Weekly Newsletter | October 19, 2021
Worship and Devotions
Sunday Morning Worship
We will continue to 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.

Evening Prayer every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Commons. This weekly in person evening service includes contemplative music and readings along with candlelight prayer around the cross. We will wear masks and observe the same COVID safety guidelines that we use on Sunday morning.

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. 
Standing with our Neighbors from the Islamic Center of Tacoma
We continue to pray for peace and consolation for all members of the Islamic Center in Tacoma after a fire destroyed their mosque one week ago. We can’t imagine how hard this is for them, but we can stand with them and offer the simple gift of space for their Friday prayers each week. It was very moving to see over 100 men remove their shoes and then gather in our Parish Commons last Friday afternoon, and also to visit with them as they arrived and departed that day. One of the men brought us 3 dozen roses with a card that said: “Thank you for this cooperation, love, and giving…We appreciate this support, and we also love you and are happy to be your friends.”
We invite you to consider other ways to express solidarity with our neighbors at the Islamic Center, including the opportunity to give financial support at this critical time. Gifts can be made online at: https://www.launchgood.com/campaign/help_rebuild_the_islamic_center_of_tacoma#!/
St. Mark’s Bazaar
We are excited to announce that the Bazaar will be back in person this year! Mark your calendars for the first Saturday in November, 11/6/21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be some changes to ensure the safety ofeveryone who attends, including masking as we already do for worship services, and no meal served. But, we are especially excited to have baked goods for sale again, including lefse! If you are interested in helping with any aspect of the bazaar, please sign up at the table at church, or click on this link. Craft items, books, and collectibles can be dropped off any Monday through Friday during office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or on Sunday mornings starting 10/24/21. No furniture size items, please! Baked goods can be dropped off Thursday 11/4 and Friday 11/5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be clamshell containers available ahead of time to make packaging easier. Contact Julie with any questions at jldennis74@hotmail.com, or 253-988-8596.
September 2021 – General Ministry Fund Financial Update
Please see below the financial results for September. We missed bottom line budget by ~$3,500 for the month, but we’re still looking good finishing up the first quarter of our new fiscal year.
Offerings for September were $6,126 below budget ($73,025 versus budgeted offerings of $79,151). We are now $3,258 above budgeted offerings on a fiscal year-to-date (FYTD) basis ($225,847 versus budgeted offerings of $222,589). This puts us 6.1% above last year’s actual offerings over the same time period. 

Expenses for September were $2,354 below budget (spending $86,429 versus budgeted expenses of $88,783). FYTD, we are now $8,519 below budgeted expenses ($241,650 versus budgeted expenses of $250,169). As we ease our way back into full reopening, we continue to be modestly below budgeted expenses in areas such as hospitality supplies and certain part-time staffing (e.g., custodial assistant, nursery).

The bottom line for September is that we spent $12,948 more than we brought in versus our projection to spend $9,432 more than we brought in. This put us $3,516 below budget for the month. On a FYTD basis, we are still $12,552 ahead of budget, spending $14,428 more than we brought in versus a projection to spend $26,980 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.
Chase the Chill
It's time to Chase the Chill! The weather is turning cold and damp which means many people on the streets and in shelters are in need of something warm and cozy. If you like to knit or crochet please join us in making scarves and hats to distribute this year to agencies who help those in need. There is a basket on the shelves outside the office for your finished projects. If you have questions, please talk with Eleanor Sherry on Sunday mornings or call the church office Monday-Friday mornings at 253-752-4966. Thank you!
Children, Youth, and Family Faith Formation
Sunday School is back in the building: after a couple weeks outside we have moved indoors on Sundays from 9:45-10:45 a.m. for children 3 years old to 9th grade, 10-12th graders you will start up on Sundays beginning Nov. 14. 

If you haven't registered your student yet please sign up here.

Class locations: 
  • 3 years to 4th grade Preschool/Lower CFC wing
  • 1-4th grade Zoom class: 9:00-9:25am--see email from Hollye Piercy for Zoom link. 
  • 5/6th grades Lower Youth Room--also offered on Zoom
  • 7/8th grades Parish Commons--yes Coffee hour has been moved to the Narthex for the time being--also offered on Zoom
  • 9th grade Fireside Room
  • Storytime for PreK-1st grade students will be 2x per month--link sent out beforehand to families. 
Zoom links for 5-8th grade classes are emailed to families ahead of time. 

Have you met our teachers for the fall? Here are our leaders: Amanda and Joshua Minnis, Pre-K; Derek Smith 1st-3rd; Mark Young and Claire DeMoss 4th grade; Angelie and Irv Stahlnecker, Bryne DeMoss 5/6th grade; Linda Wimberley and Bruce Sadler 7/8th grade. We are still looking for a 1-3rd grade assistant or volunteer and some extra adults to help teach the high school youth when they begin in November. Just let Ingelaurie Lisher ingelaurie@smlutheran.org know if you can lend a hand. 

Middle School youth group is held the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of each month: October 21, November 4, 18, December 2 & 16. 
Adult Faith Formation 

Wednesday Noon Bible study: Join us for Bible study with the pastor! On Wednesday at noon on we will meet. This fall, we will offer a hybrid Bible study. With Covid safety in mind, we invite you to wear a mask and to eat before Bible study (no food will be served). You are invited to join in person in the Parish classroom, or join remotely via this Zoom link. For questions, please email Pastor Hallie. 

Following the book conversation with John Phillip Newell on a date to be determined soon, there will be an evening book discussion on the following three Wednesdays at 6:15 at St. Mark's. Please sign up for small groups here

On Sunday, October 24, at 10 a.m. you are invited to a movie discussion of the film The Big Sick, a romantic comedy loosely based on the real-life romance between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Nanjiani) and grad student Emily Gordon (Zoe Kazan). Spoiler alert- they fall in love, but struggle as their cultures clash. We invite you to watch the film on your own and explore the movie guide in our Google drive. Please know you are welcome to join in person or online- you can find the Zoom link in our google drive. Please email Pastor Hallie for any questions. 
The rest of our film line up for the year:
November 19: To Be Takei
January 14: The Farewell
February 11: Always Be My Maybe
March 11: Moana
April 22: Minari 

PLU events:
Tuesday, November 2, at 7 p.m., PLU will host an evening with James Martin-Schramm on his lecture, "Bonhoeffer, the Church, and the Climate Question." For more information, click here.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study Has Resumed
The Wednesday 9:30 a.m. Bible study has resumed in the Parish Commons #1 classroom 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
Grief support group meets Friday, October 22, at 11a.m. in the Fireside room.

Caregiver support group next meeting Friday, November 12, at 10:30 a.m. in the Fireside room.

If you are interested in joining a support group or would like to participate virtually please contact sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org.
Peace and Justice
LATEST UPDATE on Refugee Needs
THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed furniture, household items, and money to our refugee resettlement efforts! The shipping container in our parking lot now holds more than enough to get a family started. We are now focusing on the financial support which will allow us to purchase additional items once we know more about the family and assist them with basic needs as they settle in to our community.

To support our these efforts financially, you may write a check to St. Mark’s with the note “refugee support” on it and mail it or bring it to church. You may also go to smlutheran.org, select “Give”, then ONLINE GIVING, then “refugee support”. Thank you! Questions? Contact Paula Friedmann pfzebra@me.com or John Avery johnavery@gmail.com.
UPDATED: Donations for “Starter Kits” needed
Breaking the cycle of homelessness
HELP NEEDY YOUTH! This Fall, we would like to provide “Starter Kits” for 6 needy youth ages 16-24 years old as they begin their personal journeys to independence. Needs include linens and full size toiletries. If you would like to buy some items for kits, follow this link to sign up. Purchase your items, label them “YHH Starter Kit” and drop them in the SHS/YHH Starter Kit bin at church on Sunday or during office hours during the week.
Volunteers to assemble kits contact Roz Lueck-Mammen at RozLM28@gmail.com.

Background: In 2013, St. Mark’s members learned of Shared Housing Services* (SHS), a non-profit with a unique approach to help needy youth in Pierce County. With Youth Host Home (YHH), one their 3 core programs for improving people’s lives, youth 16-24 years old are matched with homeowners who provide a safe, stable home and mentoring program to them while they connect with education and community services.

We connect with the YHH program as part of our Peace and Justice mission.  According to SHS data, youth placed are 33% with some disability, 33% were domestic violence survivors, 20% LGBTQ, 8% escaped sex trafficking and 27% had had some involvement with the justice system. Each year, about 15-20 young people enter the program, often with only the clothes on their backs. The hosts provide a bedroom, bed and the promise of mentorship.
Worship Volunteers Needed
Would you like to volunteer to be a part of worship services as a greeter, usher, lector, or communion assistant? We need you and would love to include you in this important ministry. Call the office at 253-752-4966, email linda.mckeller@smlutheran.org, or drop by the office any morning from 8:30-12:30 to sign up to be involved in the worship service of your choice. Thanks!
Altar Flowers
Would you like to donate flowers for the altar in honor or memory of a person, event, or special occasion? You can sign up on the flower chart calendar on the board outside the office door. Questions? 253-752-4966. Thank you!
St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows