The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 March 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
Click Here
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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As you review this schedule, please note that there are no programs or worship on Wednesday night and that the worship times for Easter  Sunday are  8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
  • Maundy Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. Worship with Holy Communion 
  • Good Friday, March 30, 7:30 p.m. Worship Centered on The Seven Last Words of Jesus
  • Holy Saturday, March 31, 10:00 a.m. Easter Choir Rehearsal; 7:30  p.m. Easter Vigil Worship with Lighting the New Fire, Scripture Stories, Baptisms, and Welcome of New Members; 8:30 p.m. Easter Vigil Party
  • Easter Sunday, April 1, 8:00, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Festival Worship; Easter Breakfast served from 8:00-11:00 a.m.      
No Sunday School or Adult Classes; regular schedule resumes next Sunday.

Enjoy Listening to an Easter Message From ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Please click  here to  listen to an inspiring Easter message from the leader of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Easter Breakfast

The 2018 Easter Breakfast is  Sunday, April 1 8:00-11:00 a.m. in the Parish Commons. Menu: French toast casserole, breakfast meats, fruit, juice, coffee, and much more. Vegan, gluten free and vegetarian options available. Sponsored by the Youth. Suggested donation $5.00 per person. Thanks to a Thrivent Action Team for subsidizing this event.


We are happy to report that nearly 150 households have returned a Plan for Giving so far, and we are still looking forward to hearing from many more of you! This is a very important way for all of us to participate in the mission planning that takes place each spring at St. Mark's, and leaders on our Church Council are very grateful for the input they receive as they do this work on our behalf. You may place your Plan for Giving in the offering plate on Easter  Sunday or mail it to us as soon as you are able. There are extra Plans for Giving and Stewardship Packets on the Welcome Center in the Narthex. Thanks!

St. Mark's Scholarship Process for Continuing Students is Open
If you are a member of St. Mark's who is pursuing an undergraduate degree, please consider applying for a St. Mark's Scholarship. The application process for current college students is open until April 22 . Information and application materials may be found on the St. Mark's website ( ). Click on the "Growing in Faith" tab. Questions?  Please contact Pastor Shjerven  at

The application process for current high school seniors will open in late April.

Thrivent Action Team Info Meeting

Want to know how to put together a Thrivent Action Team and access the funds available to you? A brief info meeting will take place on  Sunday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m.  in the Fireside Room. 

February 2018 - Monthly Financial Update

Thanks to your collective generosity, the first two months of the new calendar year are shaping up to be good ones! We were above budgeted offerings for the second month in a row and expenses continue to come in below budget. February offerings exceeded budget by $8,150. Fiscal year-to-date, this brings us to $43,707 below budgeted offerings and 5.3% below last year actual giving over the same time period. We hope the trend of "catching up" will continue through the last four months of this fiscal year (FY), thereby allowing us to further reduce or even eliminate the shortfall!
Expenses for February were under budget by $7,064, bringing us to $20,314 below budgeted expenses for the FY. Our newly-lowered mortgage payment takes effect in March, which means we will see additional savings relative to budget through FY-end.
Given that income exceeded expectations and expenses were lower than budgeted, we did $15,337 better than anticipated in February. Another way of saying this is that we "only" spent $5,271 more than we brought in for the month versus our projection to spe nd $20,608 more than we brought in. The General Fund balance moved more negative this month because of the net cash out flow from the General Fund, ending with a balance of -$9,060.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!

Easter Choir

St. Mark's Friends!
It is that wonderful time of year again where ALL OF YOU are invited to be part of the annual Easter Choir. This is our annual opportunity to come together for great community music and fun to present splendid singing on a large scale for Easter Sunday. 

If you want to be part of the choir, please check this website we've put together with all of the needed information:

If you like, you can shoot me an email to let me know you are coming, or, simply show up! Don't worry if you missed a rehearsal. I'll smile either way and hand you some music. 

Hope to see you soon!

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 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 which case, please let Pat Buck at know dollar amount and alternate designation). If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office.  
2017 Choice Dollars expire on March 31, 2018.

Walking to Jerusalem Update - Week 11

We departed Nicosia, Cyprus and walked south to the port city of Lemassol. The current unrest in the region made it difficult to find a boat going to Israel, but we managed to sign-on as crew on a small private sailboat. We made landfall in Israel at Caesarea. Caesarea is notable for its history: an amazing city and port built by Herod the Great and the site of Paul's 2-year stint in prison. From Caesarea we journeyed to Nazareth. Now things get a bit confusing, but we followed the path of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and Jesus' birth and then on to Cairo, Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod before returning to Nazareth. From here we traced some of the travels of Jesus: to Capernum and the Sea of Galilee; to Bethany beyond the Jordan and the baptism by John; to Jerusalem by the a route through Samaria and by another route through Jericho. We ended our journey at the Mount of Olives and remembered the joyous entrance into Jerusalem through the Golden Gate on Palm  Sunday . Modern day Mount of Olives is located in the West Bank, Palestine Territories. There is a large hospital here bringing state-of-the-art medicine (the only CT scanner in Palestine) to the entire population of the West Bank. The hospital is named Augusta Victoria, after the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm, and is operated by the Lutheran World Federation. The hospital also has a lovely lemon tree in its courtyard and we picked up a couple off the ground for flavoring water or fish later in the day. We decided to spend the night in Bethlehem, still in the West Bank, at the Hotel Paradise. To get there we had to go through a checkpoint going from the West Bank into Israel and then through another checkpoint going from Israel into Bethlehem. All of the checkpoints are manned by serious Israeli soldiers. The fresh food here is wonderful. The best oranges, vegetables and fish found anywhere. After dinner we walked to the wall separating the West Bank from Israel and enjoyed the museum and perhaps a libation at the "Walled-off" Hotel. Thus far we have traveled an aggregate 13,219.8 miles from Tacoma.

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, 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.

Care of Creation 2018 Hikes

Care of Creation Hikes will average 4-7 miles (round trip) and will not exceed 1200 feet in elevation gain. The first hike/walk will be around Point Defiance Park on Saturday morning, April 14.  We'll meet at the church at 8 a.m. Any questions please feel free to call or email Tom Hulst ( or (253) 460-2683). The complete schedule for Spring and Summer 2018 is shown below as follows:
  1. Saturday April 14-Walk in and around Point Defiance.  Meet at church at 8 a.m.
  2. Saturday May 19-Hike to trail near North Bend on Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Meet at church at 8 a.m.
  3. Friday June 22-Walk at the Nisqually. Meet at Church at 8 a.m.
  4. Thursday-Saturday July 19-21-Family car-camping outing Mount St. Helens, Olympics, or ocean beaches TBD.
  5. Friday August 10 -Hike to Chinook Pass, Naches Loop Trail. 8 a.m. 
  6. September date and activity TBD

Women of St. Mark's

Tickets will be available starting April 8 for the 2018 Spring Tea staring Katie Cootsona's 2017 Dresses!  The tickets are $10 each or a donation to help pay for the food.  Information regarding the Tea and the offering are available at our table in the Narthex.  We still have a few slots open to help make desserts (the recipes for the desserts will be provided).   Please plan on joining us on  April 21 at noon . Questions? Contact Barbara Meyers at  253-756-9352 .  Blessings to you all.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday, April 1 no Sunday School, all ages.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Youth Group and Choir will NOT meet Thursday, March 29 (Holy Week) or Thursday, April 5 (Tacoma's Spring Break).

April 20-21 Area Lock-out for youth, grades 8-12. Cost: $35.00 per person. Sign up on the Youth Board by April 8 if you plan on attending. Adult volunteers are needed to make this happen. Don't worry you can come in shifts. 

April 29 Mystery Event! Grades 5-7, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Cost: $10.00 per person, includes lunch. Sign up by April 15 if you plan on attending.

High School graduates pick out their graduation quilts the week of April 24-29to be received June 3 during the 11 a.m. worship service. 

Sunday School Teachers Meeting grades preschool-4th grade on Sunday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room.

Camp this summer!  There MIGHT be spaces still open; check the camp website at to find out. The cost goes up April 1 so sign up soon and let me know so we have enough seats in the van for our youth campers and adult volunteers. July 22-27 Pathfinder, Trailblazer or Senior High Camp.
Vacation Bible School will be held August 6-10 for children 4 years old to 5th grade (incoming). Youth and adult volunteers are needed; talk to Celesta Smith if you want to help out. Registration materials will be available later this spring.

Adult Faith Formation

There will be no classes on Sunday, April 1.  Happy Easter!

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

Women's Bible Study Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. (9:15 for coffee, visiting) in the PCC.  
We are ladies of varying faith, Bible, and life experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights.  We are currently studying Discovering God's Will for Your Life. Join us! For more information, contact Linda Durant, or  (253) 363-8202.

Wednesday Noon 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.

Note: Wednesday 6:15 p.m. Midweek Renewal Class will take a two week break.We will resume on April 11 (note date change).

Coming up:
Sunday, April 8, 9:45 a.m. Sam Altis, Volunteer Coordinator for Refugee Resettlement, Lutheran Community Services will be with us.  He will introduce the "Circle of Welcome" partnership that surrounds refugee families with care and support.
Peace and Justice

Mexico 2018 Mission Trip
Planning meetings for the 2018 Mexico Mission trip will be held  Tuesday, April 3 (7:00 p.m.), and Tuesday, April 24 (7:00 p.m.). Group members traveling to Mexico this year should plan to attend these meetings as well as an overnight retreat on  June 1-2. The annual Cinco de Mayo fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 5.

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. 

Baby Care Kits
We are busy working on packing up Baby Care Kits for the May shipping and find ourselves out of soap.  If any of you are interested in donating large bars of soap that would be greatly appreciated.  They are a good buy at Costco in a package of Irish Spring.  Also if any have cloth diapers that have no stains and only gently used we could use them too.  Thank you for any help on these items and if you have any questions feel free to call Randi Holland at  253-905-5693.

LWR SUPPLY DRIVE - "Hope Through a Bar of Soap" Update
Our "Hope Through A Bar of Soap"  for LWR Personal Care Kits continues through March! Most needed supplies for 100 Kits are listed below. Join us on Earth Day, April 22 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. for our Kit build and Potluck! Extend Christ's hands to meet human need and rekindle hope during this season! Thanks to the high school youth group for sorting supplies last Sunday and to those who have donated supplies! Supplies Needed for 100 Kits: (33) Bath Towels, (21) Toothbrushes,(60) Combs, (60) 4oz+ soap bars, (3) Nail Clippers

Support Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community at Watson's Night Out

Watson's Night Out: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Thursday, May 3
You are invited to this annual event to support Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community. It is a time to shop, socialize, and support TLRC through the TLRC Foundation. It is hosted by Watson's Nursery and Greenhouse, 6211 Pioneer Way East, Puyallup. The cost is $25 per person, with each attendee receiving 30% off one item that evening.
Tickets available from Ron Kempe ( or 253-219-9621; by calling TLRC Foundation at 253-284-7538; online at; or at Watson's.

St. Mark's Preschool Updates

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

Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Nomination Period

The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize (GTPP) wants to alert people to our current nomination period, which will end on March 31. Anyone - individual, group, organization - may nominate, but the nominee must have a connection to the greater Tacoma/Pierce County area.  You will find a 2018 Nomination Form on our website:

2017 laureate Pennye Nixon commented on her recent trip to Norway in a note to the GTPP board:  "Being the GTPP Laureate is an honor I will carry with me for a lifetime. I got to participate in the world from an angle I never dreamed of. In a world where peace seems so elusive, it was healing to meet daily with institutions and people who are so focused on understanding and propagating peace in big and small ways...Peace seems elusive, but this experience as the 2017 GTPP laureate gives me hope - that maybe with all those we have met working for peace, including you guys - just maybe someday we might get there."

Invitation to Historic Elbe Lutheran Church Annual Meeting

You are invited to attend the Historic Elbe  Lutheran Church Annual Meeting to be  held on Sunday, April 15, at 1:30 p.m. in  Elbe. The monthly worship service will  be held at 2:30 p.m., followed by a coffee  hour. Please plan to attend!

Church Office Hours

The church office is open  Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon, 1:00-4:00 p.m . and  Sunday from 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!

Have an item for The Bridge?
Send it to 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!