The Bridge
The Weekly Newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 April 17 , 2019 
Sunday Worship      
8:30 a.m. Blended
9:45 a.m. Contemporary
11:00 a.m. Traditional
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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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You Are Invited To Join Us For Worship During Holy Week

Maundy Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.  Worship Service with Holy Communion.  This is the night that Jesus shared the Passover meal in a way that included all people-even those who sought to harm him, and gave them a commandment to love one another. We find our place at the table with every other person who has fallen into the gracious arms of a loving and forgiving God. 

Good Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.  Worship Service with the Seven Last Words of Jesus.  Sacred art and special music will accompany each part  of the story on this night when we gather to hear the proclamation of the passion, to pray for the life of the world, and to meditate on the life-giving cross.

Easter Eve, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.  Easter Vigil Worship Service
We begin outside with the lighting of a "new fire" from which the Paschal Candle is lit, then process into the Parish Commons for the hearing of three great salvation stories from the Bible. After the stories, we process into the sanctuary to welcome new members into our congregation through the rites of Baptism and Affirmation of Baptism. At the conclusion of the service we will gather again in the Parish Commons for an Easter party.

Easter Day, April 21 at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.  Festival Worship with Holy Communion.  Come sing, pray, hear God's Word with us, and enjoy the music of an intergenerational mass choir. 
You are also invited to the annual Easter Breakfast sponsored by the youth of St. Mark's from 8:00-11:00 a.m. Please note the special worship times for this day, which are different from the normal Sunday schedule.

**There are no regularly scheduled Wednesday night activites tonight, April 17.

Easter Breakfast

Sunday, April 21, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.  (food served) in the Parish Commons. Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth. Breakfast meats, fruit, baked goods, and more. Minimum donation request: $5.00 per person. Thanks to a Thrivent Action team grant we are able to keep the cost down.

Pastor Ruud Will Be on Pilgrimage in Scotland From April 22-May 6 

He will begin by walking the John Muir Way to Dunbar, which is Muir's birthplace. Two of the books he read in preparation for this are  The Wisdom of John Muir  by Anne Rowthorne and  A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir  by Donald Worster. He will then go to the island of Iona for a spiritual retreat led by John Phillip Newell. Some of the books by Newell that Pastor Ruud read in preparation for this adventure are:  Listening for the Heartbeat of God Christ of the Celts T he Rebirthing of God , and  A New Harmony: The Spirit, the Earth, and the Human Soul.

Weekly Giving Update

Our goal for each of the next three months (through the end of this fiscal year) is to exceed our budget for offering, so that our General Ministry Fund can recover lost ground and fully support the mission of our congregation. April has a high offering target (based on historically seeing higher giving during the month of Easter), but working together, we can continue our two-month turn-around of getting our general finances back on track. Please join us in continuing this important endeavor! Thank you!


Annual Interfaith Passover Seder Meal

You are Invited to the annual Interfaith Passover Seder Meal at Temple Beth El on Tuesday, April 23, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. In our time together with members of Temple Beth El, the Islamic Center of Tacoma, Bethany Presbyterian Church, and St. Mark's, we will reflect on the major Passover themes and their contemporary application for Jews, Christians, and Moslems. This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome! If you are able to attend, please sign up by clicking on the following link:

Nurses' Week: May 6-12, 2019

To thank you, St. Mark's invites our nurses to have lunch together on Sunday, May 5, at 12 noon in the Fireside Room, whether working or retired. If you are able to come, call Linda Heath at 253-432-4670 or email at

Mexico Mission Fiesta Fundraiser

Our yearly fundraiser to support the 2019 Mexico Mission trip will be held on  Saturday, May 4.  Tickets will be on sale following each service on   4/28:  $5 per person or $20 for a family of 4 or more.  Doors open at 5:00 for silent auction, games, enter-to-win, and displays that illustrate the work of the trip; dinner and program begin at 6:00.

Lenten Walk to Jerusalem: Week 6

Oh those pesky Himalayas!  Our route on the Silk Road continued for about 500 miles before turning south and finding a usable route through the Himalayan Mountains.  The Chinese constructed a road, called the Friendship Highway, connecting China with Nepal and Tibet.  One of the spurs takes tourists (and mountaineers) to the Everest Base Camp on the north side of the mountain.  This is not the most frequently used route, but now it is the most accessible.  The route to the Base Camp on the south side requires a 10-day trek!  The part of the Friendship Highway we are taking skirts Mt. Everest, but gives amazing views of many famous mountains, including Lhotse.  This route crosses three passes over 5000 meters!  Along the way we will see many wonders, including Yamdrok Lake, the Karola Glacier, Gyangtse, and the Gyatsola Pass before arriving in Kathmandu.  This road was virtually destroyed in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal that devastated many communities and claimed almost 9,000 people.  The road is barely passable now, but we were able to snake our way through.  Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal with a population of over 1 million.  Today the high temperature will be 67.  The official language of Nepal is Nepali, but English is widely understood.  Kathmandu is set in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains.  If you successfully travel a maze of alleys, you can find Durbar Square.  This is both the center of religious festivals, featuring masked dancers, and the site of the Royal Complex.  The famous Monkey Temple (Buddhist) is just off Durbar Square.  This is one of the many structures being restored after the 2015 earthquake.  We visited Freak Street, just south of Durbar Square, so named for the number of 60's and 70's hippies who traveled here to become "enlightened."  Shopping featured lots of ethically produced art, jewelry, clothing and pottery.  We walked by the Radisson and Hyatt Regency to stay at the Kathmandu Grand Hotel with warmly furnished rooms, free WiFi and free breakfast all for $31.  For dinner we sampled regional food including momos (dumplings), lentils, rice, vegetables, and Newari buffalo dishes.  Christianity is the 5th most practiced religion in Nepal.  The 2015 constitution reaffirmed a secular government but also affirmed freedom of religious expression.  The christian church in Nepal is largely Pentecostal.  We worshiped with these folks at the Church of Nepal.  So far, we have walked 6129.7 miles (in addition to flying over the Bering Sea).

Third Quarter

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

Friday, April 26:  Potluck  at 6 p.m.  in the Parish Commons with our Fourth Quarter friends to share wisdom, faith, and laughter together. If you are in your 80s or 90s and would like to join us, please let the Church Office know. 

Tuesday, May 21: at 6 p.m. at Tower Lanes, 6323 6th Ave, Tacoma for bowling and optional food (or food and optional bowling!).

VBS Planning Meeting

If you are interested in being part of this year's VBS (August 5-9) please join us on Sunday, April 28, at 11:00 in the Preschool wing. Your help and support are greatly appreciated! Any questions please contact Celesta Smith at

St. Mark's Preschool is Enrolling for the 2019-2020 School Year!

St. Mark's Preschool is enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year! There are spaces available in our PreK class! Please contact Katie Jones for more information at 253-752-4929.

The Need for Shared Housing Alliance Continues

We continue to deliver much needed personal care items for homeless youth, 15-22 year olds, served by Shared Housing Alliance (SHS) in Tacoma. 

Your donations make so much difference, sending a message that we care. 

Items most needed (full and travel size accepted):
-shampoo and conditioner
-toothpaste and toothbrushes
-soap & body wash
-feminine hygiene
-disposable razors
-lotions, chapstick, sunscreen
-makeup removal pads, acne wash, etc.

Place items in the SHS box outside the church office. Thank you!

Living Well through Grief and Loss: Class begins May 1, 7:00 p.m.

When someone you love dies, you experience grief in a number of ways. Grief is a natural emotion, and it is experienced differently by each person. Depending on your relationship to the person who died, how death came to him or her, whether you were able to say goodbye, your beliefs, your background, and your personality, each of us reacts and processes the grief in a different way. As you walk through your season of grief and loss, you may find yourself feeling a range of emotions including sadness, regret, anger, guilt, relief, and a yearning to see the person again. All of these emotions, which are natural and normal, are given to us by God to help us understand our world. 

As you walk through a season of Grief you are invited to journey with others for a 6 week class.  The class will begin Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. We will meet in Pastor Ruud's office. Pastor Sigi Helgeson will facilitate this group using materials from Living Compass. Brochures with more information about the class are available at the welcome desk in the Parish Commons. If you want to come to the class please contact the church office or pastor Sigi at

Grief Support Group Meeting

Grief Support group meeting: Friday, April 26, 10:30 a.m. Fireside room.

St. Mark's Scholarship Process for Continuing Students is Open
If you are a member of St. Mark's who is pursuing an undergraduate degree, please consider applying for a St. Mark's Scholarship. The application process for current college students is open and closes on April 28.  

Information and application materials are available on the St. Mark's website . Click on the Connect with Us tab. Questions? Please contact Pastor Shjerven at

The application process for current high school seniors will open in early May.

Children and Youth Faith Formation

Thursday Nights for youth at St. Mark's (6-12th gr.) No youth programming this April 18.
Sunday AM classes: No classes April 21 (Easter Sunday)! We resume April 28 at the regular time.
3rd grade Bible Milestone Event- Sunday, April 14, 9:45 a.m. (presentation) with 11 a.m. family and student learning event. 
5/6th grade  Easter Egg Coloring and Dinner: Friday, April 19, 5:30-7 p.m. in the kitchen. Sign up by this Sunday, April 14, if you plan on attending on the youth board.
Easter Breakfast: Sunday, April 21, 8-11 a.m.  (food served) in the Parish Commons. Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth. Breakfast meats, fruit, baked goods, and more. Minimum donation request: $5.00 per person. Thanks to a Thrivent Action team grant we are able to keep the cost down.
Come to The Well, a time for our high school students to take a break before the school week begins-Sunday, April 28, and May 19; 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Meade home. 
Youth and Parent Volunteer Opportunity: Wednesday, April 24, at Peace Community Center 5-6:15 p.m.  ( 2106 S Cushman Ave, Tacoma, WA, 98405). Sign up on the Youth Board ASAP if you plan on attending. 
High school seniors: pick out graduation quilts:  Wednesday, April 24, 2:30-5 p.m.; Thursday & Friday April 25 & 26, 2:15-4 p.m.; Sunday, April 28, 12:00-12:30 p.m. Contact Ingelaurie Lisher at or 253-740-1439 to set up a time. 

May Holden Youth Participants...Don't forget to get your Holden info to me by Sunday, April 28. 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Adult Faith Formation
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
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. 

Toiletries needed for homeless families

Catholic Community Services/Family Housing Network operates a day shelter at 5050 South Tacoma Way. They currently need travel sized toiletry items, especially deodorant, toothpaste, individually wrapped toothbrushes and disposable razors. Please bring any donations to the church office.

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.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services recently published a report about the success of lower-cost community-based support instead of detention at the southern border of the USA. This approach promotes family unity, access to needed services (e.g. mental health, legal), while respecting US immigration systems and requirements. You can read more about it here.

SPRING into Action:  LWR Personal Care Kit Supply Drive  UPDATE

LWR Personal Care Kit Supplies Needed!
  • Pick up a bag and supply list in the Narthex to fill with a towel, soap, comb, nail clipper and toothbrush.
  • JOIN US on Wednesday, May 1, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to build Kits (at St. Mark's)!  
  • Supplies can be dropped off through April 28.
  • Your donations will provide HOPE to victims of national disasters or violence in over 20 countries.
We are in need of packing boxes with flaps with dimensions under 20". Please bring to the quilt room if you can provide. 

Contact Catherine Terrill, with any questions! Thanks for your support!

Supply List:  
Bath Towels (app. 52" X 27", dark)
Soap (4oz bars)
Comb (large tooth)
Nail Clipper (metal)
Toothbrush (individually wrapped)

2019 Hunger Walk

Sign up now for the 2019 Hunger Walk: Saturday, May 4, 9:00 a.m.  A great event for all ages! More information and can be found in the Narthex or on the Youth Board.

Women of St. Mark's

Save The Date for our Spring Luncheon: May 11  

Come join us for lunch and conversation. All ages welcome.  
Watch for more information and sign up sheets for ticket sales and help with the luncheon.  

The women's spring luncheon theme is  Speaking Faith through Art. The program will focus on how two different artists in two different time periods expressed their faith in a loving and just God.

Women are encouraged to bring their young relatives as there will be three activities: 

An art scavenger hunt inside the church for children age 4 to 7
A second art scavenger hunt for older youth ages 8 to 12 
A program, Speaking Faith Through Art, for everyone else.

Attendees are encouraged to share Christian art from their homes which nourishes their faith. A table on which to display it will be provided at the luncheon.  

Children eat free. Tickets for  everyone  over 18 are $10. A nursery will be provided if requested at time of ticket purchase.

Questions?  Call Carolyn Petersen at 253-230-5283.

Care of Creation:  Earth Day

It is certainly fitting that Easter and Earth Day fall within a couple days of each other this year. We should celebrate both as Christian stewards.  While the Care of Creation Team has not planned any specific actions on Earth Day there are a number of organizations that are sponsoring events to celebrate this important day and week. Please refer to the link below for activities publicized by the City of Tacoma, for example.

St. Mark's Care of Creation 2019 Hiking and Camping Schedule

Please hold these dates on your spring and summer calendars:
  • June 1 Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, 9 a.m. at church
  • June 22 Day hike, TBD
  • July 19 Day Hike Sunrise or Sheeplake area, 8 a.m. at church
  • August 1-3 Family Camping at Staircase near Lake Cushman 
  • September 6 or 7 Day hike, TBD
Also, if you are planning a trip to Holden Village this summer and would like others at St. Mark's to know so you can coordinate your trip planning please email Tom Hulst at

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!