The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   April 27 , 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 -Beef stew, coleslaw, rolls, and dessert. Suggested Donation $5/per person.
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir
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.  
Save The Date  for our Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation on May 22nd!

Southwestern Synod Educational Gathering

Join your fellow ELCA members of our Southwestern Washington Synod for our Educational Gathering at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Olympia on Saturday, May 14th from 10am-3:30pm. The day will be full of educational workshops on Congregational Leadership and Congregational Mission, plus worship together. Lunch is included.  If you would like to attend with a group from St. Mark's, led by Pastor Jan Ruud, please call or email the Church Office to sign up. The registration cost will be covered by the congregation.  (For workshop choices and more information, pick up the flyer on the Welcome Center).

Scholarship Applications Available for Lutheran Higher Education

Each year St. Mark's offers scholarships to members who are pursuing higher education at a Lutheran institution.  To qualify, you need to have been accepted to a Lutheran University or Seminary and complete the application process.  You may pick up a hard copy of the 2015-16 Scholarship Application in the Church Office (see file marked "Scholarship Applications"), or email Pastor Shjerven to receive the form as an attachment ( The deadline by which all materials need to be received is Sunday, May 22nd.  

Mexico Mission Fiesta Fundraiser

The yearly Cinco de Mayo fundraiser to support the Mexico Mission trip will be held on Friday, May 6th.  Tickets are on sale Sundays, following each of the three services. $5 per person or $20 for a family of 4 or more. Doors open at 5:00pm for crafts, games, enter-to-win, and displays that illustrate the work of the trip; dinner and program begin at 6:00pm.
Spring Fair Trade Bazaar

Just in time for Mother's Day!
Spring Fair Trade Bazaar
April 24 & May 1, 2016
9am - 12pm
When you buy Fair Trade, you are helping to reduce poverty, encouraging environmentally-friendly production practices and safeguarding humane working conditions for people around the world.
Shop for beautiful handcrafts and the finest food products:
·      Hand-woven baskets
·      Stylish women's accessories and jewelry
·      Unique home and kitchen wares
·      Spring yard art
·      Delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and spices
·      And more!
Cash and check sales only.
Questions? Email Susan Newsom,

Plan For Giving Update

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a Plan for Giving in 2016-2017! We have currently received plans from 215 households, which matches what we received in all of 2015, and we still have the new fiscal year ahead of us to grow that number. Total pledges so far exceed $730,000, so we are well on our way to funding a proposed overall budget of approximately one million dollars. If we have not yet heard from you, please join all the others and submit a Plan for Giving in the very near future! This is extremely helpful to our Church Council as they make plans for our Congregational Meeting on  May 22 at 12:30pm . Online submission of your plans for giving can be done here. 

Cooks Club! Tabouli

"Cooks Club" is for those who enjoy creating in the kitchen and enjoying fine food together. 

Imagine the enticing smells of freshly chopped mint and parsley, beautiful  golden olive oil, the fine texture of finely ground bulgur wheat, all combined with  the brilliant red of ripe tomatoes and the intense zing of fresh lemons. Put it all together and it makes Tabouli, the wonderful picnic salad so loved by the people of Lebanon.

Join us as we explore fresh and lively tastes of the Middle East, Lebanon in particular. Make a delicious meal from foods that are mentioned in the Bible. Learn to make hummus, stuffed grape leaves and even baklava.

On June 12th the Cooks Club of St. Mark's will meet in the kitchen to work together to create a delicious traditional Lebanese meal and to enjoy this delicious and delightful meal together. Suzy Reynolds will be "head chef" for the evening.

Watch for the table in the Narthex, sign up and get out your apron. See you on June 12th. 

Take Them A Meal Volunteer Recruitment

Take Them A Meal: Continuing a long church tradition of providing food to support members who are ill or having a life difficulty, St. Mark's  is compiling  a list of members who would like to be potential meal providers. Potential meal providers would be notified by e-mail of meal requests.  Please call or  e-mail Janet Duris if  you would like to be a potential meal provider or if you would like additional information.  (Telephone: (253)582-4991 / e-mail: )

Family Housing Network  May 7-13! Thank You!

Thank you to all the volunteers who have signed up for various tasks during our upcoming Family Housing Network host week, May 7-13 . If you will be interacting with the families during their stay with us, you will need to fill out some simple paperwork. Many of you have done this already. If you haven't (and didn't do so during our host week last October) there are forms in the church office which you can fill out and leave there. Thanks!
Peace Community Benefit Dinner

You are cordially invited to join Don and Barb Haueisen on  May 14 th   at the annual  Peace Community Center benefit dinner,  Learners to Leaders , to be held at PLU. Peace Community Center is one of the vital ministries in which St. Mark's participates. PCC provides after-school enrichment, mentoring, and tutoring to area students from second grade through college as well as summer programs to strengthen and reinforce academic progress. They also organize evening meals for area residents in April and October. Tickets for the dinner are available at For those attending the dinner for the first time, please be our guest and learn about the important work done by PCC. In either case, be a part of a St. Mark's table supporting this ministry. Please contact Don Haueisen, 360-329-6880, or talk to him after the 8:30 service to reserve your place.    

Garden Plots Available at Grace Baptist Community Garden:

With Spring making an appearance, you might be thinking about growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables. At Grace Baptist Community Garden, we have a few plots left for the 2016 season.The raised beds are 20' x 5' and ready for planting.The fee for the year is $30 to cover water and maintenance expenses.Tagro (soil amendment) is available on site.  The garden is located behind our church at 2507 N. Vassault.   For more information or to apply for a plot, call  253-752-6643 or email us at

Interest Survey: Refugee Resettlement and Support

The Peace & Justice Committee hosted three conversations last fall and winter about the Syrian migrant/refugee crisis, opportunities to assist Lutheran Social Services with refugees coming to our area, as well as the possibility of helping to resettle a specific refugee family (which may or may not be from Syria). Help us assess the extent of interest in our congregation for a new ministry with refugees in our community this coming year.Please complete both the short-term ministry ( click here) needs survey and the long-term ministry needs survey ( click here).Each takes about two minutes to complete.    

Questions?  Kathleen Campbell at or  253.820.3297.There will also be paper surveys in the narthex before and after worship on Sundays in April.

Watson's Night Out
Watson's Night Out:  6:00pm - 9:00pm Thursday, April 28
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 $20 per person, with each attendee receiving 30% off one item that evening.  Ron Kempe has tickets (contact info:  or 253-219-9621).

TLRC is the winner of the Best Non-Profit Organization in 2016 South Sound Magazine!

LWR Personal Care Kits- Need Update

Thanks to all who have donated much needed supplies for our April LWR Personal Care Kit Drive for kits to be built at our Syrian themed potluck on May 1, 4:00-6:00. We are still in URGENT need of supplies, and need your help to donate items if within your ability to replenish kits that are sent on-going to refugees in many countries around the world including Armenia, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Supplies and information on our kit building can be dropped off over the  next two Sundays in the Narthex at our table. Following are our needs to make 100 kits. Please contact Catherine Terrill at with any questions. Thank you and God Bless!

ITEM                                    NEED
Bath Towels (27" X 52"):       30
Metal Nail Clippers:               10
Plastic Combs:                      30
Toothbrush (in pkg):              10

St. Mark's Preschool
St. Mark's Preschool is accepting registration packets for the 2016-2017 school year. Classes are available for children ages 2.5-6 years old.  To get more information and/or a registration packet, visit the preschool's website, or contact Anne Zimmerman (253) 752-4929 M-F 8:30-2:00.

Help Wanted
Ushers, Communion Assistants, Lectors--for all services!  Training available. Call or email the church office if you are interested (253-752-4966 or 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am and 11am, Adult Forum/Class, Parish Commons Classroom
"Beloved, let us love one another. . . "  Caring for each other in practical, tangible ways is a sign of Christ's presence among us.  At St Mark's we have so many opportunities to show our love for each other.  Come and learn about two Congregational Care ministries--the Connect and Care Time Bank, and the Take Them a Meal project.  Hear stories of those who have been involved and learn how you might join in.  Hosted by Patty Reinkensmeyer and members of the Congregational Care ministry team. 

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

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We are studying the Book of Acts. Questions? 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
"Worship Matters"-Why do we do what we do when we gather on Sunday mornings for worship?  Together we will explore the roots of the liturgy and how it finds diverse expression in Christian congregations throughout the world.  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
This 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. For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
This week's Spark Notes is   Lydia.  Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons. 

A new family edition of the children's Spark Story Bible has been published by Augsburg-Sparkhouse Publishers.   Check out a description of this Story Bible by clicking here.  We have a limited quantity to offer families for purchase at a reduced price of $15.  These will be available for sale  this Sunday  morning in the Children's Faith Center entry, or contact  to reserve a copy.  Consider gifting a grandchild, godchild with this award-winning Bible storybook.

Sunday May 1st AM Classes-9:45-10:45am
  • 5/6th grade: Unit 5 Return Catherine and Jack
  • 7/8th grade: Baptism with Ingelaurie
  • 9-12th grade with Clara
Thursday April 28th at St. Mark's for youth grades 6-12!
  • Youth Choir 6:30-7:30pm in the Sanctuary with Cooper
Summer 2017 Luther 500 Festival- It's not too late to sign up to be a part of the 500 Anniversary Celebration of the Reformation in Wittenberg Germany, July 19-25, 2017. Cost: $1500.00 (hotel lodging, 2 meals per day, group morning and evening prayer, and all admissions/tours to "Luther" sites). Airfare is on your own-we will meet up in Wittenberg. Please see the youth board for more information or contact Ingelaurie Lisher. $110.00 registration deposit per person, plus a $110.00 lodging deposit-1 per room) is due ASAP. ½ of remaining balance due June 2016, final balance due December 2016. This is an intergenerational trip.
VBS 2016- August 1-5th at St. Mark's-Cave Quest! Registration materials available in the Children's Faith Formation Wing. 

Connect and Care TimeBank One Year Anniversary!

It is now one year since we initiated the CCTB!  The CCTB continues to grow.  New members add to the wonderful variety of opportunities to share skills and time with others.

The next training session will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 After this training new membership will go from an annual fee of $10.00 to $20.00, so join now!

Sign up sheet will be in the Narthex or you can contact  Party Reinkensmeyer at 253-857-7977, .

We are celebrating one year of having the TIMEBANK.  Adult Forum on  May 1 at 9:45  will feature. CCTB updates and stories from members who have used the TimeBank.  Please plan to attend!
Other News
NOTE:  The Tacoma City Marathon on May 1 will begin in Gig Harbor and  runners will be passing in front of St. Mark's after 7:00am.  Please be aware of runners as you enter the parking lots.
Baptized last Sunday at the 9:45 service.  The three children of Luke and Terra Jacobson: Ali Corinne (age 6), Andi Leigh, (age 4), and Beau Lynn (age 2).  Their baptismal sponsor is Amber Johnson.  

Three Final Decisions - The Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center has partnered with three funeral homes and three elder law attorneys to offer this workshop on the first three Saturdays of May.  The information-only events will examine advance funeral planning options, ethical wills and legal issues that everyone needs to tend to.  A complimentary lunch will be included so we ask for RSVPs
Films Inspired by Age - Celebrate Older Americans Month in May.  The Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center has partnered with the Pierce County Library System to show three wonderful films that emphasize the positive side of aging.  "Young @ Heart," "Mr. Holmes" and "Wild Strawberries" will get you thinking about the value of life in our later years.  Films are free, no RSVP required.

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!