The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 February 6 , 2019 
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
Click Here
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: Dijon chicken, rice, green 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
7:30-8:00 p.m. Evensong

Be Careful on Sidewalks and in Parking Lots!

The main sidewalks in front of the church have been shoveled. The parking lots still have many icy spots. The lower parking lot is much less icy. Please proceed with caution.

Is There Room to Grow in Your Giving?

Over the last two weeks, we have all heard the message that our gifts to the General Mission Fund at St. Mark's are more than $50,000 below the amount we budgeted for the first half of this fiscal year. Now, it is time to act in hopeful ways! Some of us may need to get caught up on our pledges, but all of us can ask: "Is there any room to grow in my giving?" Even a small monthly increase by a large number of people would make a significant difference! As promised, we will report our progress weekly in the Sunday bulletins and The Bridge. Our goal is to gain and then sustain our giving so that we can fully support all the vibrant ministries of our congregation. Thanks for your partnership in this endeavor!

Mexico 2019 Mission Trip Information/Interest Meeting

This Sunday, February 10, at both 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in the  Parish Commons classroom #2,  we will host a Mexico 2019 Mission Trip Information/ Interest Meeting. This meeting is for those who would like to learn about the annual house-building trip members of St. Mark's make each year to Tijuana, Mexico.  Dates for this year's trip are June 21 - 29.

St. Mark's Preschool Registration for 2019-2020

St. Mark's Preschool registration for the 2019-2020 school year is now open for SMLC members and preschool families. Registration for everyone will open on February 15. All registration information can be found at . Please contact Katie Jones with any questions at  or 253.752.4929.

Check Out Our Newly Designed Website

Thanks to Alec Olschner and several of his classmates from the University of Washington, we now have a new St. Mark's website which is easier to navigate and much more attractive to all who want to learn about our congregation. It is still a work-in-progress, but you can check it out by going to:

Annual Peace Community Center Benefit Dinner

The annual Peace Community Center benefit dinner, Learners to Leaders, will be held this year at the Tacoma Convention Center on
Friday, March 1, beginning at 5:30 p.m. John and Carol Avery and Don and Barb Haueisen will again be St. Mark's table hosts. 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 many local disadvantaged students. 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 253-222-2175 or, or one of the Averys at 253-759-6365 or with questions or to confirm your interest in attending.  

Lenten Walk to Jerusalem

Join us for a virtual trek to Jerusalem during Lent. This year we plan to travel west to reach our destination.  Each week you are asked to report in miles of exercise (walking, running, biking, etc.). Distance traveled and highlights of rest stops will be reported in The Bridge. Please stop by our table in the church hall after worship to sign up and receive your copy of "Walking to the Cross, a Lenten Devotional."

Troubled Waters or River of Life?  Christian worship and care for Earth's waters

Saturday, February 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 310 N. K Street, Tacoma

In this conference we explore water-the one thing upon which all of life depends-and Christian commitments to care for our local waters in Western Washington: an ethic of care flowing from Christian worship. Speakers include Benjamin Stewart, Todd Hay, and Samuel Torvend, in addition to Priest Janet Campbell and Musician Kathryn Nichols (Christ Episcopal).
Cost: $30.00, which includes morning refreshments, a vegetarian lunch, and all conference materials.  Register online at  BEFORE FEBRUARY 11.

Memorial Committee Notes

The following requests  were made and approved by the Memorial Committee on January 16.

1. Original art  by He Ai and framing costs. This piece was displayed at the congregational  meeting on January 27 and depicts our 2019 theme "Companions on the Way."  Five other  framed pictures by He Ai are also displayed near the elevator.
2. Two bench box chairs and four cushions for the youth courtyard.
3. Funds to assemble a portable supply box for retreats and Vespers.
4. Monies to purchase plants and flowers to beautify the entrance and areas around St. Mark's.

May 15 is the next scheduled meeting of the Memorial Committee.

Women's Tea and Conversation 

It is time to register for the next Women's Tea and Conversation, to be held on  Monday, February 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the UP Library. Click here to register. Contact Diane Herforth (253.223.8594) for more information or to arrange carpooling.

Third Quarter

Those in the third quarter of life, ages 50-75ish, are invited to share hope, laughter, and love through active events.

Friday, February 15, at 6:00 p.m. we will meet in the Parish Commons for a potluck and panel discussion about the joys and challenges of living in the third quarter of life. Please bring some food to share.

Thursday, March 21, at 6:00 p.m. we will meet in the Pacific Ave lobby of the Tacoma Art Museum for free museums night. You are also welcome to join those who can come to Zeek's Pizza on Pacific for Happy Hour at 4:45 p.m. ($3 off pizza; $3 off some beers; $1 off wine).

New Scout Troop Forming!

A new Scout troop is forming for girls, ages 10-17.  We will meet at St. Mark's in the youth room every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. We are a fun, active, inclusive group looking for individuals interested in adventure, camping, and leadership. We will also be one of the first troops in the state to welcome females and provide them with a path to Eagle Scout. For more information, please contact Jeni Keister, 253-579-7710 or Ingelaurie Lisher also has additional information.

Grief Support Group

There will be a Grief Support Group meeting in the Fireside room on Friday, March 8, from 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Women of St. Mark's

We met to distribute the Annual Bazaar funds on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. 

We raised $11,127 at the Bazaar and had expenses of $1,081, leaving a balance of a little over $10,000 to spread out to our mission partners.  Thanks again to all of you who contributed in some way to our Bazaar.  

$2100 for Kitchen needs, including new tables, table cloths and other items.
$2000 for the School Backpack program
$1800 for new wooden shutters in the Parish Commons Classroom
$1200 for Youth Service Trips (Transportation)
$1000 for Youth Marimba Ministry
$  500 for Quilting Batting Supplies
$  500 to our Synod Local Conference
$  400 for the Women's Retreat
$10000 Distributed

Upcoming Olympia Advocacy Days

The Peace and Justice Committee continues to emphasize the importance of advocacy to do justice. Legislators agree that it's valuable to hear from voters because:
  • they want to hear stories of impact (current or proposed laws' positive or negative impacts); 
  • they rely on well-researched information from advocacy organizations with strong track records; 
  • and they want to understand the potential consequences of proposed legislation directly from impacted people and their advocates. 
This year there are several Advocacy Days in Olympia for you to consider. An Advocacy Day generally consists of a gathering time, with workshops about how to speak with legislators and what legislation to emphasize. Next is usually time with other attendees from your legislative district to agree on who will speak when about what. Then there is a rally on the Capitol steps followed by a box lunch. In the afternoon you meet with your two representatives and one senator; this time is already scheduled through the sponsoring organization. Most days conclude with a closing time to share stories and be thankful. All of the Advocacy Days listed below attempt to be bipartisan and focus on what's best for all Washingtonians. Please use the links to find the details and sign up for one or more today! 

February 14:  Interfaith Advocacy Day sponsored by Faith Action Network  *
Online registration found at Faith Action Network website. Cost is $15 ($20 at the door), which includes a boxed lunch. If you would like to ride in the Church Van, email Pastor Rebecca at We will leave St. Mark's at 8 a.m.  

If traveling to Olympia is not for you, please call or write to your legislators using the information provided on the websites above. Speak up: your moral voice matters.

Chase the Chill

The temperatures are falling and the seasons are changing which means it's time for us to Chase the Chill   again this year. All knitters and crocheters are invited to create warm hats and scarves to be donated to shelters in Tacoma and to distribute to those who are living outdoors. Yarn has been donated for this project and is free to anyone who would like to make a hat or scarf to contribute. Please stop by the church office to pick up yarn or to pick up a Ziploc bag filled with a hat and scarf to keep in your car to give to anyone you see on the streets who might need some warmth. You could add other things to the bag that you think might be useful to someone, i.e. a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small gift card to McDonald's for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, whatever you choose. For more information talk with Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller .

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Sunday morning classes for children and youth take place at 9:45 a.m. February 10: 5/6th grade meets in the Teal Room; 7/8th grade Confirmation meets in the Youth Room; 9-12th grade in Fireside Room. 

Thursday Nights for youth at St. Mark's (6-12th gr.): February 7: Youth Group 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 10: High School Students! Come to  The Well 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Meade's home. A time for highs and lows and reconnecting with friends and God. See postcard for address.
It's not too late to sign up...
Middle School Service Learning Trip: W e are headed back to Rocky Boy in Box Elder MT for current 6-8th graders, June 28-July 6, 2019. See the youth board for registration/applications and more info about the trip. High School and Adult leaders-see youth board to sign up to volunteer for the week. Check them out at
High School Service Learning Trip (current 9-12th grade youth):  July 14-21, Shoshone Idaho, near the Idaho Panhandle Mountains. Info on the youth board. If you know you are going please let me know soon, so we can reserve you a spot. Check them out at:

Adult Faith Formation

2019 St. Mark's Reads:  This year our congregational read will be Anne Lamott's Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. Books are available to purchase in the Narthex as supplies are available ($14). They are also available at

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
Adult Forum 9:45 a.m.:  Parish Commons Classroom #2  (West) "Companions on the Way':  Associated Ministries Executive Director Mike Yoder will be our guest today. Come hear about what AM is doing to build a strong community, in partnership with faith communities. Bring your questions and concerns!

11:00 a.m. Crossways Bible Study

Wednesday Adult Faith Formation
Morning Bible Study:  The 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning Bible study meets in the Parish Commons #1 Classroom. We begin gathering at about 9:15 for coffee and visiting. Newcomers are welcome and would best arrive at 9:15. We are people with varying faith and Bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights. We are studying the book of Romans. For more information, contact Linda Durant at 253-363-8202 or

Noon Text Study Luncheon, Parish Commons Classroom: Come for this lively discussion of the texts for the upcoming Sunday, hosted by the preacher.

Wednesday Midweek Renewal, 6:15 p.m., PCC: 
In honor of Black History month will be watching the new Martin Doblmeier documentary film, Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story. Thurman was a 20th century thought-leader with enormous influence on the Civil Rights movement. Learn about his life from Civil Rights greats such as John Lewis and Rev. Jesse Jackson.  

Lydia Circle: Meets first Tuesday of the month at noon. Bring your own lunch. We use the Lutheran Women's  Gather magazine. We welcome NEW members! Come join us.

Fully Alive Bible Study, Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Our topic is Women of the Bible, The Beautiful and The Ugly. Please join us. 

St. Valentine's Celebration: 
Saturday, February 9, 6:00 - 8:00  p.m.  at St. Mark's   

Elegant desserts , a  silent auction , a marimba concert, and an opportunity to learn more about how we at St. Mark's are  helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman (Purdy) and Mission Creek Correction Center for Women in Belfair...and their families. 

Jekesa Marimba  Band

 $15.00 - suggested donation. Auction item donations are appreciated.
Make your reservation at the table in the narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 180 3, Gig H arbor, WA 98335 with the number in your party.

Witnessing to God's Grace by Working with Incarcerated Women and their Families

Lutheran Community Services Northwest Fundraising Luncheon:  Real People. Real Solutions.

Sunday, March 3, 12:30-3:30 p.m., STAR Center, 3878 S 66thSt., Tacoma

Join the St. Mark's table for food, philanthropy, and fun!  Sign up at the table in the narthex before February 17, or talk to Pastor Shjerven. There is no cost, but there will be a chance to donate.

Speak Up: Moral Voices

The Peace and Justice Committee at St. Mark's suggests we all consider using our moral voices to advocate for justice in the following areas: food, housing, creation, and immigration.

Please see the short video and read the story in this link about the first solar-powered town in America. While it is a warm and sunny part of the country, much can be learned from this innovative effort by Bobcat Ranch, Florida, to achieve sustainability.

Pierce County Family Caregiving Film Series

August: Osage County is the next film in the family caregiving series offered by Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. The 2014 movie stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in powerful performances as an acid-tongued cancer patient and her stressed-out daughter. In the film, caregivers will recognize the challenges of balancing caregiving roles among family members and the spectrum of emotions faced as caregiving becomes a necessity.  Memories, old hurts, and raw emotions surface to pull families apart even as caregiving needs continue to increase.  The film is recommended as one of the top five caregiving films by The film is Rated R for very strong language, sexual references and drug use.   August: Osage County  will show on Saturday, March 9.  Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the film begins at 10:45 a.m. at the Grand Cinema, 606 Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma.  Complimentary popcorn will be provided by Advanced Home Care. Free tickets must be obtained in advance at  (Click on News & Events) or by calling the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 253-798-4600.

Memorial Service for Richard Moe

A Memorial Service for Richard Moe will take place on Saturday, February 9, at 2 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University.  All are welcome to join in celebrating Dick's life!

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!