The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
        September 30 , 2015 
Grace Notes: 
Earth's Shadow
With the blessing of clear skies, many of us enjoyed watching the lunar eclipse last Sunday night. This rare occurrence happens when the earth's shadow falls on the moon, obscuring the light that is normally reflected back to us. In other words, we get in the way of sun's rays, causing things to go dark for a finite period of time.

After seeing this take place, I began to think about other ways that our earth gets in the way of light that shines. More specifically, I thought about the ways that we who live here prevent the rays of God's love and justice from shining on all people and all creation. All too often, our words and deeds eclipse the brightness of God's light and cause others to dwell in darkness. Instead of fulfilling our call to be bearers of light, we obstruct it with earthly tendencies toward things like fear, greed, arrogance, hate, and indifference.

To Continue Reading Click Here.
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
Join our mailing list.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight
5:00pm Babies of St Mark's; Little Angels 
5:15pm Dinner is served 
Spaghetti with meat sauce (vegetarian option), french bread, salad and cake.   Sug. donation $5/person
5:30pm Joyful Noise 
6:00pm Jubilation Choir  
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15pm Holy Moly! 
6:15pm Faith Journey
6:15pm Midweek Renewal
7:30pm Prayer Service

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years old while parents attend meetings, Bible study, and worship.

Blessing of the Animals This Sunday

This Sunday at 12:15pm in Celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, who is commemorated on October 4th each year, we will host a special "Blessing of the Animals" here in our Church Courtyard!  All creatures great and small are welcome! 

Celebrating 50+ Years of Music Ministry

During our 11:00am worship service on Sunday we said thank you to Phyllis Bachman for her many years of fruitful music ministry at St.Mark's. Phyllis has served as a choir director for children, youth and adults, organist, pianist, vocalist, and planner of worship, and she will continue to serve as a substitute accompanist when needed. Cake and punch will be served in her honor during the lunch that follows the service, and a basket for cards will be available throughout the morning. 

Adult Faith Formation

9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
October 4th, "Confronting Racism" 
is the new ELCA webcast, hosted by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Mr. William B Horne II.  We will use their conversation as a springboard for our own.  

11:00am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
October 4th, The Letters to the  Hebrews
will be the epistle text in worship throughout the Fall. Join Pastor Shjerven and Mary Jo Larsen for a 6-week exploration of this New Testament book. 

Preschool Parent Bible Study, Wednesdays, 9:15am,  October 7th-November 11th, Parish Commons
Parents of young ones come together for a six week study of Jesus' parables (your child does not have to attend St. Mark's Preschool for you to attend--all are welcome!) Childcare is provided in the nursery.  

A new monthly Women's Bible Study/Circle is being organized.  
If you are interested, please join us on Tuesday, October 6 at noon in the Parish Commons Classroom for an organizational meeting. (Monday noon or Tuesday noon seems to be the preferred time.)

Fully Alive Bible Study -- begins  Tuesday, October 6 at 5:15pm  in the Fireside Room.
This fall we will be discussing the book of Esther--about how God used her characteristics and traits to secure her peoples' survival. All are welcome! Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

The 9:30am Ladies' Bible Study begins Weds.,October 7 in the Parish Commons Classroom. 
We bring a variety of maturity and experience in our faith journeys to this Bible Study, which enriches us all! Join us as we finish our study of Spiritual Fruits and then begin a new one yet to be chose. If you have questions, please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or This first time, October 7, we'll gather at 9:15am for a treat and visiting.

Café Group
A new women's group is being formed especially for younger women.  The group will meet in the Fireside Room from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 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 Café will be used as our initial resource.  Please join us  November 6 .You can check out the magazine at .  For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at .      
LWR School Kits Building 

The JR ALYVE group will be building 100 School Kits for LWR on Thursday, October 15 at 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's! If you would like to help prepare materials and pack, please join us at 5:00 p.m.  We are excited to have the Youth participate in this project that supports the theme God's Work, Our Hands. We will pack as many kits as we have supplies for, greatest need is for sharpeners, blue/black ink pens and spiral bound notebooks. Please drop off supplies in the box in the Narthex through October 11. Thank you for your generosity to give a child the chance to learn and the chance to reach their full potential!   Please contact Catherine Terrill with any questions at 253-732-3479.

The St. Mark's Quilters are busy at work again creating warm gifts of love to be sent around the world and locally to people in need of comfort. During the month of October we will be celebrating the many hands that have worked hard over the years in this ministry.

We continue to meet  Monday mornings from  9:00 - 12:00 with coffee time at 10:30. Please feel free to join us or stop by for coffee and fellowship. We would love help with the following tasks: cutting and tearing fabric for quilt tops, sewing quilt tops at home or seeing tops when we meet, and most importantly someone to do some ironing.

Join us in celebrating the hours of work at home by Paul Baughman. He completed his 1,000 quilt top in September. Your dedication and beautiful work is a blessing to many. Thank you!

Luther World Relief quilts and kits will be shipped later this month. Please consider donating to cover the cost of shipping. $5 will cover the cost to shipping either 2 quilts or 1-1/2 school, baby or personal care kits.

DeLong Weekend Backpacks
Please check the table in the Narthex each week to see how you can help with our DeLong Backpack program. We are trying to fill 60 backpacks each week and can use more donations. Thank you for helping feed those in need.

Sunday Morning? Where do Children and Youth go for Faith Formation?

Where do I go from 9:45-10:45am each Sunday morning?

3 years old to 4th grade- Children's Faith Center (lower level by elevator)

7/8th grade- Youth Room (Youth Wing lower level east side of building)

5/6th grade- Teal Room (Youth Wing lower level east side of building)

9-12th grade- Fireside Room (Upper level east side of building)

Women's of St. Mark's Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, Nov 7 from 9am-3pm
It is time to  again to complete all those handmade projects
needed for our Holiday Bazaar.  We welcome everything from knitted  scarves and mittens, to quilts of any size, from Christmas decorations  to Fall decor, or from aprons to children's  clothes or toys.  We welcome  your favorite projects.

We sell used books and collectables.  Go through your bookcase  for the books you no longer will read.  Look for collectables you no longer display.

We look forward to the baked goods donated each year.  Plan to make  cookies, cakes, breads, jams, fudge or whatever you enjoy baking. Please  also consider making a pie for our lunch cafe.

Our kitchen will again be open for homemade Swedish pancakes at  9AM  and  homemade yellow pea soup and turkey noodle soup for lunch.   Bratwurst  from Dave's Meat Market will also be available.

We plan to again cook 100 lbs. of potatoes for our St. Mark's famous  lefse.  We will be doing lefse prep on  Wednesday, November 4 , with l efse making on  Thursday, November 5th , at  9 AM .

Bazaar set-up will be on  Friday, November 6  beginning at  9 AM Lunch will be provided.

We look forward to your help.  Look for sign-ups between services beginning  October 11 . B azaar donations can be brought to the church after  October 1 .

Faith Journey

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 in November, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. It is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. The Faith Journey group meets  on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:15pm (beginning on September 30 ).  A meal is served. Childcare is available, and special activities for older children are hosted  on Wednesday  nights. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at  253-752-4966  or by email at
Interfaith Bible Study

You're invited to join an Interfaith Bible Study with members of Temple Beth El, Bethany Presbyterian Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and our own St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. The topic of our study this Fall is: "Finding God in the Other."  We'll explore Bible stories that teach us to see God in those who are different from us. From Hagar the Egyptian slave to Cyrus the Persian conquerer, we'll explore how God works in and through those whom God chooses, whether we like it or not. Please mark these dates on your calendar and plan to join us for this engaging series that will be led by the clergy of each congregation:
Oct. 1, 7:00pm at St. Mark's, led by Rabbi Bruce Kadden
Nov. 5, 7:00pm at Temple Beth El, led by Pastor Sarah Wiles
Dec. 3, 7:00pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, led by Pastor Jan Ruud

To receive the Bible readings and discussion questions ahead of time, add your name to the sign-up sheet in the narthex or contact Pastor Ruud at:

Children Faith Formation

T his week's Spark Notes is Adam and Eve. 
Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to 
supplement Sunday School lessons. 

Youth Faith Formation
It's that time of year to get your 2016 Entertainment book.  Order yours today through the church office for only $25.00. Books will arrive mid-October.
Coming up...
3rd year Confirmation info: 9th graders will meet Thursday Evenings until October 22 from 5:30-6:30pm with Pastors Ruud and Shjerven in the Parish Commons Classroom.
JR ALYVE Youth Group (6-8th grades) and Youth Choir (6-12th grades)- begins Thursday, October 1st 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. Youth Choir is 6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex. 
6-9th grade to Corn Maze -Saturday, October 10th. Meet at St. Mark's at 12:45pm. We will return by 5pm. Cost: $7.00 per person for the Maze. Feel free to bring extra $$ for pumpkins and treats. Sign up by Oct. 4th if you plan on going.
Let Justice Roll-a Justice Advocacy and awareness event for High School Youth grades 9-12 Saturday, November 7th.   We will be working with salmon habitat restoration alongside the Tulalip people as one of our creation-care experiences. Trinity Lutheran College in Everett. 7:30am-7pm Cost: $25.00 per person. Sign up by October 18th if you plan on attending. We need 2 parents to attend and help out with this event. 

Shared Housing Donations Needed
The GSA continues our mission to deliver  personal hygiene items for homeless youth and young adults being served by the Housing 4 Success Program, a collaboration among Shared Housing Services, the REACH Center, Associated Ministries, and Vadis. They provide transitional housing, case management and training to young people. Help us as we provide nail clippers and files, bath soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, hair combs and brushes,  shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, disposable razors, lotion, cream, face wash, q-tips, hair grease, and gel. Donations can be left in the GSA bin near the church office. Thank you

Family Housing Network Oct. 17-23
In a few weeks St. Mark's will host up to 5 homeless families with children who are part of the Family Housing Network. Volunteers are needed to provide groceries, prepared meals, child care, and host our guests in the evening and overnight. We also need helpers to set up bedrooms on  Oct. 17 and take them down on  Oct. 24. If you haven't volunteered for this ministry before, please consider joining us! See the signup table in the narthex.

New Opportunities for the Connect and Care TimeBank

The Connect and Care TimeBank is seeing lots of new activity and creative new offers!  Members are starting to exchange helpful, fun services with one another.
We have completed training of 15 new members who can add their skill and service exchanges to the TimeBank.  The TimeBank is becoming more robust with new offers and activities.
Upcoming Events
New Member Training: Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 to 12:00 in the Youth Room
Member Social: Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 to 12:00. Upper Fireside Room

2015 Hunger Walk Team
The 2015 Hunger Walk Team will walk in Pastor John Reitan's memory on  Sunday, October 4th.    This is the annual Associated Ministries' Pierce County Hunger Walk.  St Mark's has participated in fundraising and walking for many y ears, led by the energy and inspiration of John Reitan.  Pastor Reitan died on December 26, 2014 and this year, we would like to walk in his memory.   Please consider being part of the Team, either by walking or by making a donation.  Information may be found on cards in the pew rack.  

Member Notes and News 

Baptized at the 11:00 on Sunday, Regina Wren Eva Shimkus, daughter of Emilie and Matt Shimkus.  Regina was born March 22, 2015.  her baptismal sponsors are Anne Michelle Avolio and Emily Shimkus.  

Member Emilie Rommel Shimkus is producing,  Tell Your Children, a short film project, based on her original poetry. She's already been awarded a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission and 4Culture, and partnered with The Northwest Renaissance, a nonprofit poetry organization she is involved with. Please take a minute to check out the campaign page, watch the video, and see all the hard work that has already gone into this project. Click here to see the video. 

Benevolence Thank You

Thank you for your generous gift to Holden Village.  Your gift of giving and care for Holden allows us to continue and expand our mission and ministry both in and out of Railroad Creek Valley.  We joyfully anticipate the welcoming of guests back in Holden.  Your energy and financial support are an important part of what makes our ministry thrive and endure.  

You are in our thoughts and prayers and we appreciate all that you do for Holden Village. We look forward to setting out together to create a future on the strong foundation of all that has taken place in this Community. You can always find the latest Holden news on our website:, our Facebook page, in the monthly Be-Holden newsletter, and in our quarterly publication, The Holden Village Voice.  

Let us move forward together in hope and joy. 

Peace and all that is good, Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman, Executive Directors.  

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!