The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    October  14 , 2015 
Grace Notes: 
Prayer Around the Cross
Are your days busy from beginning to end? If so, you know what it is like to crave stillness and a place set apart where you can be just BE. Are you carrying heavy burdens within you? If so, you know what it is like to long for a time when you can set them down and perhaps even have them removed. Are you in need of healing in body, mind, or spirit? Are you concerned for the well-being of a loved one? If so, you know something about your need for the healing touch that only God can bring. Is your heart full of gratitude for God's daily gifts of grace, and are you in need of ways to express this openly and freely? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", then you will find a special blessing in our weekly Prayer Around the Cross  worship service. We gather by candlelight at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings in the Parish Commons and we would love to have you join us! The service lasts for about 20-25 minutes, but it always leaves me feeling like I have had a long time with God for spiritual renewal! Here is what you can expect if are able to join us each week:
To Continue Reading Click Here.
Sunday Worship Times      
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 
5:15pm Dinner is served 
Chef's Surprise,   Sug. donation $5/person
5:30pm Joyful Noise 
6:00pm Jubilation Choir  
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15pm Holy Moly! 
6:15pm Faith Journey
6:15pm Midweek Renewal
7:30pm Prayer Service

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years old while parents attend meetings, Bible study, and worship.

St. Mark's Reformation Festival

Join us for a Reformation Festival on October 25th at 2pm. Come hear great music from our own St. Mark's singers and instrumentalists and learn more about the history of the Reformation movement that changed the lives of people across the globe. The program featuring music, readings, and art will be followed by a reception in the Parish Commons. This is a great way to celebrate our Lutheran heritage and continue in the spirit of the Reformation in our own time and place!

Learn About Opportunities for Young Adults in Global Mission

A recruiter from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Young Adults in Global Mission program (YAGM) named Luke Hanson is visiting our congregation this coming  Sunday, October 18, and he will host an information session and conversation at  9:45 am in the Library.  The YAGM program sends young adults (ages 21-29) to various countries for one year of mission service in partnership with the ELCA's global companion churches.  Meet Luke to learn more about the program and other ELCA global mission programs, about the ELCA's theology of mission, and about his time in Rwanda last year. In the meantime, here's a short YouTube video you can watch:    We hope to see you  on Sunday!!

Islam in America

Monday, October 19, 7pm-- "Islam in America" -- Dr. Seth Dowland, PLU historian of American religions, will explore the emergence and diversity of Islam in the U.S. and the challenges Muslims continue to face. The presentation will be at Christ Church Episcopal, 310 N. K St in Tacoma and is free and open to the public. 

Stewardship 102: Why Electronic Giving?

St. Mark's will soon offer electronic giving as a way to automate our regular weekly offering. As part of our research on electronic giving, members of the Stewardship Ministry Team and the Church Council spoke with staff members at some congregations and reviewed a number of websites from others.  We learned that electronic giving is popular for the convenience it offers for individual congregation members and for the donation consistency it provides for congregations. 
When our system goes live in early November, those of us who wish to do so can create a secure profile on our website to automatically transfer funds from checking or savings accounts to the church's bank account.  We can also make offerings automatically on a pre-determined schedule using a debit or credit card.  We will be able to make one-time gifts or view our giving history on our profile page.
This expansion of online giving is NOT an attempt to replace offering envelopes or offering plates.  It is certainly NOT an incentive to increase credit card debt as a means to fund our ministries.  It IS, however, a recognition that many of us are reducing or never using checkbooks and that the discipline of setting up recurring online contributions helps us grow as stewards of one of the primary gifts God provides, our financial resources.   You may remember a time when parents or grandparents placed cash in church envelopes on payday to practice "first fruits giving" for God's work in the world.  Online giving is a contemporary version of the same practice.   More information coming in next week's Bridge.

Family Housing Network

Family Housing Network will be at St. Mark's from October 17th-23rd.   Thanks to all who have volunteered. 

Hunger Walk

Last Sunday, over 38 people participated in the annual Associated Ministries' Pierce County Hunger Walk, in memory of   Pastor John Reitan's.  St Mark's has participated in fundraising and walking for many  y ears, led by the energy and inspiration of John Reitan. Update: All in all we raised $1,450 for Hunger!

Adult Faith Formation

9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
October 18th,  The Adult Forum provides opportunities to reflect on Christian faith in light of current events and the daily decisions we need to make. Topics vary, leadership is shared, and the conversation is lively. 
11:00am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
October 18th, The Letters to the  Hebrews
will be the epistle text in worship throughout the Fall. Join Pastor Shjerven and Mary Jo Larsen for a 6-week exploration of this New Testament book. 

Preschool Parent Bible Study, Wednesdays, 9:15am,  October 7th-November 11th, Parish Commons
Parents of young ones come together for a six week study of Jesus' parables (your child does not have to attend St. Mark's Preschool for you to attend--all are welcome!) Childcare is provided in the nursery.  

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
This fall we will be discussing the book of Esther--about how God used her characteristics and traits to secure her peoples' survival. All are welcome! Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Ladies' Bible Study, Wednesdays, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We bring a variety of maturity and experience in our faith journeys to this Bible Study, which enriches us all! Join us as we finish our study of Spiritual Fruits and then begin a new one yet to be chose. If you have questions, please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
Gather for lunch and for  conversation and study around the text that will be heard in worship the following Sunday.  Conversation will be guided by the pastor who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.   

Midweek Renewal, Wednesday, 6:15pm, Fireside Room
New Series: Forgiveness-- What is it? How does it happen? Why is it so hard? Come for honest discussion and study led by Pastor Shjerven. 

Third Thursday "Theology on Tap" -
for young adults meets at Wingman Brewery, 7:30pm on the Third Thursday of each month.  Contact Pastor Jan Ruud,

Café Group
A new women's group is being formed especially for younger women.  The group will meet in the Fireside Room from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 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.  Please join us  November 6 .You can check out the magazine at .  For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at .       
Children and Youth Faith Formation

T his week's Spark Notes is A Rich Man's Questions
Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to 
supplement Sunday School lessons.

Christmas Children's Musical! It is that exciting time of year again when we will begin to gear up for our annual Christmas Children's Musical here at St. Marks. Amy Wigstrom will be our director, and we are so lucky to have her! We will be casting at the beginning of Sunday School for the next two weeks, October 18th and 25th. Please see the attached form, and bring it with you if you on Sunday to give to Amy in Sunday School. Talk to your children about the show, and let them know it is going to be a lot of fun.

It's that time of year to get your 2016 Entertainment book.  Order yours today through the church office for only $25.00. Books will arrive mid-October.
Coming up...
3rd year Confirmation info: 9th graders will meetThursday Evenings until October 22 from 5:30-6:30pm with Pastors Ruud and Shjerven in the Parish Commons Classroom. Youth Faith Companions will also meet with the group.
Sunday Mornings-5-12th grade youth note room changes!
  • 3 years old to 4th grade-Children's Faith Center (lower level by elevator)
  • 5/6th grade-Pastor Ruud's office
  • 7/8th grade-Fireside Room(upstairs above youth room)
  • 9-12th grade-Parish Commons Class RM #2
JR ALYVE Youth Group (6-8th grades) meets Nov. 5 and 19(1st and 3rd Thurs.) from  5:30-6:30pm for fun and games in the Parish Commons.  
Youth Choir (6-12th grades) meets from 6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex with Cooper.   
Let Justice Roll-a Justice Advocacy and awareness event for High School Youth grades 9-12 Saturday, November 7th.   We will be working with salmon habitat restoration alongside the Tulalip people as one of our creation-care experiences. Trinity Lutheran College in Everett. 7:30am-7pm Cost: $25.00 per person. Sign up by October 18th if you plan on attending. We need 2 parents to attend and help out with this event.
Rise Up Together Tour! Featuring Agape and Rachel Kurtz. For 9-12th graders Sunday November 15th 1-7pm at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett. Cost: $10.00 per person (includes concert and dinner on the way home). Sign up by Nov. 1 if you plan on attending. 

News from our Southwestern Washington Synod

As a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), St. Mark's is linked with over ten thousand congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and ninety congregations right here in our Southwestern Washington Synod. You can learn about the activities of sister congregations in Washington and read a message from the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA by clicking on this link to the SWWA Synod's online newsletter:
Reformation Hymnfest

"Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Tacoma, will host and celebrate its 25th  Silver Anniversary Reformation Sunday Hymn Festival on Sunday, October 25, 2015, beginning at 3:00 p.m.  Once again the program will feature congregational singing, and a variety of musical performances by guest choirs and musicians.

Hymn commentaries and congregational singing of favorite Reformation and other well-known Christian hymns will provide much opportunity for mass participation and praise.  The congregation invites all Tacoma area Christians to join us as we remember and celebrate the Protestant Reformation through both traditional and contemporary Christian music.

A reception with refreshments will follow the program in the church's Goldenman Social Hall.

We hope many will join us as we celebrate the Protestant Reformation and 25 consecutive years of ecumenical gathering to sing and enjoy the music of the Christian Church past and present.  The church is located at 3315 S 19th St., Tacoma, WA 98405, across from the Allenmore Medical Center.

For more information, directions, or questions, please contact the church office at (253) 383-5515, or e-mail us at:  Thank you for your gracious help in publicizing our upcoming Reformation Hymn Festival!"

LWR School Kits Building 

The JR ALYVE group will be building 100 School Kits for LWR on Thursday, October 15 at 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's ! If you would like to help prepare materials and pack, please join us at  5:00 p.m.   We are excited to have the Youth participate in this project that supports the theme  God's Work, Our Hands.  We will pack as many kits as we have supplies for, greatest need is for  sharpeners, blue/black ink pens and spiral bound notebooks . Please drop off supplies in the box in the Narthex through  October 13 . Thank you for your generosity to give a child the chance to learn and the chance to reach their full potential!   Urgent Needs to pack 100 kits include; spiral bound notebooks (93), sharpeners (4), blue/black ink pens (46).  Please contact Catherine Terrill with any questions at  253-732-3479 .

The St. Mark's Quilters are busy at work again creating warm gifts of love to be sent around the world and locally to people in need of comfort. During the month of October we will be celebrating the many hands that have worked hard over the years in this ministry.

We continue to meet  Monday mornings from  9:00 - 12:00 with coffee time at 10:30. Please feel free to join us or stop by for coffee and fellowship. We would love help with the following tasks: cutting and tearing fabric for quilt tops, sewing quilt tops at home or seeing tops when we meet, and most importantly someone to do some ironing.

Join us in celebrating the hours of work at home by Paul Baughman. He completed his 1,000th quilt top in September. His dedication and beautiful work is a blessing to many. Thank you, Paul!

Lutheran World Relief quilts and kits will be shipped later this month. Please consider donating to cover the cost of shipping. $5 will cover the cost to shipping either 2 quilts or 1-1/2 school, baby or personal care kits.

DeLong Weekend Backpacks
Please check the table in the Narthex each week to see how you can help with our DeLong Backpack program. We are trying to fill 60 backpacks each week and can use more donations. Thank you for helping feed those in need.

Women's of St. Mark's Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar Sign-ups beginning Sunday, October 11

Look for our display and sign-up to help and/or donate handmade items,collectables, bakery, and/or used books.  Handmade items:  Price your items if you like.  We have price  tags available at our display table.  Bakery:  All bakery items accepted, cookies, breaks, cakes, pies etc.  Plastic clam shells for bakery available at our display table.  Collectables:  Bring in dishes, figurines, linens, framed art, Christmas decor, a nd antiques of all kinds.  Let us know if you have a price in mind.  Used Books:  All titles, adult and children.  Hardback and paperback.

Sign-up for lefse making.
Wednesday, November 4 - 6PM : preparing the potatoes.
Thursday, November 5 - 9AM: Lefse making, rolling, baking, and packaging. We will be boiling 100 pounds of potatoes and need your help.  There is a need for many hands to cool and package the lefse, so sign-up even though you do not make lefse.  Questions: Carol Paulson (252) 564-6838

Bazaar Set-iup: Friday, November 6 - 9AM
Please have all donations at the Church.  Bakery may come in on Friday
or Saturday AM.  We will be busy setting up displays  Lunch will be served.

Saturday: BAZAAR DAY!
Sign-up to help in the kitchen or Parish Commons.  Bazaar opens
at 9AM.  Plan to come and shop early for the best selection.

Bazaar Cafe:
We begin the day with Swedish pancakes with lingonberries at 9 AM.  Lunch menu includes, yellow pea soup, turkey noodle soup, bratwurst, and homemade pie. (we need homemade pies)  We are adding homemade Swedish meatballs to our menu.  Help in the kitchen or come and enjoy our delicious homemade food.

We will display any remaining items on Sunday morning, November 8. At 12 noon we will need help packing away after another successful Bazaar!

Remember: One half of our profits go out-of-house.
                    In house profits always support our quilters and
                    our Church kitchen.

A meeting will be held two weeks after the Bazaar,  Wednesday, November 18 - 6PM   Church Library,  to distribute funds.

Women of St. Mark's

Craft Night - Friday, October 30 - 6:00 PM

This will be our last craft night for the year.  We will be competing bazaar
projects as well as pricing Bazaar items.  Join us for lively conversation
and light refreshments.

Interfaith Bible Study

You're invited to join an Interfaith Bible Study with members of Temple Beth El, Bethany Presbyterian Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and our own St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. The topic of our study this Fall is: "Finding God in the Other."  We'll explore Bible stories that teach us to see God in those who are different from us. From Hagar the Egyptian slave to Cyrus the Persian conquerer, we'll explore how God works in and through those whom God chooses, whether we like it or not. Please mark these dates on your calendar and plan to join us for this engaging series that will be led by the clergy of each congregation:
Nov. 5, 7:00pm at Temple Beth El, led by Pastor Sarah Wiles
Dec. 3, 7:00pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, led by Pastor Jan Ruud

To receive the Bible readings and discussion questions ahead of time, add your name to the sign-up sheet in the narthex or contact Pastor Ruud at:

Tutors Needed

Peace Community Center(Hilltop Scholars) is in need of computer science and calculus tutors. If you are able to help please contact Bruce Sadler at

Job Opening at Creator Lutheran

Creator Lutheran in Bonney Lake is hiring for a Office Minsitry Coordinator. 

New Opportunities for the Connect and Care TimeBank

The Connect and Care Timebank is a unique way to share skills and talents with each other.  It also is a way to get to know someone in our congregation in a special way. Here is a story from Sharon Bonea on her recent experience.

"I needed help getting a program to work on my computer.  I looked on Time Bank and sure enough there was a computer expert offering that help.  We set a time to meet  and within an hour, the problem was solved.  The expert was competent and patient with my "Why did you do thats?" and "Wait! Let me write that downs!"   What a great way to get good, reliable help!"

Upcoming Events:
We will be offering a help session and social for CCTB members at 10:00 on Novemb er 7 in th e Upper Fireside Room. Members can come with questions and share experiences.

Our next TRAINING will also be on November 7 at 10:00 in th e Youth Room. Please contact Patty Reinkensmeyer to register.  253-857-7977 .

Member Notes and News
Baptized at the 9:45 service on Sunday, Kelsey Ann Pero, daughter of Troy and Julie Pero.  Kelsey was born July 4, 2015. Her sponsors are Kati Pero and Chris Paulson.
Long time member, Frank Hruza, died Sunday, October 4 at the age of 85. Frank had been an active member of St. Mark's since 1973.  A memorial service will be held on October 24 at 2pm. 
We also learned of the recent death of Virginia Armstrong.  Virginia had been a member of St. Mark's for many years.  She was 86 years old. 

Benevolence Thank You
Dear Brothers and Sisters,  Thanks you so much for your September 2015 gift of $179, given in support of Living Stones Prison Congregation.  Other than intangible religious benefits, no goods or services were given in consideration of this donation.  

Your financial gift supports Living Stones in proclaiming the gospel through weekly Bible study and words of faith and forgiveness known in relationship with Pastor Norm Arnold who engages in the day-to-day life of the Washington State Correctional Facility in Shelton.  Outside the prison environment, Pastor Norm's work with volunteers empowers congregations to develop mentoring relationship with former inmates during re-entry into society.  Because of the relationship with Living Stones, congregations throughout the synod support the prison congregation with regular prayer, financial offerings, visits to Saturday night worship and occasional projects such as providing games that inmates can give their children and families for Christmas.  

Psalm 146 proclaims, "The Lord sets the prisoners free." In ways big and small, your financial support brings this passage to light to men who have lived with judgement. 

More than any other congregation in the Southwestern Washington Synod, Living Stones Prison Congregation relies solely on the generous contributions of congregations and individuals.  Your generosity makes it possible for Living Stones to support a pastor who is ever present resource for prison inmates, employees and visitors.  

On behalf of Living Stones Prison Congregation, thank you for your partnership in the gospel.  

Jim Shanafelt, Outside Prison Board. 

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!