The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    January  27 , 2016 
Grace Notes: Another Place for God's Grace in Our Neighborhood 
Last Friday, I was thankful for the opportunity to go the Islamic Center in University Place and to be with worshippers during their time of noon prayer. I also enjoyed meeting the new Imam, who invited me to give a greeting to the whole group after the prayers concluded. The sermon that day was all about the gracious nature of God, so I shared my joy in hearing something that sounded so familiar. I also told the group that we are very happy to have them as neighbors in this little corner of the world. I wish I could adequately convey how welcoming and gracious they all were with me. It was very heart-warming.

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
Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Green Salad and Dessert.  Suggested Donation $5/per person.
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir
6:00pm Faith Journey
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. 
All-Congregation Meeting
Please join us at our All-Congregation Meeting on Sunday, January 31 at 12:30pm!

Your presence is very important at this semi-annual meeting where we take stock of where we are, make decisions about where we are going and how we will get there, and celebrate our life together as the Body of Christ at St. Mark's. Lunch will be served from  Noon to 12:25pm and the meeting will start promptly at  12:30pm. Childcare and activities for children will be provided, so please make every effort to be with us!  
2015 Annual Report
The Annual Report for 2015 is now  available!  
You can pick one up at the church office, or view a pdf copy on the church website by clicking here.  

You Are Invited To Join A Growth Group At St. Mark's In The Lent And Easter Seasons
We are inviting everyone who worships at St. Mark's to enjoy a time of growth and renewal with others in a small group that will meet four times in Lent and four times again in Easter. We are calling these Growth Groups because they will give us a way to grow in faith, grow in friendship, and grow as stewards of all God's gifts. The groups will meet weekly, starting in mid-February, with a two-week break around Holy Week and Easter. Like the Faith Journey groups that many of you remember, Growth Groups will provide a similar opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call. During the sign-up period from February 1-14, we can all look at the days and times that each group will meet and choose the one that works best for us. A link for online sign-up will be sent out to everyone on January 31, and we will also provide a way to sign up in the narthex at church. Please join us if you are able! 

Women of St. Mark's Planning Meeting
Please join us for a 2016 Planning Meeting.  We are in need of fresh new ideas and suggestions for the new year.  Our main events are the Spring Luncheon or Tea, the Bazaar in November and the Advent Brunch.  We would love to have your input!  We are meeting Wednesday, February 3, 6:00pm in the Library.  Mark your calendars and join us for dessert and fellowship as we plan our events for the year.  Come one, come all, bring a friend!  See you there! 

Faith Journey 
A New Faith Journey series will begins tonight 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 at Easter time, 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  12:00-1:30pm  and another one on Wednesdays 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

2016 St. Mark's Reads
This year our congregational/community reading selection is Brian D. McLaren's, "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?-Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (2012, Jericho Press). If you would like to take part in this community read, you may purchase a copy of the book for $12 in the narthex OR you may find both paperback and Kindle editions at Discussion of Parts I and II Thursday, Jan. 28, 6:30pm in the Fireside Rm. (NOTE: if you would like to be a part of a young adult discussion, please contact Mary Jo Larsen at; or Alec & Carrie Olschner at The first discussion will take place on Saturday, Jan 30 (4:30pm) at Mary Jo's home. Sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation Team. Questions? Contact Mary Jo Larsen (

St. Mark's Quilters
The St. Mark's Quilters need you!  We have many quilt tops to be sewn together. They can be done at home or you can join us on Monday mornings anytime between 9am and noon, with coffee time at 10:30am.  All are welcome. Questions? Contact Celesta Smith 253-229-7726 or

St. Valentine's Celebration- Empowering Life
Empowering Life: Witnessing to God's Grace by Working with Incarcerated Women and their Families  
Saturday, February 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows 
Come join us for favorite tunes sung & played by professional musician Kacey Evans, elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunity to learn more about how (beyond backpacks with school supplies and Christmas gifts) we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman ("Purdy") and at Mission Creek Correction Center... and their families.
We welcome donations of auction items.
For reservations contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Chase the Chill
We are continuing to chase the chill all over Tacoma.  Mike and Linda McKeller took two full bags of scarves, hats and gloves to the department office at UWT recently where all donations for the homeless census project are being collected. We donated more than 30 scarves, 24 hats and about 10 pairs of gloves.The people we talked with down there were so very happy to see us. The homeless people counters find that they get much more cooperation when they come bearing gifts.  The annual count will happen this Friday 1/29.

Donated scarves, hats and gloves go to the Nativity House, the Tacoma Rescue Mission and My Sister's Pantry delivery as well as the UWT homeless census project.  

All knitters and crochet-ers are welcome to stop by the office any time during the week or come by the yarn supply corner (look for Jan Pence or Linda McKeller) in the Narthex on Sunday mornings to pick up more yarn or drop off finished scarves and hats. Thank you to all who have donated items!

Women's Retreat 2016 - Let All Creation Praise!
We will gather Friday night and Saturday, February 19 and 20, at Pilgrim Firs Retreat Center in Port Orchard. Cost is $80 (assistance available). For more information and to register, please stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the Narthex, or email Pastor Shjerven (

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am , Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
January 31, "Embracing Interfaith Cooperation: Eboo Patel on Coming Together to Change the World". In this engaging 5-session DVD series, people from diverse religious backgrounds join Interfaith Youth Core leader Eboo Patel in exploring both the challenge and the necessity of Interfaith Cooperation.  

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
January 31, "Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God".
For 12 weeks we will join new testament scholars John Dominic Crossman and the late Marcus Borg on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul's footsteps through the Roman Empire.  

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

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
This Winter we will be 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
A Leisurely Look at Luke- Have you ever wanted to read an "orderly account" of the life of Jesus? . . to hear his teachings in stories that both clarify his mission and open you to wonder? Have you ever been curious about the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer?  The Gospel of Luke is the book for you!  We will spend the Wednesday nights of Epiphany and Lent gathered around the fire, exploring the basic storyline of Luke's gospel and sharing our ideas about how it connects to our world today. No experience with scripture is necessary; 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
A new women's 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. The online magazine CafĂ© will be used as our initial resource. You can check out the magazine at . For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
This week's Spark Notes is Jeremiah.  Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  
Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 4-12th?  Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  Also take a look at '17 & '18.

Luther 500 Tour 2017 --  Information and registration forms are available on the Youth Board (hallway towards Fireside Rm.) We have 5 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment / deposit to reserve your spot is due ASAP. Tour Dates: June 19-25, 2017. This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children / youth accompanied by their families. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (lodging and 2 meals a day on tour). You are responsible for your own air transportation (the group will meet up in Wittenberg, Germany).
SWWA Synod Youth Gathering for youth grades 6-9th. March 4-6 at Camp Berachah in Auburn. Cost: $130.00 per person. $75.00 deposit due Feb. 14th.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast -Tuesday, February 9, 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons (live Music from 5:30-6:30pm), Pancakes and much more! Sponsored by the youth.

Connect and Care TimeBank

The Connect and Care TimeBank Training on February 6th at 10am has been cancelled.  We will be inviting all CCTB members to attend a focus group during that same time to assist with evaluation and next steps.

Please email or call Patty Reinkensmeyer at  or  253.857.7977  for questions and to sign up for the next training session.

Member Notes and News

Baptized on Sunday at the 9:45 service is Phoebe Rose Martin, infant daughter of Emily and Matt Martin.  Phoebe was born on September 2, 2015 in Tacoma.  Her baptismal sponsor is Mandi Privett. 

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!