The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   December 7 , 2016 
Sunday Worship      
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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 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 Church Night Tonight

5:00pm Little Angels Choir (Pre-K) (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Taco Soup, Tortilla Strips, Salad
Suggested Donation $5 
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubliation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30 pm Holden Evening Prayer (PC)

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

St. Mark's Reads 2017

This is the 5th year we have read a common book as a church community!  The selection this year is "Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit" by Parker Palmer.  Discussion groups will meet on Sunday mornings (1/15, 1/22, 1/29) OR Wednesday evenings (1/18, 1/25, 2/1).  You may order the book online in either paperback or e-reader version.  If you would like an order placed for you, stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex on December 4th or 11th.  Cost is $14, paid before book is ordered.  Books will arrive before Christmas and can be picked up in the Church Office.  We hope you will be part of this anniversary year of St. Mark's Reads!

All-Congregational Christmas Caroling and Cookie Potluck

Wednesday, December 14th

5:45pm Meet at church to walk to Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community
7:00pm Return to church for Cookies and Cocoa
7:30pm Holden Evening Prayer
(no dinner will be served at church on this evening; dinners resume January 18th, 2017)

Chase the Chill

This is our second fall/winter of knitting and crocheting scarves and hats to give to those who are living outdoors or in shelters.  We have an abundance of yarn that has been donated to this ministry.  Please stop by our overflowing yarn table in the Narthex to pick out a skein or two to take home, then bring back your finished gifts and we will distribute them.  If you have any questions about his project, please talk to Eleanor Sherry or Linda McKeller.  You will find us at the yarn table! Thanks for helping us keep others warm.  
Advent Devotional from Luther Seminary

Luther Seminary is once again providing a daily advent devotional called "Savior of the Nations, Come".  It is available online at www.luthersem/edu/advent/  Hard copies are also available at the Welcome Center.

Christmas Worship Schedule

Saturday, December 24th
  • 4pm Family-Oriented Service
  • 6pm Traditional Service (childcare provided in the nursery)
  • 9pm Traditional Service
  • 11pm Traditional Service
All Christmas Eve services will be in the Sanctuary and will include Holy Communion and Candle-lighting

Sunday, December 25th
  • 10am Christmas Day worship with Holy Communion
Sunday, January 1st
  • 10am Christmas Season Hymn-Sing with Holy Communion
Please note that there will be 1 worship service on both Christmas and New Year's Day

Thank You For Your Year-End Giving

Just a quick reminder that St. Mark's documents year-end gifts in accordance with IRS regulations. Cash contributions are deductible only in the year in which they are made. This means that any contributions you'd like to deduct for tax purposes in 2016 must be received by the Church office  before the office closes at noon on Friday, December 30th. Per IRS rules, mailed checks will be dated as of the date they were mailed; credit card gifts are deductible in the year in which the charge is made. Gifts of securities are considered delivered upon receipt in St. Marks's account at Charles Schwab (please contact the Church office for account information).
Finally, as you plan your year-end giving... did you know that if you have securities in your portfolio with large capital gains, you may be able to transfer part or all of a position to St. Mark's while paying no taxes on the capital gains and deducting the full, current value of the securities as your charitable gift? This may work well if you have held a security for a long time and have built up significant gains. (Please consult with your personal tax advisor for any specific guidance.)
Feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Pat Buck at the Church office  (253-752-4966) if you have any questions.

Peace in Action- Not Too Late to Help Refugees
Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Refugee Project

At the 2016 Laureate Recognition Banquet on September 22nd, the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize launched a project (with Lutheran Community Services) called "Peace in Action!"  in order to support refugees in our area. Guests at the banquet gave generously. We ask that you join them. With your support, we want to raise funds - by December First - for as many "Kitchen Restart Kits" as possible for refugees settling in our area.  NEW: The deadline to  donate has been extended to Thursday, December 8. Help us reach our goal of eight kitchen kits - we are halfway there! ALL money donated will go to purchase the needed items for the restart kits. 

Join us in celebrating the 130th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty (which was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886) by honoring what it stands for. Just go to the GTPP website for further information and to make a contribution. 

A donation of about $200 will buy the necessary items for one  Kitchen Restart Kit. A donation of any amount will help.

Contact Janet Ruud if you would like to join the "Kit Assembly Party" (December 9, at PLU in the Scandinavian Cultural Center) and help us put together the kits. ( Janet Ruud 253-564-2832

Flower Chart 2017

The flower chart for 2017 is on the bulletin board outside the office.  You are invited to sign up for a Sunday to place flowers on the altar to celebrate, honor or remember special people and occasions in your life.  You have a choice of providing the flowers yourself or paying $40 for an arrangement to be delivered by Safeway.  Thank you.

Congregational Care

Caregiver Support meeting -There are many of us who, given the circumstances of life, are called to the ministry of caring for a family member or friend.  Caregiving can be deeply meaningful and rewarding.  It can also be overwhelming.  As part of St. Mark's Congregational Care ministry, a new Caregiver Support group will be forming.  Our first meeting will be Friday, December 16th at 10am in the Fireside Room.  Pastor Shjerven and Parish Nurse Patty Reinkensmeyer will host this get together, with the aim of providing connection and support.  If you are providing care for a loved one and would like to be part of this type of group, please join us!  (If this date doesn't work, but you are interested, let Pastor Shjerven know at

Refugee Resettlement Update

Vela Chikawanine's family will move to the Spanish Hills Apartments in Tacoma on December 2. She and Joel arrived in early October as refugees from the Congo civil wars. Vela's son, Thierry, arrives on November 30 and we expect two other young adult children to arrive by mid-December. Thank you for the donations of furniture, bedding, kitchen supplies and other items to help with this time of new beginnings. If you want to assist them in other ways as they seek work and get to know our community, please contact Kathleen Campbell at or

Women of St. Mark's

Thank you to all who helped make the Women's Advent Brunch a success!  We raised approximately $350 for LWR Refugee Crisis.  What a wonderful start to the Christmas Season!  Good food, great conversations, devotions, Angel skit and music filled the room.  Thank you to all who joined us for a lovely morning.

Adopt a Member of A Family for Christmas

All the families have been adopted for the year!  Thank you! Those adopting families please remember to: 

1. PLEASE WRAP TWO SEPARATE GIFTS!!!   Place the number from your symbol on both gifts to insure the right person gets them both.  We will put name tags on the packages before we deliver them.  


2. RETURN your wrapped and numbered gifts to St. Mark's by Sunday, December 11.   They can be placed under the Christmas tree.  

Questions???? Celesta Smith 272-8391,  Judy Droubay 759-6720, or Mary Jo Holum 752-3304
You can make a difference.
Thank you for caring and sharing.

Family Housing Network

St Mark's will be hosting families from the Family Housing Network the week of 
December 31 to January 6, 2017 .   Helpers are needed to work various jobs to support the families during their stay.  Please stop by the FHN tables  on Sunday  morning to sign up to help us as we provide meals, housing, and hospitality for these families.    A table for signing up to help will be available on Sundays,  November 13
, 20, and 27.

Make Your Shopping Dollars Go Further

If you shop on Amazon for the holidays, please consider designating St. Mark's (or your other favorite charity) to receive the money Amazon donates from each purchase. Login through and type in "St. Mark's Lutheran by The Narrows" to select our church. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. 

Children and Youth Faith Formation

St. Mark's Sunday School children present the Christmas Story on December 11
  • Preschool/Pre-K-Singing and presentation of the Luke Christmas story during the 11:00a.m. Worship Service.
    • Sat. Dec. 10 9:00-9:30a.m. Dress rehearsal at St. Mark's in the Sanctuary
    • Sun. Dec. 11 10:15a.m. costumes and warm up
    • Elementary age children (grades K-5th) Present Sheep in Heavenly Peace a musical retelling of the Luke 2 text. 1:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
      • Sat. Dec. 10 10:00a.m. Dress rehearsal-meet downstairs in the CFC
      • Sun. Dec. 11 12:30p.m. Costume call in the CFC. 
Youth Group (6-12th grades) Christmas Party!  Thursday, December 15th 5:30-7:00p.m. Sock Exchange! Forget Ugly Sweater parties and white elephant gifts this year we will do a Sock Exchange party. Buy a pair of garishly colored/patterned socks and stuff them with an assortment of small treats-try to stay under $10.00 for all. Tie them together with a bow. Dinner will be provided!
Home for the Holidays!  College age Brunch-Sunday, Dec. 18th 9:45a.m. in the Fireside Room.
SR ALYVE (9-12th grade) to Zoolights!  Monday, December 19th 5:30-8:00p.m.   $10.00 includes your ticket and pizza dinner beforehand. Sign up by Thurs. Dec. 15th if you plan on attending.
Coming up...2017 and beyond!
  • Epiphany Event Fundraiser-Wednesday, Jan. 11th 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's.  Prep work-Jan. 8th 1100a.m.-2:00p.m.
  • 9th grade Post Confirmation Retreat-Sunday, Jan. 15-Monday, Jan. 16 Cost: $20.00 per person. Sign up by Jan. 8th if you are attending.
  • Synod Youth Gathering (grades 7-12)-Feb. 3-5th Cost: $130.00 per person. Sign up with a $60.00 deposit by Jan. 8th if you are attending.  Registration forms on the youth board now.  
  • May Holden Village Youth Weekends are back! For youth grades 9-12th. We are looking at May 19-21 as our 1st choice weekend or May 26-28 2nd choice (Friday super early AM-Sunday late PM). See the Youth Board for more info.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
December 11, 18 -Advent and Christmas with the St. John's Bible-Each Sunday in December we will gather to sing hymns and learn about one of the great works of contemporary sacred art-The St. John's Bible.  Neal Sobania will guide us through the history and process of SJB, and will introduce us to the prints that illuminate the Advent and Christmas texts.  

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
December 11, 18 : The Beatitudes-
The Beatitudes -In Advent we begin hearing the story of Jesus again, with Matthew as our primary storyteller throughout the year.  Join guest teacher Scott Shelton as he leads a discussion of Jesus' teaching in the Gospel of Matthew: the Beatitudes.  

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
December 7- Joseph's dreams...a wicked king... mysterious visitors from the East... the flight to Egypt.  Matthew's Christmas story is filled with mysticism, political intrigue, and a steady glance back towards Hebrew prophecy.  Join Pastor Shjerven as we read these stories together, listen for how the Spirit may be moving in our own time, bringing light into our darkness. 
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
Is on break until January 4th.  In the new year they will be studying Martin Luther's Small Catechism  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Gather for lunch and conversation and study around the texts 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. 
Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom

Thank you!                             


Dear members of St. Mark's,


Thank you for your ongoing support of the ministries of the Southwestern Washington Synod and the churchwide work of the ELCA.  The phrase 'stronger together' has broader connotation than simply the recent political election, in that, Scripture is clear that our work together as faithful mission-centered congregations can for outreach what any one of us can do alone. 


Over the past three years of work for us a Synod staff,  there have been three dozen changes made the leadership of the Synod's nearly ninety congregations; new pastor's excited to serve congregations, congregations excited to receive new leadership, AIM's stepping up to help smaller congregations with transitional ministry, first call pastor's being welcomed to begin and grow their work in sharing the gospel through teaching and preaching (for real!).  So many good things happen as God's purpose for the world draws us forward and outward in faithful service to Christ and our neighbors. 


Your ongoing support is essential for this work of mission to succeed.  Your generosity as churches who walk the path together (as synod) has continued to grow each of the past three years and signals a strengthening of support for the word God is calling us together.  In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul encourages each you faith community to give support for the sake of the gospel 'as they are able, as they are willing, and as they can give with cheerfulness.' Our hope and trust as your Synod staff is that your giving matches the ability, willingness and joy that Paul raises up as a guide for all benevolent generosity.  Again thanks for your good heart in our common work, together in and for Christ Jesus. 


Celebrating Together, Pastor Kim Latterell, Synod Bishop's Associate.                            

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