The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   February 10 , 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 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.
Ash Wednesday Service Tonight

Ash Wednesday worship service will begin at 7:30pm in the sanctuary.  It is a fitting way to begin the season of Lent with prayer, singing, proclamation of the Gospel and the imposition of ashes on our foreheads. 
There will be no regular Wednesday night activities.
You Are Invited To Join A Growth Group At St. Mark's In The Lent And Easter Seasons
We are inviting everyone who worships at St. Mark's to enjoy a time of growth and renewal with others in a small group that will meet four times in Lent and four times again in Easter. We are calling these Growth Groups because they will give us a way to grow in faith, grow in friendship, and grow as stewards of all God's gifts. The groups will meet weekly, starting in mid-February, with a two-week break around Holy Week and Easter. Like the Faith Journey groups that many of you remember, Growth Groups will provide a similar opportunity to hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call.
To sign up for a Growth Group, please click on this link and choose the day and time that works for you: 

Mexico Mission Trip - 2016
An interest meeting to learn more about St. Mark's 2016 annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will be held Sunday, February 14th  from  12:00 - 1:00pm  (Fireside Rm.). The trip, which includes building several small homes for families and offering VBS activities for neighborhood children, will take place this year from June 17th  -June 25th. Please contact one of the trip co-leaders, Melanie Summerour (  or Sarah Moore (253/752-0554), if you are unable to make this interest meeting but would like to go this year or if you would like to learn more. 
Stewardship 103: "The Gifts Faith, Friendship and Stewardship"

At the semi-annual meeting of the congregation on January 31, our pastors extended an invitation to all members to join a   Growth Group   during Lent and Easter this year. In keeping with our theme "Let All Creation Praise!", these small groups of 8-12 people will give us a way to   grow in faith, grow in friendship, and grow as stewards of God's gifts . The groups will meet weekly, starting in late-February, with a two-week break around Holy Week and Easter. Like the Faith Journey groups that many of you remember, Growth Groups will provide a similar opportunity to   hear each other's stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear scripture together, and listen for God's call.   

You can still join a Growth Group!  Click on this link for times and locations:

So why is Lent a good time to talk about "growth"?  How are faith, friendship and stewardship related to growth?  What kind of growth are called to seek?

Consider this well-known passage from Psalm 51 that has been used for centuries in Christian liturgies:  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.   Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit." 

Many of us who grew up in liturgical traditions have read and sung these words often, especially during Lent.  We recognize these words as a prayer request for a new beginning in our spiritual lives. Every Lent we are reminded to turn again to God who cleans hearts and restores spirits.

Faith, friendship and stewardship are the same spiritual practice:  TRUST in a God who created us and who continually re-creates us with a "willing spirit."   In love and gratitude, we respond by loving God, caring for others, and sharing with God and neighbor the "fruits" of our re-creation. 

Growth Groups in Lent present terrific opportunities for us to "re-create" with one another!

FISH Food Bank Volunteer Update
Thank you to the 22 people who signed up to volunteer at the local NW FISH Food Bank at Mason Methodist Church in the Proctor District!  Our February dates are filled and there are only a couple of openings for our late March date.

St Mark's joins Bethany Presbyterian, First Christian, Mason Methodist, and Redeemer and Zion Lutheran Churches in providing eight volunteers every six weeks to work with experienced volunteers to give food bank clients a shopping experience.  Rather than receiving a grocery bag filled ahead of time, the clients move from station to station and choose food items they and their families will eat.  The choices are guided by family size.

The NW Tacoma Food Bank serves around 1,200 families each month.  In 2015, they had over 47,000 individual visits.  Their mission is to provide food for people in need with compassion, dignity and respect.
Mary Olsen has agreed to represent St. Mark's on their Steering Committee and schedule volunteers from St Mark's.  She can be reached at or 253 752 2844.

Women of St. Mark's
The Women of St. Mark's 2016 planning meeting was held on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. If you were unable to attend, you missed an opportunity to add your insight and ideas for our annual events. The Women's Board is open to any suggestions you may have.

We have three annual events, the Spring Luncheon or Tea, the Fall Bazaar and the Advent Brunch. We would love to have your input.

We are beginning to plan our Spring Luncheon to be held April 23, 2016 and are currently considering a Salad and Desert Potluck. We are exploring the idea of a spring gardening theme. Please send your ideas to Barbara Meyers at or call Barbara at 253-756-9352.

St. Mark's Preschool
St. Mark's Preschool will be accepting registration packets for the 2016-2017 school year beginning February 15th. Classes are available for children ages 2.5-6 years old.  To get more information and/or a registration packet, visit the preschool's website, or contact Anne Zimmerman (253) 752-4929 M-F 8:30-2:00.

LWR Layette Kits
Lutheran World Relief is looking for both soap and baby socks for their layette kits.  For more information please contact Randi Holland at or by calling (253) 905-5693. 

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). Discussion groups (for the second half of the book) will be announced soon. Sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation Team. Questions? Contact Mary Jo Larsen (

Chase the Chill
We are continuing to Chase the Chill all over Tacoma.  We have donated over 200 scarves, hats and gloves to various agencies in town. 
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!

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am , Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
February 14, "Embracing Interfaith Cooperation: Eboo Patel on Coming Together to Change the World". In this engaging 5-session DVD series, people from diverse religious backgrounds join Interfaith Youth Core leader Eboo Patel in exploring both the challenge and the necessity of Interfaith Cooperation.  

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
February 14, "Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God".
For 12 weeks we will join new testament scholars John Dominic Crossman and the late Marcus Borg on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul's footsteps through the Roman Empire.  

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.   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
This 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 Tempted.  Spark Notes are fun activity sheets printable each week to supplement Sunday School lessons.  
No "Holy Moly" this evening.  Holy Moly resumes  next Wednesday when we will begin a  focus on New Testament stories of Jesus' ministry.  Children age 5 to 8 are welcome to join in!  

3rd Grade Bibles and Milestone Marker & Blessing Event
On Palm  Sunday, March 20 Bibles will be presented during  9:45 a.m. worship to 3rd grade children.  Parents will be involved in the presentation and a milestone event will follow at  11:00 to help children explore their new Bibles. 

It's not too late to sign up for the 6-9th grade Servant trip to Montana July 23-30th. Info materials are on the youth board along with the trip application. Our next meeting is Wed. Feb. 24 6-7:15pm in the Youth Room for youth and adult leaders.

SR ALYVE (9-12th grade) Game Night and Dinner -Friday, Feb. 26th 6-8:30pm Sign up on the Youth Board.

VBS Leaders Interest Meeting-Thurs. Feb. 25th 6:00-7:15pm in the Parish Commons Classroom. If you are i nterested in helping facilitate VBS this August, here is your chance to share you visions and dreams for this program. VBS is scheduled to be held Aug. 1-5th at the church.

Current 4-5th graders interested in camp, information is available on the Youth Board. Please do your best to register by Mar. 6th to make sure you get into our July 24-29 week. 

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).

Member Notes and News

A memorial service for David Ostrander will be held on Saturday, February 13 at 2pm here at St. Mark's.  David died on Thursday, January 28 at the age of 60.

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!