline and Cupcakes!  Sunday, Feb. 19 (grades 8-12) 7:30-11:00pm.  Bring $$ for at treat at Cupcake Royale. Sign up on the youth board by Feb. 12. 

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast --Tuesday, Feb. 28 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons. Hosted by the youth. Sign up on the youth board with what you can assist with by Feb. 22.

Thursdays at St. Mark's! This week--Feb. 2 5:30-6:30pm Youth Group and 6:30-7:30pm Youth Choir

Summer 2017!

High School Summer Immersion Trip July 6-9, 2017 (Thursday to Sunday)  10-12th grade youth (current) Stevenson WA Cost: $125.00 per person. $50.00 Deposit are being accepted now. Spaces are limited to 10-12 youth. During our 4 day trip we will walk and serve alongside Native Americans who live along the Columbia River as well as community members from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Team meeting--Sunday, Feb. 26 12:15-1:15pm in the Fireside Room. 
Montana 2017! July 15-22 It is not too late to sign up!
  • 6-9th grade youth (current) Servant Trip- Cost: $622.00 per person Includes lodging, meals, transportation, and more. $150.00 due Jan 29 to guarantee your spot.  Limited Scholarships are available and you can fund-raise to get your  balance reduced.  6-9th grade parents you will register and pay for your son/daughter through the church.   See Montana info on youth board.
  • 10-12th grade youth-Summer Camp at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp July 16-21(travel dates July 15 &22). Check out for more information and to register your child-you will do this on your own. But let me know so we have room for them in the van. 
  • 4-5th grade youth (current) are also headed to Flathead July 16-21(travel dates July 15 & 22).  Cost: $410.00 for camp PLUS $40.00 to St. Mark's for misc. expenses (Silverwood, transportation, etc). Limited scholarship funds and fundraising opportunities are also available.  We will be going with the 6-9th grade servant trip, and any high school youth wanting to go to camp.  Informational Meeting for children and parents will be Feb. 12 11am in the Fireside Room

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 5Today we are joined by Pastor Melanie Wallschlaeger who serves as the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA.   Her work is focused on creative visioning for new congregations in our part of the state, along with helping more established congregations in processes of renewal.  Pastor Melanie will be introducing us to the newest worshipping communities and congregations in our area, and talk with us about how the ELCA is poised to be Church in a rapidly changing, post-modern culture.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
February 5-February 26: "Matthew for Everyone" Today we take a look at Jesus' parables.  What do they teach us about the reign of God?  About our role in that reign?  About how God brings growth in our lives?  All are welcome to join the conversation, led this week by Pastor Gary Peterson.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
Our Muslim Neighbors - Using the work of seventeen Muslim and Christian scholars, we will examine reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we can all participate in building relationships across the lines of faith

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
In the new year they will be studying Martin Luther's Small Catechism  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

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.

Fred Meyer Giving

Did you know that Fred Meyer stores has a Community Rewards Program?  For more information on how to connect your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to giving at St. Mark's, click here. 
Member Notes and News

On Sunday, January 29th we welcomed by the Sacrament of Baptism Kelcie Lynn Marie Pedee, granddaughter of Dennis and Patty Hulbert.

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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!