The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                          July 29, 2015        

Grace Notes:

Camp Discovery

In a few days, children will be gathering for Vacation Bible School at St. Mark's. When I saw their theme for the week, it struck me as a good description of our whole life with Christ: Camp Discovery! For me, it captures the open-endedness of our daily journey in faith and the endless possibilities to discover who God is for us and who we are for each other. It also speaks to the wonders of creation and to the joy of discovering God in the natural world and in the ever-expanding universe.

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
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This Week's News!


"Hate Won't Win" Launches in Tacoma Aug. 2, 

The national  "Hate Won't Win"  movement, proclaimed by the family of slain Charleston murder victim Daniel L. Simmons, Sr., will officially launch in Tacoma/Pierce County at the Bethlehem Baptist Church Aug. 2 from 3-5 p.m. Simmons' granddaughter, Alana Simmons, will be on hand to challenge the entire Tacoma/Pierce County community to join the movement and show an act of kindness to someone different from you to prove "Hate Won't Win." Alana Simmons gained national attention when she, along with family members of other Charleston victims, publicly forgave her grandfather's killer in a South Carolina courtroom just days after her grandfather was slain in his church.

Vacation Bible School Starts Monday!  For more information click here


ELCA presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and William B. Horne, II will be hosting a live webcast conversation on the complexity and implications of racism Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. (CDT). Through its social statement - "Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture" - ELCA members have expressed this church's calling to confront racism and advocate for justice and fairness for all people. The statement is grounded in the conviction that the church has been gathered together in the joyful freedom of the reign of God announced by and embodied in Jesus. That reign has not come in its fullness, but the message of God's "yes" to the world breaks down all dividing walls as we live into that promise. - See more at:


It is with great pleasure that we announce two Nursing Scholarships in honor of Ruth Saathoff, RN who developed the Parish Nursing Ministry at St. Marks.  Awards are going to Helena Laubach who is attending Seattle University and to Lauren Balerud who is attending Gonzaga University.   Congratulations to each of these young women and best wishes in their pursuit of a wonderful career in nursing.


Paint the Preschool. If you'd like to help us put up fresh paint in the preschool and children's wing, please join us on Sunday, August 9th at 12:30. We will be receiving some painting tips from member Bill Krabler and we'll get started on prep work. Please contact Anne Zimmerman with questions (253) 691-9637 or email




Statistics from the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering                             
  1. 30,000 youth gathered together in Detroit to Proclaim Community, Proclaim Justice and Proclaim Story.
  2. Proclaim Community:
    1. ELCA World Hunger's Walk for Water grand total is now $402,000.
    2. 650 people donated at least 8 inches of hair (including Mary Jo Larsen). That is a minimum of 433 feet of hair - for reference, the Cadillac Building in Detroit is 438 feet tall. 
    3. 78.8 Gallons of blood! (607 pints) 
    4. 1 million diapers were collected for Diaper Detroit-in addition thousands of dollars were also collected.
  3. Proclaim Justice Days: Person power approximately $2.4M (30,000 people X $10.00/hr X 8 hours, yes?) to the NPO's in the Detroit area 1,847 mural boards painted, 600 neighborhoods affected, 319 vacant homes boarded up, 3,200  vacant lots cleared of debris 1,425 backpacks distributed, 36 urban gardens instead, 99 picnic tables built and 26 dumpsters filled.
  4. Thanks to everyone for your support and gracious donations which help make this trip possible for the 15 youth and 4 adults from St. Mark's who had the blessing to attend.
  5. Start looking for ways to get connect to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston TX June 27-July 1coming your way over the next couple of years. 
Thank you to all at St. Mark's who helped our youth be present at this life changing event!
Adult Faith Formation                             

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! A Bible Study series on the Book of Acts, led by Traci Drake, will continue through August 9 at 11:00am on Sunday morning. All are welcome!

Wednesday Midweek Renewal is on break for the summer.


Sunday Adult Forum is on hiatus for the summer.  Join us again in September.

Children's Faith Formation

August 9, Lutherhaven Campers

leave Sunday, August 9th. Please be packed and ready at the by the church by 8:15am. 


Summer Story Time - runs through August 23 during the 8:30 and 9:45 am worship services. Children age 5 through 3rd grade (incoming) will start in worship with their families. After the Prayer of the Day, they will be invited to the Parish Commons Classroom to hear and experience the Gospel story in a different way. Children will rejoin their families during the hymn of the day. (Children under five may bring a grown-up along!) Leaders are needed for the following Sundays: Aug.16 and 23, 8:30 and 9:45amPlease contact Ingelaurie if you can help.


Join St. Mark's for Vacation Bible School! Aug 3-7, 2015 9am-12:15pm. Kids age 4 through entering 5th grade are invited to join us this year at Camp Discovery! We'll have fun as we explore the Bible, make new friends, sing songs, and learn how Jesus works through us in our everyday lives. Register now by visiting our table in the Narthex or at www. for registration and more information! And if you're interested in volunteering please sign up at the table in the Narthex! Please check out our Wish List as well.


Youth Faith Formation

Youth Faith Formation Classes are on break for the summer.  They will resume in September.

July 29- Post Detroit Party-water sports and BBQ!  Wednesday, July 29th 3pm-8pmish. Parents are encouraged to attend.  Please meet at St. Mark's at 2:30pm if you want to carpool or meet us there-contact me or Brenda Gormly for directions.  Dinner will be served at 6pm. Please bring snacks, dessert and beverages. As well as a swimsuit, towel and change of clothes. RSVP to Ingelaurie by Sunday, July 26th. 

Aug 1- Rocky Boy Party for youth and parents (siblings too) at the Carl Steingrebe's home is Sat. Aug. 1st. Water activities begin at 3pm, dinner will be served at 6pm.Hope to see you all there!


August 8, Music on the Lawn, 

tickets are now on sale for this beloved Summer event.  Enjoy the talents of St. Mark's members at the home of Suzy & Bob Reynolds.  Look for the display in the narthex for tickets ($15 for adults). Childcare will be available.  



August 23 (Sunday), CYFF Ministry Team Meeting-12:15-2:15pm in the Fireside Room.


Women of St. Mark's                         

Craft Night,  Friday, July 31, 6PM- Note corrected date
Dried Gourd Decorating:We have a collection of various sized Gourds for decorating. Come and decorate for Fall and for our Bazaar. Make one for yourself.  There will be demonstrations
on cutting, wood burning, and cleaning.  All supplies will be


Peace and Justice                         


An Offer from Habitat of Humanity, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity has been blessed with an abundance of gifts and they want to share them with their faith partners. Presently, they have Hardie plank siding and Valspar exterior paint that can given to low-income homeowners who need new siding and don't have the means to buy these items themselves. If you know of someone in our congregation who would be a good candidate for this, please contact Pastor Ruud. It is also possible that we could put together a crew of volunteers who could assist with the project.

 Aug 10-14, Family Housing Network Back to School Event. Catholic Community Services is working to get 100 kids ready for school. Can you help them with donations of school supplies? High School (backpacks, calculators, protractors, 3-ring binders, 2-pocket folders, Sharpies, graph paper, college ruled spiral notebooks, pencil pouches, ball point pens in red/blue/black). Middle/Elementary (water colors, colored pencils, No 2 pencils, ziplock bags in gallon and sandwich size, Kleenex, pencil boxes, wide ruled paper, backpacks, 2 pocket folders, rulers, book covers and notebook dividers.) Bring all donations to The Phoenix Housing Day Center, 5050 South Tacoma Way.



Connect and Care TimeBank                        

Sept 16, The 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 services, 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 will be available.  I will be sending out individual email invitations for those of you who had expressed interest earlier but were unable to attend the first training in June.

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.


Member Notes

We received word of the death of long time member, Barbara Ehrenheim.  Barbara died on Thursday July 24 at the age of 82. Services were held July 28.  

August 5 at 7pm, Tim Sherry will be reading from his book
at The Chapel on Echo Bay ( 400 Sixth Avenue,  Fox Island, WA 98333)
Food, a Q and A,  and book sales and signing afterwards. Information about the chapel and directions can be found at

Jim Hoiland   was released from Harbor View Hospital 
on Wedne sday, July 29th and  taken to Tacoma Lutheran for rehab. He he has been in the hospital  8 weeks   after falling off the ladder while trimming a tree. Jim thanks the people of St. Mark's for all the thoughts, prayers, cards and visits.  


Congratulations to Stephanie Cantrall and Brittney Currey!  They were married at their home on July 25. 


Thrivent Night at the Rainiers, August 7, 2015, One of our greatest supporters, James Gallegos, died tragically last winter. To honor his memory, the West Pierce County Chapter Board unanimously voted to use the proceeds from this year's Thrivent night at the Rainiers to be a contribution to the Jayce Gallegos College Fund. 

What: Tacoma Rainier's Baseball. Beverages and food are included.

When: Friday, August 7, 2015 Cost: $15 minimum donation per ticket
How to get Tickets: Call Cheryl Mays Comen at Trinity Lutheran Church (253-537-0201) for details.


Happy 100th Birthday to Volly Grande!  We rejoice with you as you celebrate! Thank you to The Women of St. Mark's who threw a Happy 100th Birthday Party for Volly Grande after church Sunday. Friends spoke of past memories with Volly and Pastor Jan sang a version of "Hello, Volly" in true Louis Armstrong voice.


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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!