The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    December  9 , 2015 
A Message From Bishop Jaech  
Dear Friends,
The recent and on-going terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali, Beirut and many other places continue to bring pain, sorrow and fear to all of us. Each day I offer prayers, first for those who have lost loved ones in such a tragic way, and then prayers for our whole world that God will help us find the way to peace. The path to international stability and justice is so very complicated and inflamed right now. We need God's wisdom and strength to proceed ahead. Linked with our concerns about terrorism is the debate about whether we should allow Syrian refugees to enter the United States. Together with our ELCA Presiding Bishop, Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, I urge us to accept those refugees who are themselves fleeing the violence of extremists. It is appropriate and wise that refugees pass through a focused screening process to prevent the entrance of any with violent intent. In recent communication with our Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), I learned that the Syrian refugees applying for entrance go through a rigorous security screening involving the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies. Refugees are the most scrutinized and screened individuals to enter the U.S., passing through examination by seven agencies in a process that often takes two years to complete. 

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.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight
5:00pm Little Angels
5:15pm Dinner is served
         Dijon Chicken, Penne Pasta w/ Pesto Sauce, Salad and Dessert
         Sug. donation $5/per 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.
(NOTE: There will be no dinner served on Dec. 16 and NO choir rehearsals or classes, except for Praise Team and Faith Journey. Join us for Christmas Caroling at 6:00pm).

A Connect and Care TimeBank Annoucement
December and January are great months to do exchanges! Need help getting up holiday lights? - find a handyman at the TimeBank. Need someone who cooks well to help with party planning? - find someone at the TimeBank.  Want help cleaning up the yard to ready it for Spring? - check the TimeBank.  I'm sure you can think of many more...give it a try!  Pat Witt, Connect and Care TimeBank Coordinator.
DeLong Backpack Needs
The DeLong Backpack program will be giving out socks in their weekly backpack on Wednesday, December 16th.  There is need for donations of both cash and socks.  For more information, contact Jean Steingrebe at  jcsteingrebe  
Plans for Giving
Thank you to everyone who has filled out a plan for giving! We are grateful for your continued support and generosity to our ministry at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. To date, we've received more than 127 plans for giving compared to 213 received in 2015. As a reminder, the church council relies on plans for giving in order to plan and budget accordingly.  If you have not yet done so, please fill out the response card for your intended support for the first six months of 2016 (Click here for a copy of the pledge card). Thank you for giving and helping us plan for the year ahead!
Save the Date
Wednesday, Jan. 6th  5:30pm at St. Mark's, Epiphany Event and youth fundraiser.  Fun for the whole family.
Thank You From Family Housing Network
A thank you from Joy McDonald, the volunteer coordinator at Family Housing Network, was received for the Thanksgiving groceries we provided for the shelter families. 

"It was quite the feast, all the families were here and pitched into make
a lovely dinner thanks to your generosity, I think it truly felt like a
special family event!  Thanks you so very much....blessings, Joy"
Sunday School Collection for "God's Global Barnyard"
St. Mark's  Sunday School children are collecting monies during the Advent and Christmas seasons to help "God's Global Barnyard," a program of providing animals to families around the world to fight hunger and poverty.  Offering banks are available downstairs in the Children's Faith Center if you would like to join in this outreach.  

"God's Global Barnyard" is part of the ELCA Good Gifts program.  Give an alternative gift this Christmas through the Good Gifts Program by going to  Note cards to communicate to a special someone that you have given a gift in their name are available downstairs in CFC as well.  Thank you for remembering our Global neighbors in need!

Adult Faith Formation Resources for Advent

Daily Devotionals-"Creator of the Stars of Night" is the Advent Devotional published by Luther Seminary.  
You are welcome to pick up a copy at the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex on Sunday, or you can subscribe to an email version at

"While We Wait: Singing the Songs of Advent", Wednesday, 6:15pm, Dec 9, Fireside Room
Luke 1 and 2 contain some of the most beautiful songs in the New Testament, sung in response to God's breaking in on ordinary lives.  Come and hear the songs of Zechariah and Simeon, as we listen for God's presence in our own lives.  Ingelaurie Lisher will host this Advent study.

"Living Well Through Advent: practicing patience with all your heart, soul, strength, mind" Sundays, 11am, December 13 &20, Parish Commons Classroom
This class is designed for those who seek wellness in body, mind and spirit during a season that can feel stuffed and frantic.  Using a daily devotional from Living Compass (, the group will practice and pray for the things that make for peace.  (Each group participant will receive a complimentary copy of the devotional).  

Luther 500 Festival 2017
June 19-25 OR October 2-8, 2017.  This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by their families.  For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher.  Official registration packet and materials coming soon.  Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare). 
Tai Chi Classes

There will be no Tai Chi classes in December. We will resume  January 9  (at  9:30am ) with "Tai Chi for Arthritis". Questions? Call Earl Steen  (253-756-8925 ).
Annual Children's Christmas Program
St. Mark's Sunday school children are getting ready for their annual Christmas Program to be presented on December 13 .  The K - 4th grade children will be presenting "The Loaned Ranger" at  4:00 pm  on  Sunday, December 13 Preschool ages 3 and 4 will share "Song of the Stars" during  11:00 worship on December 13.
A rehearsal is scheduled for  December 12 at 9:00 for Preschool ages and  9:30 am. for K - 4th grade.  There are many ways to volunteer and help with the programs.  

Please let Char Leone (P3's & 4's)  or Amy Wigstrom (K - 4th) know if you can help with costumes, props and staging, setup, or other planning details.

Sunday School Families and Teachers

A message from the Christmas Program Director, Amy Wigstrom: 

 All children ages k-5 will have a dress rehearsal  Sat., Dec 12, 9am-11am for the Sunday School Christmas Program.

The performance is 4:00 on the 13th. Please have your child downstairs in costume at  3:30. There's a cookie potluck following the play. 

Adopt a Family For Christmas
Once again, we are blessed to sponsor 32 families in our midst and in our community who are in need of food for Christmas dinner and gifts for family members. Please prayerfully consider giving two (2) gifts to an individual or making a cash contribution for food.  
  • Look for the Christmas tree in the Narthex. 
  • Take a paper ornament (includes a #, information on the family member, and their suggested "wish list")
  • Write your name and phone number on the attached blank paper ornament and put it in the manila envelops on the wall.  
  • Purchase and wrap 2 gifts. Be sure to TAPE the person's ornament # onto EACH gift.  
  • Return gifts to the church no later than Sunday, December 20th
Questions? Contact: Judy Droubay 253-759-6720 or Mary Jo Holum 253-752-3304. 

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
Celebrating The Magnificat: Mary, God, and Poetry will be the topic at the Adult Forum at 9:45 on December 13 and 20. The class will focus on three facets of Mary's song as it is recorded in the Gospel of Luke. First, images of Mary in art history will precede stories of mothers and the transformational relationships they inspire in our lives. Second, a focus on the God of the Magnificat will be a means to introduce stories of justice and mercy in our lives and the transformational ministries they inspire. Third, a choral reading of the canticle as a poem will serve to engage us in conversations about the transformational power of poetry to transform our hearts. Dr. James Pence created this class on The Magnificat for a pastors' retreat in Arizona last December. Advent 2015 presents an opportunity to offer it at St. Mark's. Classes will begin promptly at 9:45 and last one full hour.

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
"Living Well Through Advent: practicing patience with all your heart, sould, strength, mind" December 13 & 20. This class is designed for those who seek wellness in body, mind and spirit during a season that can feel stuffed and frantic. Using a daily devotional from Living Compass ( the group will practice and pray for the things that make for peace. (Each group participant will receive a complimentary copy of the devotion.) 

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
This fall we are discussing the book of Esther. All are welcome! Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We are taking a break over the holidays and will begin a new study, January 6 on the Book of Acts. 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.   

First Tuesday Women's Bible Study/Circle, 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
"While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent", What will you bring me? How can this be? Where is the one? Together we will listen to questions posed by our biblical ancestors, and share our own questions about the mystery and hope of this season.
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
A new women's group has been formed especially for younger women. The group will meet 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 CafĂ© will be used as our initial resource. You can check out the magazine at . For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation

The Spark Notes for this week is John the Baptist.
Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to 
supplement Sunday School lessons.

Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 6-12th?  Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  
Youth Choir is done for the year! See you Jan. 14th.
Saturday, Dec. 12 Christmas Program Rehearsals in the Sanctuary
  • 9am Preschool rehearsal
  • 9:30am Elementary children go to CFC to get costumes. 9:45 in the Sanctuary, 10-11am run rehearsal.
Sunday, Dec. 13
  • 11am Preschool program Song of the Stars as part of the worship service.
  • 4pm Elementary program The Loaned Manger in the Sanctuary. 3:30 students arrive to get costumes. Following program: Cookie Potluck, bring a dozen or so of your favorite holiday cookies to share, please include the recipe if you wish.
Wednesday, Dec. 16 Christmas Caroling- Children and youth grab your parent/grandparent and join in on the fun. We leave St. Mark's at 6pm (sharp) to walk to the Tacoma Lutheran Home and will return around 7:15pm for cookies and hot chocolate in the Narthex. Dinner will NOT be served.
Thursday, Dec. 17--Youth Group Christmas Party (grades 6-12) 5:30-6:30pm dinner will be provided. Bring a pair of fun holiday socks-with goodies inside (not over $10) for our sock exchange.
Sunday, Dec. 20
  • No High School (9-12) Sunday School-all other grades meet at regular time.
  • College age brunch in Fireside Room 9:45am
  • Movie Marathon 2:30-9pm in PC for youth grades 6-12th-sign up on youth board by Dec 13. Parents are needed to help out with this event. Contact Ingelaurie.
Tuesday, Dec. 22 SR ALYVE (9-12) Cookie baking 10am-1pm, lunch included. Cost: $5.00 per person. Sign up by Dec. 16th if you plan on attending.
Post Confirmation Retreat- Jan. 17-18th (for all 9th graders and their faith companions). Reserve your spot by Dec. 20th. Cost: $15.00 per person.
Luther Tour 2017- Info and registration forms are available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). A commitment/deposit to reserve your spot is due by Dec 15. Hotel deposit due Jan. 15th. Tour dates: June 19-25 OR October 2-8, 2017---you pick one you want to attend and book your own airfare. The group will meet up in Wittenberg Germany.  This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by their families.  For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare).  

Member Notes and News

St. Mark's member, Matt Shimkus is performing in THIS CHRISTMAS, a new work by a local playwright at Taproot Theatre in Seattle. "Leah plans the perfect Christmas, but her husband (Matt) is preoccupied, an inept waitress could spoil everything, and Christmas Eve rapidly spins out of control as uninvited guests show up. Will this be the worst Christmas ever, or will Leah open her heart to new ways of celebrating the moments that make life beautiful?"  The show runs through Dec 26. Tickets:  or call 206.781.9707 
House/pet sitter needed:
In University Place, to care for 2 dogs and one cat. January 20-February 14, and possible future dates. Contact Paula Friedmann, or 253-222-4019.

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!