Weekly Newsletter | October 25, 2022

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

All Saints' Sunday Worship

As we prepare for All Saints' Sunday worship services on November 6, we are thinking of all of our loved ones who have died over the past year. If you worship with us and would like a loved one to be included in the slideshow that Sunday please send a picture and name of your loved one via email to cody.schuman@smlutheran.org by Sunday, October 30. If you can join us in person, and would like, you may place a framed picture of your loved one on one of the small tables that will be around the altar. After the service you may take the picture with you. We hope you will be able to join us either in person or virtually for worship on that Sunday. Questions? Call the church office at 253-752-4966.

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.

Mid-Week Renewal Update!

Together with diaconal intern Andrew Larsen, we will be exploring in the upcoming Wednesdays vocation, calling, and responding faithfully to God's voice. 

Oct 26: "What is a Deacon? The Call of Word and Service"

Nov 2: "My Vocation Journey: Hear stories and insight about Andrew's journey to enter candidacy and ministry."

Join us for dinner this week on Wednesday night from 5-6:30 p.m. Suggested donation of $5. The dinner menu includes: potato bar, chili, and salad.

Pastor Ruud Will Begin New Faith Journey Groups in November

Faith Journey is as series of weekly gatherings that give visitors at St. Mark’s an opportunity to hear each other’s stories, explore questions of faith, build relationships, hear Scripture together, and listen for God’s call. There is a group that will meet on Sundays at 12:15 p.m. (beginning November 6), and a group that will meet on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. (beginning on November 2). A meal is served at both gatherings and childcare is available in the Nursery. Click here to learn more about Faith Journey and to register.

Interfaith Encounter on November 1

You are invited to join members of Temple Beth El, the Islamic Center of Tacoma, Bethany Presbyterian Church, and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by The Narrows for an Interfaith Encounter on Tuesday, November 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the new worship site for the Islamic Center. The address is 31 Montana Ave. in Tacoma (across from Costco). We will pray together and hear stories from Islamic Center members on their experiences during this time of transition. If you are able to come to the event, please click here to add you name to list of participants. 

Invitation to all knitters:

This invite includes both beginners and more experienced knitters. We will meet Thursday, November 3, at 1:00 p.m. in the Fireside Room for a time for tea and knitting. Bring your current project and come to share. If you are a beginner who wants to learn we have those who can get you started. Questions? Please contact Jan Walters.

Thank You Thrivent for Action Grants

We received an Action Grant from Thrivent to purchase food items to include in our Backpack Program at St. Mark’s. Thank you Thrivent and thank you Backpack Volunteers. 

Scouts Troop 216 Wreath Sales

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Scouts from Troop 216 will be on-site before and after services selling wreaths, swags, garland, and centerpieces. 

Prices range from $21.50-$70.00. Scouts can take your orders and payments (cash & check made out to “Troop 216”) at each of the following dates:

October 30

November 6

Thank you for your ongoing support of these wonderful scouts! 

Backpack is back!

Although there are currently no actual backpacks involved, the Thursday morning group of volunteers still adheres to the group’s founding mission: to provide weekend food for kids who are part of food insecure families. Each Thursday during the school year, volunteers pack an assortment of food items that kids can eat even if they do not have access to kitchen facilities. You can check out the Backpack table in the narthex to see what items are included. These students have been identified by their schools (DeLong, Downing, and Sheridan) as being in families that need food support. We have been packing around 76 bags each week. Volunteers stock our pantry, keep track of inventory, and look for the best deals on items we purchase. Then we show up at 9:30 on Thursdays when school is in session to assemble food for the kids for the weekend. Want to get involved? You can help in many ways: 1) Stop by the table to see what items we need. Shop and drop off at the church during office hours. 2) Come to help pack! We meet at 9:30 on Thursday mornings. We are a busy group, and sometimes our members are traveling. We could use a few more folks to help bag. 3) Donate! If you don’t have time to shop or bag, the committee invites you to donate. We are careful shoppers always on the lookout for a deal. Your money will be put to good use. Because the team has become a well oiled packing machine, we have taken on one additional task. Once a month we spend an extra hour or so (the monthly double) to pack breakfast bags for Nativity House. Although we are packing fewer items, we pack more: 300 bags. If you feel the call to serve with this group, please contact Sharon Klancke. She can be reached at (253) 318-9667 or at her email: sklancke@yahoo.com.

Need for Winter Warmth Items

The weather has changed quickly and there is an urgent need for coats, sweatshirts, and blankets at Nativity House Shelter. Please help if you can!

How to donate:

Drop off at the Nativity House Donation Dock at 1323 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405. Open Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

OR ship directly to "Nativity House Donations" at 702 S. 14th St., Tacoma, WA 98405.

St. Mark's Quilters

Our St. Mark's Quilters are busily creating beautiful quilts that will soon be shipped to many places in the world where LWR brings comfort and hope. If you are unable to join them each week on Monday mornings from 9:00-11:00 a.m. but would like to be involved, drop by the office to pick up a quilt top kit. These kits are full of squares cut and ready to be sewn into tops--all they need is someone who would like to work at home. Questions? Call the church office at 253-752-4966.

Get ready for the Bazaar on November 5!

Enjoy a friendly, community-building holiday shopping event at the St Mark's bazaar! The event will occur 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. Share the holiday spirit with neighbors, fellow St Mark's members, and the community.

Have items to donate? Bring handmade crafts, books, and collectibles to the church by Thursday, 11/3, by 6 p.m.

Enjoy baking, pickling, or preserving? Bring baked goods, preserves, or pies (to be sold by the slice) on Friday, 11/4, by 6 p.m. Please package and price your food items; there are clear clamshell containers available on the bazaar table in the Narthex and we will have sample price lists available.

Able to help set-up, clean-up, or staff the bazaar? Please click on this sign up link, or contact Julie Milasich (jldennis74@hotmail.com) or 253-988-8596, or Kirsti Ruud (ruudest@gmail.com)!

Chase the Chill! 

As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, it's time to find more ways to help our neighbors who are on the streets. If you knit or crochet please consider making hats or scarves for us to distribute to those in need of warmth. We have many skeins of donated yarn that you are welcome to pick up at the table in the Narthex. We also have a basket on the shelves outside the Office door where you can drop your finished products. Thanks so much!

Mexico Mission Trip 2023 – Save the Date!

We are pleased to announce that after a multi-year COVID-induced hiatus, St. Mark’s is planning to once again travel to Tijuana, Mexico, July 1-7, 2023 to partner with Lutheran Border Concerns in their small house-building ministry. Look for interest meetings and additional information after the New Year! Questions? Feel free to talk to Melanie Summerour, Sarah Moore Sherry, or Teresa Handy. 

Children, Youth, and Family Faith Formation

Classes are back for children 3 years old to 12th grade. 

Schedule for October-December: 

  • Oct. 16, 23, and 30, Nov. 13 and 20, Dec. 11 and 18-- Regular Class 
  • Nov. 6, and Dec. 4--1st Sunday Family Worship dates, no Sunday AM classes for children and youth. 
  • Nov. 27--Advent Event in Parish Commons 9:45-11:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 25--Christmas Day no classes

*Please note Deacon Ingelaurie Lisher will be gone through October 20-22. Please contact Celesta Smith if you have any questions regarding Sunday Morning Classes.

Confirmation/Affirmation of Baptism 

  • Help is needed with the 2022 Confirmation Brunch--Saturday, October 29 from 9 a.m.-noon--please sign up here if you are able to volunteer.
  • Congratulations and Blessings to the following students who will affirm their baptisms on Sunday, October 30, at 11:00am: Ben Casely, Anthony Crocco, Makayla Handy, Rowan Laughlin, Emma McGee, Lauren Meade, Lucie Meers, Patrick Myers, Kate Shouse and Audrey Sonnen.

Thursday Nights for youth have started!

  • Youth Group for youth grades 6-12th runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. 2022 Youth Group dates: 11/3 & 17; 12/1 & 15.
  • Youth Choir 6:30-7:30 p.m. with Cooper
  • Youth Marimbas 7:30-8:30 p.m. with Jeff--happening now!

Coming up in November:

  • 1st Sunday Family Worship November 5
  • The Well for High School students begins Sunday, November 13 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Meade's house--see postcard which was sent to all high school students for the address.
  • CYFF Team Meeting--Sunday, Nov. 13 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Summer 2023 Info meeting for students grades 5-12th--Sunday, Nov. 20 12:15-1:00 p.m.
  • 5-8th grade Fall Baking Event--Wednesday, November 23 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.. $5.00 per student. Sign up here by November 17 to make sure we have enough supplies.


  • The church nursery is open on Sunday mornings from 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for children up to age 4. 
  • And Wednesday evenings for children up through age 5.  
  • Youth: The sign up sheet for nursery hours is here.
  • Please sign up to work so we can serve our littlest children.

Adult Faith Formation  

Sunday Adult Forum: Purity, Gender, and the Gospel

St. Mark’s is committed to gender- and orientation-equality, and to treasuring the wide variety of God’s gifts among us: We’re moving toward full “Reconciled in Christ” status. That doesn’t mean, however, that we have no questions and no confusion. Our commitment in Christ’s love leads us forward, even as our understanding struggles to catch up. Since St. Mark’s’s last study together in biblical sexuality came many years ago, we’re taking this opportunity to explore in a fresh way what lies behind the Bible’s words on our sexual variety. I (Mark Gravrock) will be leading us in a five-week study. Nearly 40 years ago, a student – the first of several -- asked me, “Pastor Gravrock, I think I’m gay.  What should I do?” His question sent me into decades of searching the scripture, of listening and learning and growing – a quest that’s far from finished!  Please join us on Sunday mornings, 9:45 a.m., October 23 – Nov 20, as we explore the strange world of biblical purity:

·      Oct 30 – Leviticus and the Purity Code (everybody’s favorite book of the Bible!)

·      Nov 6 – Old Testament Pushback – the Hebrew Bible’s Counter-Vision

·      Nov 13 – Jesus and Purity – especially the Gospel of Mark

·      Nov 20 – Paul:  Purity and Gospel – Changing the Question

Pub theology: Young adults (21-35), join us for pub theology night at 7:30 at Peaks and Pints. We'll be talking about all the things preachers leave out of sermons- the good, bad, and hilarious. See you then! 

Bible study: Meets Wednesdays at noon.

Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. Morning Bible Study has resumed with our study of Joy, a study of Philippians. We begin arriving at 9:15 a.m. for coffee and visiting in the upper fireside room. We are a welcoming group, who enjoy sharing questions and insights. Join us! For information: Linda Durant, (253) 363-8202, hotdouug@centurylink.net.

Fully Alive Bible Study meets Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. (Please note the earlier start time.) This fall we will be reading and studying the Book of Matthew and discovering how it fits into the Old Testament Jewish culture. We hope to see you there! If you have questions, you can contact Sherry Maiura at 253-549-4222.

Congregational Care

For more information on support groups and congregational care contact sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org.

Upcoming Meetings of St. Mark's Alliances

November 1 at 7:00 p.m.: Interfaith Alliance

The Inter-Faith Alliance brings together people who are committed to building relationships of trust, mutual respect, and collaboration with people of diverse faith communities.

November 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Creation Care Alliance

The Creation Care Alliance brings together people who affirm the sacredness of all that God has made and the calling we have to be faithful stewards who live in harmony with creation.

Peace and Justice

Merzayee Family: Driving Help Needed

The Merzayees (our refugee family from Afghanistan) will be needing someone to drive their 4 year old (Mitra) to ECEAP Preschool in the University Place School District starting in November/December. If you live in the University Place area and are interested in helping with driving, please contact Chris Kreis at Passages20@aol.com

Nativity House Update

Thank you very much to those who have acted to help financially with Nativity House activities. We've received over $1,100 in designated contributions to help with second monthly meal funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2023 (through June, 2023). We can still use some more help to keep going throughout fiscal year 2023! To continue to serve the second monthly meal for Nativity House guests through end of fiscal year 2023 (June, 2023) will require an additional $4,000 in donations (in addition to already received designated donations). You can make a designated contribution for the Nativity House 2nd monthly meal to defray meal ingredients costs. Some suggested contribution levels:

* $2.25: one Nativity House sack meal

* $27: one box of sack meals (12 meals -- 25 boxes/month)

* $650: one month's meal ingredients

* your choice: any amount helps!

I recently cam across the following quote: "Hope is a muscle inherent in our human nature. But it also requires a leap of imagination, because if you have hope, you can imagine a future that would be different or better, and that propels you to do something about it." In many ways the quote encapsulates St. Mark's involvement with Nativity House: it reflects an audacious act of hope for improving people's lives, and one opportunity to respond to the pervasive and very human issue of hunger, here in Tacoma. 

Quick October Wrap-Up

Thanks to all who helped with the Nativity House meal preparation this past Saturday. We had great multi-generational representation along with some new faces -- always welcome, of course! We're closing in on 7,000 meals served in 2022. If you'd like to help with a future meal, planned November activities include:

* November 10 (Thursday): 11:00 a.m., meal preparation for 2nd Saturday meal (on November 12), St. Mark's narthex

* November 26 (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)

This link has some time lapse videos showing St. Mark's volunteers putting together Nativity House meals -- see a couple hours' worth of coordinated effort in around 30 seconds!

For more details about making a designated contribution for Nativity House, contact St. Mark's Finance office at bookkeeper@smlutheran.org or by calling the church office. 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 contact Melanie Summerour (melaniesummerour@gmail.com) or Peter Postovoit (p.postovoit@gmail.com) if you have other questions.

St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows
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