The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   August 9 , 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! 

2017 Annual Report
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

Aug. 9th , 6:30-7:30pm. This week: Contemporary Lutheran Worship. This is the last of our 4 week sessions. 
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 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

Women of St. Mark's

I hope this finds all crafters and sewers and bakers at work planning and making items for our November Bazaar!  I encourage all to participate!

We are preparing for our next Craft Night on Tuesday, August 22nd at 7PM.  Mark your calendars to come for a fun night learning how to make Periwinkle Table Mats to sell at our Bazaar!   All supplies will be provided.  Come just for the conversation and laughter!

Visit our display in the Narthex for additional information on all upcoming Craft Nights and the Bazaar.  Hope to see you at our next Craft Night!

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.

St. Mark's Lutheran Worship at WCCW

"St. Mark's Lutheran Worship" at the Washington Correction Center for Women (Purdy) on Sunday evening, July 30 was conducted by the pastor, musicians, song team and other members from Grace Lutheran, Port Townsend.  Three beautiful musical pieces expressing deep faith in the face of great troubles were a highlight.  The pieces were written and sung by an inmate, who accompanied herself on the guitar.   

Baby Kits for Refugees Arriving in Tacoma Area

Refugees continue to arrive to our community despite new national immigration policy changes.  550 individuals were resettled in this area since October 2016.    Lutheran Community Services has a need for baby kits to distribute to young families who are arriving.  We will be collecting supplies on Sundays, Aug. 13, 20 and 27.    A baby kit includes a package of disposable diapers (greatest need for size 3-4), baby wipes, and any additional baby item you'd like to include such as onesies, other clothing (newborn to age 3), book or a small toy.    The focus is diapers and wipes.   Please visit the table in the foyer for more information or questions.   Also, you may contact Kathleen Campbell at or 253.820.3297.

Music on the Lawn

Don't Miss this event! Last Sunday to sign up for Music on the Lawn. Being held August 19th. 3:00 pm at the home of Suzy Reynolds. Great music, beautiful setting, scrumptious food, and an opportunity to partner with our youth here at Saint Mark's. Sign up at the table in the Narthex.

Women's Tea and Conversation

Women's Tea and Conversation on Monday, Aug. 21st, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the  University Place Library. 
Please RSVP. Questions:  or
VBS Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who helped lead, teach and organize Vacation Bible School this past week.  We had 98 kids between the ages of 4 and 5th grade in attendance, along with 16 youth volunteers and 26 adults. 

Stephen Ministers

A Stephen Minister is a caring, congregation member who listens, prays, supports and encourages.  Would you like to learn more about Stephen Ministry?  There will be an information question/answer session at 9:45 and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 13th in the Library.  Contact Sarah Callow 253-566-9233

Lutheran World Relief (LWR):  Fall School Kit Supply Drive! 

It's that time of the year to shop for great prices on LWR School Kit supplies for our annual drive with details at the table in the Narthex! This year our goal is  200 kits  and we are offering these options for participation: 
1) Pick up an orange school bag/supply list and return filled,
2) Donate supplies - greatest need is  spiral bound notebooks 8.5" X 10",  
3) Donate funds for shipping by leaving a check in the offering labeled LWR School Kits. 

Kits are sent to places where school supplies may be more than a family can afford. All donations are due by September 17! Thank you! 
Contact Catherine Terrill or Celesta Smith with questions or visit

Friends of Women's Protection Center, Nepal 

Construction of the Friends of WPC Nepal Safe House has made amazing progress, and plans are for completion in November/December with an inauguration in early March in Heatuda, Nepal!  Through the recent monsoon season, the workers have continued to work to make this dream home a reality to help victims of human trafficking.  St. Mark's generous gifts to the safe house construction and kitchen has help make this possible. The organization sends their sincerest thanks to our congregation! The Friends of WPC, Nepal, will hold their 7th Annual Hope For Freedom Gala fundraiser on September 16, 2017, 5:00 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. 
For more information visit or contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479.  

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.
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.
Summer Story Time

Summer Story Time at 9:45 a.m. continues August 13th, 20th and 27th in the Parish Common Classroom.

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 one more hike this summer--one per month alternating between Fridays and Saturdays.   
Friday, September 8: Sunrise (Rainier) or Hurricane Ridge (Olympics)

We will meet at the church at 8 a.m. 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

CYFF Ministry Team meeting-Tuesday, Aug. 15th 7pm in the Fireside Room
Children's Faith Formation!

Summer Story Time at 9:45 a.m. continues August 13, 20 and 27th in the Parish Commons classroom. 
Fall Sunday programming for children 3 years old to 6th grade begins Sunday, September 10th at 9:45 a.m.
Children and Youth Faith Formation Leaders Orientation and Training  will be held Sunday, August 27 from 11:00-12:30 in the Fireside Room AND Thursday, September 7 from 7:00-8:30p.m. in the Parish Commons Classroom. If you plan on teaching/leading a group for children and/or youth this fall please plan on being at one of these trainings.
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board and registration opens September 15. Looking for ways to make $$ to help you attend the Gathering?  Sign up to work at the music on the lawn fundraiser on Aug. 19th. Contact Jean Steingrebe on how you can lend a hand.

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.  

Member Notes and News

A Golden Opportunity.  
Tim and Marcia Sherry began dating in the 9th grade, and have stuck together ever since! This Summer marks the 50th year of their marriage, and you are invited to celebrate it with them at 3:00pm here at St. Marks on Sunday, August 20th. If you can attend, please:
RSVP to Colette Sherry at (253)861-6361 or 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!