The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
   November 30 , 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 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 Church Night Tonight

5:00pm Little Angels Choir (Pre-K) (CR)
5:15pm Dinner:
Breakfast Casserole, Crescent Rolls, Fruit
Suggested Donation $5 
5:30pm Joyful Noise Choir (CR)
6:00pm Praise Team Rehearsal (S)
6:00pm Jubliation Choir, grades 3-5 (CR)
6:15pm Holy Moly (YR)
6:15pm Midweek Renewal (PCC)
7:30 pm Holden Evening Prayer (PC)

Childcare is provided from 5-8pm for children up to 5 years of age while parents attend meetings, Bible Study and worship. 

St. Mark's Reads 2017

This is the 5th year we have read a common book as a church community!  The selection this year is "Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit" by Parker Palmer.  Discussion groups will meet on Sunday mornings (1/15, 1/22, 1/29) OR Wednesday evenings (1/18, 1/25, 2/1).  You may order the book online in either paperback or e-reader version.  If you would like an order placed for you, stop by the Adult Faith Formation table in the narthex on December 4th or 11th.  Cost is $14, paid before book is ordered.  Books will arrive before Christmas and can be picked up in the Church Office.  We hope you will be part of this anniversary year of St. Mark's Reads!

All-Congregational Christmas Caroling and Cookie Potluck

Wednesday, December 14th

5:45pm Meet at church to walk to Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community
7:00pm Return to church for Cookies and Cocoa
7:30pm Holden Evening Prayer
(no dinner will be served at church on this evening; dinners resume January 18th, 2017)

Advent Devotional from Luther Seminary

Luther Seminary is once again providing a daily advent devotional called "Savior of the Nations, Come".  It is available online at www.luthersem/edu/advent/  Hard copies are also available at the Welcome Center.

Holden Evening Prayer

Holden Evening Prayer returns next week, on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm. During the Advent and Christmas seasons, we will be using Holden Evening Prayer for our mid-week worship services in the Parish Commons. This is a beautiful service that is meant to be sung near the close of the day. We hope you can join us for this candlelight prayer service which concludes at 7:55pm. 

Christmas Worship Schedule

Saturday, December 24th
  • 4pm Family-Oriented Service
  • 6pm Traditional Service (childcare provided in the nursery)
  • 9pm Traditional Service
  • 11pm Traditional Service
All Christmas Eve services will be in the Sanctuary and will include Holy Communion and Candle-lighting

Sunday, December 25th
  • 10am Christmas Day worship with Holy Communion
Sunday, January 1st
  • 10am Christmas Season Hymn-Sing with Holy Communion
Please note that there will be 1 worship service on both Christmas and New Year's Day

Congregational Care

Caregiver Support meeting -There are many of us who, given the circumstances of life, are called to the ministry of caring for a family member or friend.  Caregiving can be deeply meaningful and rewarding.  It can also be overwhelming.  As part of St. Mark's Congregational Care ministry, a new Caregiver Support group will be forming.  Our first meeting will be Friday, December 16th at 10am in the Fireside Room.  Pastor Shjerven and Parish Nurse Patty Reinkensmeyer will host this get together, with the aim of providing connection and support.  If you are providing care for a loved one and would like to be part of this type of group, please join us!  (If this date doesn't work, but you are interested, let Pastor Shjerven know at

Prayer Shawl Ministry

All knitters are welcome to join us on Sunday afternoon, December 4, at 12:30 in the Library. We will be discussing new ways to continue our ministry, sharing our projects and enjoying a time of fellowship. Bring your projects if you like or just come to be a part of our time together and share your ideas. For more information, contact Torun Parker.

Refugee Resettlement Update

Vela Chikawanine's family will move to the Spanish Hills Apartments in Tacoma on December 2. She and Joel arrived in early October as refugees from the Congo civil wars. Vela's son, Thierry, arrives on November 30 and we expect two other young adult children to arrive by mid-December. Thank you for the donations of furniture, bedding, kitchen supplies and other items to help with this time of new beginnings. If you want to assist them in other ways as they seek work and get to know our community, please contact Kathleen Campbell at or

Women of St. Mark's

SAVE THE DATE-2017 St. Mark's Women's Retreat, March 3&4, Pilgrim Firs Conference Center, Port Orchard.  Registration will be begin on Sunday, January 22nd.  Cost TBD.

Advent season is coming!  Come join us for a morning of good food, visiting, and relaxation.  The St. Mark's Women's Advent Brunch ticket sales have begun!  Get your ticket and come enjoy a lovely brunch, singing, enjoying an Angel Story presented by Sharon Bonea.  We will also have an Angel craft.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 3rd, 9:30 - 11:30 AM.  Tickets on sale at all services on Sunday and are also available for sale in the Church Office.  See you there! Any questions, contact Barb Meyers(

Adopt a Member of A Family for Christmas

All the families have been adopted for the year!  Thank you! Those adopting families please remember to: 

1. PLEASE WRAP TWO SEPARATE GIFTS!!!   Place the number from your symbol on both gifts to insure the right person gets them both.  We will put name tags on the packages before we deliver them.  


2. RETURN your wrapped and numbered gifts to St. Mark's by Sunday, December 11.   They can be placed under the Christmas tree.  

Questions???? Celesta Smith 272-8391,  Judy Droubay 759-6720, or Mary Jo Holum 752-3304
You can make a difference.
Thank you for caring and sharing.

Family Housing Network

St Mark's will be hosting families from the Family Housing Network the week of 
December 31 to January 6, 2017 .   Helpers are needed to work various jobs to support the families during their stay.  Please stop by the FHN tables  on Sunday  morning to sign up to help us as we provide meals, housing, and hospitality for these families.    A table for signing up to help will be available on Sundays,  November 13
, 20, and 27.

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. 

Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar

December 4,  8:30am-12:00pm in the Parish Commons
Stop by and start your Christmas shopping for beautifully handcrafted items made by artisans and farmers worldwide!  This season merchandise is from Ecuador, Egypt, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Philippines,  Uganda, & Vietnam!     St Mark's orders merchandise from  SERRV, a non-profit, who creates long-term connections with artisans and farmers. By purchasing Fair Trade items we create change by empowering womensending more children to school, & protecting the environment by providing support to artisans and farmers worldwide through the purchase of their products! For questions, contact Susan Newsom or Catherine Terrill.
Come see...
  • Festive ornaments, Nativity scenes and Christmas d├ęcor 
  • Handcrafted jewelry, woven baskets, colorful scarfs and back again, leather wallet stocking stuffers 
  • Chocolates, teas, coffees, soups, oils and spices from Ghana, Israel, Nepal, South Africa, USA

Children and Youth Faith Formation

St. Mark's Sunday School children present the Christmas Story on December 11
  • Preschool/Pre-K-Singing and presentation of the Luke 2 Christmas story during the 11:00a.m. Worship Service.
    • Sat. Dec. 10 9:00-9:30a.m. Dress rehearsal at St. Mark's in the Sanctuary
    • Sun. Dec. 11 10:15a.m. costumes and warm up
    • Elementary age children (grades K-5th) Present Sheep in Heavenly Peace a musical retelling of the Luke 2 text. 1:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
      • Sun. Dec. 4 2:00p.m.-principal cast rehearsal in the Sanctuary
      • Sat. Dec. 10 10:00a.m. Dress rehearsal in the Sanctuary 
      • Sun. Dec. 11 12:30p.m. Costume call
Lunch will be served on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12:00-12:45p.m. in the Parish Commons. Please sign up in the Narthex or the CFC by Sun. Dec. 4th if you and your family plan on participating (suggested donation $5.00 per person).
December 10th-Fundraiser Opportunity: 6 youth are needed to help with a dinner at church from 5-8:00p.m. Sign up on the Youth Board by Dec. 4th if you can lend a hand.
Coming up...2017 and beyond!
  • Epiphany Event Fundraiser-Wednesday, Jan. 11th 5:30p.m. at St. Mark's.
  • 9th grade Post Confirmation Retreat-Sunday, Jan. 15-Monday, Jan. 16 Cost: $20.00 per person. Sign up by Jan. 8th if you are attending.
  • Synod Youth Gathering (grades 7-12)-Feb. 3-5th Cost: $130.00 per person. Sign up with a $60.00 deposit by Jan. 8th if you are attending.  Registration forms available December 2.
  • May Holden Village Youth Weekends are back! For youth grades 9-12th. We are looking at May 19-21 as our 1st choice weekend or May 26-28 2nd choice (Friday super early AM-Sunday late PM). See the Youth Board for more info. 
  • July 6-9th (10-12th grade completed) Servant Trip--Cost $125.00 Stevenson WA
  • July 15-22 (6-9th grade) Montana Service Trip to Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp.  An elementary age and high school option will be offered as well. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Forum-Sundays 9:45am in the Parish Commons Classroom
December 4, 11, 18 -Advent and Christmas with the St. John's Bible-Each Sunday in December we will gather to sing hymns and learn about one of the great works of contemporary sacred art-The St. John's Bible.  Neal Sobania will guide us through the history and process of SJB, and will introduce us to the prints that illuminate the Advent and Christmas texts.  

Adult Class- Sundays 11am in the Parish Commons Classroom
December 4, 11, 18 : The Beatitudes-
The Beatitudes -In Advent we begin hearing the story of Jesus again, with Matthew as our primary storyteller throughout the year.  Join guest teacher Scott Shelton as he leads a discussion of Jesus' teaching in the Gospel of Matthew: the Beatitudes.  

Wednesday Midweek Renewal;  6:15pm in the PCC
November 30 and December 7- Joseph's dreams...a wicked king... mysterious visitors from the East... the flight to Egypt.  Matthew's Christmas story is filled with mysticism, political intrigue, and a steady glance back towards Hebrew prophecy.  Join Pastor Shjerven as we read these stories together, listen for how the Spirit may be moving in our own time, bringing light into our darkness. 
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
Will be studying the Book of Acts.  For more information contact Ida Hagen, 253-759-0569 (

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom
 Gather for lunch and conversation and study around the texts 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. 
Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom

Sing-along Messiah
Christ Lutheran Church, is hosting a sing-along or listen-along performance of Handel's magnificent Messiah as a gift to the community on December 4th at 2:00 p.m. The church is located at 8211 112th St. SW, Lakewood. Bring your own musical score or one will be provided. A suggested donation of $10 would be greatly appreciated.

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