The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
        September 2 , 2015 
Grace Notes:    Mahalo   
As the summer comes to a close, I am thankful for many things, including the good rain that has diminished the threat of wild fires and nourished our parched land. I never imagined that I would be praying for clouds and showers in western Washington, but now I am glad that the prayers of many have been answered.

Without a doubt, water is an amazing and life-sustaining gift! On our recent family vacation to Hawaii, we were happy to see a species of tree called "travelers palm" which stores this precious gift of water in its trunk for dry and parched travelers. My daughter, Kirsti, took special delight because this tree is also the national symbol of Madagascar, the island where I grew up and where she lived as a student. When she saw the tree, Kirsti was filled with the kind of gratitude that the Hawaiians call "mahalo."

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
Join our mailing list.
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 from 12:30-2pm.  "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. 

Wednesday Church Night Begins Sept 16
Fall is upon us and with the brings the return of Wednesday Church Night on September 16th. 
Dinner will be served from 5:15-7pm.  Please see Becki or Mike if you want to help with dinner.
Music Ministry:
Babies of St. Mark's,5-5:30pm, infants and parents, CFC Wing
Little Angels Choir,5-5:30pm, Ages 2 and up, CFC Wing
Joyful Noise Choir,5:30 Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, Choir Rm.
Jubilation Choir,6-7pm, 3rd-5th Grade, Choir Rm.
Holy Moly: For children ages 5-8.  Meets 6:15-7:15pm in the CFC with Char Leone.  Bring the Bible to life through video, questions, storybook and hands-on activities. 
Childcare in the Nursery: 5:30-8pm for children through age 4, while parents participate in adult faith formation opportunities, worship or music rehearsals.

Sunday School Begins September 20
Children's Faith Formation: 3yrs old through 4th grade (Sunday School) 9:45-10:45 am in the CFC
Youth Faith Formation:
5/6th grades- 9:45-10:45am in Youth Wing
7th/8th grade Confirmation, see Ingelaurie for more information
9th-12th grade class- 9:45-10:45 am Youth Wing (Sept 20 only). Regular meeting space in the Fireside Room.

Adult Faith Formation Fall Schedule
Wednesdays beginning Sept 16:
  • Bible Study/luncheon- Noon in the PCC
  • Mid-week Renewal - 6:15pm in the Fireside Room

Sundays beginning September 20

  • Adult Forum- 9:45am in the PCC
  • Bible Study- 11am in the PCC

Wednesdays beginning October 7

  • Women's Bible Study- 9:30am in the PCC

Faith Journey begins Sunday, Sept 27 or Wednesday, Sept 30.

Adult Music Ministry Fall Schedule
Bells of St. Mark's, 6-7:20pm Beginning Thursday, Sept 3rd. 
Celebration Ensemble, 7:30-9pm, Beginning Thursday, Sept 10th
Praise Team Rehearsal, 6-7:30pm continuing on Wednesdays  

Feeding the Faith
Join us for dinner...Friday, September 25th at 6pm at St. Mark's.  See and learn about how God is using Chinaconnect to physically and spiritually feed precious lives in China.  You will have an opportunity to show your support through prayer and giving.  RSVP by Sept. 18 to: Marcia Halstead, or 253.202.4780

Music on the Lawn Update
Once again this year the Music on the Lawn was a delightful event! Thanks you all who attended, donated, worked, an entertained us with wonderful music! At the present time we have netted just over $4,000.  If you didn't get a chance to donate to the "Partnering with our Youth Fund" and would like to give a donation you can pick up envelopes from Ingelaurie or at the welcome table. Thank you and blessings from Jean and Carl Steingrebe, John and Bonnie Wascher, Bob and Suzy Reynolds, Derek and Celesta Smith, and Ingelaurie Lisher

Worship at "Purdy" Update
"St. Mark's Lutheran Worship" at the Washington Correction Center for Women in Gig Harbor ("Purdy") Sunday evening, August 30 brought a capacity crowd to the chapel.  The mostly music service was led by Pastor Coe Hutchison from Grace Lutheran Church in Port Townsend along with the Grace Lutheran music team, which he leads.  The song team, supported by piano and three guitars (one amplified), featured gospel and praise music, which many of the women know and love. 
St. Mark's and Grace Lutheran visitors joined St. Mark's and other Empowering Life volunteers in offering the women individual prayer during communion as well as written prayer requests. 

The two services, running back to back from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., served a total of 118 inmates.  Empowering Life, our Lutheran ministry to women incarcerated in our state prisons, took in a total of 22 visitors and volunteers.

Celebrate the Life of Pastor Reitan
Save the date! The St. Mark's Gay-Straight Alliance invites you to join in celebrating the life of Pastor John Reitan, Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m. In the Fireside Room. There will be a pot luck dinner and time to share memories. We want to honor John and Dorothy Reitan for their loving leadership in our congregation and in particular as founding members of the GSA.

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.  

2015 Hunger Walk Team
The 2015 Hunger Walk Team will walk in Pastor John Reitan's memory on  Sunday, October 4th.    This 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 Team, either by walking or by making a donation.  Information may be found on cards in the pew rack.  

Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group
 Caring for someone with memory loss? Alzheimer's Association caregiver support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss. A free information and support group for unpaid care partners, family members and friends is held the 3rd Weds. of each month from 7-8:30pm at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center.  For more information, contact group facilitator Linda McCone at 253-572-2875. 

Youth and Children's Faith Formation
3rd year Confirmation info: 9 th graders will meet Thursday Evenings September 10-October 22 from 5:30-6:30pm with Pastors Ruud and Shjerven.
September 20, 1st and 2nd year Confirmation info: Sunday, Sept. 20th class begins in Youth Room.
  • 7th grade Rite of Welcome (beginning of 9:45 service)
  • 8th grade Rite of Renewal (beginning of 11am service)
  • Orientation for parents of 7/8th grade students Sunday, Sept. 20th 9:55am in the Fireside Room.
October 4, 2015 Hunger Walk Sunday (Grades 6-12 th). Please sign up and pick up information off of the Youth Board by Sunday September 27 th. Parents are encouraged to attend with their son/daughter.
October 1, JR ALYVE Youth Group (6-8th grades) and Youth Choir(6-12th grades) begins from 5:30-6:30pm in the Parish  Commons. Youth Choir 6:30-7:30pm in the Narthex. 

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.

Connect and Care TimeBank                        

Th e 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 servi ces, 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 is available for you to register your interest.
If you had signed up initially but were unable to attend the first training, this is your opportunity to become a new member.

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.



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