The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 February 28 , 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: Spaghetti, bread, green beans, 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. Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30 p.m. Evensong Lent Compline Service

New Office Hours at St. Mark's Include Sunday Mornings

We have had good response to opening the church office  on Sunday mornings, so we are happy to say that Linda McKeller will be there to assist you in any way on Sundays from  9:30-11:00 a.m. To make accommodations for this, we will close the office 30 minutes earlier on weekdays. So, please make note of the new office hours: 
Monday-Friday:8:30-noon,1:00-4:00 p.m.; Sundays: 9:30-11:00 a.m. 

Mexico Mission Trip

The Mexico Mission Team is gearing up for our next house-building trip in June.  There is still room for you if you're interested in joining us! We will have an information table in the narthex on  March 4 and March 11  between services. Stop by if you would like more information or have questions about the trip. The dates are  June 22-June 30, 2018 We will be having our annual Cinco de Mayo dinner on  Saturday May 5 , and all are welcome then! 

Peace and Justice

Chase the Chill Kits
Are you looking for something to give to people you meet while driving who look like they might need something to eat or to keep them warm? Pick up a Chase the Chill Kit (provided by the Youth and a grant from Thrivent) and hand them out to those in need. 

Peace Community Center Benefit Dinner
The annual Peace Community Center benefit dinner, Learners to Leaders, will be held  this year at the Tacoma Convention Center on Friday, March 9 . Table hosts from St. Mark's  are John and Carol Avery and Don and Barb Haueisen. Join us for an evening of good  food and fellowship and an opportunity to learn more about what is happening with this  Tacoma Hilltop organization providing vital support for area students. Tickets for the  dinner are available at For those attending the dinner for  the first time, please be our guest. Let one of us know and we can take care of dinner  tickets. In either case, be a part of a St. Mark's table supporting this ministry. Please  contact one of the Haueisens at 360-329- 6880 or; or one of the  Averys at 253-759- 6365 or with questions or to confirm your  interest in attending.

Annual Lutheran Community Services Support Luncheon
Sunday, March 11;  12:30 p.m.  Social Hour 1:30 p.m.  Lunch & Program
McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College
4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood
RSVP online at o r by phone  253-298-9170

Please join the St. Mark's tables in supporting the South Puget Sound Programs of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.  There is no cost to attend, but there will be an opportunity to make a gift.

Community Group "Third Quarter"

Christian friends in the "third quarter" of life are welcome to join others age 50ish -75ish in supportive community to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.  

Thursday, March 156:00 p.m. at Chihuly Museum of Glass (Third  Thursday  free museums). Optional happy hour dinner meet at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Ave at  4:45 p.m.
Thursday, April 126:00 p.m.  Potluck and Sing-along in the Parish Commons. 
Thursday, May 10,  6:00 p.m.  Potluck and Game Night in the Parish Commons.

Please contact the church office for additional information.

Walking to Jerusalem Update - Week 7

This past week we continued our pilgrimage on the El Camino Santiago, passing through Pamplona.  We missed the bulls, but enjoyed the beautiful countryside. We crossed the Pyrennees Mountains into France, joining the El Camino Frances, and passed through the lovely towns of Bordeaux,Tours, and Paris.  The tiny rural  country of Luxembourg fascinated us. Leaving the El Camino, we continued our travel into Germany. Our final day this week was spent in the beautiful old university town of Gottingen. The university was established in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain. Among the many museums in this town we especially enjoyed the European Bread Museum. We splurged on a night in the Eden Hotel where many relaxed in the indoor pool as outside temperatures were at 21 degrees F. We all enjoyed traditional German fare and lovely local wines and beers in the casual dining room at Zum Szultenburger.  We have now traveled 8,259 miles and are headed east for Eisleben, the birthplace of Martin Luther.

Women of St. Mark's

The Women of St. Mark's are pleased to distribute the Bazaar 2017 Funds to the following: Women's Retreat Fund - $500; Kitchen Fund -$250; Preschool Play Structure - $500; Amp Monitors for Music Programs - $2,000; Mangle Rotary Iron  - $2,000; School Backpack Program - $2,000; Empowering Life - $500; Batting for the Quilters - $500; Synod Local Conference - $500; WELCA - $375; Friendship House - $375.  Total distributed to St. Mark's mission - $9,500.  

Save the date for our  Spring Tea to be held on  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at noon.  Bonnie Wascher, Barbara Meyers and Pat Geary are co-chairing this event.  We are in the planning stage right now and will be needing your help to make this event spectacular.  There will be a Fashion Show starring Katie Cootsona's 2017 dresses.  Models are needed in sizes 6 to 14.  Please contact Katie  (206-484-9195) if interested. 

We will have a table in the Narthex.  Please stop by. Your help is needed with desserts, setup, and cooking.  Please talk with Bonnie, Barb, or Pat if you would like to help us make this event a special one! 

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday morning classes for children and youth 3 years old to 12th grade meet each week from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the CFC & Youth Wings.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) March 1 Youth Group 5:30 p.m. with Nate and Ingelaurie; Youth Choir with Cooper 6:30 p.m. 

The Youth (6-12th grade-entering 2018) are headed to Montana this summer... July 22-27, 2018 (no extra travel days) at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Registration is now open at:   See the Youth Board for more information and if you have questions on how to register. 
SR ALYVE (9-12th gr.) Game Night-Friday, March 16 5:30-7:30 p.m. here at St. Mark's! Pizza dinner provided. Sign up by March 11 if you are attending. Bring your favorite board/card game to share.

ELCA Youth Gathering/Houston Mtg. Thursday, March 22 5:15-6:30 p.m. for youth and adult leaders. 

Vacation Bible School will be held August 6-10 for children 4 years old to 5th grade (incoming). 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, March 4- 9:45 a.m. Table Talk
Are you looking for informal, meaningful conversation on Sunday morning?  Grab a beverage and a treat and come to the tables in the back corner of the Parish Commons (the ones with the tablecloths).  A host will be there to greet you, introduce you to others who have gathered, and invite you into the conversation. 
Note:  There will be no Adult Forum on "Table Talk" Sundays.

Lent Book Groups
Sunday mornings, 11 a.m.-noon 
Of Mess and Moxie: wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life by Jen Hatmaker (please purchase book on your own); Fireside Room
From Wild Man to Wise Man: reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr (please purchase book on your own);  PCC #2
Wednesday evenings, 8:00-8:45 p.m.
Devotional Classics: Selected readings for Individuals and Groups (book available to purchase in church office, $8); PCC

Lent Devotionals
"Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow"- Luther Seminary Daily Readings-available at Adult Faith Formation table in narthex (regular and large print)
"Christ in Our Home"-January, February, March edition-available in basket outside Church Office (regular and large print)

Wednesday Midweek Renewal, 6:15 p.m. in the PCC
Way of Life: a Study Based on The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian McLaren -Session 2:  Moving from a System of Beliefs to a Way of Living.

PLU Wang Center Symposium
MIGRATION: toward an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of human mobility.  March 8-9 , Anderson University Center.  Free and open to the public; Registration is strongly suggested;

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m.  in the Fireside Room
Question? Contact Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. 

Adult Class- Sundays 11:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room
As our  Adult Class, Dr. Traci Drake will offer Year 1 of Crossways, a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible. To order the set of Learner books, please contact the church office. The cost for books each trimester is $20.  Participants are asked to cover whatever part of that cost they are able to pay. 

Women's Bible Study; Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. in the PCC
We are ladies with varying faith and bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights.  With our current study, As It Is in Heaven by Greg Laurie, a thought-provoking book, we are studying God's will for us here on earth. For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or 253-363-8202.

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the PCC
Gather for lunch, conversation, and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.

St. Mark's Preschool Updates

St. Mark's Preschool is accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year! 

Thank You to Thrivent Financial 

Special thanks to Thrivent Financial for their grant to purchase food items for the Backpack Program.

Message from Pastor Sigi Helgeson
"You are my beloved." I can't think of a greater message than to hear those words. Can you recall a time when you maybe heard those words spoken to you, perhaps by a mother or father, or a grandparent, or your child, spouse, partner, or friend?  Try to recall a time when you knew you were dearly loved by another and how it made you feel. Perhaps you have said "I love you" to someone recently, maybe just this past week on Valentine's Day. The day when Hallmark makes a lot of money in figuring out the many ways to say "You are my one and only", "my beloved."
    "You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased." Jesus hears these words at his baptism by John in the Jordan River. It is interesting that in Mark's gospel, it is spoken to Jesus alone, and for his ears.  Even Jesus needed to hear that he was dearly beloved by God. It is out of that "belovedness" that Jesus is able to carry out his ministry and share that love with his disciples and the world. 
     You are beloved is something we all need to hear and feel.  Being cared for and loved is a basic human need. I have the privilege of going out as your visitation pastor to members and friends who can't make it to church for whatever reason.  As I am beginning this ministry of presence, I have become aware of how much folks just appreciate that someone has come to show that the community cares. It is wonderful to be part of this care ministry here at St. Mark's along with your pastors, Stephen ministers, parish nurses, and the care team. In many ways those of us who go out to visit on behalf of St. Mark's bring the message that "you are beloved of God" simply by being present. 
Even when the beloved one can no longer remember, and may not even know whom you are, they can still sense the love of God in a smile, a prayer, and a hug.
   If you or someone you love is in need of a visit from the church please don't hesitate to connect. 

     Pastor Sigi Helgeson is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the week. You can reach her at St. Mark's by email at or by calling the church office. 
Care team meets on Wednesday, February 28.

January Financials

January offerings exceeded budget by $11,374. This was 10.9% higher than offerings in January of last year. On a fiscal year-to-date (YTD) basis, we are still behind - but less so than last month! To make up this shortfall, we need the remaining five months of the fiscal year (FY) - on average - to have a result comparable to January. YTD offerings are $51,857 below budget and 7.4% less than actual offerings over the same time period last year.

January is the first month this FY in which expenses exceeded budget - spending $2,851 more than budgeted. There were two main reasons. First, we were able to pay out more benevolences than budgeted because our offerings exceeded budget. This is obviously a good thing! Second, we got hit with a large bill to correct an elevator "deficiency" noted during a recent Labor & Industries inspection. We knew the bill was coming and it did... (If you'd like more information on this fascinating ops issue, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay in the Church office.)

On a YTD basis, we are still well under budgeted expenses by $13,250. YTD expenses also continue to be lower than last year over the same time period, driven primarily by lower mortgage payments.
So, on the bottom line, we "beat" budget for January by $8,899, spending $3,228 more than we brought in (versus projected $12,127). On a YTD basis, we have spent $3,789 more than we've brought in. Our budget planned for income in excess of expenses by $31,445 at this point. Unfortunately, we should be in a net positive position at this time of the year, since we typically spend more than we bring in during the second half of the FY.

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!

Church Office Hours

The church office is open: 

Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-noon &1:00-4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 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!

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