The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                          August 26, 2015        
Grace Notes:    So We Feed    
Each Sunday, after our offering gifts have been gathered, the ushers process the plates bearing the gifts to the front of the sanctuary. The Hunger Basket is nestled into the golden plates and all of the gifts are presented to God.

This past Sunday, an extra basket joined the procession. It didn't contain checks or bills, but hand-written letters. Many of us, in addition to money, offered the gift of our time and our voice. We wrote to elected leaders and urged them to remember the most vulnerable in our community-children who live in poverty, for whom food-insecurity and poor nutrition are daily threats.

Sunday Worship Times      
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.
God's Work Our Hands Sunday!
Save the date! "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday at DeLong School and Park on Sunday, September 13.  On this special day, we will gather together for an all congregation worship service at DeLong Elementary School at 10:30am, followed by a brown bag picnic on the playground and then many opportunities for volunteer service in DeLong Park from 12:30-2pm.  "Morning Prayer" will be held at 8:30am at St. Mark's for those who are unable to join us for worship at DeLong Elementary School. 

2015 Hunger Walk Team
The 2015 Hunger Walk Team will walk in Pastor John Reitan's memory on  Sunday, October 4th.    This is the annual Associated Ministries' Pierce County Hunger Walk.  St Mark's has participated in fundraising and walking for many y ears, led by the energy and inspiration of John Reitan.  Pastor Reitan died on December 26, 2014 and this year, we would like to walk in his memory.  Please consider being part of the Planning Team for this special event!  It is a one month commitment, from early September until the event itself.  All types of skills are needed.  For information, or to join the Planning Team, please contact John Avery ( If you are not able to help plan, we hope you can participate by walking or sponsoring the team!

Celebrate the Life of Pastor Reitan
Save the date! The St. Mark's Gay-Straight Alliance invites you to join in celebrating the life of Pastor John Reitan, Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m. In the Fireside Room. There will be a pot luck dinner and time to share memories. We want to honor John and Dorothy Reitan for their loving leadership in our congregation and in particular as founding members of the GSA.

Pastor Ruud on Vacation
Pastor Jan Ruud will be on vacation from August 17-29. 

Women's of St. Mark's Craft Night
Friday, August 28 at 6pm - Craft Night!
We have over a dozen gourds yet to paint and decorate.Come help us put the finishing touches on last months' gourds, and create some new designs.  Easy fun for everyone!

Children's Sunday School Teachers Needed
We are so blessed and pleased to have a strong core group of volunteers who participate in the faith formation ministry with children.  We have, however, several openings to fill to round out our teaching teams as we gear up for fall.  If you have a desire to help guide children in faith growth and feel you relate well to children and their development, and want to be part of a team ministry that connects with children and families, please consider serving in Children's Faith Formation as a  Sunday school teacher.  We especially have openings in the younger age levels.  You can contact Char Leone, CFF Coordinator ( , or stop for information in the Narthex  on Sunday mornings throughout the coming weeks.  

Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group
 Caring for someone with memory loss? Alzheimer's Association caregiver support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss. A free information and support group for unpaid care partners, family members and friends is held the 3rd Weds. of each month from 7-8:30pm at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center.  For more information, contact group facilitator Linda McCone at 253-572-2875. 

Sunday School Starts September 20th
Sunday  school with children officially starts on  September 20th  but all children, families, and teachers are encouraged to join in a day of worship and service on  September 13th --"God's Work, Our Hands" at DeLong Elementary School.  More specific information will be forthcoming on our  Sunday  school start up plans.  Teachers, mark  September 12th  on your calendars as a morning of retreat and training.  

Back to School Backpack Update!
St. Mark's and First Lutheran in Port Orchard collected enough backpacks and school supplies to provide 68 fully loaded backpacks to Mission Creek correction center for moms to give to their kids , plus 32 to WCCW ("Purdy") for moms there to give to their kids, plus 27 to Peace Community Center in Tacoma to help their hard-pressed families.  That's a lot of happy kids ready for a successful year at school!  Thank you so much for your good work and generosity!

Youth and Children's Faith Formation
3rd year Confirmation info: 9 th graders will meet Thursday Evenings September 10-October 22 from 5:30-6:30pm with Pastors Ruud and Shjerven.
September 20, 1st and 2nd year Confirmation info: Sunday, Sept. 20th class begins in Youth Room.
  • 7th grade Rite of Welcome (beginning of 9:45 service)
  • 8th grade Rite of Renewal (beginning of 11am service)
  • Orientation for parents of 7/8th grade students Sunday, Sept. 20th 9:55am in the Fireside Room.
October 4, 2015 Hunger Walk Sunday (Grades 6-12 th). Please sign up and pick up information off of the Youth Board by Sunday September 27 th. Parents are encouraged to attend with their son/daughter.
October 1, JR ALYVE Youth Group (6-8th grades) and Youth Choir(6-12th grades) begins from 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish  Commons. Youth Choir 6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex. 

Member Notes

Libby Postovoit will be performing in recital this Sunday, August 30th at 2pm at St. Mark's.  Refreshments will be provided.  Libby has grown up at St. Mark's and we are grateful for the talents she has shared with us over the years.  Please join us in supporting her!
LWR School Supplies Kits
It's that time! With school supplies at their lowest prices of the year, our  annual drive to collect school supplies for LWR starts this weekend!  Our goal is to pack 100 school kits with the youth in October. The LWR site has an URGENT request for kits from partners.   Your donations reach places like Syria, where LWR recently distributed 6,350 School Kits to families affected by the ongoing conflict. Please drop-off supplies in the Narthex
Spiral Notebooks (70 page-8" x 10.5")
#2 pencils (unsharpened)
Pencil sharpner 
Blunt scissors
Blue or black ballpoint pens (no gel)
Ruler (30 centimeter)
Crayons (16 or 24)
Eraser (2.5")

Expand the Ruth Ann Bible Study!
Ruth Ann Bible Study (circle) would like to expand and form an additional circle.  Currently, we meet the first Monday morning of each month from 10:00 - 12:00 in our homes.  We enjoy light refreshments, catching up and sharing around a topic drawn from our monthly magazine, "Gathering in Faith and Action," which is published by Women of the ELCA.  Expanded groups could meet at different times and locations.
We find we grow in our understanding and appreciation of the bible and of each other as we read scripture and converse about our faith experiences and questions.  We like to conclude with prayer.
You are invited to join us for coffee, refreshments and bible-based conversation on Monday, September 14 in the Fireside Room to explore whether this is a good fit for you. 
Current members are: Patty Reinkensmeyer, Suzy Reynolds, Barb Holme, Barb Boyd, Marcia Sherry, Marge Bitter, Cathryn Cummings, Helen Huseth, Lori Huseth Clark, Joan Torfin, Eileen Tellefson, Jean Steingrebe, Patty Keller, and Joan Nelson. 
We look forward to seeing you on Monday, September 14.

Connect and Care TimeBank                        

Th e next Connect and Care TimeBank training is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 in the Youth Room St. Marks will resume Wednesday night dinner and servi ces, too.  You can grab dinner and come down to the Youth Room for training before the evening service.

We have over 20 members signed up with lots of fun offers and requests.  Check out the TimeBank Poster in the Narthex to see some examples.  A new sign up sheet is available for you to register your interest.
If you had signed up initially but were unable to attend the first training, this is your opportunity to become a new member.

Sponsored by the Congregational Care Committee, the CCTB is a great way to give and receive help, learn new skills and connect in a personal way with members of our congregation.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Patty Reinkensmeyer 857-7977 of Jan Walters 703-895-5805. 

St. Mark's Preschool   


St. Mark's Preschool enrollment for 2015-2016 is now open. For more information, visit our website ( or call 253-752-4929.



Church Administrator Position in Bonney Lake
Creator Lutheran Church in Bonney Lake is looking to hire a Church Administrator.  This is a 25-30 hour position. This position will provide business and operational support to church members, council and professional staff.  It will manage church finance, property, personnel procedures. A bachelor's degree in business or related field or equivalent experience preferred.  If you are interested in more information click here for full job description or by contacting Pastor Heidi Calhoun at

Benevolence Thank You

Dear Friends, Thank you for supporting the work of Lutheran World Relief with your gift of $70 given through the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA.  I'd like to share a story with you about how your support makes a real difference. 


Maria de Cid Aguilar is a coffee farmer from Honduras.  Like many other coffee farmers in Central America, Maria has seen her coffee crop dramatically reduced from a crop disease called leaf rust.  This disease attacks and kills whole coffee plants and it can take years to replace their production.   Maria worried for her family's future. 


But with the help of people like you, we are working with coffee farmer's in Central America to combat leaf rust by providing disease resistant seeds.  We're also helping farmers like Maria to diversify their crops.  In addition to coffee, she now grows cocoa- another lucrative crop that is also resistant to high temperatures and humidity.  With this new crop, she's introducing another source of income to support her family. 


On behalf of LWR, our partners and those we serve, please accept my thanks for your gift and all that it will do.  God bless you!


Daniel V. Speckhard, President and CEO

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!