The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 April 25 , 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

Plans For Giving In 2018-2019

We are very happy to say that almost 200 households at St. Mark's have returned a Plan for Giving to us, and that the total amount pledged to our General Ministry Fund is now over $745,000. That is very encouraging! We are still waiting to hear from many more of you, so please know that we will continue to welcome responses over these next few weeks. The Church Council meets again on  May 15 to prepare the budget proposal that will be brought to the congregation in June. Additional Plan for Giving response forms can be found at the Welcome Center in the Narthex.

You Are Invited To a Luncheon Celebrating The Wedding Of Sonja Ruud and Christian Steinbach

Sonja and Christian were married in Europe last Fall, and now we have the chance to wish them well at a luncheon that will be hosted at St. Mark's at  noon on Saturday, May 19. You are all welcome to join us for this festive occasion! Please sign up by adding your name to the poster in the Narthex or by calling the church office. No gifts, please! Just come and enjoy the time together.

Greening the Congregation Meeting this Thursday, April 26       
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. Our April meeting will be tomorrow, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Participants can choose to focus on one of the "green fields" we have identified, including: Worship and Liturgy, Education, Buildings, Grounds, and Community Engagement.

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

A lovely time was had by all who attended our Spring Tea and Fashion Show last Saturday! T he event was well attended with about 90 women in attendance. Sandwiches, fabulous desserts, and tea was on the menu. The entertainment was a fashion show of dresses that Katie Cootsona had created over the past year. Katie Cootsona is an inspiration to all, creating such lovely outfits that were worn by our beautiful models!  We raised over $500 for the "Blast Off for Books" Campaign for St. Mark's youth who are attending the 2018 Youth Gathering in June.  If you would like to see part of the event and the fashion show, a movie is online at YouTube by following this link:

Stay tuned for the schedule for our Craft Nights.  We will make items to sell at the Bazaar in November and have a wonderful night of conversations and laughter.  If you have an idea we can create please contact Barbara Meyers at

St. Mark's Preschool

We are looking for a team of volunteers to help put up our brand new play 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 29  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.

Summer Story time begins Sunday, June 24 and runs through August 26 at the 9:45 hour. Volunteer sign up available next Sunday.

Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Schedule until the end of the year: April 26, May 3, 10, 17, and 24 Youth Choir at 6:30p.m.; May 3, 17 and 31 Youth Group 5:30 p.m.
High School graduates pick out their graduation quilts the week of April 24-29, to be received June 3 during the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Please let Ingelaurie know when you are coming to pick out your quilt. 

2018 Houston Meetings: Tuesday, May 1 5:00-6:15 p.m. (parents and youth); Sunday, May 6 12:00-1:00 p.m. (parents and youth)-this meeting is for those who can't make the meeting on the 1st.  Saturday, June 2, 3-6:30 p.m. with our Synod(youth and adult leaders); Wednesday, June 13, 5-6:30p.m. BBQ dinner (youth and adult leaders).

Thanks to Heidi Calhoun, Bruce Sadler, Zach Zimmerman and Dirk Reese for stepping up to help with the youth lock-out event last weekend and to Linda Wimberley for helping the whole 12 hours.

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 29, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Lauren Flemister, Senior Planner, City of Tacoma will be with us to discuss the City of Tacoma temporary shelter options, especially for churches, including tiny houses.

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.

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 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. 

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!