The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   July 19 , 2017 
Sunday Worship      
To hear podcast recordings of our Sunday Sermons
Click Here
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 is on hiatus and will resume in the Fall! 

One Great Song

We dnesdays, 6:30-7:30pm.  

July 19th-Luther and the Reformation
July 26th-JS Bach and contemporaries
August 2nd-Lutheran Choral Tradition
August 9th-The past 50 years

Over the course of four Wednesdays we will explore 500 years of music in the Lutheran Church.  Thirty minutes of worship and learning will be followed by refreshments and a chance to visit.  
Faith, Sexism & Justice

Thursdays , 6:30-7:30pm.  July 20 & 27, August 3, 10, 17 & 24

The ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ invites you to join a growing conversation and to add your input. After receiving feedback from more than 100 Listening Events and hearing from several dozen specialists, the task force has written the study "Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations Toward a Social Statement" as a way to invite broad engagement with the questions and issues.

At St. Mark's we will be reading through this study over the course of six Thursdays.  Each week individuals will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the ELCA task force as a draft social statement is prepared.  Questions?  Contact Pr. Shjerven

L'Arche Potluck Picnic!

You're Invited to L'Arche Tahoma hope's 40th Anniversary Potluck Picnic!
Please join us as we celebrate our 40th anniversary!
Please bring your favorite appetizer, side dish or salad. Main dish,
beverages and desserts will be provided.

Date: August 5th, 2017
Time: 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: Snake Lake Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler Street, Tacoma, WA 98405

Let us know you're coming with an email to rsvp@larchetahomahope or call

Blessing in Abundance Update

We are excited to share that St. Mark's has a new, lower monthly mortgage payment beginning in August! Because of your generous support of the Blessing in Abundance campaign, we were able to pay down a total of $400,000 in additional principal from December 2016 through July 2017. Based on that amount, and as discussed at our semi-annual Congregational Meeting in June, our lender has now re-amortized our payment (at no cost to us). Our new monthly payment is $12,860 instead of $15,983 - a savings of just over $34,000 for the remaining 11 months of the new fiscal year! As planned in our budget, this savings allows us to redirect money - that would otherwise have been spent on our regular monthly mortgage payments - to other areas of ministry. As more donations to the Blessing in Abundance campaign come in, we will be able to repeat this process and free up more money for other ministry areas. Thank you again for your faithfulness and continuing support of this effort. Please contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions (253-752-4966). Thank you!

Tacoma Community House Connection

Tacoma Community House invites you to participate in an opportunity to connect with immigrants and refugees learning English at our facilities called Talk Time. Volunteers help our students practice conversational English and no experience is required! Our next event date at TCH is Tuesday, July 25, 9:30-11:30AM. Please RSVP to Audra Hudson,
Many thanks! The need for SHS continues

July 12 marks 4 years since our church's GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) initiated our congregation's contribution of personal care items to Shared Housing Alliance (SHS) in Tacoma, and I wanted to update you on our efforts.
The youth program serves homeless youth, 15-22 year olds, who may be fleeing abuse or neglect or told to leave their homes by parents not accepting of their sexual identity. About 90% of youth living on the streets have or are experiencing abuse, and it is important to move them into housing quickly. Primarily, SHS provides housing for homeless youth by matching them with people who have a spare room and a place in their hearts to temporary house a person while they are building their futures with help of the agency (contact me at 253-565-6398 or SHS if you would like to learn more about this program).
This is where we come in. Most come with only what they can carry in a backpack and/or box. Our main focus at St. Mark's has been to provide personal items to support them. Your donations make so much difference- not only monetarily, but sending a message that we care.
This week we delivered the following to SHS on S. 11th Street from you at St. Mark's-
12 lg. shampoo and conditioner
12 toothpaste and toothbrushes
12 deodorants
40 lg. bars of soap
5 body wash
1 hair dressing
1 curling creme
7 feminine hygiene
10 disposable razors
6 sun screen
20 small lotions
6 shower caps
30+ hotel-size shampoo and soaps (usually passed along to Nativity house/others)
2 shower curtains
Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed.
Roz and Roger Lueck-Mammen

Backpack Supplies for Incarcerated Women and their Children

Once again this year Empowering Life will be collecting school supplies for the women at Mission Creek Correctional Center to provide for their school age sons and daughters.  Printed supply lists can be found on the table in the narthex.  Items need to be returned to church at the end of July.  Thank you!

Backpacks for K-4
1 Composition book (wide lined)                                       
Paper (wide lined)
Set of fat water color markers
Box of water color paints
Crayons (24 preferred)
Package of #2 pencils (Ticonderoga & Office Depot; cheap ones crumble)
Pencil Box
Scissors - must say "blunt"  
1 Scotch tape
Pkg of glue sticks                                                              
Small plastic bottle of Elmer's glue

Backpacks for - 5th-12th grade
Composition book(s)
Spiral notebook(s)
3-ring binder(s)
Paper (college rule)
subject dividers
pens (blue/black/red)
pencil box/pouch
pencils (Ticonderoga & Office Depot good; cheap ones crumble)
colored markers       
colored pencils
glue sticks                     
pencil sharpener
calculator with advanced functions ($10-15 type)

Women of St. Mark's

I hope this finds all crafters and sewers and bakers at work planning and making items for our November Bazaar!  I encourage all to participate!

We are starting off with Crafts Nights/Days this summer and into the fall.  Some of the items we will be creating are the Snowman Chocolate Bars and a new Popcorn Snowman.  We will have fun nights "Stuffing the Cats", learning how to make Periwinkle Table Toppers, Christmas Mug Rugs, decorating Christmas Wood Tags,creating Jute Coasters, Yo-Yo Garlands and any other item that will be fun to make and sell!

If you have an item in mind that we can easily create please contact Barbara Meyers at  We are always looking for new items to sell at the Bazaar.

Look for our display in the Narthex starting next Sunday.  We will have projects displayed and calendars to take home.  Hope to see you at craft nights.

Memorial Committee Report

The Memorial Committee consisting of Carol Paulson, Pam Olson, Barb  Ostrander, Jackie Stenger, Helen Huseth, Karis Crocco and Pastor Ruud met  June 21 for their quarterly meeting.

A request for funds for a new playground structure for the Preschool Staff  was requested and approved by the committee.

An earlier request was made for new confirmation robes and this request  was also honored.

The committee meets again October 4.

Reflections on 2017 SWWA Synod Assembly
by Traci Drake

I was privileged to be part of the Synod Assembly in June this year.

There were two highlights of my time:
The lecture on Martin Luther that was informative, engaging, and deeply relevant by Professor Marit Trelstad was certainly a highlight. She convinced me that using the word "sin" was not old fashioned but relevant, even in a state like our own which is one of the "none" states.

The other was the sermon preached by Bishop Rick Jaech on Saturday morning. Did you know that Lutherans should be spicy? Well, that was the message of the mustard seed. And one I am not likely to forget in my lifetime.

Thanks for allowing me to represent St. Mark's - 

St. Mark's Knitters

 The prayer shawl knitters  will be meeting on July 19 at 1:30 in the Fireside Room....all knitters  are welcome to bring their projects and enjoy a time of fellowship  together. For more information contact: Torun Parker

Summer Story Time

Summer story time runs through Sunday, August 27 during the "Word" portion of the service at 9:45 a.m. Volunteers are still needed, see the table in the Narthex. 

Tacoma Rainiers

Tacoma Rainiers-Tuesday, August 8 11:35a.m. (game time). Cost: $13.00 per person, includes hot dog, chips and a beverage-if we get 20 or more to sign up. Sign up in the church office and pay by Wed. July 26-tickets will not be purchased if we don't receive your $$ by that date. Tickets will be available for pick up at the church July 30-Aug. 7. 

Seeking Shalom Conference

Seeking Shalom Conference 2017 is a day of ecumenical examination of what it means to be Christ in a changing world. Sat. July 29 10am-8pm at Mt. View in Edgewood, Cost: $25.00(includes lunch and dinner)-geared towards Young adults and Faith Formation leaders. For more information and/or to register .

Ring in Some Summer Fun with St. Mark's Summer Bells!

Summer is a GREAT time to try something new and if you have ever wondered what it is like to ring a bell, I have just the thing!
St. Mark's Summer Bells happens every Thursday evening from July 6 th through August 24 th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm in the bell room (upstairs music wing.)
This blurb may start to sound Suessical, it's true, but anyone can ring a bell - yes anyone! And that's YOU!
You can ring one - or two --  or sometimes three! Little bells, big bells or even a bell tree.
Come with your can-do attitude for fun to all of the sessions, or maybe just one.
If you are 16 or older drop in just to play a beautiful bronze bell on any Thursday!
I hope you can experience the good vibrations with us this summer.
Previous bell experience is not necessary. Come and check it out, see what it's like. Who knows, maybe YOU are a born ringer and don't know it!
For more information contact
Karen Moats
Handbell Choir Director

Empowering Life Rummage Sale

The annual Rummage Sale to support our Lutheran mission and ministry at the Washington state women's prisons, through Empowering Life, will be Friday & Saturday, July 21 & 22, 8am - 4pm, at Peninsula Lutheran Church (PLC), 6509 38th Ave NW in Gig Harbor. 

Donations may be delivered to Peninsula Lutheran starting Tuesday, July 18, 10am - 7pm.  Sale will include clothes, household items, books, sports equipment, furniture and much more.  Questions?  Call PLC @ 253-851-3511.

Marimba Camp

Marimba Registration is still open for the children and youth camps!
  • Summer Youth Marimba Camp: Mon-Fri, August 21-25 (grades 2-12)
Cost: $50 per person
Forms are available on a table outside the church office, and can be turned in to Linda or Nicole in the office. Space is limited, so get your registration in soon!
Questions? Send to:

Care of Creation Summer Hikes

The Care of Creation committee is sponsoring three more hikes this summer--one per month alternating between Fridays and Saturdays. The heavy precipitation (snow) this year will likely preclude getting above 5,000 feet until late July or early August. We can adjust the destinations as we get closer and know the conditions better.  The dates and tentative destinations are listed below.  

Friday, July 21:   Summit Lake

Saturday, August 5: Chinook Pass
Friday, September 8: Sunrise (Rainier) or Hurricane Ridge (Olympics)

We will meet at the church at 8 a.m. on the appointed days and form car pools.  Hikers should have water, sun cream, sun glasses, lunch, first aide, camera, extra clothing, good hiking shoes, and money to help defray the costs of gas for drivers.  We will not go if it is raining.
For more information contact: Tom Hulst 

Prayer Chain

We are re-establishing our Prayer Chain at St. Mark's and we welcome your participation.  The mission of the Prayer Chain is to communicate requests for prayers to a network of individuals who are committed to the ministry of prayer for people in need. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please send us your email and we will add you to the list. 
Vacation Bible School 2017

Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 years old (by July 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 school year). Registration opened April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information.  Click here for the registration form. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Tacoma Rainiers-Tuesday, August 8 11:35a.m.  (game time). Cost: $13.00 per person, includes hot dog, chips and a beverage-if we get 20 or more to sign up. Sign up in the church office and pay by Wed. July 26-tickets will not be purchased if we don't receive your $$ by that date.Tickets will be available for pick up at the church July 30-Aug. 7. 
Faith Formation for children Summer 2017!

Summer story time  for children 5 years to 3rd grade during the "Word" portion of the service at 9:45a.m. Volunteers are needed to lead the following Sundays: 8/13, 20 & 27. Assistants are needed for each week.  Please see the table in the narthex if you can help. 
Vacation Bible School-Maker Fun Factory  will be held July 31-Aug. 4 9:00a.m.- 12:15p.m. Please register ASAP if you plan on having your child participate. 
  • Leaders Training/Orientation: Sunday, July 23 12noon in the Fireside Room and Tuesday, July 25th 6pm in the Fireside Room. You only need to attend one. 
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board. Registration opens September 15. 
Annual Music on the Lawn Fundraiser and Event  will be held August 19th 3:00p.m. at Bob and Suzy Reynold's home. Youth and parents contact Jean Steingrebe to sign up to help and earn $$ for your trip. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Fireside Room
Adult Forum is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Fireside Room
Adult Class is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
Midweek Renewal is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
Fully Alive is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Women's Bible Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall. 

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.
Noon Wednesday Text Study is done for the year, join us again in the Fall.  

Members Notes and News

St. Mark's Member, Dottie Kent, passed away July 11th. When services are scheduled it will be announced here.  

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!