The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    December  2 , 2015 
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
         Ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green beans 
         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.

All Creation Sings
Thank you to everyone who joined us at last week's Cross-Generational Advent Event, "All Creation Sings".  A special thank you to Char Leone for organizing the morning's many festivities. 

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!
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!

St. Mark's Lutheran Worship at WCCW
More than 100 women attended "Carols of Christmas" Lutheran worship at the Washington Correction Center for Women in Gig Harbor ("Purdy") last Sunday, sponsored by St. Mark's.  The worship team included Pastor George Larson (conducting), Pastor Melanie Wallschlaeger (preaching), David Deacon-Joyner (piano).  The combined bell choir from First Lutheran and Spirit of Life Lutheran in Port Orchard, directed by Norma Larson, provided special music including "Silent Night."  Empowering Life organizes these services under the sponsorship of St. Mark's.   

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: Living the Questions of Advent", Wednesday, 6:15pm, Dec 2&9, Fireside Room
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 the hope of this season.  Gather around the fire for exploration and conversation!

"Living Well Through Advent: practicing patience with all your heart, soul, strength, mind" Sundays, 11am, December 6, 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). 
St. Mark's Mexico Auction Donors!

Calling all gracious donors from this past St. Mark's Mexico Auction! Please accept our apologies for excluding your donation to the St. Mark's Mexico Auction from your recent statement of giving. We will put a more robust process in place for future events, but in the meantime are using our credit card processor's website to try to identify our donors from this past auction. If you have not yet received an email from us, please contact Jennifer Droubay at  with the dollar amount and last 4 digits of the credit card you used so that we can include the donation in your end-of-year statement for tax purposes. Again, apologies for the inconvenience and many thanks for your generous gift and patience.
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: 

If your child has a speaking part in the play please plan to have them attend a rehearsal  Sun. Dec. 6 1-3:00 . All children ages k-5 will have a dress rehearsal  Sat., Dec 12, 9am-11am

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. 

Fair Trade Bazaar!
Come to the Fair Trade Bazaar on Dec. 6 from 8:30-12:00 in the Parish Commons.  By purchasing handcrafted merchandise, you support artisans and farmers around the world.  Receiving a fair wage helps build healthier and more sustainable communities worldwide through independence to provide basic needs such a food, shelter, health and education for children and their families.  Treasures available for purchase at the Fair include hand woven baskets, pottery, jewelry, scarves, ornaments candies and coffees to fill your tree and stockings! For more information about the non-profit organization that we purchase our products from visit  SERRV works with artisans and farmers in 30 countries so we can offer items to you for purchase at the Fair Trade Bazaar!

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. 

Sing-a-long Messiah

Mark your calendars to participate in a Sing-A-Long of Handel's Messiah presented to the community by Christ Lutheran Church, 8211 112th St SW, Lakewood, WA  98498.   The performance will be held on December 6, 2015  at 2:00 p.m. and will be directed by Dr. Anne Lyman, Director of Choral Activities at Tacoma Community College, Artistic Director of the Seattle Bach Choir, and recently Choral Director at the University of Puget Sound.   Singer and listeners welcome!  For more information contact  or the church at 253-588-0331.

Women's Advent Brunch
December 5, 2015 (9:30-11am). "Ring In the Advent Season" -- featured the Bells of St. Mark's, special devotions, and craft projects. Contact Celesta Smith (253-229-7726) by Thursday, December 3, to purchase tickets ($10 adults; $6 children ages 10 and under; Or purchase a table of 8 for $70)

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
December 6-  We begin three sessions that will bring us more deeply into the spirituality of Advent. Our first session is hosted by Dr. Traci Drake; sessions 2 & 3 by Dr. Jim Pence. All are welcome!

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 6, 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.) Dec. 6 class will be led by Parish Nurse, Helen Bache.

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 Zachariah. 
Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to 
supplement Sunday School lessons.

Wednesday Dec. 2 Tonight! Summer Trip Meeting
6-7pm in the Youth Room. Geared toward current 6-9th graders but the will be info for 10-12th grade youth as well.
Thursday Dec. 3
  • Youth Group (6-12th grades)5:30-6:30pm for fun and games in the Parish Commons.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades)6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex. Last youth choir rehearsal for 2015. 
Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Regular Sunday AM classes 9:45-10:45am
  • Breakfast Club for youth grades 9-12th in the Fireside Room 11-11:45am
  • Christmas Program rehearsal 1pm for K-5th grade children with speaking parts in the Sanctuary.
  • Youth Choir sings at all 3 services for Lessons and Carols 
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. 
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 form is available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). I have spaces reserved for a December 15 deadline, Deposit due January 15.Tour dates: June 19-25, 2017 OR October 2-8, 2017---you pick one you want to attend.  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).  

Interfaith Bible Study

You're invited to join an Interfaith Bible Study with members of Temple Beth El, Bethany Presbyterian Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and our own St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. The topic of our study this Fall is: "Finding God in the Other."  We'll explore Bible stories that teach us to see God in those who are different from us. From Hagar the Egyptian slave to Cyrus the Persian conquerer, we'll explore how God works in and through those whom God chooses, whether we like it or not.
Dec. 3, 7:00pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, led by Pastor Jan Ruud

To receive the Bible readings and discussion questions ahead of time, add your name to the sign-up sheet in the narthex or contact Pastor Ruud at:

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 

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!