The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 November 21 , 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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There are no Wednesday Church Night activities tonight!

2018 Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Services

All services include carols, Holy Communion, and candle-lighting.
4 p.m. Family worship (no nursery care)
*5:30 p.m. Traditional worship with organ and choir (nursery care provided)
*7:30 p.m. Contemporary worship with Praise Band (nursery care provided)
11:00 p.m. Traditional worship with organ and choir (no nursery care)
*Please make note of time change from last year.

Christmas Day 10:00 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion.

Prayer Shawl Knitters

Prayer Shawl Knitters will not meet today, Wednesday, November 21. 

Living Well Through Grief and Loss

There will not be a Grief class tonight, November 21; we will resume on November 28. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Annual Christmas Fair Trade Bazaar

December 2 and 9, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Start your Christmas shopping with beautiful gifts that change lives! Every purchase at our Fair Trade sale helps marginalized artisans and farmers around the world create better lives for their families. Shop our selection of unique handcrafts, festive Christmas décor, and delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and spices. 

NEW! We can now accept credit and debit cards, but cash or checks preferred.

Giving Tree 2018

Our Christmas Giving Tree supports families from DeLong Elementary School. Look for ornaments on the tree in the Narthex the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 25). Each ornament represents an individual, and we ask that you purchase two gifts for the person, using the details provided on the ornament. Gifts need to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 9. New this year: gifts should be delivered unwrapped, please attach the tag information clearly on both gifts. There will be a festive wrapping party on December 16, and delivery the following week. If you are interested in joining the wrapping party or delivery group please call the Church office at 253-752-4966.

Chase the Chill

The temperatures are falling and the seasons are changing which means it's time for us to Chase the Chill   again this year. All knitters and crocheters are invited to create warm hats and scarves to be donated to shelters in Tacoma and to distribute to those who are living outdoors. Yarn has been donated for this project and is free to anyone who would like to make a hat or scarf to contribute. Please stop by the church office to pick up yarn or to pick up a Ziploc bag filled with a hat and scarf to keep in your car to give to anyone you see on the streets who might need some warmth. You could add other things to the bag that you think might be useful to someone, i.e. a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small gift card to McDonald's for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, whatever you choose. For more information talk with Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller .

Women of St. Mark's

The Advent Brunch will be held on Saturday, December 1, at 9:30 a.m.  Visit our table in the Narthex to buy $10.00 tickets. We will be having a wonderful meal, listening to our very own Bell Choir, singing Christmas carols and enjoying each others company for a few hours. Bring your friends for a wonderful morning!

2nd Time Around Holiday Gift Drive: It's a Win/Win!

Does your family have gently used toys, games, DVDs, decorations, and plush animals which are no longer being used? The NW Nourish Food Bank in the Proctor District is gathering gently used items for clients to select gifts for family members.  

Win #1 : Many of these families are not "connected" to agencies which will help them with gift giving and they were excited to pick out gifts last year! 

Win #2:  Just think of the space you could "free up" by donating items which are no longer being used.

Bring items to the box outside the church office before December 17.   
Questions? Visit the table in the Narthex on Sunday, November 25 or contact Mary Olsen 253-752-2844, or

Third Quarter

Those in the third quarter of life, ages 50-75ish, are invited to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.

Friday, December 14, 7:30-9 p.m., St. Charles Borromeo "Messiah".

Wednesday, December 19, 5:30 p.m. meet at church for Christmas sing-along and fellowship.  

Children and Youth Faith Formation

High School Game Night November 30, 5:30-7 p.m. in the Youth Wing. Sign up ASAP if you plan on attending.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
9:45 a.m. Adult Forum Please join us Sundays in December for a four-part series celebrating Advent through poetry and art.  Come and be newly inspired as we listen to familiar stories of John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, and others through diverse poetic voices and classical art.

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study is on hiatus until December 2.

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study: Will not meet this week.  The 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. This fall we will study the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or (253) 363-8202.

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Will not meet this week. Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Midweek Renewal 6:15 p.m., Parish Commons Classroom;  Will not meet this week. 
Names for the Messiah: An Advent Study, by Walter Brueggemann, will serve as our guide for sessions on November 28, December 5, and December 12. Using the oracle from Isaiah 9, we will examine what it means to call Jesus Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. 

Fully Alive Bible Study, Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Our topic is Women of the Bible, The Beautiful and The Ugly. Please join us. 

Fall Film Nights:  Please join us Friday, November 30, 6:30-9 p.m. for our last film in this series,  Silence Silence  is a thoughtful 2016 historical drama adapted from a novel by Japanese Catholic Shusaku Endō. The drama follows two 17th-century Jesuits who travel from Portugal to Japan to find their missing mentor. The priests yearn to "hear" God's reassuring voice in the midst of suffering. A timely film as we head into Advent. This film is Rated R for mature content. Please bring a favorite beverage or appetizer to share.  

October 2018 - General Ministry Fund Financial Update

Offerings for October were $17,881 below budget ($70,275 versus budgeted offerings of $88,156). Fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), we are now $19,920 below budgeted offerings of $313,793, and just 1.6% above last year actual offerings over the same time period. As mentioned in prior financial updates, we need to be 7.8% above last year's actual to make budget this year.
Expenses for October were $2,448 below budget, spending $83,344 versus a budgeted $85,792.FYTD, we are $12,166 below budgeted expenses of $356,675. In light of below-budget offerings, we are trying to be as mindful of expenses as possible, but we have several large (unplanned) property maintenance items that are going to hit our books soon and erode these current "savings" versus budget. Projects include repairs to our music/youth wing drainage and fire/life safety upgrades that were noted at our last inspection.
The bottom line for October is that we spent $12,615 more than we brought in versus our projection to bring in $2,614 more than we spent. This puts us $15,229 "behind" budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are $6,960 "behind" budget on a "net" basis(i.e., looking at total inflows and outflows). We have spent $48,842 more than we have brought in versus a projection to spend $41,882 more than we brought in at this point in the fiscal year.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you!

Speak Up: Moral Voices

The Peace and Justice Committee at St. Mark's suggests we all consider using our moral voices to advocate for justice in the following areas: food, housing, creation, and immigration. 

In light of the article in the Tacoma News this morning about the seriousness of the impact of climate change during the next 90 years, we thought it might be useful for members to read some background history on when Lutherans began to engage in Ecological Theology.  This link will get you started. 

ELCA Response to California Wildfires

WIldfires are raging in the state of California, and there are many urgent needs that need to be met. If you are looking for a way to support the people and communities impacted by the fires, please click here

Sign Up to Have Your Holiday Shopping Dollars Help St. Mark's
Did you know that St. Mark's can earn "free" money nearly every time you shop at Amazon, Fred Meyer, or Bartells? These companies will donate money to our church at absolutely no cost to us--and it can really add up. Every dollar earned will be applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund. Please take the time to sign up, following the instructions below. The same information can also be found on our church website under the  Ways to Give Financially tab. Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office if you have any questions.
Amazon Smile
St. Mark's can benefit financially almost any time you shop with Amazon! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, shopping features, and Amazon Prime member benefits as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile at the same price. Since you use the same account on and AmazonSmile, your shopping cart, Wish List, registries, and other account settings remain the same. 
To register, go to Under your Accounts & Lists menu, click into Your AmazonSmile, search for "St Marks Lutheran By the Narrows", and designate St. Mark's from there.
Fred Meyer
If you have a free Rewards Card at Fred Meyer, nearly every purchase you make there can benefit St. Mark's. (If you don't have a card, applications should be available at all registers or at the Customer Service Desk.) You just need to link your card once to St. Mark's. Go to If you don't have an online account, you will need to create one. Then scroll all the way to the bottom of page and click on Fred Meyer Community Rewards link --> click on Re-enroll or Link your Rewards Card Now and search for "St. Mark's Lutheran Church by the Narrows." You will continue to receive Rewards Points, Rebates and Fuel Points.
Bartell Drugs
St. Mark's can earn from 1% to 4% on eligible purchases from Bartells if you have a free 'B' Caring Card. (If you don't have a card, you can pick one up at any Bartell Drugs.) There are three ways you can choose to link St. Mark's to your Bartell's card: (1) complete a hard copy "escrip" registration form at the store; (2) call 1-800-931-6258; or (3) register online at
Thank you in advance!

Handel's Messiah Sing-along

Mark your calendars to participate in a sing-along of  Handel's Messiah presented to the community by Christ Lutheran Church, 8211 112th St SW, Lakewood, WA  98498.  The performance will be held on December 2, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. and will be directed by Dr. Anne Lyman, Director of Choral Activities at Tacoma Community College.  Both singers and listeners are welcome!  For more information contact  or Christ Lutheran Church at 253-588-0331.

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!