The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   March 2 , 2016 
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 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 - Tonight: Tomato Soup, Grilled Ham & Cheese Subs, Green Salad, 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 Compline Service
Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible study, and worship.  

Prayer and Potluck in Memory of Michael Trygstad
You are all invited to join us for a Holden Evening Prayer service and potluck in memory of Michael on Sunday, March 6. The prayer service, which was one of Michael's favorites, will start at 5:30pm in the sanctuary. Then, we'll gather at 6:00pm for a potluck in the Parish Commons. During the potluck, we'll enjoy pictures of Michael's life and we'll share stories and memories that are dear to us. We hope you can be with us!

If you have a potluck item that needs to be kept hot or cold, please bring it to the kitchen ahead of time.

Stewardship 103: "Growing as Stewards of God's Gifts"

In the past two weeks, Stewardship 103 has focused on the case for sustaining and growing the mission of St. Mark's with our financial commitments.  Between this week and Easter, the focus will be on our response to the case by completing Plans for Giving.  As you are reading this message, packets containing Plan for Giving materials are being prepared for mailing.  They will be in your homes very soon.  Before you read the materials and make your decisions about supporting the mission of St. Mark's financially, consider these two perspectives:
1.     Plans for Giving are as much for the giver as they are for the church.
"Give as you are able" is one of the most straightforward biblical messages about stewardship in the New Testament.  In order to respond to the invitation to "give," we need to be thoughtful and reflective about "as we are able."  One of the most helpful pieces of advice about financial stewardship is that we should think about the MISSION of every dollar we spend.  What impact does our spending have?  For whom? Are we intentional about our spending?  Growing as stewards of God's gifts is not only about Plans for Giving to St. Mark's.  Stewardship means being disciplined about the decisions we make about how and where we spend our money, which is in itself says something about how we live as God's people.  It does mean fund-raising for organizations, even the church.  When we think and pray about our Plans for Giving, we are practicing discipleship.

2.      Plans for Giving reduce anxiety about funding our mission.
Throughout 2015, our congregation has enjoyed generous support from members and friends.  We have responded well to the invitation to "fully fund our mission."  The last fiscal year ended in a positive financial potion; the first two months of 2016 have continued in that manner.  When we complete Plans for Giving, we give the people who manage our church's finances hard data on which to plan budgets.  If enough of us respond to the invitation to submit giving plans by the end of March, the Church Council can review a proposed 2016 fiscal year budget in April, and we can adopt a budget at our May 22 congregational meeting with confidence.
When you read your packet this year, you will find that you have three ways to complete a Plan for Giving: 1) use the card that comes with the packet; 2) go to the St. Mark's web site and download a card and send it in; 3) [NEW THIS YEAR] go to the web site and complete your Plan for Giving electronically.
On Sunday, March 13, the worship services will revolve around the theme "Growing as Stewards of God's Gifts."  We are asked to submit our Plans for Giving to worship that day as part of our offering.  For those who complete the Plan for Giving electronically, you will have a special pew card to submit as a sign of your participation.  If you are not able to submit your plans on March 13, take the time you need to talk and pray and decide.  Another simple biblical message: "God loves cheerful givers!"

Interfaith Bible Study series: "Finding God in the Other."
You are invited to join us for an Interfaith Bible Study this Thursday, March 3 at Temple Beth El in Tacoma at 7:00pm . During the study led by Rabbi Bruce Kadden, we will consider the conflict with the message of Ezra (and Nehemiah) telling the people to separate themselves from their foreign wives and the book of Ruth which would seem to endorse the role of foreign women in the lineage of the people.  With that in mind, participants are encouraged to read Ezra chapters 9-10 and the book of Ruth ahead of time. The next Interfaith Bible Studies will be on  April 7  at Bethany Presbyterian Church and on  May 5  at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

The Passion of the Christ and the Jews
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Christ Church Lecture Series
The Passion of the Christ and the Jews
7:00 to 8:00 PM in the Church Nave

In this presentation, Dr. Samuel Torvend will consider the historical context that shaped the writing of John's passion narrative (appointed for Good Friday), its use as a "proof text" for Christian anti-Judaism, and the need for Jews and Christians to engage in the contextual study of the Bible. This lecture is open to the public. Donations will be gladly accepted at the door. Christ Church is located in the Stadium District at 310 North K Street, Tacoma, Washington, 98403 (253) 383-1569. This presentation complements the performance of Arvo Pärt's Passio (scheduled for Sunday, March 13 at Christ Church). 

Mexico Mission Trip:
St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will take place this year from June 17-25.  If you are interested in being part of this mission team,  please return a completed interest form as soon as possible, but no later than March 15th;  there is much interest in the trip this year and space is limited.  Forms are available in the church office or on the church website (  Questions? Contact Melanie Summerour ( or Sarah Moore (253-752-0554).  The first team meeting will be held on Sunday, March 20th immediately following the third service, (12:00-1:00), in the Fireside Room. 

Easter Choir
All are invited to again be part of this year's Easter Choir, the next rehearsal is Saturday, March 12, at 10:00am . Regardless of age or experience level with choral singing, everyone is welcome and we would be excited to see you involved. If you have any questions, please email Cooper at . Come be part of the joyous fun!

Monthly Synod Newsletter

Did you know that the SWWA Synod has a monthly newsletter?  You can read it by clicking here.  The Newsletter is entitled Moments for Mission. It's purpose is to s pread the Good News of Jesus Christ by empowering congregations and church leaders to grow in worship, education, outreach, stewardship and other ministries.

New Landscape Service Provider

We are pleased to announce that Go2 Property Services has been hired as St. Mark's new landscaping provider. They are an enterprise of the local Goodwill and 90% of every dollar they make goes directly into the local job placement and job training programs provided by Goodwill. Go2's bid was very competitive and the staff is highly knowledgeable. Expect to see some hard pruning going on to get our church grounds in tip-top shape! We look forward to our new partnership with Go2.

Lenten Devotions Online
If you are looking for an online devotional resource for the season of Lent, please check out the following and subscribe for daily readings: by Luther Seminary, entitled "Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land" published by Rev. Paul Walters (son of Clare and Jan Walters); short daily reflections written by a variety of pastors, including Pastor Shjerven

St. Mark's Preschool
St. Mark's Preschool is accepting registration packets for the 2016-2017 school year. Classes are available for children ages 2.5-6 years old.  To get more information and/or a registration packet, visit the preschool's website, or contact Anne Zimmerman (253) 752-4929 M-F 8:30-2:00.
Spring Performance/Fundraiser Dinner Friday, March 4, from 5-7pm.  Preschool children will be singing and families will be enjoying an Italian dinner together in the Parish Commons.  Suggested dinner donation is $10/person.  We will also have a raffle (tickets $5 each or 5 for $20).  Please try to let Anne Zimmerman know if you plan to attend for dinner preparation purposes.  We hope to see you there!
Part-time Pre-K teacher opening.  We are looking for someone who can teach M-Th from 9am to noon.  We are sad to say good-bye to Miss Lisa, who has been teaching at the preschool fro the last four years, but we are happy that she has been hired in another field that she loves!  Please contact Anne Zimmerman with questions. 

Help Wanted
Ushers, Communion Assistants, Lectors--for all services!
 Training available.  Call or email the church office if you are interested (253-752-4966 or 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am , Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
March 6,Our guest in Adult Forum is Gerdon Jones, the Congregational Engagement Coordinator at Peace Community Center.  Come and meet Gerdon and his team, and hear what new and ongoing ministries are taking place at PCC.  Hear how St. Mark's can partner with this vibrant presence on Tacoma's Hilltop.

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
March 6, "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.   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
This 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 Café 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  The Prodigal Son.  Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade groups of  Sunday school children will be spending part of their morning this  Sunday, March 6, engaged in helping to put together DeLong school backpacks. 
Our adult backpack team will be working with the kids to assemble the food backpacks and help them learn how these impact DeLong School and our community.

3rd Grade Bibles and Milestone Marker & Blessing Event
On Palm  Sunday, March 20 Bibles will be presented during  9:45 a.m. worship to 3rd grade children.  Parents will be involved in the presentation and a milestone event will follow at  11:00 to help children explore their new Bibles. 

Sunday, March 6 Sunday AM classes 9:45
  • 5/6th grade in Teal Room Unit 4 Solomon's temple Catherine and Jack
  • 7/8th grade in Youth Room-Confession and Forgiveness with Ingelaurie
  • 9-12th grade in Fireside Room with Bruce and Carl
Breakfast Club(9-12th grade youth)-Sunday, Mar. 6 11-11:45am in the Fireside room. Breakfast provided-you bring the conversation.   

It's not too late to sign up for the 6-9th grade Servant trip to Montana July 23-30th. Info materials are on the youth board along with the trip application. Our next meeting is Wed. Feb. 24 6-7:15pm in the Youth Room for youth and adult leaders. Deadline to sign up is Wed. Feb. 24with your $100.00 deposit.
Current 4-5th graders interested in camp? C Information is available on the Youth Board. Please do your best to register by Mar. 6th to make sure you get into our July 24-29 week.
Luther 500 Tour 2017-June 19-25 . Spaces still available with our group. At the end of February the trip will be opened up outside the congregation. Trip estimate $1500.00 for a week of touring Luther heritage sites, daily worship, museum tickets and tours, 2 meals a day, and hotel lodging. Airfare is on your own-we will meet up as a group in Wittenberg. This is an intergenerational trip-but would be great opportunity for youth and parents take a closer look at history together. Deposit of $110.00 per person, plus $110.00 per room is due to Ingelaurie soon. Details and more information are available on the youth board.
Something for the Whole Family at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp!  Thrivent Memorial Day Family Work Retreat May 27-30, 2016 (dinner, Friday - lunch, Monday) FREE - thanks to Thrivent! Come when you can and stay as long as you can! Sewing, planting, painting, building, cleaning, raking and cooking are just a "few" of the fun work projects we will do! This is a great way to introduce your child to the camp with the fun of worship, campfires and much s'more! Full weekend includes 3 nights of accommodations in camp cabins, 8 meals and 4 snacks! Thank you for registering in advance! Go to Year Round Programs and Events 2016 Brochure to register. FYI...the Tacoma School District doesn't have classes on Friday, May 27. Flathead is a 10 hour drive, with time change, from Tacoma.
Seder Meal and Easter Breakfast sign-up sheets on are on the Youth board-sign up early to get a shift you want and what food you are willing to provide for the breakfast.  

Connect and Care TimeBank 

The Connect and Care TimeBank is growing!

We are on schedule to have trained 6 new members this past week.  In addition, we have received two requests for special assistance from help through the Special Time Fund! 

This is the kind of activity that we are hoping to see.  The more members, the more opportunity to give and receive assistance.  It is also a way to connect with someone new and share a needed service or interesting hobby.

Won't you consider joining, too?  Membership is $10.00 per year until  June 1.  At that time full membership will be $20.00per person or $35.00 for two in a household.


Four more trainings are available. 
  • Thursday, March 3 at 6:00pm
  • Saturday, March 5 at 10:00 am
  • Wednesday, April 6 at 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 am

Sign up sheets are in the narthex. Individual training can be arranged if these times do not work.

Contact Patty Reinkensmeyer at or call at  253 857-7977.  

Member Notes and News

Congratulations to Thomas Harris and Caroline Laubach
for being awarded the PLU President's Scholarship.   Nearly 600 qualified applicants applied for these scholarships this year and only 130 were given the award.  The prestigious Scholarship is worth $25,000 per year.  Both students has been invited to interview of the PLU Campus later this February to compete for the Harstad Founder's Scholarship or one of the five full-tuition Regents' Scholarships.  

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!