The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   April 26 , 2017 
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 Coordinator
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 Night Church Night 
5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Beef Stew, Suggested Donation: $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubilation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30pm Evensong (PC)

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

A New Faith Journey group will begin on Wednesday, April 26

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join this group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings at St. Mark's that give visitors an opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call.  It will meet from 6:00-7:20pm. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Ruud by phone at 253-752-4966 or by email at

Women of St. Mark's

Tickets will go on sale for our Spring Luncheon beginning on Sunday, April 30th after the first service and the beginning of the third service.  Mark your calendars for May 20th and join us for lunch, special music, a paper craft and lots of conversation.  Tickets are $10 per person. 
Would you like to help with the luncheon?  Sign up sheets will be available.
Questions?  Contact Barbara Meyers at  or 253-370-4251.
Gathering with Muslim Women

Muslim women from the Islamic Center of Tacoma have invited St. Mark's women to join them again for tea, Turkish coffee and other treats at the University Place Library on Monday, May 1 from 6:30- 8:30 pm.  We are eager to share more about our faiths and to learn about their experiences, especially in light of recent anti-immigrant rhetoric and activity.  The Muslim women will review what they shared last time, so please don't hesitate to join us.  Sign up in the narthex or contact Joan Nelson at 253-208-3307 or

Habitat For Humanity in Guatemala

If you are interested in travel, interesting cultural activities, and volunteering with a Habitat for Humanity trip to Guatemala in November please join us on Sunday, April 30th at 12:15.  Our team will be working in Tecp√°n, Guatemala with the Healthy Home Kits to construct smokeless stoves. Depending on the group size we may also work in home construction. We welcome your questions, and your assistance as we gather a team for St. Marks' third Central American trip November 3 - 12, 2017.  Gary and Linda Petersen

Calling All Golfers!

St. Mark's Preschool is having their first annual golf fundraising event on Saturday May 13th, and we'd love for you to join us. A $40 entry covers nine holes of golf, lunch & a beverage. You will helping to support the purchase of new playground equipment for St. Mark's Preschool and Church. There are some great prizes available too. Tickets will be sold in the Narthex on Sunday April 30th & May 7th, or you can contact Anne Zimmerman to reserve a spot: (253) 752-4929 or

March 2017 Financial Update

Fiscal year-to-date financial results through March reflect the same trend we've been seeing for many months: our income continues to fall short of the budget we approved last summer. Even though expenses also continue to run below budget, those savings are not enough to offset the shortfall in income. We now have only 2 1/2  months left in the current fiscal year (ending 6/30/17) to improve these results.
The details are as follows (as shown in the table and graph below): Income through March is below budget by more than $62,000. Expenses are below budget by almost $26,000. This means our "bottom line" income versus expense figure is now more than $36,000 below where we expected to be at this point in the year.
Our church is just completing the pledging stage of Blessing in Abundance, which has been a very successful capital campaign to reduce our mortgage (having reached our goal of $1M over 3 years, with more pledges coming in). The amazing generosity reflected in these gifts is truly a blessing! So while we're significantly behind in current fiscal year giving, we know that God indeed has a plan to work with and through our congregation.
Please take the time to review your pledge or plan for giving for the current fiscal year. If you are able to fulfill your pledge or plan in the remaining 2 1/2 months, please do so. We rest assured, of course, that blessings and grace are present no matter what the "bottom line" financials report at the end of this year.
Thank you for your continued generosity. There are so many ways that St. Mark's ministry is visible, both inside our church walls and out into our community! Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you!

One Great Song: The Book of Psalms

As we explore this year's congregational theme, "One Great Song", we turn our attention to Israel's songbook.  The Psalms are a collection of 150 songs and poems that have been sung and recited for more than 3,000 years. They are beloved by both Jews and Christians and have shaped the imagination and strengthened the faith of people.  Together we will drink from this deep well as we spend 5 weeks studying the Book of Psalms.  Note-There will be two opportunities to be part of this study:  Wednesdays at 6:15pm  or Sundays at 11:00am (beginning May 7th).  Questions?  Contact Pastor Shjerven 

St. Mark's Scholarship

St Mark's Scholarship applications for the 2017-18 academic year are available beginning today.  If you are an undergraduate student, or enrolled in a degree program at a Community or Technical College, please stop by the table outside the Church Office to pick up an application and/or ask questions.
L'Ache Plant Sale

Join us the morning of Sunday, April 30th for the Annual L'Arche Plant Sale!
Fair Trade Bazaar!

Just in time for Mother's Day!
Spring Fair Trade Bazaar
April 30 & May 7, 2017
9am - 12pm
When you buy Fair Trade, you are helping to reduce poverty, support environmentally-friendly production practices and safeguard humane working conditions for people around the world. 
Shop for beautiful handcrafts and fine food products:
Hand-woven baskets
Stylish women's accessories and jewelry
Unique home and kitchen wares
Delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and spices
And more!
Cash and check sales only.

uestions? Email Susan Newsom,

  Small Grants Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Small Grants Program from St. Mark's Endowment Fund. This Fund has grown over the years to the point where we are now able to make yearly disbursals from the annual distributions. The Small Grant Program is intended to extend the mission of our congregation beyond expenditures supported through regular offerings (e.g., to ministries and other work of the church at home and abroad). This year, proposals for small grants up to $500 will be considered by the Endowment Committee. More detailed instructions and an application form can be found on the Church website ( under the "Giving" tab (Mission Endowment section) or a hard copy may be picked up in the Church Office. The deadline for submission is April 28, 2017. Please contact Jennifer Droubay at the Church Office (253-752-4966) with any questions. Thank you!
Peace Community Center Benefit Dinner

You are cordially invited to attend the annual Peace Community Center benefit dinner, Learners to Leaders, April 29th, to be held at PLU's Olson Auditorium. Table hosts from St. Mark's this year are John and Carol Avery and Don and Barb Haueisen. Join us for an evening of good food and fellowship and an opportunity to learn more about what is happening with this Tacoma Hilltop organization providing vital support for area students. St. Mark's has had a long and rewarding history with Peace Lutheran and Peace Community Center.  As a congregation, we recently reaffirmed that relationship by allocating 5% of pledged funds in the Blessings in Abundance campaign to go to PCC.  Tickets for the dinner are available at  For those attending the dinner for the first time, please be our guest.  Let one of us know and we can take care of dinner tickets.  In either case, be a part of a St. Mark's table supporting this ministry.  Please contact one of the Haueisens at 360-329-6880 or, or one of the Averys at 253-759-6365 or with questions or to confirm you interest in attending.  

Congregational Care

St Mark's Caregiver Support Group meets the first and third Friday of each month at 10:30am in the Fireside Room.  Please talk to Pastor Shjerven or Parish Nurse Patty Reinkensmeyer if you are interested in learning more about this group.

Family Housing Begins May 6!

Many thanks to those who have already volunteered for our Family Housing host week.  We still need some help with overnight hosting on May 8 and 10. If you received volunteer paperwork when you signed up, please complete it and return it either to the church office or to the signup table. These forms need to be on file with FHN before our host week begins.
Thank you!

More Family Housing Network Needs:

Family Housing Network is in desperate need of hygiene items for  men, women, and children who access their services. Their supply of both regular and travel size items is nearly depleted.  This is a list of the types of things they normally keep on hand:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash & soap
  • Combs & brushes
  • Lotion
  • Feminine pads (maxi & mini)/tampons
  • Feminine panty liners
  • Deodorant
  • Razors/shaving cream
  • Tips
  • Mouth Wash
  • Finger nail clippers/files
  • Ear plugs
  • Shower shoes
  • Toilet paper

Donations can be brought to the FHN signup table or dropped off at the church office.
Thank you!

Cinco de Mayo Festival

In support of St. Mark's 2017 Mexico Mission trip, our annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will be held on Friday, May 5th beginning at 5:30.  Tickets will be on sale in the Narthex between services on April 9, 23 and 30 ($5 per person or $20 for a family).  Please plan to join us for a fun-filled evening that includes dinner, crafts, games and door-prizes!
Mexico Mission Trip 2017

St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will take place this year from June 23- July 1.  If you are interested in being part of this mission team, please return a completed Interest Form (available at Welcome Center) to either Melanie Summerour or Sarah Moore Sherry by March 19 th.  All team members should plan to attend the following meetings: Sunday, April 23rd at 12:15; and Tuesday, May 2nd at 6:30.  We will meet in the Youth Room.
Join us for Interfaith Encounters!

Come hear and discuss how Jews, Muslims, and Christians view Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed in each of our faith traditions. Each gathering will include presentations by Rabbi Bruce Kadden of Temple Beth El, Imam Ahmad Saleh of the Islamic Center of Tacoma, and either Pastor Sarah Wiles of Bethany Presbyterian Church or Pastor Jan Ruud of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. There will also be ample time for conversation and interaction between participants from all our faith communities.

Monday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. at the University Place Public Library:  Topic: Mohammed
3609 Market Place West, University Place


Join World Vision on May 6, 2017,  at Gas Works Park in Seattle, where your registration fee provides CLEAN WATER to 1 PERSON! You will be with  over 11,000 other runners at 740 locations around the world that are running/walking a 6K on the same day to change a life!     Visit the table in the Narthex for information and sign up at Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill, 253-732-3479.  
Vacation Bible School 2017

Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 year old (by July 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 school year). Registration opens April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information. 

St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool has begun accepting enrollment paperwork for the 2017-18 school year in February. Current preschool families and children or grandchildren of St. Mark's Church members can register beginning February 1st; registration for the surrounding community will open on February 15th. Children must be two-and-a-half by Sept 1st to enroll in the 2/3s class; age 3 by Sept 1st to enroll in the 3/4s class; or, age 4 by Sept 1st to enroll in the PreK class. Please turn in paperwork as well as a non-refundable $75.00 registration fee to Anne Zimmerman. Registration paperwork can be found online ( or in the church office. Please contact Anne with questions (253) 759-4929

Children and Youth Faith Formation

High School Servant Trip:  July 6-9 (Thursday to Sunday). Cost: $100.00 We are headed to the Columbia River for a weekend of service and leaning more about the Native American community who live on the river. See the youth board for more information and how you can sign up to go. 
Montana Servant Trip meeting!   Sunday, April 30th 12:15-1:00pm in the Youth Room. 
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering!   June 26-July 2, Houston TX. Details are on the youth board. Registration opens September 15. 
High School graduates pick out Quilts Sunday, April 30th. Graduates will be blessed on Sunday, June 11th at all 3 services. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
April 30th -  DVD: "The Life of the Apostle Paul". Rick Steves will guide us through the communities that were shaped by Paul's theology and his understanding of Christ.  Lutheran leaders Susan Briehl, Craig Koester and Wal Wangerin, Jr. will also provide DVD commentary.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
April 30th"Healing the Heart of Democracy".  We will discuss the second half of Parker Palmer's book.  Ray Shjerven will guide the conversation.
Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15pm
"One Great Song: the Book of Psalms"

Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15pm in the Fireside Room
led by Sherry Maiura.  

Women's Bible Study; 9:30 am in the Parish Commons Classroom
We are exploring God's will for us as stated in the Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer, using Greg Laurie's As It Is in Heaven, a thought-provoking book. We are ladies of varying faith experiences who share insights and questions. Please join us! For more information, contact Linda Durant, 253-363-8202

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom.  
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.

Member Notes and News

Member, Leischen Moore,  will be presenting a recital of music theatre song entitled "From Gold to Platinum" on April 28th at 7pm in the Atrium of the University Place Library.  For more information visit,

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!