The Bridge
Canceled: March 23, St. Mark's Reads

Change in calendar:  There will be no "St Mark's Reads" on Thursday, March 23rd.  Look for more Sunday sessions in April.

The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   March 22 , 2017 
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 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 Night Church Night Tonight!
5:00pm Little Angels Choir (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Hawaiian Sliders, Chips, Salad, Suggested Donation: $5
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubilation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30pm Compline Service (PC)
Childcare in provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship.

Blessing in Abundance Campaign

By now, we hope that you have all received the Stewardship packet which includes a Commitment Card that we are asking you to bring to worship this coming Sunday, March 26. Step One on the Commitment Card is to prayerfully indicate your plan for Regular Offering gifts at St. Mark's in the new Fiscal year, which goes from July, 2017-June, 2018. This is the most important thing when it comes to financial stewardship in our congregation. Then, for all who are able to go over and above this, we hope you will make a generous pledge to our Blessing in Abundance capital appeal that will enable us to pay down our debt and move money from mortgage payments to strengthening mission at St. Mark's and in our community. We are excited to report that we have already received almost $800,000 in lead pledges and gifts (which includes $100,000 from a bequest), so it seems very possible that we will exceed our goal of $1 million with gifts and pledges from all of you. That would truly be a blessing in abundance!
Meet Our Newest Staff Member at St. Mark's

We are very happy to welcome Nicole Spaulding to our staff as a part time Office Assistant. Nicole will work in the church office on Thursdays and Fridays. Linda McKeller, our Office Coordinator and Receptionist, will continue her work in the church office on Monday- Wednesday of each week. 

Seder Table Hosts Needed

Host a dinner without cleaning the house, by setting a table here for the Seder meal Thursday, April 13th.

See the example table in the Narthex or the attached link for more information.

February 2017 - Financial Update

Income for February was $10K lower than budgeted. Offerings are now $47K lower than budgeted on a fiscal year-to-date (YTD) basis. YTD offerings are also slightly less than actual offerings over the same period last year (1.7%). In order to meet this year's budget, we need total offerings for the year to be 5.0% above last year's actual giving.
We continue collectively to be careful stewards of entrusted offerings, "under spending" budget in February by approximately $2,300. YTD we have spent $22K less than we had budgeted to spend. Total expenses are up versus last year at this time by 6.0%, given Congregationally-approved changes such as the much-needed addition of pastoral care for our growing body of worshippers, provider-mandated increases in benefits costs, etc.
Overall, on a year-to-date basis, we have brought in $4,651 more than we have spent (i.e., the General Fund balance is still positive and "up" over start of year). We had budgeted to bring in $29,587 more than we spent by this time (to provide a cushion going into months that typically see lower donations). Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the Church office with any questions. Thank you!

Canceled: March 23, St. Mark's Reads

Change in calendar:  There will be no "St Mark's Reads" on Thursday, March 23rd.  Look for more Sunday sessions in April.

Our Daily Bread: A day to celebrate and cultivate congregation hunger programs

Join the Synod Hunger Committee on Saturday, April 22nd at The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd in  Olympia from 10am - 3pm. This free educational event will include worship, panels, sharing, learning, breakouts sessions and lunch (free-will offering for lunch).  This Free program supported by grants from  ELCA World Hunger and Thrivent Financial. Contact the office on how to register. 
Congregational Care

St Mark's Caregiver Support Group meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at 10:30am in the Fireside Room.  Please talk to Pastor Shjerven or Parish Nurse Patty Reinkensmeyer if you are interested in learning more about this group.

Family Housing Network coming May 6!

St. Mark's will again host up to five homeless families May 6-13. Volunteers are needed to prepare rooms, host the families, provide meals, help with child care and clean up at the end of the week! Thanks to all of the faithful volunteers who have committed to this ministry over the last four years. We welcome new volunteers to join us! See the signup table in the narthex.
More Family Housing Network Needs:

Family Housing Network is in desperate need of hygiene items for  men, women, and children who access their services. Their supply of both regular and travel size items is nearly depleted.  This is a list of the types of things they normally keep on hand:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash & soap
  • Combs & brushes
  • Lotion
  • Feminine pads (maxi & mini)/tampons
  • Feminine panty liners
  • Deodorant
  • Razors/shaving cream
  • Tips
  • Mouth Wash
  • Finger nail clippers/files
  • Ear plugs
  • Shower shoes
  • Toilet paper
They are also  very   short of linens for shelter beds.  They accept gently used or new twin  fitted and flat sheets and pillow cases, twin blankets and twin blankets, and new pillows.

Donations can be brought to the FHN signup table or dropped off at the church office.
Thank you!

Backback Program Thanks You!

The Backpack program thanks you for all the wonderful donations of plastic grocery bags.  We have enough for the foreseeable future, please return to using your reusable bags at the grocery store.  
Easter Flowers

If you would like to contribute to the beauty of our Sanctuary on Easter Sunday by donating flowers, it is not to early to leave your gift. Cost of a plant is  $15.00, checks should be made out to  Easter Flowers Fund and can be given anytime until Easter Sunday.  This year our plants will be tulips. You will be able to take home your planst following the 11:00am service on Easter.    Thank you for helping us to beautify our church on this special Sunday. 

Easter Choir 2017!

This is the perfect year for everyone to have a chance to sing in the Hallelujah Chorus. Even if you missed a rehearsal, it is not too late to join in. Please visit our resource webpage for all the information about dates of rehearsals, all the materials you will need to learn the music, and other information.

I would love to have you be part of the choir - everyone should sing Hallelujah at some point in their life, and I hope this year will be a good opportunity for you!

Cooper Sherry

Chase the Chill

Chase the Chill is going on Spring Hiatus but please keep knitting and crocheting!  Items can be left in the basket outside the office door.  
TLRC Annual Lunch and Board Election

Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community is having the Annual Lunch and Board Election on Sunday, March 26th at 1pm.  An invitation has been extended to four members of our congregation.  If you are interested in attending, please stop by the church office and add your name to the list. 
Save the Date: Cinco de Mayo Festival

Please join us on Friday, May 5th for the annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in support of our 2017 Mission Trip to Mexico.  Stay tuned for details!
Mexico Mission Trip 2017

St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will take place this year from June 23- July 1.  If you are interested in being part of this mission team, please return a completed Interest Form (available at Welcome Center) to either Melanie Summerour or Sarah Moore Sherry by March 19 th.  All team members should plan to attend the following meetings: Tuesday, April 4th at 6:30; Sunday, April 23rd at 12:15; and Tuesday, May 2nd at 6:30.  We will meet in the Youth Room.

Ever considered joining a 6K? Join World Vision on May 6, 2017,  at Gas Works Park in Seattle, where your registration fee provides CLEAN WATER to 1 PERSON! World Vision  works in over 100 countries and brings clean water to 1 new person every 30 seconds.    Make a difference this Spring, with your family and friends, with  fast runners to leisurely walkers, where thousands of people will unite to bring clean water to communities in need.  Visit the table in the Narthex and consider signing up at  with the Terrill's and the "Global Water Runners". Contact Catherine Terrill with any questions!

Would you consider providing items to make one or more Personal Care Kits We are in the midst of our supply drive and refilling empty cupboards!   LWR distributed 144, 970 Personal Care Kits in 2016 with the help of many like youacross the nation. Personal Care Kits will be lovingly built, followed by a dinner, on April 23, 4:30-6:00 p.m. Visit the table in the Narthex for more information on this important work! Kits give someone the encouragement to start anew.  ITEMS NEEDED: Bath towels (20"×40" & 52"×27"), Bar soap (3oz +), Toothbrushes, Sturdy combs, Metal nail clippers

Join us for Interfaith Encounters!

Come hear and discuss how Jews, Muslims, and Christians view Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed in each of our faith traditions. Each gathering will include presentations by Rabbi Bruce Kadden of Temple Beth El, Imam Ahmad Saleh of the Islamic Center of Tacoma, and either Pastor Sarah Wiles of Bethany Presbyterian Church or Pastor Jan Ruud of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. There will also be ample time for conversation and interaction between participants from all our faith communities.

Tuesday, March 28, 7:00 p.m. at Temple Beth El:  Topic: Moses 
5975 South 12th Street

Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows: Topic: Jesus
6730 North 17th Street, Tacoma

Tuesday, May 23, 7:00 p.m. at the University Place Public Library:  Topic: Mohammed
3609 Market Place West, University Place

Vacation Bible School 2017

Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 year old (by July 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 school year). Registration opens April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information. 

Calling All Those Who Sew!
The Quilters need your help sewing quilt tops together at home.  See the table in the Narthex for sewing instructions and kits.  Any questions, contact Pat Buck or Celesta Smith (253-229-7726)
 To access the instructions online, click here. 
Needed: Layette Makers!

There is a need for someone to help serge layette kits (blankets and diapers) or loan the quilters a serger for this work. For more information, contact Randi Holland (253-905-5693)

St. Mark's Preschool Enrollment

St. Mark's Preschool has begun accepting enrollment paperwork for the 2017-18 school year in February. Current preschool families and children or grandchildren of St. Mark's Church members can register beginning February 1st; registration for the surrounding community will open on February 15th. Children must be two-and-a-half by Sept 1st to enroll in the 2/3s class; age 3 by Sept 1st to enroll in the 3/4s class; or, age 4 by Sept 1st to enroll in the PreK class. Please turn in paperwork as well as a non-refundable $75.00 registration fee to Anne Zimmerman. Registration paperwork can be found online ( or in the church office. Please contact Anne with questions (253) 759-4929

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
Mark your calendars!  VBS July 31-Aug. 4 Maker Fun Factory!  For children 4 years old (by Sept. 1, 2017)-5th grade (2017-2018 grade). Registration opens April 30. Taking youth and adult volunteers who want to teach or lead. Contact Ingelaurie with questions or for more information.

Sunday Youth Faith Formation Classes-March 26
  • 5/6th grade-Unit 9 with Angelie and Irv
  • 7/8th grade Confirmation-David with Bruce
  • 9-12th grade-in the Fireside Room with Ingelaurie
Thursdays at St. Mark's-grades 6-12!   March 23 6:30 Youth Choir; March 30 5:30 St. Mark's Youth Cook; 6:30 Youth Choir; April 6 NO Youth Group; 6:30 Youth Choir; April 16 No youth programs.
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 6:30pm-6:00am Youth Lock-Out! Swimming, broom ball, Trampolines and more.   Grades 8-12th Cost: $35.00(this a reduced rate) per person. Sign up by March 22-Wednesday!. Adults are needed for this event to make it a go! 
Summer 2017- see Ingelaurie Lisher ASAP if you haven't signed up for either the High School trip to Stevenson WA or any of the Montana options.  
ELCA Youth Gathering Promo Video--current 7-11th grade youth and parents check this out!   Gathering dates: June 27-July 1 2018(anticipated travel dates June 26 and July 2).
Costs/fundraising info, and more details will be presented at an info meeting on Sunday, March 26 12:15-1:00 pm in the Youth Room. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
March 26 -  -"Painting the Stars"---Our monthly conversation continues with a session entitled "Imagining the Future".  Pastor John Rosenberg will lead the discussion.  No prior participation is required.

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
March 26-April 9: Making Sense of the Cross: DVD series with Dr. David Lose-Participants are invited to "listen in" on an open conversation about the cross and encouraged to think about and experience its meaning for their lives. 

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
Martin Luther's Small Catechism- As we commemorate 500 years of Reformation, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has invited congregations to "dust off our Small Catechisms and take another look at the basics of our faith" (Living Lutheran, 9/16).  During the season of Lent, we will be doing just that.  New copies of Luther's Small Catechism will be provided ($5 donation appreciated, but not required).  Wednesdays, 6:15pm, March15th, 22nd, 29th, April 5th.

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
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.  
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.

Fred Meyer Giving

Did you know that Fred Meyer stores has a Community Rewards Program?  For more information on how to connect your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to giving at St. Mark's, click here. 
Member Notes and News

Ed Bushnell, member of St. Marks passed away on March 2 after a year long battle with acute leukemia.  His Memorial Service will be held on April 22 at 2:00pm at St. Marks.  Congregation is invited.   

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!