The Bridge
The weekly newsletter of St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows                  
    December  30 , 2015 
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 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.
Wednesday Church Night Tonight

There will be no regular Wednesday Night Church Dinner, Classes and Choirs.

Regular Wednesday Night activities will resume January 13th.  
Holiday Office Hours

December 28-31 - 8:30am-12pm (office closed Jan. 1)
Note:  all year-end gifts must be received in the office (or postmarked) by noon on Dec. 31

2016 St. Mark's Reads
During the season after Epiphany you are invited to join in reading Brian McLaren's book,  why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road" (2012, Jericho Books). Hard copies will be for sale Sunday in the Narthex ($12) or you may order on

Epiphany Event, January 6th
Don't miss the upcoming Epiphany Event here at St. Mark's!  Jan. 6th  starting at  5:30 pm . Chili dinner, following the camels to the baby Jesus, and cookies. Hear what the youth in our church are looking forward to in 2016. You will have an opportunity to partner with them through the giving board as well. Please sign up at the Camel Table.
Christmas Thank You
Thank you to the many people who helped create a week of worshipful services this Christmas.  Thank you to the musicians who brought the sounds of the season to us, to the many readers, ushers and communion assistants who helped fill all the necessary roles in service and thank you to the St. Mark's staff who spent many hours preparing for the holiday.   

Chase the Chill
Our cold weather is troubling for the many people living on the streets in Tacoma.  Every night they are trying to stay warm and dry but to no avail.  All the hats and scarves that were knitted by kind hearts at St. Mark's this fall have been distributed.  That's the good news.  The problem is that our cold, wet, bone-chilling weather will continue for months.  We would like to keep giving scarves and hats to the agencies who provide for the homeless.  There are many skeins of yarn available in the church office.  All knitters and crochet-ers are welcome to stop by the office any time during the week or come by the yarn supply corner (look for Jan Pence or Linda McKeller) in the Narthex on Sunday mornings to pick up more yarn or drop off finished scarves and hats.

Connect and Care TimeBank
Next Connect and Care TimeBank Training, February 6 at 10:00.
Many people have asked when we would be scheduling the next TimeBank Training in the new year.   We will be holding the next training session on Saturday morning, February 6 from 10:00 to 12:00.
With almost 50 members enrolled, there are lots of interesting offers and requests being posted.  This is a great way to learn a new skill, get some needed help and form a new friendship.
Please email or call Patty Reinkensmeyer, or 253.857.7977 for questions and to sign up for the next training session.

A Good Problem To Have
Babies and children are being baptized in such record numbers that help could be used in keeping the baptismal quilt bin full. Quilts should be made with cotton or bamboo batting and cotton fabric, be a minimum of 36" x 45" inches large (but no larger than 60" x 60") and need not be made of 'nursery' or 'juvenile' fabric. Exercise your imagination!

Another Way to Give
A law that allows some individuals to make a tax-free gift to St. Mark's and/or other charities from an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) has been reinstated. The Protecting America from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 has made the IRA charitable rollover retroactive for all of 2015 and the provision will remain in effect for 2016 and beyond. If you or an eligible family member has been waiting to make an IRA transfer this year, you must act now to take advantage of this opportunity.

The provision applies to those of you who are 70½ or older, allowing you to transfer up to $100,000 from your individual retirement account (IRA) directly to a qualified charity without counting that distribution in your income.

Here's how it works:
  • The transfer must go directly from the IRA to the charity, based upon written instructions you provide to your IRA administrator.
  • The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you still benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
  • If you have not taken your required minimum distribution for the calendar year in which the transfer is made, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.
  • The transfer may be made in addition to any other charitable giving you have planned.
  • If you made a gift to a qualified charity of up to $100,000 directly from your IRA in 2015, your gift will qualify under the new law.
  • Your direct transfer from your IRA may be to one or more charitable organizations, including St. Mark's Lutheran Church
  • To qualify for a tax break this year, your gift needs to be made by Dec. 31, 2015.
If you are interested in this opportunity, or if you have any questions, please contact your IRS Administrator or your tax advisor.

Women's Retreat 2016!
SAVE THE DATE--2016 Women's Retreat,  February 19-20th, Pilgrim Firs Conference Center.  Registration will open in mid-January.

Luther 500 Festival 2017
Info and registration forms are available on the Youth board (towards the Fireside Room). I've got 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment/deposit to reserve your spot is due  Jan. 15. Info. meeting Jan. 10th 12noon in the Fireside Room.  Tour dates:  June 19-25, 2017  you pick one you want to attend and book your own airfare. The group will meet up in Wittenberg Germany.  This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children/youth accompanied by parent/s. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (not including airfare).  

Tai Chi Classes

There will be no Tai Chi classes in December. We will resume  January 9  (at  9:30am ) with "Tai Chi for Arthritis". Questions? Call Earl Steen  (253-756-8925 ).
Adult Faith Formation

Sunday, 9:45am, Adult Forum, Parish Commons Classroom
"Stories from Nicaragua" Hosted by Gary and Linda Petersen. 

Sunday, 11am, Adult Class, Parish Commons Classroom
"Stories from Nicaragua" Hosted by Gary and Linda Petersen. 

Fully Alive Bible Study,  Tuesdays, 5:15pm,  Fireside Room.
Resumes Tuesday, January 5th.  Questions? Contact Sherry Maiura (253) 549-4222.

Wednesday Women's Bible Study, 9:30am, Parish Commons Classroom. 
We are taking a break over the holidays and will begin a new study, January 6 on the Book of Acts. Questions? please contact Linda Durant at (253) 363-8202 or

Text Study Luncheon, Wednesdays, Noon, Parish Commons
The Text Study is  in on break for Christmas,  classes will resume January 6th. 

First Tuesday Women's Bible Study/Circle, Noon, Parish Commons Classroom 
A new women's Bible Study/Circle has been organized. Bring your lunch to the Parish Commons Classroom. All are welcome!  Contact: Louise Lindeman,
Midweek Renewal, Wednesday, 6:15pm, Fireside Room
No Midweek Renewal, it will resume January 13th. 
Third Thursday" Theology on Tap"-
for young adults meets at Wingman Brewery at 7:30pm on the third Thursday of each month. Contact Pastor Jan Ruud, 

Cafe Circle, Fireside Room, 10-11:15am
A new women's group has been formed especially for younger women. The group will meet the first Friday of each month for coffee, pastry and conversation around issues in our lives, looking at how faith might affects those issues. The online magazine Café will be used as our initial resource. You can check out the magazine at . For further information, contact Celesta Smith at  or Diana Busch at
Children and Youth Faith Formation             
Sunday school is on break on January 3

Wed. Jan. 6th 5:30pm Epiphany Event and Fundraiser -at the Church. Sign up in the Narthex/foyer at the Epiphany Table. Chili dinner will be served. Fun and activities for the whole family.

Thurs. Jan. 14
  • Confirmation Rewind...5:30-6:30pm for youth who have missed a class or two and want to catch up. Meet in the Parish Commons Classroom.
  • Youth Choir (6-12th grades) begins for the year. 6:30-7:30pm. 
Sunday-Monday Jan. 17/18 Post Confirmation Retreat-- (for all 9th graders and their faith companions). It's not too late to sign up-see the youth board for more information.
Thurs. Jan. 21 Youth Group (6-12th grades) resumes 5:3-6:30pm in the Parish Commons. Held the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month.
Want to know what's happening this summer for youth grades 4-12th. Check out the summer programming brochure located on the youth board.  Also take a look at '17 & '18.

Luther 500 Tour 2017 --  Information and registration forms are available on the Youth Board (hallway towards Fireside Rm.) We have 8 spots open, more might become available if needed. A commitment / deposit to reserve your spot is due by January 15. Informational Meeting January 10th, 12:00noon in the Fireside Rm. Tour Dates: June 19-25, 2017. This trip is geared for adults 21 and older or children / youth accompanied by their families. For more information and detail, speak with Ingelaurie Lisher. Cost: approximately $1,500 (lodging and  2 meals a day on tour). You are responsible for your own air transportation (the group will meet up in Wittenberg, Germany).

Sun. Jan. 24
  • Camp meeting for youth grades 4/5th and parents 11am in the Youth Room. We are going July 23-30th.
  • Montana Servant trip meeting for youth grades 6-9th-12:15pm in the Youth Room (for youth and parents). We are going July 23-30th.  

Member Notes and News
Baptized at the 11am service on Sunday, Riley Haller.  
Riley was born on February 10th, 2015 to Tawnya Haller.  His sponsors are his siblings, Ethan Haller and Emma Jennings.  We welcome you to St. Mark's Lutheran Church and the family of God. 

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!