The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    January  6 , 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

There will be no regular Wednesday Night Church Dinner, Classes and Choirs. Please join us for the Epiphany Event at 6pm

Regular Wednesday Night activities will resume January 13th.  
Epiphany Event, January 6th
Don't miss the upcoming Epiphany Event here at St. Mark's!  Jan. 6th  starting at  5:30 pm . Chili dinner, following the camels to the baby Jesus, and cookies. Hear what the youth in our church are looking forward to in 2016. You will have an opportunity to partner with them through the giving board as well. 
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 on January 10th OR you may find both paperback and Kindle editions at Opportunities to discuss the book will offered, beginning the third week in January. Look for dates and times in the Bridge and Parish Life. Sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation Team. Questions? Contact Mary Jo Larsen (

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.   
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.

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, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
January 10.  Our guest will be John Forseth, from Lutheran Community Services Northwest Refugee Resettlement and Placement Program.  

Since 1975 LCSNW has resettled over 35,000 refugees from all over the world, helping them become self-sufficient and integrated into the culture and communities of Oregon and Washington State. Learn about who these people are, security checks that they go through before coming to the United States, and how we can be part of supporting the work of LCSNW.

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
"Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God"- For 12 weeks we will join New Testament scholars John Dominic Crossan and the late Marcus Borg on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul's footsteps throughout the Roman Empire. Filmed in 2006, with stunning footage of ancient sites, this series explores insights into Paul's message of the Kingdom of God, its challenge to Roman imperial theology, and its radical relevance for today. All are welcome to take part in this unique learning opportunity!

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
  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? please 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
No Midweek Renewal, it will resume January 13. 
Starting January 13, 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' Baptism. Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  

Children's Sunday School returns on January 10!  We start with the lesson on "Jesus' Baptism," in this first Sunday after Epiphany.Grades 2nd thru 4th grade children will be joining the congregation for communion during the Sunday School hour this Sunday. Regular music led by Cooper Sherry will start off the hour at 9:45 in Room 4 (with grades K - 4th).  
Sunday School children are invited to return their "God's Global Barnyard" offering banks this Sunday, January 10. Based on offerings received, kids will vote on how the monies will be applied in "God's Global Barnyard."  
Our Wednesday Holy Moly children's group starts again on January 13 with the story of Jonah. Holy Moly meets at 6:15-7:15pm in Room 3 in CFC. Kids are welcome to come early for games starting at 6:00. Stories and activities are geared for ages 5 - 8.

Thurs. Jan. 14
  • Confirmation Rewind...5:30-6:30pm for youth who have missed a class or two and want to catch up. Meet in the Parish Commons Classroom.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades) begins for the year. 6:30-7:30pm. 
Sunday-Monday Jan. 17/18 Post Confirmation Retreat-- (for all 9th graders and their faith companions). It's not too late to sign up-see the youth board for more information.
Thurs. Jan. 21 Youth Group (6-12th grades) resumes 5:3-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. Held the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month.
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 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment / deposit to reserve your spot is due by January 15. Informational Meeting January 10th, 12:00noon in the Fireside Rm. 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).

Sun. Jan. 24
  • 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.  

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.

Luther 500 Festival 2017
Info and registration forms are available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). There are 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment/deposit to reserve your spot is due  Jan.15. Info. meeting Jan. 10th 12noon in the Fireside Room.  Tour dates:  June 19-25, 2017. You will  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 parent/s. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare).  

Tai Chi Classes

Tai Chi classes are resuming January 9 (at 9:30am ) with "Tai Chi for Arthritis". Questions? Call Earl Steen  (253-756-8925 ).
Member Notes and News
A memorial service will be held for Shannon Merchant on January 16th at 2pm.  Shannon passed away on Sunday, December 13th.  Shannon's parents, Susan and Rex Merchant were long time members of St. Mark's and Kathy Merchant, Shannon's grandmother, was a former secretary at St. Mark's. 

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!