The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   May 25 , 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.
Final Wednesday Church Night of the School Year Tonight! 

5:00pm Little Angels Choir
5:15pm Dinner is served - Chicken Parmesan, salad, and dessert. Suggested Donation $5/per person.
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal
6:00pm Jubilation Choir
6:15pm Holy Moly
6:15pm Midweek Renewal
7:30pm Prayer Service

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible study, and worship.  
Highlights from May 22 Congregational Meeting

With the excellent leadership of Bill Klancke, Anna Ahrens, Courtney Stringer, Jennifer Droubay and Barb Meyers, our Congregational Meeting on May 22nd was a great experience of being the church together for the sake of the world. During our time together, we:
  • reflected on our mission statement and told stories of how we see it being enacted in our life together
  • approved a Treasurer's Report for January-April of 2016 which showed that income was slightly over what was budgeted and expenses slightly lower for a positive variance of $3,604
  • heard a very good overview of stewardship at St. Mark's in the past, present, and future
  • adopted a "growth budget" for the next fiscal year which fulfills our commitment to restoring the second pastor position to full-time, slightly expanding the Manager Finance and Operations position, and setting aside more money for deferred maintenance.
  • approved a motion to move forward with plans for Mortgage Retirement, including the engagement of a professional consultant with money that has already been pledged for that purpose
  • elected new leaders to serve on our Church Council, Preschool Board, Scholarship Committee, and Mission Endowment Committee (see next article in the Bridge)
  • thanked outgoing elected leaders for their faithful service
  • thanked Becki Christian and Jan Pence for their fruitful ministry with us at St. Mark's
  • thanked Jim Pence for all the leadership he has provided over the years
All in all, it was a very positive expression of thanksgiving for all the blessings that God has given to us in our life together in this place for God's grace!

Welcome to Our Newly Elected Leaders

At our Congregational Meeting on May 22, we elected the following people to leadership roles at St. Mark's"

Church Council                                                                                        President                                 Anna Ahrens                                 
Vice President                         Bill Klancke                                  Secretary                                 Laura Oellerich                                
Peace and Justice                   Kathleen Campbell                   
Finance and Operations          Pete Indahl                                   
Adult Faith Formation              Steve Ilyko                           
Worship and Music                  Sharron Bonea
Preschool Board                                                          
Kevin Meyers and Ilya Katsel
Scholarship Committee                                                       
Nina Banken and George Meers
Endowment Fund Committee    
Deborah Herforth and Jeff Ganung
We also said thank you to outgoing Church Council leaders, including Deborah Herforth, John Avery, Jon Rodin, and Larry Bitter, and to Troy Droubay, who finished his term on the Preschool Board.

Learn, Serve, Grow

The Learn, Serve, Grow response forms keep coming in, and we love reading every one of them! We have now heard from about 130 people, and we look forward to many more in the weeks ahead. You may bring your response forms to church this coming Sunday, May 29th and place them in the offering plate. If you can't be with us for worship, you can always mail your form to us and we will follow up with you.   Click here to read the Learn, Serve, Grow booklet which describes the many opportunities that exist at St. Mark's, and then take time to fill out this downloadable Response Form   as an expression of your own desire to live in faith. We look forward to another amazing year of ministry together!

June 11: Interfaith Dialogue on Peace Building

The Tacoma Buddhist Temple is hosting its first Public Interfaith Dialogue on Saturday, June 11, 1:00-3:00 pm, on the topic "Religious Approaches to Peace Building." Associated Ministries is co-sponsoring this unique interfaith forum and we hope you'll encourage our Buddhist friends by coming out to support this important, and informative, gathering.
The moderator for the dialogue will be Amanda Feller, Associate Professor of Communications at Pacific Lutheran University; she is a specialist in conflict resolution and peace building. Co-hosting the event is Erik Hammerstrom, Assistant Professor of East Asian and Comparative Religions at Pacific Lutheran University and member of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple.
Four faith traditions will be represented on the panel, providing interesting insights on the topic of peace building from unique vantage points; I'd imagine we are likely to discover more similarities than differences!
Representing the Buddhist tradition and serving as co-host of the event is Rev. Kojo Kakihara, minister at Tacoma Buddhist Temple. Representing Islam will be Turan Kayaoglu, Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at University of Washington Tacoma. The Baha'i tradition will be represented by Joshua Christy, Master's Degree student and Youth Mentor. The Christian perspective will be offered by Rev. Joseph Hickey-Tiernan, Priest-in-Charge at Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Olympia.
The Tacoma Buddhist Temple is located at 1717 S. Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma. The event is free and all are welcome.

A Stewardship Temple Talk by Courtney Stringer

I often am asked, so what is Stewardship? One definition of stewardship is the willingness of church members to take active responsibility in the service of the church through voluntary contributions of time, money and natural gifts. These gifts include vocations, passions, opportunities and talents of all kinds.

Throughout the year, the stewardship ministry team is focused on three key messages which will shape my talk this morning:
  • Communication of stewardship facts and telling the story of St. Mark's
  • Gratitude for our past gifts of time, talent and treasure; and
  • Invitation to be generous in the future
The first key message is communication of stewardship facts and telling the story of St. Mark's.

A big push in our increased communication has been mission moments - where a member of the congregation will speak in church about why St. Mark's is meaningful to them or a way in which our ministry has touched their life.

Stewardship 101 and Stewardship 102 which are often found in the Bridge aims to keep the congregation informed about stewardship at St. Mark's. Increased communication enables us to be transparent about the needs of the church and Church Council has a responsibility to report to the congregation how we are doing.

Please continue reading this blog by clicking here. 
Mexico 2016 Mission Team Meetings

Next Planning meeting, June 5th at Noon in the Fireside Room.

Fabric Request for Worship Activity Bags

Children's Faith Formation is putting together Worship Activity Bags for young children for the summer months.  We are looking for fabrics to create kits for volunteers to sew into colorful bags, which will then be filled with quiet activities for children.   Do you have extra brightly colored or patterned fabrics that can be used?  We need several sets of ½ yard of child-friendly or brightly colored cotton fabric along with ½ yard of coordinating fabric.  Also needed is a total of 3 yards of medium fusible interfacing. Please contact Char Leone to donate or bring to the Children's Faith Center workroom marked for Char. Or, if you are willing to sew a bag or two (instructions provided), please let Char know---that would be greatly appreciated!  

Shared Housing Services : Housing 4 Success

Mark Merrill, the executive director of Shared Housing Services emailed to say " thank you to St. Mark's for all of the support and your belief in our mission."  In the youth program, "We are working on trying to put together move-in packages for the youth that would consist of full-sized set of sheets, blanket, pillow, socks (basic men's & women's ankle socks), bath towels & washcloths.  Most of the youths coming into our program only have what they are able to carry in a back pack or two. So getting them stabilized and settled with items that allow them to get a good night's sleep is important.

Currently, we at St. Mark 's  have supplied 3 move-in packages. Our goal is to supply a total of 10. Please, help with this goal by donating a part of a Move-In package.

Other greatest needs:  Toothbrushes 
Full size deodorants (men & women)
Feminine Hygiene products
Full sized Shave Cream (men & women)
Any African American specific hair or skin products
Other hygiene items

Shared Housing Services : Housing 4 Success provides transitional housing, case management and training to homeless youth and young adults in Tacoma. Please, place items in the basket marked GSA: SHS outside the church office. Questions: contact Roz Lueck-Mammen  253.565.6398

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

Sunday, 9:45/11am, Adult Forum/Class, Parish Commons Classroom
There will no adult forum or class this week, they will  resume  June 5th. 

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm, 
  Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We are studying the Book of Acts. Questions? Contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or Our last session of this spring will be June 8 (we will resume Sept. 14).

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
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.

Lydia Circle (meets the first Tuesday of each month), Noon, Parish Commons Classroom 
A new women's Bible Study/Circle has been organized. Bring your lunch to the Parish Commons Classroom. All are welcome!  Contact: Louise Lindeman,
Midweek Renewal, Wednesday, 6:15pm, Fireside Room
"Worship Matters"-Why do we do what we do when we gather on Sunday mornings for worship?  Together we will explore the roots of the liturgy and how it finds diverse expression in Christian congregations throughout the world.  All are welcome!

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

Cafe Circle, Fireside Room, 10-11:15am
This group has been formed especially for younger women. The group meets the first Friday of each month for coffee, pastry and conversation around issues in our lives, looking at how faith might affects those issues. For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
This week's Spark Notes are completed for the school year.  See you again in the fall. 

June 12 marks our last regular day of Sunday School.  It will be a day of appreciation and wrap-up, with ice cream cones for the kids and gestures of appreciation for our wonderful volunteer teaching staff!
Summer Storytime begins on June 19 during the 9:45 worship service.

Montana Team Meeting- Wed. May 25th 6-7:15pm in the youth room for adult leaders and youth participants. 
Sunday, May 29th 9:45-Yes we are still meeting! Last day of regular Sunday school June 12
  • 5/6th grade in regular classroom with Mary and Michelle Unit 5 Rewind #2
  • 7/8th grade class in Youth Room-Apostle's Creed week 2 with Carl and Bruce
  • 9-12th grade Fireside Room with Ingelaurie
Discapoloza-9-12th grade (2016-2017 school year) Disc Golf event in Poulsbo! Friday, June 24th 1:30pm to 8pm. Cost: $10.00pp. Sign up by June 5th if you are attending-we need at least 5 youth and 1 more adult to make sure we go.
VBS 2016- August 1-5th 9:00am-12:15pm for children 4 years old to 5th grade(incoming) at St. Mark's-Cave Quest! Registration materials available in the Children's Faith Formation, in the Narthex, or on the church website Youth and adult volunteers (class leaders and assistants) are needed to help out with the week. Please the info table in the Narthex or contact Ingelaurie Lisher at or at 253-752-4966 to see how you can lend a hand.
Summer Story Time Begins Sunday, June 19 9:45am worship service ONLY. Children 5 years to 3rd grade are invited to a brief retelling of the Gospel lesson during the sermon.  Children will be brought back into the sanctuary before the creed. Adult/mature youth volunteers are needed to teach-see the Summer info table in the Narthex for dates.  Regular Sunday preschool to High School Sunday classes are on hiatus June 19-September.
Summer 2017 Luther 500 Festival-a few more spots are left to attend with St. Mark's! 500 Anniversary Celebration of the Reformation in Wittenberg Germany, July 19-25, 2017. Cost: $1500.00 (hotel lodging, 2 meals per day, group morning and evening prayer, and all admissions/tours to "Luther" sites). Airfare is on your own-we will meet up in Wittenberg. Please see the youth board for more information or contact Ingelaurie Lisher. $110.00 registration deposit per person, plus a $110.00 lodging deposit-1 per room) is due ASAP. ½ of remaining balance due June 2016, final balance due December 2016. This is an intergenerational trip. 

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