The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   Sept 21 , 2016 
Sunday Worship      
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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 Coordinator
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 Night Church Night Tonight!

5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CFC)
5:15pm Dinner: 
Chef's Surprise, Suggested Donation $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:15pm Holy Moly (CFC)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (FR)
7:30pm Prayer Service (PC)

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship.

Celebration for the Ministry of Char Leone

Join us as we celebrate the ministry and service of Char Leone on Sunday, September 25th following the 9:45a.m. service in the Parish Commons. Cake will be served and a basket for cards provided.

Char Leone has been serving as the Coordinator of Children's Faith Formation since 2009. As of September 30th she will be stepping down from this role to go and serve as care taker to her brother Ron over the next couple of months. I know her Stephen Ministry skills will serve her well.

Char's dedication and commitment to our children over the years has been amazing. Besides organizing Sunday morning classes for children preschool to 5th grade, and recruiting and supporting our volunteer teaching staff, Char has been a vital leader to our Wednesday night church night team and her work with 5-8-year-old children through Holy Moly. Char helped establish many of the current milestone and marker events we have here at St. Mark's, from the 3-year-old welcome to Sunday school event, exploring the Lord's prayer for 1st graders, Image of God for 5th graders to expanding the 3rd grade bible presentation and 1st communion traditions. 

While Char will be missed as a part of the CYFF staff we are blessed that she will continue to be an active part of our congregation and exploring where she is called to next following her return from California.
Thanks again for your ministry and answering God's call, not only here at St. Mark's but also to your brother Ron. 
Blessings and Peace,
Ingelaurie A Lisher, AiM Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry

September is a Good Time to Get Back on Track with Our Offerings

For the month of August, our offering income at St. Mark's fell short of our budgeted offering projections by nearly $17,000. We all know how easy it is to get behind in our giving in the summer months, but this is a significant gap and we want to start the busy time of fall activities with strong financial support to all our ministries. Stewardship leaders at St. Mark's ask us to prayerfully consider where we are with our offerings in light of our Plan for Giving and to get caught up in September, if needed. Our staff and lay leaders are doing a good job of managing expenses across the board, and we are below year-to-date projections on the expense side of things. You can see all of this on the repor t below. If you have any questions about the numbers, please contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller at the Church office (253) 752-4966.

Faith Journey Beginning Soon

New Faith Journey groups will begin on  Sunday, September 25 at 12:15pm  and  Wednesday, September 28 at 6pm .

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. This 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   and another one on Wednesdays that meets from  6:00-7:15pm .  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 .

Quilting is Back!

Come join the Quilters on Monday mornings from 9am-12pm.  No sewing or quilting experience required.  If you are unable to join there are always quilt tops to sew t home.  Questions? Call Katie Cootsona at 206-484-9195
Harvestfest/Oktoberfest at L'Arche Farms

L'Arche Farms will be hosting a Harvestfest on October 1st from 10am-4pm and a Oktoberfest from 4pm-8pm.  
 For more information, click here, to see the informational flyer.  

Mexico Mission Trip Save the Date

Save the Date:   For those who are planning ahead, St. Mark's yearly Mexico Mission Trip will take place June 23 - July 1, 2017.  Stay tuned for more detailed information in early 2017. 

Peace and Justice

It's that time of year again!  Registration is open for the 2016 Pierce County Hunger Walk, which is Sunday, October 2nd at 2pm.  Please consider walking as a member of the St Mark's Team.  You may register online at  Click under the "Get Involved" tab, where you see Pierce County Hunger Walk.  Our team name is St Mark's Tacoma (note punctuation).  If you are not able to walk, but would like to donate, follow the instructions on the website, or put a check in the offering basket on Sunday.  Just be sure to put "Hunger Walk" in the memo line.  Thank you!

In St. Mark's Preschool News

Our school year is off to a great start! We still have three openings in the PreK class (ages 4 & 5); please reach out to friends and family to help fill our spots. Also, we have a fun event coming up on Saturday, October 1st. We'll be hosting a Fun Run @ 8:30 & Kids Dash @ 9:30...all are welcome! Pancake and sausage breakfast will be served between 9 & 10:30 in the narthex. Please join us to run, walk, or volunteer. There will be a sign up sheet in the narthex. Contact Anne Zimmerman with questions: or (253) 752-4929

Women of St. Mark's

Our next "Creative Nite Out" is set for Friday, September 30th, 7 - 9 pm.  Mark your calendars and come join us!  We will be working on putting together the Snowman Candy Bars for the Bazaar.  All (men too!) come to help or work on your current Christmas / Bazaar projects!

Mark your calendars for the following events: The annual Bazaar will be held on November 5th this year and the Advent Brunch will be on December 3rd.  We will need lots and lots of baked goods along with all of the wonderfully creative items I know you are already making for sale at the Bazaar.  We need all congregation support to make these events happen.

Look for sign-up sheets for Bazaar help and the Advent Brunch.  It takes a congregation to make these events successful.  Please contact Barbara Meyers at 253-756-9352 or email  with questions or ideas.  

Congregational Luncheon and Guest Speaker, Sunday October 2nd, 12:15pm

On Sunday, October 2nd at 12:15pm Guest Speaker, Dr. Kevin O'Brien will present "Cloud of Witnesses", Dr. O'Brien will help us make connections between wisdom teachers of the past and current environmental issues we face (ie climate change). 

Kevin O'Brien received his PhD in Ethics and Society from Emory University in 2006 and received the KT Tang Award for Faculty Excellence in Research (2015-16).  We are delighted to have him as our guest.

Please sign up on the easel in the narthex on September 18th or 25th to reserve your seat at the luncheon ($5 meal donation requested).
Crossways Coming to St. Mark's

Sundays, 4:30-6pm Beginning September 18th
Cost: $30 to being; $20 for each new student booklet (approx. every 10 weeks)
Ever wish you had a better grasp of each book of the Bible-and how its message relates to that of all the others? You are invited to sign up for Crossways-a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible.
Crossways is a 60-session course, typically taught over two academic years.  At St. Mark's, a community of learners will come together each Sunday afternoon for an hour and a half and be immersed in the biblical story.  During the week, individuals will reflect on what they are learning through the use of a Student Booklet.
St. Mark's member, Dr. Traci Drake, will be your guide for this journey.  Traci has taught the Crossways series in prior congregations and considers it one of the best tools with which to deeply explore the biblical narrative. Traci has many years of ministry experience and has recently completed the candidacy process in the ELCA.
For more information and/or to sign-up for Crossways, stop by the table in the narthex.  

Save the Date: Harvesting Hope

St. Mark's will host chinaconnect's annual Fall Dinner of Friday, September 23rd.  
Children and Youth Faith Formation

Holy Moly  for children continues every Wednesday evening from 6:15-7:15pm in the Youth Room.

Milestone Markers & Blessings coming up:
"Beginning Sunday School" with 3 year olds (and newly starting 4 year olds) and parent/s on  September 25, at  9:45 in your child's class room.
"Coming to the Lord's Table" with 4 year olds and other early elementary who have not attended previously, on  October 2 at 9:45.  Location will be announced.

All Children and Youth Faith Formation classes are in session.
  • Children 3 years old to 4th grade meet in the Children's Faith Center(CFC) from 9:45-10:45a.m.
  • Children and youth grades 5-8th meet in the Youth Wing, 9-12th in Fireside Room.
Youth Ministry-Grades 6-12 Fall Start dates:
  • Thursday, September 22, 6:30-7:30p.m.
    • Youth Choir for grades 6-12th with Cooper Sherry
  • Sunday, October 2, 11-11:45a.m. SR ALYVE (9-12th grades) Breakfast Club in the Fireside Room. Breakfast will be provided.
  • Thursday, October 6, 5:30-6:30p.m.
    • o   Youth Group for grades 6-12th with Ingelaurie Lisher and Nate Nolting
Confirmation Ministry:
  • 3rd year 9th grade students
    • Meet Thursdays through Oct. 27 from 5:30-6:30p.m. in the Parish Commons Classroom with the pastors.
    • Serve dinner at Peace Community Center Wed. October 26. Meet at St. Mark's at 4:40p.m.
    • Confirmation brunch and celebration sponsored by the 1st and 2nd year students-Sat. Oct. 29 10-11:30a.m.
    • Affirmation of Baptism service Sunday Oct. 30 at 11a.m.
  • 7/8th grade students and parents
    • Help is needed on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29, with the 3rd year brunch. Please sign up on youth board with what you are able to assist with.
9-12th grade Fall Oktoberfest Open House -Sat. Oct. 1 3:30-5:30p.m. at Bruce and Ingelaurie's home. Youth and parents drop on in for brats, hotdogs, root beer and more. RSVP by Wed. Sept. 28th
2016 Hunger Walk- Sunday, October 2 2p.m. at Ft. Steilacoom.  Youth and parents are encouraged to attend. See Hunger Walk table in narthex or welcome center for details

Family Housing Network Thanks you

Thank you to the many volunteers who signed up to help with our Family Housing Network host week September 17-24 . Your efforts will help us make St. Mark's a temporary home for families with children and enrich our congregation with this ministry. We look forward to welcoming our guests!
LWR: "We Need School Kits"- Update!

Our annual school supply kit drive for LWR School Kits is through September! Our goal is to pack 100 school kits with the High School Youth group on  October 9.  
Thanks to your very generous donations we have been richly blessed with rulers, erasers, scissors, crayons and pencils!

To make our goal we are in need of the following items which can be dropped off in the Narthex. Thank you for helping children reach their full potential!

 235  Notebooks (70 page spiral 8" X 10.5")                 
   71  Pencil sharpeners
 200  Black/Blue Ink Pens (no gel) 


Drivers Needed

  Drivers needed to transport St. Mark's member to Sunday worship.  If you are willing to drive one Sunday per month, talk to Pastor Shjerven or Pastor Rue.
Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
September 25-Care of Creation Series
In keeping with our congregational theme, "Let All Creation Praise!",  St. Mark's members will lead us in reflecting on our faithful relationship with the natural world.  This week's leader is John Rosenberg, "Painting the Stars". We will conclude with Dr. Kevin O'Brien on 10/2 who will be our guest in both Forum and an all-congregational lunch. 

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
September 25 - October 23-  "Embracing a Life of Meaning", DVD series with poet/author Kathleen Norris (5 week series).

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the Fireside Room
We will begin our year with Diana Butler Bass as our guide.  Her newest book, "Grounded: Finding God in the World" is an excellent entry into our congregational theme, "Let All Creation Praise!".  Pastor Shjerven will be summarizing the main themes and thoughts of the book, and inviting everyone into reflection and conversation. (You do not need to buy the book.) All are welcome to be part of the discussion.
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
Will be studying the Book of Acts.  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Gather for lunch and conversation and study around the texts that will be heard in worship the following Sunday.  Conversation will be guided by the pastor who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group. 
Community Events
The 6th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference will take place at PLU on Thursday, September 29th.  The theme is "Free At Last: Perspectives on Racial Justice".  For more information, or to sign up to be part of a group going to the evening lecture, stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex.

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!