The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
        September 23 , 2015 
Grace Notes: Beneath the Cross
Beneath the cross of Jesus I long to take my stand;
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land,
a home within a wilderness, a rest upon the way;
from the burning of the noontide heat and burdens of the day.
            -Elizabeth C. Clephane

On Sunday, the congregation at all three services enacted the opening line of this Lenten hymn. We gathered outside and stood beneath the new cross that graces the front of our building. Together with those who remained in the sanctuary, we prayed and sang and dedicated it to the glory of God.

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 
Chicken Enchiladas (Vegetarian Option), vegetables, 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.

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 .

Fully Alive Bible Study

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 ).

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. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from  12:15-1:30pm (beginning on September 27) and another one on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:15pm (beginning on September 30 ).  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

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:

Women of St. Mark's

Friday, Sept 25th at 6pm- Craft Night in the Fireside Room
Come and join us for our monthly craft night when we will be finishing  gourds, assembling chocolate snowman, and making cookie jars,  all for our upcoming Bazaar.  Or, bring your own projects to work on.  Light refreshments and lively conversation!
(Note our location change to the Fireside room.)

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 seem to be the preferred time.)

Lutheran Studies Conference at PLU, Thursday, September 24th

"Tikun Olam: The Legacy and Future of Jewish-Christian Relations"
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.  Such an anniversary invites conversation around Jewish - Christian relationships. . . our troubled history and the possibility of growing friendship.

Come for the entire day (registration required), or for the 7pm presentation (open).  For more information, go to 
Children's Faith Formation

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

Sept 27- Milestone Marker for those beginning Sunday School (Ages 3/4).   We will meet at 9:45 in Classroom1 of the CFC for cross-generational time together with interactive fun related to prayer, worship & learning.  At  10:30 we will  all go to the Sanctuary together for a special blessing.  Each child attending will receive a milestone marker stone.   For more information click here. 

Youth Faith Formation
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.
Want to work/volunteer in the church nursery? Our next Nursery training for youth grades 6-12th is Sunday, Sept. 27th at 11am meet in the Youth Room.
JR ALYVE Youth Group (6-8th grades) and Youth Choir (6-12th grades)- begins October 1st 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. Youth Choir 6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex. 
2015 Hunger Walk Sunday October 4th (5-12th grade youth are participating in this event this year). Please sign up and pick up information off of the Youth Board by Sunday September 27th. Parents are encouraged to attend with their son/daughter.
6-9th grade to Corn Maze -Saturday, October 1st. 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. 

DeLong Mentors Needed
If you have a couple of hours in your week to dedicate to a young person, please consider being part of our DeLong Elementary School partnership!  There are two groups of St. Mark's volunteers who will work with DeLong students once-a-week.  One meets mid-day, and the other meets after school.  Stop by the "DeLong Mentors" table in the narthex for more information, or contact Pastor Shjerven (  Thank you. 

Lutheran Campus Ministry at University of WA
Calling all UW students and those interested in campus ministry: Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Washington wants you!

This fall, over 44,000 students will be roaming the sidewalks and halls of the University of Washington. It's easy to get lost among that many students. We are here to help students discover who they are, to help create community, to wrestle with questions, and to help them ground their lives in faith through worship, service and the sharing of stories. If you, people you know, are heading to UW this fall - or if you are interested in supporting our mission to love the students at UW in God's name -- check us out. Pass it on. We have some awesome stuff going on! We're sharing God's love in this incredible place in many different ways. We would love to have you join us. For more information, visit or email Pastor Elizabeth Rawlings at

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

CCTB Member Workshop and Social
Are you new to the TimeBank and want help to get started?
Are you have difficulty figuring out how to use the Website?
Would you like to meet other CCTB Members?

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.

Just recently two members got together to make sauerkraut!  Not only was it an afternoon of working together and learning something new, it was a time to reconnect for two college friends who had gone to Pacific Lutheran University! 

Please join us for a Member Workshop on  Saturday, November 7  from 10:00-12:00  in the Upper Fireside Room.  You will be able to meet other members. You will have an opportunity to get hands on help and ideas from other members.

Please come for the whole time, or just drop in with your questions.

Next CCTB Training
This is being scheduled for  Saturday, November 7  from  10:00 to 12:00  in the Youth Room.  Sign up at our CCTB Table in the Narthex or contact Patty Reinkensmeyer at 235-857-7977, email .

LWR- Layettes
There is a need for more infant sleepers (without zippers).  If you can donate these, please place in the LWR boxes near the office.  If you wish to help create the Layette Kits, please contact Randi Holland (253-432-6050).

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 

Congratulations to Matt and Emily Martin on the birth of Phoebe on September 2nd.  Congratulations as well to Carl and Coco Stewart on the birth of Jaylen on September 17th.         

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. 

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!