The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    January  13 , 2016 
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 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.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00pm Little Angels Choir
5:15pm Dinner is served
Baked Herb Seasoned Chicken, Mashed Potatoes,  Green Salad and Dessert.  Suggested Donation $5/per person.
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir
6:00pm Faith Journey
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal
6:00pm Jubilation Choir
6:15pm Holy Moly
6:15pm Midweek Renewal
7:30pm Prayer Service
Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible study, and worship. 
Welcome Vivian Irish!
We would like to take a moment to welcome our new, temporary hospitality host for the first half of 2016. Vivian Irish - who has experience as a personal caterer, kitchen manager, and executive chef - will be planning, prepping, and serving our Wednesday and Sunday meals.  Welcome to St. Mark's Vivian!
Faith Journey Beginning
 A new session of Faith Journey classes will begin Sunday, January 17th at noon or Wednesday January 20th at 6pm.

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings at St. Mark's that give visitors an opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call. Those who wish to join our congregation will be welcomed as new members at the Easter Vigil, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. This is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from 12:00-1:30pm  and another one on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:15pm.  A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at 253-752-4966 or by email at
Epiphany Event Thank You!
  Thank you to all who participated in the Epiphany Event on January 6.  We enjoyed fellowship, a meal and heard the Epiphany story.  This event was a fund-raiser for Partnering With our Youth (to support youth activities at St. Mark's).  If you wish to contribute to this fund, please take an envelope from the board in the Narthex.  
2016 St. Mark's Reads
This year our congregational/community reading selection is Brian D. McLaren's, "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?-Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (2012, Jericho Press). If you would like to take part in this community read, you may purchase a copy of the book for $12 in the narthex on January 17th OR you may find both paperback and Kindle editions at Opportunities to discuss the book will offered, beginning the third week in January. Look for dates and times in the Bridge and Parish Life. Sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation Team. Questions? Contact Mary Jo Larsen (

Empowering Life Thanks You!
The women at Mission Creek Correction Center sent a thank you note to the Women of St. Mark's, who donated their Advent Brunch offering to Empowering Life to purchase gifts for Santa to give to the children at Mission Creek's family holiday event. Each mother was able to select the gifts for her children.
To all at St. Mark's -
We are very thankful for all the support you have shared with the women at Mission Creek. Our children were very grateful & sincere for all the wonderful gifts they received. Being able to share that with our children has lifted our spirits and was made possible because of you all. Happy Holidays! --Women at Mission Creek
We also have wonderful thank-you notes and drawings prepared by grateful children, mothers and grandmothers who attended. It was really was special for all of them!

St. Valentine's Celebration- Empowering Life
Empowering Life: Witnessing to God's Grace by Working with Incarcerated Women and their Families  
Saturday, February 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows 
Come join us for favorite tunes sung & played by professional musician Kacey Evans, elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunity to learn more about how (beyond backpacks with school supplies and Christmas gifts) we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman ("Purdy") and at Mission Creek Correction Center... and their families.
We welcome donations of auction items.
For reservations contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Chase the Chill
Our cold weather is troubling for the many people living on the streets in Tacoma.  Every night they are trying to stay warm and dry but to no avail.  All the hats and scarves that were knitted by kind hearts at St. Mark's this fall have been distributed.  That's the good news.  The problem is that our cold, wet, bone-chilling weather will continue for months.  We would like to keep giving scarves and hats (and even mittens or gloves) to the agencies who provide for the homeless.  There are many skeins of yarn available in the church office.  All knitters and crochet-ers are welcome to stop by the office any time during the week or come by the yarn supply corner (look for Jan Pence or Linda McKeller) in the Narthex on Sunday mornings to pick up more yarn or drop off finished scarves and hats.

Women's Retreat 2016 - Let All Creation Praise!
We will gather Friday night and Saturday, February 19 and 20, at Pilgrim Firs Retreat Center in Port Orchard. Cost is $80 (assistance available). Registration opens on Sunday, January 17.   For more information, please pick up a brochure at the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex, or email Pastor Shjerven (

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
January 17, " Refugee Resettlement in the Puget Sound"-John Avery and Linda Faaren will host a conversation in response to the presentation we heard last week about Refugee Resettlement in our area.  Along with increasing our knowledge of the resettlement process and experience, specific ideas about how to support and partner with the work of Lutheran Community Services NW will be discussed.  It will not be assumed that you attended the Forum last week-Everyone is Welcome!

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
January 17, "Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God"- For 12 weeks we will join New Testament scholars John Dominic Crossan and the late Marcus Borg on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul's footsteps throughout the Roman Empire. Filmed in 2006, with stunning footage of ancient sites, this series explores insights into Paul's message of the Kingdom of God, its challenge to Roman imperial theology, and its radical relevance for today. All are welcome to take part in this unique learning opportunity!

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
  Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
This Winter we will be studying the Book of Acts. Questions? please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
At Bible Study Luncheon men and women read and discuss the scripture texts appointed for the upcoming Sunday. The pastor who will be preaching on the texts guides the conversation.

Lydia Circle (meets the first Tuesday of each month), Noon, Parish Commons Classroom 
A new women's Bible Study/Circle has been organized. Bring your lunch to the Parish Commons Classroom. All are welcome!  Contact: Louise Lindeman,
Midweek Renewal, Wednesday, 6:15pm, Fireside Room
Starting January 13, A Leisurely Look at Luke- Have you ever wanted to read an "orderly account" of the life of Jesus? . . to hear his teachings in stories that both clarify his mission and open you to wonder? Have you ever been curious about the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer?  The Gospel of Luke is the book for you!  We will spend the Wednesday nights of Epiphany and Lent gathered around the fire, exploring the basic storyline of Luke's gospel and sharing our ideas about how it connects to our world today. No experience with scripture is necessary; all are welcome.
Third Thursday" Theology on Tap"- 
for young adults meets at Wingman Brewery at 7:30pm on the third Thursday of each month. Contact Pastor Jan Ruud, 

Cafe Circle, Fireside Room, 10-11:15am
A new women's group has been formed especially for younger women. The group meets the first Friday of each month for coffee, pastry and conversation around issues in our lives, looking at how faith might affects those issues. The online magazine CafĂ© will be used as our initial resource. You can check out the magazine at . For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
This week's Spark Notes is Wedding at Cana. Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  

Milestone Marker & Blessing Event - On Sunday, January 24th , 1st grade children and their parent/s are invited to the Milestone Event entitled "The Lord's Prayer: Growing in Relationship with God through Prayer."  We'll gather together during the  Sunday  school hour ( 9:45 - 10:45 ) in Classroom 5, with some fun activities planned as we explore the meaning of The Lord's Prayer for this age group.  Children will receive a marker stone.  Plan to come-- January 24th .  Grandparents welcome too!
This Sunday, January 17, will be the last Sunday to return the God's Global Barnyard offering banks.  Based on offerings received, kids will vote on how the monies will be applied in "God's Global Barnyard."  

Thurs. Jan. 14
  • Confirmation Rewind...5:30-6:30pm for youth who have missed a class or two and want to catch up. Meet in the Parish Commons Classroom.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades) begins for the year. 6:30-7:30pm. 
Sun. Jan. 17-Regular Sunday AM classes for children and youth.  9:45-10:45am.
Sunday-Monday Jan. 17/18 Post Confirmation Retreat- we leave at 1:30pm on Sunday and will return around 3pm on Monday.
Thurs. Jan. 21 Youth Group (6-12th grades) resumes 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. YG is held the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month.
Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 4-12th?  Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  Also take a look at '17 & '18.

Luther 500 Tour 2017 - Information and registration forms are available on the Youth Board (hallway towards Fireside Rm.) We have 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment / deposit to reserve your spot is due by January 15.Tour Dates: June 19-25, 2017. This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children / youth accompanied by their families. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (lodging and 2 meals a day on tour). You are responsible for your own air transportation (the group will meet up in Wittenberg, Germany).

Sun. Jan. 24th
  • Camp meeting for youth grades 4/5th and parents 11am in the Youth Room. We are going July 23-30th.
  • Montana Servant trip meeting for youth grades 6-9th-12:15pm in the Youth Room (for youth and parents). We are going July 23-30th.  
SWWA Synod Youth Gathering for youth grades 6-9th. March 4-6 at Camp Berachah in Auburn. Cost: $130.00 per person. $75.00 deposit due Feb. 14th.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast -Tuesday February 9th 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons (live Music from 5:30-6:30pm), Pancakes and much more! Sponsored by the youth.

Connect and Care TimeBank
Next Connect and Care Time Bank Training,  February 6 at 10:00am in the Fireside Room.

Many people have asked when we would be scheduling the next TimeBank Training in the new year. We will be holding the next training session  on Saturday  morning,  February 6  from  10:00 to 12:00 .

With almost 50 members enrolled, there are lots of interesting offers and requests being posted. This is a great way to learn a new skill, get some needed help and form a new friendship.

Please email or call Patty Reinkensmeyer at  or  253.857.7977  for questions and to sign up for the next training session.

Luther 500 Festival 2017
Info and registration forms are available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). There are 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment/deposit to reserve your spot is due  Jan.15. Info. meeting Jan. 10th 12noon in the Fireside Room.  Tour dates:  June 19-25, 2017. You will  book your own airfare. The group will meet up in Wittenberg Germany. This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by parent/s. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare).  

Tai Chi Classes

Tai Chi classes are resuming January 9 (at 9:30am ) with "Tai Chi for Arthritis". Questions? Call Earl Steen  (253-756-8925 ).
Member Notes and News
A memorial service will be held for Shannon Merchant on January 16th at 2pm.  Shannon passed away on Sunday, December 13th.  Shannon's parents, Susan and Rex Merchant were long time members of St. Mark's and Kathy Merchant, Shannon's grandmother, was a former secretary at St. Mark's. 

Concert-  Brass Unlimited and Friends 18th Annual "Sounds of Brass" concert.  3:00pm Sunday, January 17th at Tacoma Community College.  For more information visit:

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!