The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 October 17 , 2018 
Sunday Worship      
8:30 a.m. Blended
9:45 a.m. Contemporary
11:00 a.m. Traditional
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
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St. Mark's Staff
Sigi Helgeson, Visitation
Ingelaurie Lisher, Youth and Family
Music Ministry
Contemporary Music Ministry
Manager of Finance and Operations
Office Coordinator
       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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Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Grilled cheese, tomato soup, salad 
      ( Suggested donation: $5)
5:00-5:30 p.m. Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00 p.m. Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45 p.m. Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00 p.m. Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20 p.m. Midweek Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30-8:00 p.m. Evensong

St. Mark's Preschool Director Opening

St. Mark's Preschool has enjoyed a history of excellent leadership over the years, and is ready for a new chapter to begin! If you have a background in Early Childhood education (or equivalent experience), are a member of St. Mark's (or excited to become one), and administrative experience, we invite you to consider this position. Click to access the Job Description and Application Process,  or you can find the documents in the Church Office. If you have questions about the position, please contact Pastor Shjerven ( or Preschool Board Chair Julie Milasich (

Wanted: Lunch Buddies for DeLong Elementary!
YOU can make a difference in the life of a child!  The social worker at DeLong Elementary School has asked St. Mark's to provide more Lunch Buddies for this school year. Each adult is matched with 2 fourth grade students who teachers have identified as needing the gift of time from a caring adult. You choose if you prefer to have girls or boys.

Volunteer chooses Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. DeLong Elementary is near South 12th and Orchard Street.

Eat lunch with Buddy at 12:40 and spend recess time together until 1:30. The relationship is limited to this time at the school and volunteers must pass a Volunteer Background Check with the Tacoma School District.  

About one hour each week seems "tiny." I asked the social worker if she thought it really made a difference to the students. "Yes! You probably don't "see" the influence you have, but the teachers keep asking if there can be more Lunch Buddies."

You may be thinking that a school year is a large commitment. And it is. However, every Lunch Buddy for the past 5 years has missed some weeks because of travel. They just let the teacher and students know in advance.

Consider this opportunity. I will have a table at church on Sunday, October 21st, and will answer questions. 
Mary Olsen,,  253-752-2844

September 2018 - Monthly Financial Update

Offerings for September were $82,289 versus budgeted offerings of $78,269 (i.e.,$4,020  above budget).  Fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), we are now just $2,039 below budgeted offerings of $225,637, but 9.9% above last year's actual offerings over the same time period. While we're not quite meeting this year's income needs, we are collectively giving more than last year - and for that we can be grateful!
Expenses for September were $5,441 below budget, spending $82,283 versus a budgeted $87,724.  FYTD, we are $9,718 below budgeted expenses of $270,883. The budget-relative savings are spread across most of our major expense categories. As mentioned in last month's financial write-up, we are still early in the fiscal year, so it is fair to expect things to move around a lot in the coming months. Some of the savings should persist, but there are other current "savings" that will almost certainly be eroded (i.e., spent after all). We'll get a better picture as we move through the year.
The bottom line is that we brought in $257 more than we spent in September versus our projection to spend $9,205 more than we brought in. This puts us $9,462 "ahead of" budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are $8,091 "better than" budget on a "net" basis (i.e., looking at total inflows and outflows). We have spent $36,405 more than we have brought in versus a projection to spend $44,496 more than we brought in. Each of the next three quarters of our fiscal year has a higher offering history and target, so we need to continue our collective commitment to giving toward our overall ministry goals. Thank you!
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions.

Capital Spending Update 

We have invested nearly $200K in maintaining, improving, and financing our facilities in the first three months of this fiscal year! These investments have been funded through a variety of sources, including our capital campaign, General Ministry Fund offerings, designated gifts, and undesignated bequest funds. Check out these improvements/investments, along with their funding sources!
  • $110,056 in principal sent to our mortgage lender to immediately reduce the interest portion of our monthly mortgage payments. Funded by our Blessing in Abundance capital campaign.
  • $30,221 for new carpet and tile in the sanctuary. Funded entirely by undesignated bequest funds.
  • $19,720 for patching, sealing, and striping of all our parking lots. Funded by undesignated bequest funds dedicated to our long-term maintenance program.
  • $15,497 for exterior painting/maintenance of office and music wings. Funded through General Ministry Fund budget (offerings) dedicated to our long-term maintenance program.
  • $13,882 for a new A/V system in the Parish Commons Classroom. Funded by $5K private designated gift and $8,882 undesignated bequest.
  • $7,511 hearing loop system installed in the sanctuary. Funded by $5K private designated gift and $2,511 undesignated bequest.
  • $2,909 for secondary screen/TV in the back of the sanctuary. Funded entirely by a private designated gift.

Third Quarter

Those in the third quarter of life, ages 50-75ish, are invited to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.

Thursday, November 15, at 6 p.m. meet at Tower Lanes, 6323 6th Ave, for mini golf, food and drinks.

Wreath Sales

Scout Troop 216 and Venture Crew 216 will be selling wreaths in the lobby through October. Stop by and support us by buying a beautiful Christmas wreath or greenery. We'll be there each Sunday from 9:15 until noon. Questions? Contact Jeni Keister 253-579-7710.

Children's World Christmas Tree

Children's World Christmas tree for our downstairs entry is still asking for ornament donations. We have collected many from all over the world and from local sites as well making it exciting to visualize our upcoming Christmas tree. We still need more. Keep St. Mark's in mind when you travel and even when you unpack your home tree ornaments. Perhaps you have a few spare items that would fit our world tree theme. This is a donation that will be fun for you to see year after year as you are reminded of  your travel journeys.  Green baskets are located downstairs, in the office, and on the Christmas table in the narthex. Please place your ornaments in any of these baskets. Thank you for your donation. Questions? Contact

Women of St. Mark's

Time to prepare for our Bazaar. Please stop by our table in the Narthex and fill out a form to indicate how you will be participating in our annual Bazaar. We need lots of hands to make this another success. Please leave the forms in the basket on our table. This helps us prepare for the Bazaar. We will be making Lefse on Thursday, November 1, and Bazaar set up is on Friday, November 2. There will be containers available at the table for your bake goods. Please tag your items with a sales price.    

We will be having book sales and collectibles! This is a good time to let your books and collectibles move to brighten lives! Please bring all items for the Bazaar to the Church on Friday, November 2.  

We have fabric ready for all of you sewers that would like to help the Quilters. We need quilt tops sewn together for the Quilters. The fabric and instructions are available on our table in the Narthex.

If you have a question, please call Barbara Meyers at 253-756-9352 or send me an email at,  If I am not available, please contact Pat Geary, Katie Cootsona or Bonnie Wascher. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Upcoming Milestone and Marker Events:
  • Sunday, October 21: 1st Communion Instruction with Pastor Rebecca and Celesta Smith 9:45 a.m. in the CFC for children 4 years old and older, parents attend with their child. 
Preschool-5th grade parents, don't forget to turn in your Christmas Program response sheet indicating your child's interest in the 2018 Christmas program. Extra forms are available with Celesta Smith.

Confirmation Ministry: 
3rd year: 
  • Saturday, October 27: Celebration Brunch, 10-11:30 a.m. here at St. Mark's. RSVP by October 21 to Celesta Smith,, or to Ingelaurie Lisher at ingelaurie@smlutheran.org1st/2nd year studentsdon't forget to sign up to help out-the sign up genius link is live.
  • Sunday, October 28: Affirmation of Baptism Celebration at 11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Youth, mark your calendars: 
  • 6-8th gr. Sunday, November 4, 12-2:30 p.m. Bowling, games and more! Cost: $15.00 per person, sign up by October 28 if you plan on attending.
  • 9-12th gr. Friday, November 30, 5:30-7:00 p.m. High School Game Night at St. Mark's. Sign up by November 18.
Thursday Nights for youth: October 18: Youth Group 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
9:45 a.m. Adult Forum 

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study continues.

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study:  The 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. This fall we will study the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or (253) 363-8202.

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Midweek Renewal 6:15 p.m., Parish Commons Classroom: "Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis." In September and October we will study this historic document, written by several "elders" in the Church. This document calls for Christians to be very clear about our identity in Christ and the necessity to reject the rise of oppression based on race, gender, identity, and class. To view the document and learn of its origin, go to  

Note: We also have an opportunity to be part of a multi-congregational study of "Reclaiming Jesus" which will be taking place on Monday evenings throughout the fall. Pick up a schedule on the Welcome Center if you are interested in studying with our Christian neighbors.

Fall Friday Film Night: October 26, 6:30-9:30 p.m., PCC
This month we will view the provocative, Oscar-winning movie Get Out. Billed as a horror movie about being black in America, this film is not for everyone. Please read about it before deciding whether to attend.

Speak Up: Moral Voices

The Peace and Justice Committee at St. Mark's suggests we all consider using our moral voices to advocate for justice in the following areas: food, housing, creation, and immigration. 

It is budget season for the City of Tacoma and some neighboring cities. You have an opportunity to speak up about budget priorities, particularly to advocate for more affordable housing in the City of Tacoma. One way to do this is to ask your council members to place more money in a city Housing Trust Fund; dollars in such a fund would be leveraged through public/private partnerships to help preserve and build more affordable housing. You can read more about the city budget process here.

Member Notes and News
Robert Monsen will be in the play Incident at Vichy, by Arthur Miller, at the University of Washington, School of Drama, in Seattle this month.

It is a play  relevant to the times we live in: families being split up, rumors flying, racism, discrimination on all levels is rampant, AND it all is accepted!

For complete information, times, and place of performance, go to:    

Church Office Hours

The church office is open  Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon, 1:00-4:00 p.m . and  Sunday from 9:30-11:00 a.m.

*The door to the office is locked during preschool hours (8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.); please knock or ring the doorbell and someone will let you in promptly!

Have an item for The Bridge?
Send it to by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. All items will  run for two weeks prior to the relevant date, and will be edited for length. Don't forget to send your member notes and news!