The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
 January 31 , 2018 
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
       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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Wednesday Night Church Night Tonight. 
5:00-6:30pm- Dinner: Dijon Chicken, Rice and Salad
  Suggested Donation: $5
5:00-5:30pm- Little Angels Choir (Preschool-K)
5:30-6:00pm- Joyful Noise Choir (Grades 1-2)
6:00-6:45pm- Jubilation Choir (Grades 3-5)
6:00pm- Praise Team Rehearsal
6:15-7:20pm- Mid-week Renewal 
6:15-6:45pm- Holy Moly
7:30pm- Evensong

Welcoming and Commissioning of Pastor Sigi Helgeson 
We look forward to welcoming Sigi Helgeson as our new Visitation Pastor at all three worship services this coming Sunday, February 4. Pastor Sigi replaces Pastor Phil Rue, who retires today. We give thanks to God for both of these gifted and faithful servants!

Walking to Jerusalem Week Three
We left Milwaukee heading east and south.  We passed through colorful
towns in the "rust belt" and the rolling countryside of the Blue Ridge
Mountains.  We saw Ottokee, Ohio; Connellsville, PA and Middleburg, VA. We braved the traffic of Washington DC to enjoy lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill just down the street from the White House.  After lunch we visited representatives Kilmer and Heck; as well as Senators Cantwell and Murray to advocate for the hungry and homeless. On the way out of town we attended a free concert on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center.  We had to stand for the concert but we can do that in support of young artists.   We continued on to New York City.  We spent the night at the Washington Square Hotel and dined at Katz Deli, known for theatrically cranky service and good food.  We stopped at Saint Patrick's Cathedral before leaving NYC.  Now, get ready to row!

Lent Book Group
Lent Book Groups begin Sunday, Feb 18th at 11am-Sign up begins Feb 4th!
  • "Of Mess and Moxie: wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life" by Jen Hatmaker
  • "From Wild Man to Wise Man: reflections on Male Spirituality" by Richard Rohr
For more information, consult card in pew rack and stop by Adult Faith Formation table in narthex.

Greening The  Congregation!
Anyone who has an interest in helping us care for creation by reducing our carbon footprint and adopting faithful practices as a congregation and as individuals is invited to an interest meeting on Thursday, February 1 at 5:30 PM. We will meet in the Fireside Room at St. Mark's and enjoy a conversation with Jessica Zimmerlie from Earth Ministries.

Faith Journey Begins Tonight

All those who worship with us as guests are invited to join a Faith Journey group hosted by Pastor Ruud. Faith Journey is an opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal that is patterned after Christ's way of welcoming people into community. Taking its shape from one of the earliest forms of Christian faith formation, it begins with an open-ended time of getting acquainted where your stories and questions set the framework for discussion. This is followed by times of Bible reflection, personal renewal, and discernment about your own Christian vocation.    All those who would like to join our congregation will be welcomed into membership through baptism or affirmation of baptism at the Easter time. This is not an expectation, but an open invitation! There is a Faith Journey group which meets on Wednesdays (beginning tonight) and one that meets on Sundays (beginning on February 4). A meal is served at both times and childcare is always available.  To sign up for Faith Journey, contact our church office at 253-752-4966 or add your name to the list at the Welcome Center in the Narthex. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ruud via email at j or by phone at the same number for our church office.

Share Your Heart This  February- LWR Care Kits

This February consider donating supplies for one or more LWR Personal Care Kits! There will be 200 bags in the Narthex, each with a Valentine listing supplies needed. You can also drop off larger supplies of items for a kit build in April. LWR shipped 153,560 kits in 2016 to 14 countries including Haiti, Lebanon, El Salvador and Niger. Kits are provided to those who have lost everything in a natural disaster or violence.  Provide hope through a bar of soap. Supplies: Bath Towel, 3-4oz bar soap, toothbrush (pkg), metal nail file, large tooth plastic comb.  
Questions? Contact Catherine Terrill 253-732-3479.

Community Group "Third Quarter"

Christian friends in the "third quarter" of life are welcome to join others age 50ish -75ish in supportive community to share hope, laughter, and love through active events. 

Thursday February 8 at 5:00, Pot Luck in the Parish Commons with our Fourth Quarter friends (age 75+) to share food and wisdom. Please note start time at 5:00 this month. 

Thursday March 15 (Third Thursday free museums) 6:00 at Chihuly Museum of Glass. Optional happy hour dinner meet at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Ave at 4:45 pm.

Please contact the church office for additional information. 

VBS Planning Meeting

Please join us for a brainstorming and planning session for this years Vacation Bible School at St. Mark's on Sunday, February 11th @ 11:00 am in the Children's Faith Center (Sunday School Wing). For additional information please contact Celesta Smith, Sunday School Coordinator at

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast

Feb. 13 5:30-7:00pm in the Parish Commons. Live music, photo booth, activities for children and of course all the pancakes you can eat. Fun for all ages!  Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth.

Mexico Mission 2017

Interest meetings  to learn more about St. Mark's annual mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico will be held in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, February 6th at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, February 11th at 11:00.  The trip, which includes building several small homes for families and offering VBS activities for neighborhood children, will take place this year from June 22nd -June 30th.   Please contact one of the trip co-leaders, Melanie Summerour ( or Sarah Moore (, if you are unable to make either meeting but would like to learn more.
For those who have previously gone on the mission trip and are considering going again this year , please contact Melanie or Sarah, complete an interest form (at the Welcome Center), and turn it into the office.

Continued need for the Youth of Shared Housing Services

There is a continued need for  full size hygiene items  for homeless youth, ages 15-22, as they get settled into shared housing situations, on their way to a better life!  These items help improve chances of getting a new job or feeling confident to finishing their education.  Please, consider picking up an extra shampoo and conditioner, deodorant or bath wash when purchasing your own and drop it in the SHS bin outside the church office.This show of support will help send a message that we care and their young lives are worthy.

Items of need-
shampoo / conditioner, toothpaste /toothbrushes/ floss
deodorant , soap/ body wash
feminine hygiene, disposable razors
skin/ face lotions, hair dressing / curling creme
new or gently used bath and hand towels
new or gently used sheets/pillow cases twin or full

Please, KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING! Thank you to all who contributed. 

Memorial Committee

St. Mark's Memorial Committee met December 13 and discussed requests being made for use of funds in this account.

 1.  A request for funding for a cover for the Harpsichord and a stool to go with it was made and approved.  Jackie Stenger, one of the committee members  offered an antique stool which will be suitable and her gift is greatly appreciated.
  2. A request for funds was made and approved to purchase new communion chalices as the current ones are showing wear.
  3. The courtyard furnishings are continuing to go forward with funds held in reserve.

The Memorial Committee will meet again on March 14 for their quarterly meeting.
2018 Women's Retreat Registration is Open

You may register for the retreat in the Church Office between 9:30-11am on Sunday morning.  For more information, pick up a flyer on the Welcome Center or talk to Pastor Shjerven. 

365 Days Of Christmas

Are you and your family travelers?  Our church would enjoy sharing your travel memories through a special "world" Christmas Tree.  Share and keep a memory of your trip on a special Christmas tree for the lobby of the downstairs Sunday/Preschool area.  To participate we ask you to purchase an ornament from your travels anywhere in or outside the US and we will place it on our "kids world tree" Christmas 2018.  You will see a basket inside the downstairs entrance and in the main upstairs office area marked Christmas Travel Ornaments.  You can also give it directory to Mim Krabler or contact her at  Please place ornament in tissue for protection and make sure that the travel destination in on the ornament.  For years to come you can enjoy your travel memories through browsing St. Mark's Kids Tree Every Christmas.  Happy traveling and thank you for helping us decorate our "World Kids Tree".  
St. Mark's Preschool Updates

St. Mark's Preschool will be accepting registration forms for the 2018-2019 school year very soon!  Current Preschool families and church members are welcome to turn in paperwork beginning February 1st. Registration will be open to the general public beginning February 15th. 

We are hosting an Open House on Tuesday, February 6th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for anyone who would like to visit our space and meet our teachers. Contact Anne Zimmerman at or 253-752-4929.

St. Valentine's Celebration

Saturday, February 10, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Jeseka Marimba Band will perform in concert for  Empowering Life's annual fundraiser.  Join us for elegant desserts, a silent auction and an opportunityto learn more about how we at St. Mark's are helping women incarcerated at the Washington Correction Center for Woman (Purdy) and Mission Creek Correction Center for Women in Belfair... and their families.   
$15.00 is the suggested donation.  Auction item donations are appreciated.
 Make your reservation at our table in the Narthex or contact Joan Nelson at or 253-208-3307.  Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

Children and Youth Faith Formation
Sunday Morning Classes for children and youth 3 years old to 12th grade meets each week from 9:45-10:45a.m. in the CFC & Youth Wings.
Thursday Night Youth Programs (gr. 6-12th) Feb. 1: 5:30pm Youth Group in the Parish Common; 6:30pm Youth Choir with Cooper in the Choir Room; Feb. 8: 6:30pm Youth Choir in the Choir Room with Cooper.
The Youth (6-12th grade-entering 2018) are headed to Montana this summer... July 22-27, 2018 (no extra travel days) at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Registration is now open at:
  1. Pick your child's age group-Pathfinder (6/7th gr.), Trailblazer (8/9th gr.), or Senior High (10-12th gr.).
  2. Pay your deposit with the camp.
  3. Let Ingelaurie Lisher know that your child is going to Camp with St. Mark's by Feb. 28.
  4. St. Mark's will provide transportation, great adult leaders and help you fundraise if you want too earn some $$ to help pay for the week.   
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast-Feb. 13 5:30-7:00pm in the Parish Commons. Live music, photo booth, activities for children and of course all the pancakes you can eat. Fun for all ages!  Sponsored by St. Mark's Youth and Thrivent Action Team funds!
1st Grade Lord's Prayer Milestone Event Sunday, Feb. 25 9:45a.m. This learning event is for all 1st grade students and their parents. Please let Ingelaurie know by Feb. 18th if you plan on attending, so I make sure we have enough supplies, etc. 

Adult Faith Formation

Adult "Table Talk"
9:45/11am- New opportunity: "Table Talk" -Are you looking for a way to meet new people and engage in informal, meaningful conversation on Sunday morning?  Grab a beverage and a treat and come to the tables in the back corner of the Parish Commons (the ones with the tablecloths).  A host will be there to greet you, introduce you to others who have gathered, and invite you into the conversation.  
Note:  There will be no Adult Forum on "Table Talk" Sundays.

Adult Class- Sundays 11:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room
As our  Adult Class, Dr. Traci Drake will offer Year 1 of Crossways, a faith-enriching, life-changing course that serves as your 'road map' for an unforgettable journey through the entire Bible.   To order the set of Learner books, please contact the church office.    The cost for books each trimester is $20.  Participants are asked to cover whatever part of that cost they are able to pay. 

Wednesday Midweek Renewal; 6:15 p.m. 
Though Feb. 7th - All Will Be Well: healing stories in Mark's gospel--We will engage our congregational theme, "For the Well-Being of All" by exploring the scope, style and content of Jesus' healing ministry.  You are free to bring your dinner or dessert with you to the classroom for our discussion!
Tuesday "Fully Alive" Bible Study; 5:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room
Questions, Sherry Mauira 253-303-1681. 

Women's Bible Study; Wed. 9:30 a.m. in the PCC1
We are ladies with varying faith and bible experiences, who help each other by sharing our questions and insights.  With our current study, As It Is in Heaven by Greg Laurie, a thought-provoking book, we are studying God's will for us here on earth.   For more information, contact Linda Durant, , or (253) 363-8202.

Noon Wednesday Text Study Luncheon in the Parish Commons Classroom resumes today, Jan. 10th.
Gather for lunch and for conversation and study around the texts that will be hear in worship the following Sunday. Conversation will be guided by who will be preaching, and by the insights and questions of the group.   

Have an item for the bridge?
Send it to by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. All items will  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!