The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   Aug 3 , 2016 
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.
 VBS at St. Mark's this Week!

Children ages 4 years old to 5th grade will be at St. Mark's participating in our Cave Quest Vacation Bible School Program.  We welcome all the children involved, and we thank all the adults and teens helping to make this week possible. 

Evening Prayer With Art

At our Evening Prayer service this week, which begins at 7:30pm, we will center our reflections on a beautiful piece of art that was made especially for us by an Ethiopian artist. The text and illumination that appear on this page of parchment, was made from goatskin, contains, the opening verses of the Gospel of St. Mark.

Next week, we will focus on the large triptych that is in the chancel area of the sanctuary.

School Backpacks for Children of Incarcerated Women

Thanks to all of you who contributed so generously, we have 62 backpacks full of school supplies which will be given to mothers who will then share them with their children at a special event before the beginning of the school year. Way to go!

Welcome Linda and Teresa

We are all very happy to welcome Linda McKeller and Teresa Handy to their new roles on our St. Mark's staff.  Linda began her service this week as our Office Coordinator and Receptionist and Teresa began her service as our Hospitality Coordinator.  Thanks be to God for the many gifts they will share with us in the days ahead.

Music on the Lawn, August 13th

Don't miss out on the event of the year! Tickets are now on sale for "Music on the Lawn" Taking place on August 13th at 3:00 pm at the home of Bob and Suzy Reynolds. A great event with Wonderful Music, Great food and Fellowship, and an opportunity to support our youth . Get your tickets at the table in the Narthex.
Continuing Staff Evolution...
First , a big thank you to Paul Hirschl, who has served as interim Custodial Assistant for the last seven months. He stepped up when we really needed the assistance and has been a seamless, efficient, and chill member of the St. Mark's team. Of course, Paul isn't really leaving us, but re-focusing on his sound tech skills, drumming, etc. Thanks again, Paul!
And as Paul moves on, we are excited to welcome James Irish as Custodial Assistant, beginning August 1 st. James was recommended to us by our own Becki Christian. He is the brother of Vivian Irish - who hosted our meals during the first half of this year - and has done temporary work at St. Mark's previously. James is currently studying at Clover Park Technical College to become a certified Auto Technician. He will be working closely with Teresa Handy to keep this place shining! The Custodial Assistant position is 15 hours per week. Welcome to the team, James!
Dr. Alshatti of Kuwait to speak Aug. 14th

Dr. Adnan Alshatti of Kuwait City, Kuwait, will be joining us on Sunday Aug. 14  at 9:45 to speak about a program he has developed in Lebanon to provide for the thousands of children who have lost their parents as a result of the conflict and wars in the area.  This program, which is run by a small group of doctors from surrounding countries, provides food and housing for the children.  Dr. Alshatti leads the Dept of Psychology at Kuwait University and is a practicing Muslim.  Mim Krabler and her family were his residential hosts when he was a medical student at University of Wisconsin. She is extremely proud to have him be with us to share his life experiences and his love for the children of the Middle East.

Summer Block Party
Tuesday, August 2nd 6-7pm.  We have invited our neighbors to join us for a little summer fun and to get to know each other.  Free food, drinks, music and games.  Plan to join us!

SMLC Financial Update

St. Mark's has concluded our interim, six-month fiscal period (January through June 2016) and we are actively operating under our new fiscal year (July through June). St. Mark's has typically drawn down our combined general and mortgage funds balance during the first six months of the year, because a significant portion of annual offering comes in the second six months, during the Christmas season. (This is a large part of the rationale for changing our fiscal year.) This trend of drawing down continued over the last six months, but we finished the period better than expected.
Total offerings (combined general and mortgage) were $478K, or $10.6K ahead of budget projections, while total income was $483K ($11.1K ahead of projections). Total expenses were $495K, or $7.1K less than budgeted. The net effect was a combined drawdown of $12.1K - significantly less than both the budgeted drawdown of $30.3K and the actual drawdown in the first half of 2015 of $26.7K. The general fund remains in positive territory, with a balance of $33,824.
If you would like additional details, we'd be happy to provide them. Please contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller at the church office at (253) 752-4966. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and generosity!


Thrivent  Builds Worldwide: Return to Romania

Thrivent Builds celebrated a milestone in its partnership with Habitat for Humanity when it launched a Worldwide Build in Romania in 2005.   Eleven years later, Thrivent Builds Worldwide will return to Romania, and you are invited to participate!
Visit to learn more about how to be part of the team travelling to Romania October 1st-8th, 2016.  You will find information about the costs involved, the registration process, and who to contact with questions.  (Talking to our own Tom Geary is also helpful-he has worked with Habitat in Romania many times).

Save the Date: All-Congregational Day of Service

Saturday, September 10th will be our second annual All-Congregational Day of Service.  This year we will join our friends at L'Arche to work alongside them on a project and join them for worship and a meal.  This will be an cross-generational event, and carpooling to the L'arche community in Midland will be offered.  Stay tuned for more details, but mark your calendars now!  

Women of St. Mark's

Thanks to all who were able to come to our July "Creative Nite Out". Kristi Ruud showed us how easy it is to make fabric baskets using fabric scraps and clothesline. Thank you Kristi! We also started working on wood tags for the Bazaar and Angels for the Advent Brunch. We handed out fabric and YO YO makers to all who wanted to make garlands for the Bazaar.

Our next "Creative Nite Out" is set for Friday, August 26th, 7 ­ 9 pm. Mark your calendars and come join us!

Mark your calendars for the following events: The annual Bazaar will be held on November 5th this year and the Advent Brunch will be on December 3rd. We will need lots and lots of baked goods along with all of the wonderfully creative items I know you are already making for sale at the Bazaar. We need all congregation support to make these events happen.

Look for sign­up sheets for Bazaar help and the Advent Brunch. It takes a congregation to make these events successful. Please contact Barbara Meyers at 253­756­9352 or email with questions or ideas. 

Empowering Life's Annual Rummage Sale

Empowering Life's annual Rummage Sale to support our Lutheran mission and ministry at the women's prisons will be Friday & Saturday, August 12 & 13, 8am - 4pm, at Peninsula Lutheran Church, 6509 38th Ave NW in Gig Harbor. 

Donations may be delivered to the church on Wednesday & Thursday, August 10 & 11, 10am - 7pm.  Sale will include clothes, household items, books, sports equipment, small furniture and much more.  Questions?  Call Joan Nelson @ 208-3307.

Drivers Needed

  Drivers needed to transport St. Mark's member to Sunday worship.  If you are willing to drive one Sunday per month, talk to Pastor Shjerven or Pastor Rue.
Bathroom Kits

St. Mark's will be collecting bathroom supplies for kits to be made for Tacoma refugees.  Please visit the table in the Narthex on Sunday, July 31st and August 7th to sign up and see what is needed. We will be collecting supplies Aug. 14, 21, 28.
St. Mark's to the Tacoma Rainiers

Sunday, August 7th 6:05 (Game Time) Cost: $12.50 (includes a reserved seat, hot dog, chips and bottled water). Sign up at by Sunday, July 31st. Checks/cash can be brought to the church office for payment. Fun for the Whole Family!

FHN Collecting School Supplies

Family Housing Network will be collecting school supplies for Back to School starting August 13th.  Please see the attached flyer for more information on this important service.  

Click here to view the attached flyer.
St. Mark's Lutheran Worship at WCCW

"St. Mark's Lutheran Worship" at the Washington Correction Center for Women ("Purdy") on Sunday, July 31 brought together 44 incarcerated women at the first service and 58 at the second along with Empowering Life volunteers from St. Mark's and Peninsula Lutheran in Gig Harbor.  Pastor Coe Hutchison and his "Good News Music Team" from Grace Lutheran Church in Port Townsend led wildly enthusiastic folk and gospel singing.  Pastor Hutchison's message focused on God's unconditional, steadfast love.  Communion was served and prayer requests were collected.       

Empowering Life Needs A Bookkeeper

Empowering Life, our local nonprofit  providing Lutheran mission and ministry to incarcerated women and their families, is looking for a volunteer bookkeeper.  For more information, please contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. 

Evening Prayer with Sacred Art

Wednesdays, July 6-August 24 at 7:30pm
Each week we will gather near one of the beautiful pieces of art found in our church building.  We will sing and pray and hear scripture readings that connect us to the work of art and to God's Spirit moving among us.  Our 25 minute worship service will be followed by dessert and conversation. 
If you plan to attend and would like nursery care for your child, please let Ingelaurie Lisher know by the Sunday
"Small Bites" Text Study

Wednesdays, July 6-August 24 6:30-7:30pm in the Fireside Room.
We will gather around savory bites of food to read and discuss the scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday.  Pastors will offer insights they have had while studying the texts for preaching.  Those gathered will be invited to share their own insights, or are free to silently soak up the group wisdom.  All are welcome!
If you plan to attend and would like nursery care for your child, please let Ingelaurie Lisher know by the Sunday prior-
Summer Music Camp Registration

St. Mark's Summer Music Camp, featuring Zimbabwe marimba and percussion specialist Jeff Brahe, will be held this August during the week of Monday, August 22nd through Friday, August 26th. Sessions will be divided by morning and afternoon classes as follows:
  • 9-Noon - Elementary camp (for children entering grades 2-5 next Fall)
  • 1-4pm - Youth camp (for children entering grades 6-12 next Fall)
  We cannot at this time offer participation for those outside of these age groups.
Each camp is limited to 20 children (20 in the morning, 20 in the afternoon) on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration forms are available in the church office and will involve paying the $50.00 registration fee (scholarships are available.)
A number of adult volunteers are needed to assist with running the camp each day. Please contact Cooper Sherry if you are available, or with any questions at

Care of Creation: Summer Day Hike Fri, August 5

We are approaching the date of our last COC hike this summer--August 5.  We have had two nice hikes thus far this year:  Summit Lake in the Clearwater Wilderness and a  hike up and around Sunrise (Mt. Rainier) on July 15.  On August 5 we are planning a trip to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.  We will arrive/leave the church parking lot at 8 a.m. Friday August 5.
People will be able to hike on and around Hurricane Ridge on paths and trails that meet their interests and capacity.  You will need lunch, water, sunglasses, sun cream, first aid, good shoes etc, money for gas.  We will not go in inclement weather (meaning rain).  Please let me know by August 2  if you plan to go so we can determine a headcount and carpools; please indicate if you are willing to be a driver on this one.  Thanks so much for your interest and support of this activity .
  Please take a look at this link below.  I think it will serve as a good hike for the majority of those who decide to go on the trip.  There are other hikes out of Hurricane Ridge that we can discuss as well. Some may just want to luxuriate around the visitor center and take in the views and the wildflowers.

Please contact Tom Hulst if you have any other questions, 253-460-2683.

Take Them A Meal Volunteer Recruitment

Take Them A Meal: Continuing a long church tradition of providing food to support members who are ill or having a life difficulty, St. Mark's  is compiling  a list of members who would like to be potential meal providers. Potential meal providers would be notified by e-mail of meal requests.  Please call or  e-mail Janet Duris if  you would like to be a potential meal provider or if you would like additional information.  (Telephone: (253)582-4991 / e-mail: )

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.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Classes are on hiatus for the summer, please join us again in the fall!

Children and Youth Faith Formation             
VBS 2016 is ½ way through!   We have 86 students registered. 23 crew leaders and 18 station leaders and assistants. 

Tacoma Rainiers-Sunday, Aug. 7th  6:05pm (game time). Contact Ingelaurie if you haven't signed up yet or still need to purchase your ticket. 

Music on the Lawn-Annual Fundraiser!  Saturday, August 13 3pm at Suzy and Bob Reynold's home in Gig Harbor. Youth and adults are invited to help out Fri. Aug. 12th with set up and/or Sat. Aug. 13. Please contact Jean Steingrebe to find out how you can help out and earn $$ for a future trip with the church. 

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