Weekly Newsletter | January 18, 2022
Worship at St. Mark's
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.
New Wellness Class
New Wellness Wednesday Class starts Wednesday, January 19, at 6 p.m. on Zoom. "Enhancing Your Well Being through Spiritual Practices."
If you have wanted to deepen your faith, find more joy and peace in your life, and have wondered about how to form a spiritual practice or habit, this class is for you! In this 4-week class participants will learn to deepen their connection with God through spiritual practices including: The Examen, Lectio Divina, Journaling, Walking/movement and Centering prayer. 
For more information and email class materials contact sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org.
Preschool Registration
St. Mark's Preschool registration for the 2022-2023 school year is just around the corner! It opens for current families and SMLC members on Feb. 1 and everyone on Feb. 14. All registration information can be found at: www.smlutheran.org/preschool/preschool-registration-tuition.
Please contact Katie Jones with any questions at katie.jones@smlutheran.org or 253.752.4929. Thank you!
December 2021 – General Ministry Fund Financial Update
Please see below our financial results through December. We were essentially right on target with our bottom-line budget for the month, which puts us $25,985 above budget for the current fiscal year. This is a strong financial position to be in having just finished the first half of our fiscal year together. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and support of our ministries!
Offerings for December were $5,280 below budget ($119,106 versus budgeted offerings of $124,386). We are now $7,903 above budgeted offerings on a fiscal year-to-date (FYTD) basis ($513,632 versus budgeted offerings of $505,729). This puts us 1.0% above last year’s actual offerings over the same time period. 

Expenses for December were $5,001 below budget (spending $84,977 versus budgeted expenses of $89,978). FYTD, we are now $15,165 below budgeted expenses ($493,153 versus budgeted expenses of $508,318). We continue to be below budgeted expenses in areas such as hospitality supplies and certain part-time staffing (e.g., custodial assistant, nursery). We are also building a budgetary cushion in various facility-related expenses, to include contracted janitorial service and garbage disposal (using less of both during ongoing, low COVID attendance levels).

The bottom line for December is that we brought in $34,588 more than we spent versus our projection to bring in $34,608 more than we spent. This put us nearly right on budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are now $25,985 ahead of budget, bringing in $24,596 more than we spent versus a projection to spend $1,389 more than we brought in at this point in the fiscal year.

Please feel free to contact Jennifer Droubay or Mike McKeller in the church office with any questions. Thank you.
Altar Guild Needs Members
We are looking for 4 or 5 people (or couples!) to set up/clean up Communion on Sunday mornings. The Altar Guild runs two shifts. We need one or two to help with the 8:30 service and another 3 people to help around the 11:00 service. Please let Linda Wimberley (ljwimb@aol.com) know if you are interested. No experience necessary. We train!
Children, Youth, and Family Faith Formation
Sunday mornings for children and youth!
Please check your email later this week for an update from Hollye and Ingelaurie on what Sunday, January 23, will look like.  

Youth Marimbas resumed Thursday, January 13, at 7:30 p.m. for youth grades 6-12th--they are a group that can social distance very well. Please contact Jeff Brahe at andemarimba@gmail.com to reserve your spot if you haven't already been a part of the group. 

Middle School youth group resumes Thursday, January 20, at 5:30 p.m.; see email from Ingelaurie Lisher midweek on where we are meeting. 

Middle School Bob Ross Paint Night--Friday, January 28--note change of time from the Bridge 6-7:30 p.m. (dinner not provided). Sign up here by January 20 so Ingelaurie can make sure we have enough supplies.

The Well for high school youth is on break until February. 

Worship Volunteers at 9:45 a.m. We are looking for children, youth, and parents who would be willing to serve as Worship Volunteers on the 1st Sunday of each month during the 9:45 a.m. service for our 1st Sunday Family Worship Sunday. If you and your student are fully vaccinated and would be willing to help read, greet, and serve as a communion assistant during the worship service please contact Ingelaurie Lisher at ingelaurie@smlutheran.org and we will add you to our list of volunteers. Dates needed: March 6, April 3, May 1. 

5-8th grade (2022-2023 school year) Summer Camp 2022 Instructions (June 26-July 1 camp dates):  I apologize for leaving the date out of the last email on this. 
2. Click 6/26 Lutherhaven Summer Camp
3. Click either Pioneer (5/6th grade 2022-2023 school year) OR Pathfinder (7/8th 2022-2023 school year). 
4. Then follow the rest of the instructions. 

Other info for re: Camp for youth grades 5-8:  
  • We are going to Camp Lutherhaven in Coeur d' Alene ID--June 26-July 1, 2022. 
  • Leave Tacoma Sunday, June 26 in the morning. Camp ends Friday July 1. NOTE we might stay over one extra night near Ellensburg so we aren't driving over the pass on the Friday night of the 4th of July weekend--stay tuned for more information coming about that, details are still being worked out. 
  • Lutherhaven's Current Covid Guidelines are posted on their website. To make transportation easier from St. Mark's and for the safety of all, I am encouraging everyone to be fully vaccinated with the covid-19 vaccine. As we know guidelines and recommendations can change. Thank you for your patience as we navigate how to do camp this summer. 
  • St. Mark's will pay $200.00 per student--and gas for any parent who helps us drive over and back from Coeur d'Alene. You pay your student's deposit and then we will make our payment in March. 
  •  Let me know when you register your student so I can start making plans/renting vehicles, etc. 

Summer 2022 High School Tiny House Build interest form: 2022-2023 High School students 9-12th grade and 2022 graduates check this out: Parents/Adults too as we will need some experienced builders: 
Adult Faith Formation 

I Am Doing a New Thing: At St. Mark’s, our theme for this new year is “New Life Awaits.” God knows how hungry we are for new life! We have sojourned through two pandemic years (and we’re not done yet), along with social and political turmoil, a new awareness of racial injustice, and the ramping up of our climate crisis. In addition to all that, we have borne our own individual griefs and struggles. We are so ready for new life! Isaiah 40-55, a new prophetic voice for a people languishing in exile and grief, offers us God’s “new thing.” God’s exiled community would soon return home and rebuild their life – a life full of promise, but a life unlike anything they had known before. Join us for a seven-week sharing around this powerful new word. While we are online for worship, please join us at 11:15 a.m. on Zoom. As we return to in-person worship, forum time will change to 9:45 a.m. 

  • Where We’ve Been and What’s Coming – Isaiah 41-44      Jan 23
  • Cyrus, and God’s Mysterious Hand – Isaiah 44.24 – chap. 45 Jan 30
  • Bel, Nebo, and the Values that Enslave Us – Isaiah 46-48    Feb 14
  • The Servant of Yahweh – Isaiah 42, 49, 50, 52-53        Feb 20
  • Grieving Our Losses – Isaiah 49-50, 54                  Feb 27
  • A Joyful (but Different) Future – Isaiah 55 (and 56-66)      March 6 

Holiness and Heresy: Join Pastor Hallie for a six week survey of female mystics as we explore the mystical experience of God encoded through text, testimony, memory and witness. As a class, we’ll take a look at the writings, poetry, and visions of the mystics. We’ll take a look at gender and the ways these women have authored their spiritual authority (especially in relationship to the Church). To register for email updates about the class, please click hereWe'll begin the class at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19. We just made the decision today to start the class on Zoom (at least until in person worship resumes).

January 19: Introduction- what is mysticism, and what does gender have to do with it? Beginning testimony and writings of the lives of saints: Felicitas and Perpetua, and the Desert Ammas 
January 26: Hildegard of Bingen and Hadewijch of Brabant
February 2: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Gertrude the Great, and Marguerite Porete 
February 9: No class (away for continuing education) 
February 16: Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila,
February 23: Modern Mystics

Midweek Renewal and Wednesday noon Bible study will begin again on January 19.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study: The Wednesday 9:30 a.m. Bible study has resumed in the Fireside room with our study of Proverbs-God’s wisdom for applying to our daily experiences and challenges. All are welcome to arrive at 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We encourage sharing insights, questions, and concerns. Join us! For information, contact Linda Durant (253) 363-8202, hotdouug@centurylink.net. Masks will be worn.
Fully Alive Bible Study: Fully Alive Bible Study meets Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. We will meet in the Fireside Room and study: Elohim: God the Creator, Yahweh Yireh: God the Provider, El Roi: The God who sees ME. These are just a few of the names of God. In our English Bible, the Supreme Being is called "God' or "LORD'. However, the original translations in Hebrew and Greek have a rich, full variety of names for God. We learn these names through different Biblical stories, and as we study them, we begin to experience the breadth of God's character. Join us as we explore the characteristics of God. For more information please contact Sherry Maiura 253-303-1681.
Congregational Care
Ongoing support groups are provided on Zoom during the month of January.

Caregiver Support group: Friday, January 21, at 10:30 a.m.

Grief Support group: Friday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m.

If you would like to join a support group please email Pastor Sigi at: sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org.

Contact sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org for more information and the Zoom link.
“Starter Kits” were very much appreciated!
Last fall we delivered six “Starter Kits” full of donations from St. Mark's to 901 S. 11th St for the young people finding their way in the world with the help of the Youth Host Home program of SHS (now part of Associated Ministries). I received a letter from Mark Merrill Executive Director that he asked me to share with “the generous folks at St. Mark’s”.

“The need to provide affordable, innovative housing to those who are experiencing homelessness and/or housing crisis in Greater Pierce County has never been more vital, especially among youth and young adults. Upon entering the YHH program, most participants have very little belongings and very limited resources. The kits…allow [them to settle] more quickly into the host’s home, and show that there are people who care about their well-being.

Please share with all those who helped ….that their efforts, generosity, and caring is so appreciated and is making a difference in the life of a young person trying to better themselves. A bright spot during this period of uncertainty is the incredible number of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers. Your caring…and kindness is much appreciated.”

Many thanks to all for helping to nourish body and soul of these youth.
Roz Lueck-Mammen
What is SOGIE?
SOGIE is an acronym for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. ReconcilingWorks, a Lutheran organization which seeks to deepen and expand the work of welcome, inclusion, and celebration of LGBTQIA+ people in the church and society, is offering a workshop entitled “Let’s Talk About SOGIE” on Zoom in real-time on Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. If you are interested in exploring ways to make St. Mark’s a more welcoming and inclusive community, or are just curious about these concepts and want to know more, please consider attending. The $35 per person registration fee will be paid by St. Mark’s. To sign up, please contact Paula Friedmann at pfzebra@me.com or 253-222-4019.
Chase the Chill Part 2!
Thanks to so many kind knitters and crocheters we have a growing supply of hats and scarves which means we can now start sharing the warmth and help chase the chill during these very blustery days of November. Please stop by the table in the Narthex on Sunday mornings and pick up a ziploc bag or two to take with you and then give to someone you see on the streets who might need and appreciate a hat or scarf, a granola bar and a bottle of water. Of course you can add whatever you want to the bag-an encouraging note, hand warmers, a small McDonald's or Safeway gift card. Thank you for helping us care for our community.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows