The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    January  20 , 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.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight

5:00pm Little Angels Choir
5:15pm Dinner is served
Lasagna, Bread, Green Salad and Dessert.  Suggested Donation $5/per person.
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir
6:00pm Faith Journey
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. 
All-Congregation Meeting
Please join us at our All-Congregation Meeting on Sunday, January 31 at 12:30pm!

Your presence is very important at this semi-annual meeting where we take stock of where we are, make decisions about where we are going and how we will get there, and celebrate our life together as the Body of Christ at St. Mark's. Lunch will be served from  Noon to 12:25pm and the meeting will start promptly at  12:30pm. Childcare and activities for children will be provided, so please make every effort to be with us!  

On Sunday, January 24 our Church Council leaders will lead Adult Forums at both 9:45am and 11:00am to present the key points that will be discussed at the meeting and answer any questions that you may have. On that same day, we will distribute the 2015 Annual Reports which include the proposed budget for January-June of 2016. The best way to look at this is to come to one of the forums hosted by our leaders and have them walk you through it step-by-step.

Faith Journey 
A New Faith Journey series will begin Sunday, January 24th at noon and Wednesday, January 27th at 6pm.

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is a series of twelve weekly gatherings at St. Mark's that give visitors an opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call. Those who wish to join our congregation will be welcomed as new members at Easter time, but that is not an expectation for any of the Faith Journey participants. This is an open-ended process that allows each person to follow where the Spirit leads. There is a Faith Journey group that meets on Sundays from  12:00-1:30pm  and another one on Wednesdays from  6:00-7:15pm.  A meal is served at both gatherings. Childcare is always available, and special activities for older children are hosted  on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center in the Narthex, or contact Pastor Jan Ruud by phone at  253-752-4966 or by email at

2016 St. Mark's Reads
This year our congregational/community reading selection is Brian D. McLaren's, "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?-Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (2012, Jericho Press). If you would like to take part in this community read, you may purchase a copy of the book for $12 in the narthex OR you may find both paperback and Kindle editions at Discussion of Parts I and II (choose ONE of the following): Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:45am in the church Library OR Thursday, Jan. 28, 6:30pm in the Fireside Rm. (NOTE: if you would like to be a part of a young adult discussion, please contact Mary Jo Larsen at; or Alec & Carrie Olschner at The first discussion will take place on Saturday, Jan 30 (4:30pm) at Mary Jo's home. Sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation Team. Questions? Contact Mary Jo Larsen (

Preschool Roundtable Pizza Takeover
Please come support St. Mark's Preschool  by enjoying a meal at Round Table Pizza, 2601 N. Pearl (Westgate North Shopping Center) on  Tuesday, January 26 . Preschool staff and families will be "taking over" the restaurant from  5:00-8:00 p.m. , but the preschool will receive a percentage of the profits for the entire day, so enjoying the delicious lunch buffet would be a great way to support us as well! Questions? Contact Anne Zimmerman  (253) 752-4929

Baroque Concert
This Sunday, January 24th, come and enjoy a very special treat at St. Marks thanks to the "Marsh Bird Baroque" ensemble. Specializing in early music, this quartet includes harpsichord, violin, flute, and bassoon, playing music from the Baroque era on period instruments. 

This is a rare treat, and not to be missed! The concert will be at  7:30pm. There is a $10.00 suggested donation, and children under fifteen years of age attend for free.

St. Mark's Quilters
The St. Mark's Quilters need you!  We have many quilt tops to be sewn together. They can be done at home or you can join us on Monday mornings anytime between 9am and noon, with coffee time at 10:30am.  All are welcome. Questions? Contact Celesta Smith 253-229-7726 or

St. Valentine's Celebration- Empowering Life
Empowering Life: Witnessing to God's Grace by Working with Incarcerated Women and their Families  
Saturday, February 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows 
Come join us for favorite tunes sung & played by professional musician Kacey Evans, elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunity to learn more about how (beyond backpacks with school supplies and Christmas gifts) we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman ("Purdy") and at Mission Creek Correction Center... and their families.
We welcome donations of auction items.
For reservations contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Chase the Chill
Our cold weather is troubling for the many people living on the streets in Tacoma.  Every night they are trying to stay warm and dry but to no avail.  All the hats and scarves that were knitted by kind hearts at St. Mark's this fall have been distributed.  That's the good news.  The problem is that our cold, wet, bone-chilling weather will continue for months.  We would like to keep giving scarves and hats (and even mittens or gloves) to the agencies who provide for the homeless.  There are many skeins of yarn available in the church office.  All knitters and crochet-ers are welcome to stop by the office any time during the week or come by the yarn supply corner (look for Jan Pence or Linda McKeller) in the Narthex on Sunday mornings to pick up more yarn or drop off finished scarves and hats. Thank you to all who have donated items!

Women's Retreat 2016 - Let All Creation Praise!
We will gather Friday night and Saturday, February 19 and 20, at Pilgrim Firs Retreat Center in Port Orchard. Cost is $80 (assistance available). Registration opens on Sunday, January 17.   For more information, please pick up a brochure at the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex, or email Pastor Shjerven (

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am and 11am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
January 24, Coffee and Conversation with your Church Council

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Fireside Room
January 24, "Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God". 

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

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
This Winter we will be studying the Book of Acts. Questions? Contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

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
A Leisurely Look at Luke- Have you ever wanted to read an "orderly account" of the life of Jesus? . . to hear his teachings in stories that both clarify his mission and open you to wonder? Have you ever been curious about the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer?  The Gospel of Luke is the book for you!  We will spend the Wednesday nights of Epiphany and Lent gathered around the fire, exploring the basic storyline of Luke's gospel and sharing our ideas about how it connects to our world today. No experience with scripture is necessary; 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
A new women's 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. 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             
This week's Spark Notes is   Jesus Goes to Nazareth.  Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  

Milestone Marker & Blessing Event - On Sunday, January 24th , 1st grade children and their parent/s are invited to the Milestone Event entitled "The Lord's Prayer: Growing in Relationship with God through Prayer."  We'll gather together during the  Sunday  school hour ( 9:45 - 10:45 ) in Classroom 5, with some fun activities planned as we explore the meaning of The Lord's Prayer for this age group.  Children will receive a marker stone.  Plan to come-- January 24th .  Grandparents welcome too!
Thurs. Jan. 21
  • Youth Group (6-12th grades) resumes 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. YG is held the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades) 6:30-7:30pm with Cooper.
Sun. Jan. 24th
  • Camp meeting for youth grades 4/5th and parents 11am in the Youth Room. We are going July 23-30th.
  • Montana Servant trip meeting for youth grades 6-9th-12:15pm in the Youth Room (for youth and parents). We are going July 23-30th. 
Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 4-12th?  Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  Also take a look at '17 & '18.

Luther 500 Tour 2017 --  Information and registration forms are available on the Youth Board (hallway towards Fireside Rm.) We have 5 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment / deposit to reserve your spot is due ASAP. Tour Dates: June 19-25, 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. Cost: approximately $1,500 (lodging and 2 meals a day on tour). You are responsible for your own air transportation (the group will meet up in Wittenberg, Germany).
SWWA Synod Youth Gathering for youth grades 6-9th. March 4-6 at Camp Berachah in Auburn. Cost: $130.00 per person. $75.00 deposit due Feb. 14th.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast -Tuesday 9th 5:30-7pm in the Parish Commons (live Music from 5:30-6:30pm), Pancakes and much more! Sponsored by the youth.

Connect and Care TimeBank
Next Connect and Care Time Bank Training,  February 6 at 10:00am in the Fireside Room.

Many people have asked when we would be scheduling the next TimeBank Training in the new year. We will be holding the next training session  on Saturday  morning,  February 6  from  10:00 to 12:00 .

With almost 50 members enrolled, there are lots of interesting offers and requests being posted. This is a great way to learn a new skill, get some needed help and form a new friendship.

Please email or call Patty Reinkensmeyer at  or  253.857.7977  for questions and to sign up for the next training session.

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!