Weekly Newsletter | January 24, 2023

Worship at St. Mark's

Sunday Morning Worship

We gather in person each Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 a.m. in our sanctuary. 

Also, please remember that we will continue to offer an online worship service every Sunday at 10 a.m. As in the past, this will be a livestreamed on our Facebook page and also available on our St. Mark's website. 

Share prayer requests with us by sending them to prayers@smlutheran.org. If you would like us to include them in the Prayers of the Church during Sunday worship, please make note of that.

For recordings of the Bible study, sermons, matins, and more, please check out our podcasts on Podbean. You’ll be able to connect with Apple Music, Spotify, and more on the podbean website.

Click Here for Online Services

Wednesday Evenings

All are welcome to join us for Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. This contemplative candlelight service features scripture readings, music, and a time for quiet meditation.

Join us for dinner this week on Wednesday night from 5-6:30 p.m. Suggested donation of $5. The dinner menu this week is: Mac and cheese, hot dogs, coleslaw, and applesauce.

Semi-Annual Meeting of the the Congregation on January 29

We are asking all voting members of St. Mark’s to attend the Semi-Annual Meeting of our congregation on Sunday, January 29, at 12:15 p.m. Lunch will be served, beginning at noon. Our leaders will give us a full update on the transition process and interim plans for the time of change in pastoral leadership. We will also be voting on long-overdue revisions and updates to our congregation’s constitution and electing people to serve on the Nominating Committee that will identify candidates for open positions on the Church Council and other leadership boards. Please click here to review proposed changes to the constitution and rationale for the changes. Please plan to join us!

Altar Guild Needs Members


We are looking for 2-3 people (or couples!) to set up/clean up Communion on Sunday mornings. The shift in need sets up for the 11:00 service and cleans up afterwards. 

- If you attend the 11:00 service this is your ideal shift! 

- If you attend the 9:45 service this can work too. Reset the communion table after service, take an hour to yourself, then come back and clean up at noon.

- 8:30 attender? This is your excuse to sleep in on an occasional Sunday. Take a walk or call a friend because you don’t have to be at church until 10:45 a.m.! 

You are invited:

St. Valentine's Celebration 

Empowering Life Prison Ministry's Fundraiser

Pastor Annie Jones-Barnes, a key leader in Empowering Life's ministry at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (Purdy) and Pastor of Rock City in our synod, is a world class musician and will be bringing her soul-infused big-sound jazz band, HYBRID, to perform....

Plus elegant desserts and a silent auction

Saturday, February 11, 6-8pm

St Marks by the Narrows

6730 N 17th St, Tacoma

$15 donation suggested

Auction donations appreciated


To register: contact Joan Nelson at joan2nelson@comcast.net or 253-208-3307. Also, you can sign up at the lobby table at church. Joan will be there on Sundays. Or, send your check to Empowering Life, PO Box 1803, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 with number in your party.


Our LWF Quilters meet each Monday morning from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and would love/need more help. No sewing, quilting experience is necessary for many of the tasks involved in creating quilts. Please drop by any Monday and see the busy, fun group at work in the Parish Commons. If you are unable to join and would like to help in another way, please consider donating non-white sheets which are used for backing (any size will work). Thank you!

Children, Youth, and Family Faith Formation

Sunday AM classes are back in session for the Winter and it is not too late to join in. 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the Preschool/CFC Wing and Youth Wings. January/February dates: Jan. 29, Feb. 12, 19, and 26. Thank you to Michelle and Mike Frechette who taught this past session/term and to Celesta Smith for stepping in to cover while Hollye Piercy was on Family Leave. Hollye will be back this Sunday, January 29. 

1st Communion Instruction for all students and parents Sunday, January 29th 9:45am. Please RSVP to Ingelaurie Lisher by Sunday, January 22. For all children PreK-4th grade and their parents who want 1st time instruction or a refresher. 

May Holden Youth Weekends for students grades 9-12th--May 26-28, 2023. For more information go here. The individual Registration form can be found on the youth board or in the email sent out to families last week. 

Adult Faith Formation  

Wednesday Noon Bible Study meets weekly in the Parish Commons Classroom from 12:00-1:00 p.m. and is led by the preacher for the coming Sunday focusing on the week's lectionary. You are welcome to join the group and bring your lunch if you like. Contact the office with questions.

Sunday 9:45 forum: On Sundays in January, please join us for a series on Ending Well, a practical guide to death and dying. Featured speakers will cover topics like estate planning, the dying process, grief, and more. Our final forum in the series will be an opportunity to workshop the End of Life form with hymns, music, poetry, and readings. 

Sunday, January 29: Workshop completing End of Life Form 


Following the RIC Sunday, please join Clara Eickhoff and Hollye Piercy on February 5 for a special “LGBTQIA+ 101” forum to ask questions and learn the vocabulary of gender identity, sexual orientation and expression, and language. 

We also invite you to pick up Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart from your local bookstore or the library for an Epiphany book discussion. 

February 5: LGBTQIA+ 101 with Clara Eickhoff and Hollye Piercy 

February 12: Atlas of the Heart book discussion

February 19: Atlas of the Heart book discussion

February 26: Lent! More to follow.

Chris Lee-Thompson will be leading a five-week Loving-kindness group on Wednesdays, at 6:15 p.m. during Midweek renewal. Loving-kindness is a simple meditation that can be done by anyone. It consists of sending good wishes for health and safety, for happiness and ease, first to oneself, then to select individuals, and finally to all beings everywhere. It is useful in cultivating positive states of mind and enhancing one’s relationships with others. Chris is a retired ELCA pastor. He has been practicing Loving-kindness meditation for many years. He is the author of A Day of Loving-kindness. Please sign up in the Narthex or email the church office with any questions.  

Congregational Care

Caregiver support meets the first and third Friday of the month in the Fireside room. Anyone who finds themselves caring for a loved one either at home or in a nursing facility is welcome to come gather with others for support and self-care. 

Grief support group- (meets seasonally). 

For more information about support groups please contact sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org

Peace and Justice

Nativity House Update

We're cooking this week for the guests at Nativity House. Upcoming January activities include:

* January 28 (Saturday): 10:00 a.m., cooking; 11:00 a.m., meal preparation for 4th Saturday meal preparation, St. Mark's kitchen

* flexible times/locations: remote volunteer activities, including bulk ingredients shopping and sack meal preparation (note: sack lunch meal kits available for easier meal preparation).

If you'd like to find out more about Nativity House and related activities or get involved, you can find more information at the St. Mark's Nativity House ministry website or see a fun short meal preparation time lapse videos. Or contact Melanie Summerour (melaniesummerour@gmail.com) or Peter Postovoit (p.postovoit@gmail.com) if you have other questions.

Confronting Racism

Teams from five Pierce county ELCA congregations came together this month to learn, grow, support our synod’s Black-led ministry to the Black community and bring energy and ideas back to their congregations.  The consortium, sponsored by the SWWA Synod, called “Confronting Racism,” will meet the first Thursday of each month through June.  A team from the St. Mark’s Antiracism Alliance is participating.  Other congregations involved are Peace in Tacoma, Peace in Puyallup, Agnus Dei in Gig Harbor and Trinity in Parkland.  

If you would like more information, or might consider getting involved, please don’t hesitate to contact Joan Nelson at joan2nelson@comcast.net or Clesont Mitchell at clesontm@gmail.com.

Coats and Backpacks Needed

Coats and backpacks needed for immigrants leaving detention at the Tacoma NW Detention Center. Click here for more information.

Divorce Recovery Workshops at UPPC

For over 30 years, UPPC has sponsored Divorce Recovery. These workshops have impacted and been attended by hundreds of people! Our next Divorce Recovery will take place on successive Thursday evenings from February 4 through March 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For first-time attendees, the charge is $20. The alumni fee is $10. Fee also includes a workbook. Scholarships are available. We will be meeting in person in UPPC’s Fellowship Hall following social distancing procedures. We will also offer childcare. For more information call Jill McMullen at UPPC 253.564.2522 ext. 139.

St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows
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