The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                          August 19, 2015        
Sunday Worship Times      
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
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Welcome Back, Pastor Shjerven!
We were happy to receive Pastor Rebecca Shjerven back from sabbatical this week.  Her study of creation these past three months led her into a time of studying and a time of connecting with the earth. It is a joy to welcome you back after your time of renewal.  

Thank you for sharing the lessons of your sabbatical at last Sunday's luncheon.  
God's Work Our Hands Sunday!
Save the date! "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday at DeLong School and Park on Sunday, September 13.  On this special day, we will gather together for an all congregation worship service at DeLong Elementary School at 10:30am, followed by a brown bag picnic on the playground and then many opportunities for volunteer service in DeLong Park.  "Morning Prayer" will be held at 8:30am at St. Mark's for those who are unable to join us for worship at DeLong Elementary School. 

2015 Hunger Walk Team
2015 Hunger Walk Team  in Pastor John Reitan's memory
Sunday, October 4th is the annual Associated Ministries' Pierce County Hunger Walk.  St Mark's has participated in fundraising and walking for many y ears, led by the energy and inspiration of John Reitan.  Pastor Reitan died on December 26, 2014 and this year, we would like to walk in his memory.  Please consider being part of the Planning Team for this special event!  It is a one month commitment, from early September until the event itself.  All types of skills are needed.  For information, or to join the Planning Team, please contact John Avery ( If you are not able to help plan, we hope you can participate by walking or sponsoring the team!

Cook's Club, We Thank You!
This Sunday the Cook's Club once again provided the people of St. Mark's with an incredible luncheon for Pastor Shjerven's return from Sabbatical.   We are grateful for all the tireless work that you do to cater a meal for such a large group of hungry people.  We are blessed by the work that you do.  

Thank you!  

Pastor Ruud on Vacation
Pastor Jan Ruud will be on vacation from August 17-29. 

Women's of St. Mark's Craft Night
Friday, August 28 at 6pm - Craft Night!
We have over a dozen gourds yet to paint and decorate.Come help us put the finishing touches on last months' gourds, and create some new designs.  Easy fun for everyone!

Children's Sunday School Teachers Needed
We are so blessed and pleased to have a strong core group of volunteers who participate in the faith formation ministry with children.  We have, however, several openings to fill to round out our teaching teams as we gear up for fall.  If you have a desire to help guide children in faith growth and feel you relate well to children and their development, and want to be part of a team ministry that connects with children and families, please consider serving in Children's Faith Formation as a  Sunday school teacher.  We especially have openings in the younger age levels.  You can contact Char Leone, CFF Coordinator ( , or stop for information in the Narthex  on Sunday mornings throughout the coming weeks.  

Sunday School Starts September 20th
Sunday  school with children officially starts on  September 20th  but all children, families, and teachers are encouraged to join in a day of worship and service on  September 13th --"God's Work, Our Hands" at DeLong Elementary School.  More specific information will be forthcoming on our  Sunday  school start up plans.  Teachers, mark  September 12th  on your calendars as a morning of retreat and training.  

Bread for the World: Offering of Letters
Sunday, August 23 - Bread for the World Offering of Letters.  Help feed our hungry children.  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is set to expire September 30 th of this year.  This act embraced school lunches and breakfasts, summer meals, Women-Infants-Children (WIC) nutrition, etc., and provided a $4.5 billion investment in preventing child hunger over the last 5 years.  Legislators are deciding whether these Child Nutrition Programs should be reduced in order to balance the budget. Bread for the World asks us to advocate on behalf of the hungry children of our country by continuing the programs at least at their current levels and then going on to close gaps that now leave out some of our hungry children. Give prayerful thought to how you would like to respond.

LWR School Supplies Kits
It's that time! With school supplies at their lowest prices of the year, our  annual drive to collect school supplies for LWR starts this weekend!  Our goal is to pack 100 school kits with the youth in October. The LWR site has an URGENT request for kits from partners.   Your donations reach places like Syria, where LWR recently distributed 6,350 School Kits to families affected by the ongoing conflict. Please drop-off supplies in the Narthex
Spiral Notebooks (70 page-8" x 10.5")
#2 pencils (unsharpened)
Pencil sharpner 
Blunt scissors
Blue or black ballpoint pens (no gel)
Ruler (30 centimeter)
Crayons (16 or 24)
Eraser (2.5")

Expand the Ruth Ann Bible Study!
Ruth Ann Bible Study (circle) would like to expand and form an additional circle.  Currently, we meet the first Monday morning of each month from 10:00 - 12:00 in our homes.  We enjoy light refreshments, catching up and sharing around a topic drawn from our monthly magazine, "Gathering in Faith and Action," which is published by Women of the ELCA.  Expanded groups could meet at different times and locations.
We find we grow in our understanding and appreciation of the bible and of each other as we read scripture and converse about our faith experiences and questions.  We like to conclude with prayer.
You are invited to join us for coffee, refreshments and bible-based conversation on Monday, September 14 in the Fireside Room to explore whether this is a good fit for you. 
Current members are: Patty Reinkensmeyer, Suzy Reynolds, Barb Holme, Barb Boyd, Marcia Sherry, Marge Bitter, Cathryn Cummings, Helen Huseth, Lori Huseth Clark, Joan Torfin, Eileen Tellefson, Jean Steingrebe, Patty Keller, and Joan Nelson. 
We look forward to seeing you on Monday, September 14.

Youth and Children's Faith Formation
August 23 (Sunday), CYFF Ministry Team Meeting- 12:15-2:15 in the Fireside Room.  
September 20 (Sunday), Confirmation Oreintation for parents of 7/8th grade students at 9:55 am in the Fireside Room. 

Worship at Washington Correction Center for Women
St. Mark's sponsors a Lutheran worship service at the WCCW (Washington Correction Center for Women - "Purdy") four times a year.  Sunday evening, August 30, Grace Lutheran Church, Port Townsend, will lead worship and provide music,  with their pastor, Coe Hutchison, preaching. 

We need a few more people from St. Mark's (both men and women) to participate in this service and provide support (pass out bulletins, collect prayer requests, etc.).  The presence of folks from the community to worship with them is hugely encouraging for the women, some of whom have a Lutheran background. 

I f you are interested, please contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307. 

Connect and Care TimeBank                        

Sept 16, The next Connect and Care TimeBank training is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 in the Youth Room  St. Marks will resume Wednesday night dinner and services, too.  You can grab dinner and come down to the Youth Room for training before the evening service.

We have over 20 members signed up with lots of fun offers and requests.  Check out the TimeBank Poster in the Narthex to see some examples.  A new sign up sheet will be available.  I will be sending out individual email invitations for those of you who had expressed interest earlier but were unable to attend the first training in June.

Sponsored by the Congregational Care Committee, the CCTB is a great way to give and receive help, learn new skills and connect in a personal way with members of our congregation.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Patty Reinkensmeyer 857-7977 of Jan Walters 703-895-5805. 


St. Mark's Preschool   


St. Mark's Preschool enrollment for 2015-2016 is now open. For more information, visit our website ( or call 253-752-4929.



Join the Altar Guild!


Join us!  No white gloves required! The AltaGuild is looking for a few more members to help set the Lord's table each Sunday morning and on holidays.   Members work in two shifts (8:00-9:45am and 10:45-12:30pm) before, after and between services. You'll have full training on the tasks and meaning surrounding them.  Plus you will work with a partner until you feel comfortable doing the work on your own.  In addition to Sunday morning duties we also need someone who would be willing to wash and press the linens each week.   If you are interested in joining this quiet behind the scenes ministry please contact Linda Dieckhoff at 253-376-1446 or   


Hike to Plummer Peak 


Friday, August 21st, the Care of Creation Committee is sponsoring  a hike to Plummer Peak near Paradise. Everyone is welcome to go along on this trip. If you are not interested in a vigorous hike but would like to browse around the surrounding area of paradise,  the visitor center, and the Inn, please consider joining.  We will be meeting at the church at 8am to carpool to the trailhead. 
Plummer Peak is about 2 miles up, 1,000 foot elevation gain, with great views of Rainier (of course) and south to Mount Adams and the Goat Rocks. The Paradise area has the visitor center, meadows to stroll, and the beautiful remodeled National Park Inn with Ranger talks.
If you have any questions call or email Tom Hulst  at 253-460-2683 (


Member Notes

We welcomed Caden John Ochoa into the Body of Christ through Holy Baptism on Sunday at the 9:45 service.  Caden was born to parent's Crystal and Bryan Ochoa on May 12, 2014.  His sponsors are Deana Tuttle and Stephanie Loutas. 



Thank you from Volly Grande

My sincere and most humble thanks to all who helped celebrate my 100th Birthday! I was overwhelmed! Special thanks to Karen Moats for her bell solo of "The Lord's Prayer" during the 11:00am service, and to the quartet, Darren's solo, yes, and to Pastor Jan's singing Louis Armstrong's version of "Hello Dolly"-"Hello Volly"-What a fun surprise following the delicious lunch!

How can I thank Bonnie and all of her committees enough for providing the beautiful lunch for over 150 guests? Also, I give my thanks to Cyndi and Suzy for providing the flower arrangements.

Your generosity in supporting the Food Back Pack program was beyond belief! The total support for this was $1,000.

The following Saturday a birthday picnic with 100 guests was held at a daughter's home near Seattle. Relatives came from London, Israel, Washington DC, Texas, California and Eastern Washington as well as many friends from the Seattle area. Their gifts were given to the ELCA Disaster Fund Response and food contributions to the Food Banks in Seattle. The total donations to the Food Banks including ours in Tacoma amounted to 150 lbs.

I am so very blessed, and I pray special blessings for all of you who have joined me at both of these most memorable birthday celebrations and the gifts you have given!

Lovingly from Volly Grande.


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