Weekly Newsletter | January 25, 2022
Worship at St. Mark's
ST. MARK’S WILL RETURN TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP ON FEBRUARY 6
Out of concern for the safety and physical well-being of all worshipers, we have decided to wait until February 6 before resuming in-person worship services at St. Mark’s. Please click here for a full message about this from our church leaders. In the meantime, please join us for online worship on our St. Mark’s website and Facebook page.

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.
St. Mark's Semi-Annual Meeting
Please plan to join us ONLINE for the Semi-Annual Meeting of our congregation on Sunday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. The meeting will be on Zoom and the link will be sent to you ahead of time in a special edition of the Bridge newsletter. The Zoom link will also be available on our St. Mark’s website.
Announcing . . .
Seed Money for St. Mark’s Ministries
Do you have an idea for a project at St. Mark’s that needs a little funding to get off the ground?  Are you aware of an unfunded need that could enhance our service to others?

The St. Mark’s Endowment Fund exists to help such ideas take flight.  This year, it provided seed money for the Tiny Houses project.  In past years, it has purchased supplies for new ministries and paid for training to enhance volunteer efforts.

St. Mark’s members started the Endowment Fund some 10 years ago.  Past and current gifts remain in the Fund, where they generate investment income that provides grants for projects that aren’t part of the congregation’s regular operating budget.  

This coming year, about $3,500 will be available for grants.  The application process will begin in February and continue as long as money is available.  Anyone can apply.  Future issues of The Bridge will contain information about the application process.

If you have questions, please contact one of the Endowment Committee members: Don Reinkensmeyer (chair), Oscar Espinosa, Don Haueisen, Sally Ann McLean, or Stan Stenersen.
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!
Calendar Year-End Giving Statements
Hello! Just a friendly reminder from your finance team... Our fiscal year (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022) does not coincide with the calendar year; therefore, we provide you two giving statements in January (if necessary) to distinguish tax year giving from fiscal year giving. This works as follows:

Anyone who gave during 2021 will receive a statement on white paper that is stamped at the top with "Calendar Year Statement for Tax Purposes.” This summarizes your giving from January 1 through December 31, 2021. This statement gives you the information you need for year-end tax documentation.

If you gave an offering on or after July 1, 2021 (the start of our new fiscal year), you will also receive a second statement on green paper summarizing your giving from July 1 through December 31, 2021. If you pledged, this statement gives you a view of both your pledge for the current fiscal year and your giving thus far toward that pledge. If you did not pledge, you will simply receive a summary of your giving-to-date for this fiscal year.

We hope these two statements give you a clear picture of your giving. We sincerely thank you for your generosity and ongoing support of the mission we share at St. Mark's! Please contact Pat Buck or Jennifer Droubay in the church office (253-752-4966) with any questions.
ELCA Region 1 Disaster Preparedness Network
We are surrounded by beauty living in the Pacific Northwest. We are also very aware of natural disasters that come with life in this part of the world--tsunami warnings, earthquakes, forest fires to name a few. St. Mark's is part of the ELCA Region 1 Disaster Preparedness Network. If you would like information about how to prepare yourself, your family and your community in case of an emergency, you will find many helpful resources at region1beprepared.org. If you would like to know more about becoming involved in this emergency network, contact Linda McKeller in the church office.
Rental Needed for Refugee Family
The Refugee Resettlement Team is happy to announce that St. Mark’s will soon be co-sponsoring a refugee family, probably starting in March. We are looking for tips, advice and information from anyone in the congregation who might be familiar with the rental market in Tacoma. If you can help in any way, please contact John Avery, johnavery@gmail.com, 253-376-5599.
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! 
Children grades 1-4th will continue to meet over Zoom on Sunday, January 30, at 9a.m. with Holley Piercy and parent volunteers. Youth Grades 5-12th: we will meet January 30--due to the Semi-Annual meeting of the Congregation.  

5-8th grade students...Bob Ross Paint Night if you forgot to sign up for our paint night this Friday, January 28, from 6-7:30 p.m. we've got a couple spots open. Please email Ingelaurie Lisher ingelaurie@smlutheran.org ASAP to reserve yours.

Youth Marimbas continues to meet on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. for youth grades 6-12th. 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--is up and running for 2022. This group for youth grades 6-8th this group will meet Feb. 3 (Chase the Chill Kit build using a Thrivent Action Team Grant); March 3 and March 17 5:30-6:30 p.m. Please note we will not be meeting Thurs. Feb. 17--Holiday weekend. 

The Well (Sunday evenings) for high school youth will be on hold for the rest of 2022. All 9-12th grade students are invited to continue to stay connected by participating in our High School Sunday morning Faith Formation class from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the Fireside Room. We will reimagine this group and reboot later in the year. 

5-8th grade (2022-2023 school year) Summer Camp 2022 Instructions for Lutherhaven, ID (June 26-July 1 camp dates). 
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. 
5. To get the early bird rate please register soon-St. Mark's will be paying the $200.00 per student by March 1, so families can mark the March 15 early bird deadline. Spaces are filling up with the camp. 

Summer 2022 High School Tiny House Build interest form: 2022-2023 High School students 9-12th grade and 2022 graduates check this out. Parents/Congregational 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. Our next session of the study led by Mark Gravrock will meet in person with a zoom option on Sunday, February 14th at 9:45 am. 

Holiness and Heresy: Join Pastor Hallie on Wednesday at 6:15 on Zoom for our second class exploring the female mystics and the ways they encode knowledge of God through testimony, memory, and witness. As a class this week, we’ll take a look at excerpts from Hilldegard’s Scivias and Hadewijch’s poetry, and introduce the Beguines. Throughout the series, we’ll take a look at gender and the ways women have authored their spiritual authority (especially in relationship to the Church). To register for email updates about the class, readings, and Zoom link, please click here

Film Discussion: Join Michelle Marshmann on Sunday, February 6, in person at 9:45 a.m. for a movie discussion on the film, “The Farewell.” Directed by Lulu Wang, this poignant drama is part of our series at St. Mark’s centering Asian American stories through film. We invite you to watch the film on your own and explore the movie guide in our Google drive

In other faith formation news, please keep the book “Jesus and John Wayne” by Kristen Kobus Du Mez on your radar. Beginning in March, St. Mark’s will host a book group for men and masculine-identifying people to read and discuss masculinity, power, privilege and patriarchy within Christianity. Please contact Ray Shjerven rshjerven@comcast.net for more information. 
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.

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.
Advocate for Earth Ministry
The current Washington State Legislative session has started and Earth Ministry has set priorities and is providing updates on bills important to environmental concerns.  We can become faithful advocates through the Washington State Legislature web site using their tools for providing feedback on proposed legislation.  Earth Ministry can help navigate that web site as well as furnish details of how and when to make your position known.  Sign up for their weekly email with Legislative Action Alerts here.
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! UPDATED
Thanks to so many kind knitters and crocheters we have a growing supply of hats and scarves which means we can generously share the warmth and help chase the chill during these very cold, damp days of winter. Please stop by the table by the Office when you are in the building 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. We have been given skeins of yarn as well which are also on the table. If you would like some for your next Chase the Chill project please help yourself. Thanks so much!!
Dementia Resource from Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Click here for information from Lutheran Community Services Northwest: Becoming Dementia Friendly.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows