The Bridge
        
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   March 25, 2020  
        
 
Sunday Worship      
During this time when public gatherings are suspended, we will worship together online at 10 a.m. Please click here to join.
 
 
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
Click Here
 
       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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Stay Home, Stay Healthy! 

Those are the words of the week from our Washington State governor, and we are honoring them in our life together at St. Mark's. It means that our church is an even quieter place, starting today. But, it doesn't mean that our ministry is on hold. As you read this edition of The Bridge, you will see all kinds of ways that we are continuing to worship, witness, learn, serve, and reach out with words and deeds of love.

Online Sunday Morning Worship at 10:00 a.m.

We are so pleased with the number of people who have worshipped with us in the last two weeks in our new virtual community. And, we love all the interactions that happen while you are joined together in worship on our Facebook page. As our worship leaders seek a clearer understanding of the governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" directive with regard to Essential Workers, they will take the opportunity this week to bring you worship from their own homes. Each of our worship leaders will record segments of the worship service from their homes during the week and these will all be put together for a full worship service that will be posted at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning on our Facebook page. It will be a new experience of "house church" for all of us. 

Preparing Your Home for Sunday Worship

We are all learning how to see our homes as "sanctuaries" in this new way of life that is emerging, and this will become more and more evident in Sunday worship. As you prepare a sacred space in your home for worship each week, we encourage you to:
  • Invite God to bless the space you will inhabit while worshipping with us. This could even be done with a special prayer.
  • If possible, create some kind of "altar" with a candle and/or other sacred symbols in the space you bless.
  • Fill a bowl with water that you can use in the Thanksgiving for Baptism at the beginning of worship.
  • Set a table for communion, including bread and wine or grape juice that you will share after the Eucharistic prayer.
If you are able to share a picture of your worship space with us, or of you worshipping at home, we would really enjoy that. 
 
Prayers of the Church

We have created a new email address by which you can share your prayer requests with us. If you would like us to include them in the Prayers of the Church during worship on Sunday, please make note of that. Otherwise, our pastors will keep them in confidentiality. Simply share your prayer requests with us at:  prayers@smlutheran.org.

Daily Devotions

We have received many expressions of gratitude for the Daily Devotions that we post on our website every morning at 6:00 a.m. You can find all of them on our new Worship and Daily Devotions tab on the St. Mark's website. 

Compline Services 

Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. we post a new recording of our Compline Service, including peaceful music, prayers, scripture, and words of wisdom from men and women who are commemorated in that particular week of the church year. You can listen to this podcast anytime by going to the new Worship and Daily Devotions tab on the St. Mark's website. 

Financial Giving in March

As you can see from the graph below, our projected offering income for the month of March is $90,351. We still have seven days to go before the end of the month, so we are hoping to come as close to this goal as possible. You can continue to support our mission at St. Marks by:
  • Sending your offering to us in the mail
  • Setting up an automatic payment plan with your bank (a great idea!)
  • Giving online by going to this link on our website


New Online Form Helps You Share Your Plan for Giving in 2020-2021 With Us

So far, we have received almost 100 Plans for Giving from congregational members for a total of $424,000. This is a good start, given the present circumstances. At this point last year, we had about 140 Plans for Giving submitted, so we have some catching up to do in the next few weeks. By the end of Spring, we hope to attain the same good results that we had last year, which would mean at least 125 additional Plans for Giving submitted and an additional $427,000. If you haven't sent your Plan for Giving to us, please use this confidential online form to do so as soon as possible.

St. Mark's is Committed to All our Dedicated Staff

At the last meeting of our Church Council, our leaders voted to continue providing salary to our part-time church staff who don't have weekly responsibilities while all gatherings are suspended. We are thankful for all that these servants do for us throughout the year.

Mask Shortage Concerns


 
We have received several requests for masks to be made at home, below are some groups who could use your sewing support. 
 
TLRC   As you are plenty aware - there is a huge shortage in personal protective equipment supplies for healthcare workers.  I am calling on our resident sewers who would be willing to help us. There is no preference for the type of mask the group makes, we are happy to take what you can give us. We have a few hundred staff, so the more we get the better off we'll be. 100% cotton fabric should be used. Contact Sally Ann McLean with any questions:  mcleansallyann@hotmail.com  TLRC stands for Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center.  Simple patterns can be found at these links:
 
Franciscan  (local) hospitals are asking for masks to be made. Kits are currently being put together for "To go" pick up. Or if you have supplies you are willing to use, any masks are appreciated. 100% cotton fabric should be used. Contact Cathryn Cummings  with questions or to request a kit at 253-225-8448. Construction information can be found here   or at these links:  https://youtu.be/4FB--BOyTiU   or  https://youtu.be/3bj_SnnUp0E

St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma is accepting homemade masks.  These will be used in the units where a mask is not required but the employee would prefer using one.
Here are the current guidelines:
  • Two layers of cotton
  • Ties only (no elastic ear loops)
  • At this time there are no instructions or pattern (I will be researching this more and send out any recommended patterns.)
  • At this time I have no other specifics on how to make the masks so please do not email me with these questions.   
Call: 253-426-6202 (Command Center-Logistics) to arrange for drop off or pick up.
For drop off at "I" St. entrance, staff will pick up at your car.
(In some cases, they may be able to pick up at your home.)

DESC,  based in Seattle, serves housing, shelter, physical and psychological health to people without resources. They have a staff of 700 required to have PPEs by the end of this week/early next week, 2 masks per person. They desperately need masks. Kits consisting of instructions, fabric, wire, and elastic are ready for anyone who has time and sewing skills. Each kit has supplies for 30 masks. There are specific instructions to follow for these masks a copy is available  here Please contact Michelle Marshman,   mmarshmann@gmail.com , or 253-606-3812, or the church office if you can help.  Thank you.  
 
DESC stands for department of emergency services center, website:  https://www.desc.org/desc-and-covid19

Crafters Corner

Welcome to our new article in The Bridge; while so many are home-based we thought it would be an opportunity to provide craft project inspiration. 

For the inaugural post we have a NO- SEW project that is family friendly, can be made for fall or any holiday, and a is great item to donate to the Bazaar.

Mason Jar Lid Wreaths
 

Directions and links to inspirational images available  here.
 
Thank you Pat Buck for the suggestion and crafting ideas. 
While the Church office is closed please send any craft suggestions & comments to  Katie.cootsona@gmail.com.

Youth and Family Ministry:  Online Youth Programming

Thursday Youth Group--Middle School youth only 5:30-6:00 p.m. weekly. Bring your own snacks.
Zoom Meeting link has been emailed to families.  

Sunday The Well for High School student--weekly 6:30-7:00 p.m. Bring your own snacks. 
GSuite Google Meeting link has been emailed to families.
*Contact Ingelaurie if you did not receive it. 

Children and youth Sunday morning take homes will be sent out to each grade level later this week by either Char Leone or Ingelaurie Lisher.  For families with elementary-aged children, we have been sending out, by e-mail, weekly "faith at home" materials which are put together using our Sunday school curriculum resources so that they match our worship readings. These can be used in conjunction with our livestream worship experience or any time during the week. We hope you are finding these meaningful for your families and welcome any comments or suggestions for how we can support children's spiritual development during this time of COVID-19 quarantine. If you have not received these materials by e-mail and would like to in the weeks to come, please e-mail  char.leone@smlutheran.org. Don't forget to post your pictures to the St. Mark's Facebook page (St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows), Instagram (smlcbythenarrows)  #stmarksathome, or text/email them to  ingelaurie@smlutheran.org to post. 

Parent Survey Let us know what you are looking for in regards to Faith Formation for your children and family. Link closes on March 29. 

Pray for and Connect with One Another in Children's Faith Formation
Children's Prayer Partners, for such a time as this your prayers are needed! If you have not done so please consider contacting your prayer partner to check-in and let them know you are continuing to pray for them. Ask if they have prayer concerns and invite them to pray for you as well. Sunday school teachers are invited to do the same. 

Young Adults

Being mindful of the governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, young adults will practice care of each other and of our community by staying home (and not gathering as a group for "walk and talks"). We do encourage you to stay active and get outside for fresh air and exercise. Also, mark your calendars for April 7, our first virtual pub theology hangout!
 
Adult Faith Formation

Midweek Renewal
We are gathering virtually on Wednesday nights from 6:15-7:20 for our series on Living Well through Lent with Pastor Sigi. Email  hallie.parkins@smlutheran.org for a link to the virtual meeting. No materials are required, just your presence! However, if you would like a free PDF of the devotion or would like to subscribe to daily devotional emails, please check out  https://www.livingcompass.org/lent. 

Forum
Throughout Lent at St. Mark's, we have been learning about the ELCA's sanctuary declaration. Last week, Mark Gravrock (future member of St. Mark's) lead us through a Bible study on Sanctuary. You can find this recorded session and accompanying handout on our website under "Faith Formation." Stay tuned for our final installment of our sanctuary series. 

Bible study
On Wednesday at noon, you are invited to a virtual bible study with Pastor Jan. If you are interested, please email  hallie.parkins@smlutherang.org for a link to join. 

Thrivent Choice Dollars - Don't Let Them Expire!

Are you a member of Thrivent Financial who's eligible to direct Choice Dollars?  Would you like to designate them for St. Mark's?  If so, simply go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more or call  800-847-4836 and say "Thrivent Choice" after the prompt. Our church is listed on the Thrivent webpage as " St Marks by the Narrows Lutheran Church." Every dollar directed to St. Mark's will be applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund, unless specified otherwise in an email to Pat Buck  pat.buck@smlutheran.org (detail the dollar amount and designation). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office.   2019 Choice Dollars expire on March 31, 2020.

Moral Voices, Moral Choices

Our state legislature completed its regular session on March 12, which included new policies to increase affordable housing, and money in the supplemental budget to build more affordable housing, preserve some, and fund additional shelter space as we make progress towards homes for all. Thank you for your faith-driven advocacy. You can read more about the accomplishments here.



Call for Nominations

The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize invites nominations from individuals and organizations. The purpose of the Prize is to recognize, honor, and encourage peacebuilding by members of our community; and to promote peace and understanding locally, nationally, and internationally.

"GTPP places a spotlight on the amazing peacemakers in our own back yard who donate their time and resources to the cause of peace."
~ Janet Lee Ruud, GTPP President

For information about the GTPP and a nomination form,
Phone: 253.564.2832

Nominations for 2020 end April 17.

GTPP would like to thank St Mark's for its continued support.

Have an item for The Bridge?
Send it to communications@smlutheran.org 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!