The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 April 18 , 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
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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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Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Spaghetti, bread, greens beans, salad
   Suggested donation: $5
5:00-5:30 p.m. Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00 p.m. Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45 p.m. Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00 p.m. Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20 p.m. Midweek Renewal 
6:15-6:45 p.m. Holy Moly
7:30 p.m. Evensong

Stewardship Thank You and Update

The Stewardship Committee would like to give a very special thank you to all who have submitted their pledges for our next fiscal year. The good news is that, compared to this time last year, we are up over 25% in both the number of pledges and in the amount pledged for fiscal year 2017-2018. And more good news is that there are over 90 households that have yet to pledge. And, it's not too late to be included. This week the Council begins its budgeting process and your response is an important part of this process. Thanks again for your pledges and continuing support.

Birger Nelson
Stewardship Committee Chairperson

Greening the Congregation Events in April

April 21, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Liturgy that Cares for Creation 
This conference, hosted at Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma, will explore the Christian liturgy, a source of creation care often overlooked in Christian communities. How does the ancient liturgy, the lectionary, the sacraments, liturgical music, and daily prayer welcome the earth and orient the Christian assembly toward cherishing and protecting God's bountiful yet endangered creation?  You may register and learn more about the event at: 

April 22 (Earth Day), 9:45 a.m. Adult Forum on Eco-Theology            Dr. Marit Trelstad of PLU will lead our Adult Forum at St. Mark's on the topic of  "Sin and Deep Story: Why Lutheran Theology Matters for the Ecological Movement".  In her presentation, Dr. Trelstad will ask: "Why can't we seem to change from ecologically-damaging actions and lifestyles even when we care about natural beauty, clean air and water?" Offering the wisdom and perspectives of Lutheran theology, this presentation will also acknowledge where we need help from other theological traditions for insights on the power of habit and conversion.

April 26, 6:30 p.m. Greening the Congregation Meeting                        All members and friends of St. Mark's who want to help us live in harmony with creation by working together to green our shared lives and facilities are invited to join this new ministry in our congregation. We meet monthly in the Fireside Room. Participants can choose to focus on one of the "green fields" we have identified, including: Worship and Liturgy, Education, Building and Grounds, and Community Engagement.

Interfaith Encounter

Please join us for our next Interfaith Encounter which will be hosted by members of the Islamic Center on  Tuesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. We will meet at the University Place Library, and the topic will be Faith Formation with Children and Youth in our Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions. We hope to see you there!

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

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

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, 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. Any questions please feel free to call or email Tom Hulst ( or (253) 460-2683). The schedule for Spring and Summer 2018 is shown below as follows:
  1. Saturday May 19-Hike to trail near North Bend on Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Meet at church at 8 a.m.
  2. Friday June 22-Walk at the Nisqually. Meet at Church at 8 a.m.
  3. Thursday-Saturday July 19-21-Family car-camping outing Mount St. Helens, Olympics, or ocean beaches TBD.
  4. Friday August 10 -Hike to Chinook Pass, Naches Loop Trail. 8 a.m. 
  5. September date and activity TBD

Women of St. Mark's

O ur Spring Tea is this Saturday, April 21, 2018 at noon.  If you have not paid yet, you will be able to do so on Saturday.

Thank you all who signed up and all who are helping make this a fantastic tea!  See you all there!

Stay tuned for the schedule for Craft Nights.  Right now planning on making the Chocolate Bar Snowmen and Popcorn Snowmen for our annual bazaar.  We are also going to be making bath salts.  A big thank you to Ida Hagen for searching for unique jars with lids for this project.  Do you have an idea for a Craft Night?  Contact Barbara Meyers at with your ideas!

St. Mark's Preschool

We are looking for a team of volunteers to help take down the existing play structure outside of the children's wing on  Saturday, April 21  and/or put up our brand new structure on  Saturday, April 28 . Please contact Anne Zimmerman or Jen Droubay if you are interested in helping out!

St. Mark's Preschool is holding their second annual golf tournament to raise funds for the preschool on  Saturday, June 2 . We are searching for businesses to sponsor each hole; if you own a business or are connected to a business that would like to sponsor a hole for this fun event, please contact Anne Zimmerman by email

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

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday, April 22  Regular Sunday AM classes for children 3 years old to youth grade 12. 9:45-10:45 a.m. Sunday AM classes run through June 10.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Thursday, April 19 Youth Group 5:30 p.m., Youth Choir 6:30 p.m.

April 20-21 Area Lock-out for youth, grades 8-12If you signed up to attend, details have been sent to your family email address.

April 29 Mystery Event! Grades 5-7, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Cost: $10.00 per person, includes lunch. We have a couple more spaces left if you want to sign up. 

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.

Travel Adventure VBS 2018
Join us this summer for Daniel's Courage in Captivity, August 6-10, from 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for children ages 4-entering 5th grade. To register or sign up to volunteer, go to

Adult Faith Formation
Adult Forum Sunday, April 22nd, 9:45-10:45 a.m. 
Dr. Marit Trelstad will return to Adult Forum, presenting: "Sin and Deep Story: Why Lutheran Theology Matters for the Ecological Movement" Why can't we seem to change from ecologically-damaging actions and lifestyles even when we care about natural beauty, clean air and water? This question rightly puzzles policy makers and environmentalists. Christian theology can help us understand this. We have two millennia of good thinking about why humans are drawn to and mired in damaging patterns of thought and action! Lutheran theology can help us understand human nature we can provide insight on a significant global issue. Offering the wisdom of our tradition, this presentation will also acknowledge where we need help from other theological traditions for insights on the power of habit and conversion.Mark your calendars for this special presentation!

Adult Class, Sundays 11:00 a.m. in the PCC
As our  Adult Class, Dr. Traci Drake will offer Year 1 of Crossways, a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible. To order the set of Learner books, please contact the church office. The cost for books each trimester is $20. Participants are asked to cover whatever part of that cost they are able to pay. 

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m.  in the Fireside Room
Questions? 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.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal, 6:15 p.m., PCC
Proclaiming the Easter message: the lives of Paul and Peter (April 11 and 18 How did the message of the Risen Christ take root and grow throughout the Mediterranean and beyond?  Through the magic of DVD we will "travel" with Rick Steves as he follows the footsteps of the apostles Paul and Peter.  All are welcome on this journey!

2018 St. Mark's Reads
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.
In 2016 two great friends, Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, spent time together reflecting on their lives of struggle and joy. What are the practices that lead to a joy-filled life, even in the midst of great pain and injustice? This year's Congregational Read is about friendship, faith, wisdom and, yes, JOY. Hardcover copies of the book (cheaper than paperback) will be available for purchase on Sunday, April 22, OR you may purchase copies from your favorite bookseller.  A schedule of book discussions will be published in The Bridge and Parish Life.

Peace and Justice

Mexico Mission Cinco de Mayo Dinner and Silent Auction
Cinco de Mayo is coming! The Mexico Mission Team is excited about our next house-building trip in June, and we hope you can join us for dinner to celebrate and raise money for our trip on Saturday, May 5 at 5:00 p.m. here at church. We will have a delicious meal, fun activities, door prizes, and a silent auction! It will be a fun night and we hope you can come. We will be selling dinner tickets in the narthex on April 22 and 29. Tell your friends!

Homeless families need our help...
St. Mark's will host up to five homeless families from Family Housing Network soon,  May 19-26. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. If you are a regular volunteer for this ministry, you know how rewarding it is. If it is new to you, please stop by the signup table and find out more. There are many large and small jobs to do!

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. 
Sunday, April 22 -- LWR Kit Build & Potluck 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Join US this Earth Day and pack Personal Care Kits that provide  Hope with A Bar of Soap! Bring soup, salad, bread or a dessert! We will meet in the Youth Room. All are Welcome! Questions, contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479.

Global 6K Walk for Water - Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m.  
Family fun, Global Impac t! Join World Vision's Global 6K Walk for Water at Gas Works Park, Seattle on  May 19. Race Entry of $50 provides clean water to one person (under 18 is $25).  Grab a postcard in the Narthex and join the Terrill's team "H2O TO GO" and sign up to ride in the church van. Every participant will wear a race bib with a child's photo benefiting from clean water...and go home with a T-Shirt and finisher medal. Last year over 30,000 participated on the same date across 14 countries! 6K: the average distance women and children walk everyday for water. Visit /Seattle6K . Contact Catherine Terrill at 253-732-3479 with questions. JOIN THE TEAM and go farther together.

Women's Interfaith Tea

Please join us for our meeting at the UP Library, hosted by friends from the Beth El Synagogue. Please register at:

March 2018 - Monthly Financial Update

While offerings were greater than budget in the first two months of the calendar year - which helped to  mitigate the increasing deficit in our General Fund that supports the core missions of our Church -
March giving somewhat "stalled" that recovery of income. Offerings for March were nearly equal to  budget, with $77,253 given versus a budgeted $77,972. On a fiscal year-to- date (FYTD) basis, we are
$44,426 below budgeted offerings and 4.5% below actual offerings over the same time period last year.  We have just 2½ months left this fiscal year to "catch up" on offerings and finish the year in a positive
financial position. (While acknowledging our financial shortfall, we are sincerely grateful for each  person's generosity as we collectively support the ministry of St. Mark's!) 

Expenses continue to come in below budget as well. We spent $5,537 less than budgeted in March. The  majority of that "underspending" was attributable to our newly lowered mortgage payment which took
effect in March ($9,227 down from $12,860). FYTD, we are now under budgeted expenses by $25,851.  The explanation remains largely the same as in preceding months (e.g., staff reconfigurations early in
the year; less reliance on our hospitality budget as people donate enough to cover the cost of meals on  Wednesday and Sunday; and benevolences below budget because offerings are below budget).

The financial bottom line for March is that our underspending more than offset the slight "miss" in  offerings. We spent $3,941 more than we brought in versus a budget to spend $8,948 more than we
brought in. This put us "ahead" by $5,007. On a FYTD basis, underspending is not enough to offset the  lower-than- anticipated offerings, leaving us $14,890 behind budget. We have spent $13,001 more than  we have brought in, leaving the General Fund with a negative balance.

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions.
Thank you!

365 Days of Christmas

Remember St. Mark's children's tree decorating when you take your summer trip or do any travels this year.  Bring back a tree ornament that we can place on the  World Tree in the down stairs entry.  These ornaments from other countries or states will be enjoyed every year by our Sunday School and preschool children. Baskets collecting these ornaments are in the main office and the downstairs entry by the Sunday School rooms.  We will be reminding you of an ornament  contribution until November of this year.  Thanks for your help.

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.

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!