Recent Posts

  • We need to declare a national emergency on deadly policing

    The below article will be discussed in a virtual meeting tonight (9/24/2020) at 7:00PM by St Mark Lutheran Church. See the email which went out to members of the congregation for details of the virtual meeting. By Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas – September 2, 2020 “Protests are not working — where do we go from …Read More

  • 16th Sunday after Pentecost Worship

    Welcome to worship on this 16th Sunday after Pentecost!  This morning we hear Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard and are reminded that God’s ways are not always our ways–and in the end, this is really good news!  The children hear Pastor Beth read the story of Jonah from the “Rhyme Bible”.  There’s …Read More

  • 15th Sunday after Pentecost Worship

    Welcome to worship this morning!  We are thankful you are here.  Today’s worship plunges into forgiveness and takes a deep dive into conversations about race and our church.  God bless you as you follow Christ and live as people of faith in our world today!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6GYEtUhw5c&feature=youtu.be

  • The Hardest Blessing

    The image and words below were done by author and artist Jan Richardson and inspired by Matthew 18:21-35, which is this Sunday’s Gospel lesson.  They were first published as part of a reflection at The Painted Prayerbook. Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:22 NIV As …Read More

  • 14th Sunday of Pentecost

    Welcome to worship! Here is the video for Sunday, September 6th. This morning we hear a message of joy from our beloved member Laura Sinclair, a blessing for our students and school staff from Pastor Beth, music from the band and a sermon from Melanie Wallschlaeger, Director for Evangelical Mission. God bless you as you …Read More

  • 13th Sunday of Pentecost

    Welcome to worship on this 13th Sunday of Pentecost!   We are thankful you are here. Today we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion.  MacKenzie Kennedy leads us in Children’s Time and Pastor Beth reminds us we are to take up the cross of Christ and follow him. God bless you as you worship today! …Read More

  • ELCA Social Message on Government

    The ELCA Church Council has unanimously adopted a new social message titled: “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy” This project was called for at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, with an intention that it be ready to read before the national election this fall. The social message defines government …Read More

  • 12th Sunday after Pentecost

    Welcome to worship on this 12th Sunday of Pentecost!  We are thankful you are here!  God bless you. Listen and watch today’s gospel and sermon on the “Rock”. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=8Wi8w9NtcdI

  • 10th Sunday of Pentecost Worship

    Welcome to worship on this 10th Sunday of Pentecost!  We give thanks for the beauty of creation, the joy of music, and the blessing of God’s word. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMn8o8qcHZw&t=4s

  • 9th Sunday after Pentecost

    Welcome to worship for the 9th Sunday of Pentecost!  We are blessed to share in the gift of Holy Baptism for a “New Kid in Our Family.”  As we worship and hear the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, we pray you are fed and nourished for a life of loving service in the name …Read More

  • 8th Sunday of Pentecost

    Welcome to worship on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost! This morning we hear a series of Jesus’ parables describing what the Kingdom or Reign of God is like.  We are blessed with wonderful music from Terry, John, and Eric, Children’s Time with Pastor Beth,and Pastor Rebecca Schjerven, Assistant to the Bishop, as our guest preacher.  …Read More

  • Trump Sends Stormtroopers to Portland Oregon to Beat-Up and Kidnap Peaceful Protesters

    Trump later claimed that protesters were violent, but videos clearly show that Trump’s Stormtroopers were the violent ones and not the peaceful demonstrators. Trump also claimed that his Stormtroopers were “invited” in. This is not true. Not only were they not invited, but they have refused requests from both the Portland Mayor and the Oregon …Read More

  • John Lewis Quotes

    On July 17, 2020 the world lost a giant in the fight for civil rights when John Lewis lost his life to cancer. What better way to memorialize this great leader than to present a compilation of just some of his compelling quotes. Here is just one such list. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/john-lewis-quotes One of his most famous …Read More

  • Martin Luther Speaks About Pandemic and Politics

    7-19-2020 It may be worth your time to listen again to “Martin Luther Speaks about Pandemic and Politics”. These videos were originally published on this website about 3 months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early phases.  Our nation is now at increasing risk as both the pandemic intensity and political corruption and …Read More

  • Pottery Wheel & Kid’s Time

    In Dec 2017, video recordings were made at both services of Pastor Beth doing a pottery wheel demonstration for kid’s time. Only one of those recordings was ever published on this website. This week seems as good a time as any to finally publish the other video. So here it is. https://youtu.be/8S9GP8hnS2g

  • Mitik the Walrus Wears a Mask

    Mitik is a clever Walrus who lives at Pt Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. Mitik says: “Do a good deed task, And wear a mask!” “Don’t roll the dice, Follow Mitik’s advice!”  

  • July 12, 2020 + Sixth Sunday of Pentecost

    Welcome to worship this Sixth Sunday of Pentecost!  Today we hear the Parable of the Sower and Jesus tells us to “Listen.”  We listen to the words of Christ as he sows seeds of faith, hope and love in our lives.   God bless you!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8pTDAjFH7Q&feature=youtu.be

  • Fifth Sunday after Pentecost + July 5, 2020

    Welcome to worship this morning!  Today Jesus invites us to rest in him.  God bless you on this day with rest in the name of Christ.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YChBsZjE6g&t=1991s

  • 4th Sunday after Pentecost Worship

    Dear friends, Welcome to worship today! It is good to be together as the people of God. This morning we are blessed to hear our very own Bishop Richard Jaech preach about what it means to welcome one another in the name of Christ.  Pastor Beth shares one of her favorite books, “God’s Dream” during …Read More

  • June 21, 2020 Third Sunday After Pentecost Worshipful Experience

    Welcome to worship on this Third Sunday of Pentecost!  We are thankful you are here! This morning’s scripture lessons remind us–it is not easy to follow Jesus.  Yet, we remember God is with us and gives us what we need to live faithful lives.  Thanks be to God!     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGy_QijvLaE&feature=youtu.be

  • Second Sunday after Pentecost

    In this mornings Gospel, Jesus sends out his disciples.  Just as they are sent out, we are sent to share God’s love in our world today. God bless you as you proclaim the good news that “The reign of God is near” by your very lives.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w-OEdkutAU

  • ELCA SW Washington Synod Bishop Jaech’s Letter against Racism

    The attached letter from ELCA Southwest Washington Synod Bishop Rich Jaech gives some insightful thoughts for people to consider as they think about racism in the current crisis. https://lutheranssw.org/wp-content/uploads/Bishop-Letter-Against-Racism-5-31-20-1.pdf

  • Holy Trinity Sunday – June 7, 2020

    Our God is Three is One.  Our God is one in Three!  Today we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity–of who God is for us, with us, and around us.  God loves and is present in so many ways. Today’s service includes messages by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. The grace of our Lord …Read More

  • Episcopal Bishops Repudiate Trump’s Racist Actions and Statements

    Episcopal Bishops have repudiated the racist actions and statements of Donald Trump. They are especially upset that he made these statements in front of an Episcopal church. They are even more upset that he ordered national guardsmen to attack a peaceful demonstration between the White House and the church so he could walk to the …Read More

  • Pentecost Sunday

        On Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We give thanks for the way the Spirit moves in and through us–and even in spite of us!  This is timely as we seek to live as people of faith during a divisive, charged, and challenging time. Our hurting world needs the …Read More

  • Ascension Sunday

    Welcome to worship!  This morning we celebrate Ascension Sunday.  The Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus blessing his followers and ascending into heaven. We give thanks to God for Jesus who reigns in love forever and ever.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-3i4QoGVc&feature=youtu.be

  • May 17, 2020 Worshipful Experience

    Welcome to the Worshipful Experience for Sunday, May 17, 2020!  We hear Peter’s reminder to be ready to testify to the hope that is ours and Jesus’ promise of an Advocate. We give thanks and praise to God who promises to be with us always.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbYm-5cEBB4

  • May 10, 2020 Home Sunday

    During this morning’s Worshipful Experience we hear God’s promise to dwell with us and make a home with us and in us.  We seek to live out this blessing as we love one another.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJKBvMYQL0Y&t=2s  

  • May 3, 2020 Good Shepherd Sunday Worshipful Experience

    The Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as “Good Shepherd” Sunday.  In the Gospel today, we hear Jesus speak about himself as the gate to abundant life with God–not to keep people out, but to provide a way where there seems to be none.  Jesus says he is the shepherd who leads and guides his …Read More

  • April 26, 2020 Third Sunday of Easter Worshipful Experience

    Welcome to the Worshipful Experience for Sunday, April 26, 2020!  This Sunday we are blessed to have as our guest preacher Pastor Rebecca Shjerven, Bishop’s Associate for the Southwest Washington Synod. Also featured in worship today is PraisRing, our handbell choir, and Children’s Time. Be thinking about three things for which you are thankful! We …Read More

  • Children’s Time with Pastor Beth – April 19, 2020

    Click on the video below for a message especially for the younger ones at St. Mark.  Even the not so young might appreciate hearing Pastor Beth’s words and the story (written in Dr. Seuss fashion) by Nora Unrath, “How COVID-19 Stole Easter.”  God bless you!       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuWTA-AQi3s

  • Second Sunday after Easter Worship With Synod Staff – April 19, 2020

    Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! Jesus appears to his disciples who are sequestered in fear in a locked home.  Jesus promises to come to us today even in the midst of our fear and uncertainty. Many thanks to our Synodical Bishop Rick Jaech and Bishop’s Assistant Rebecca Schjerven for leading us in worship …Read More

  • Easter Sunday Worshipful Experience

    Early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw the stone had been removed from the tomb…. In the midst of fear, grief, confusion, and sheltering in a home for safety, the good news of Easter is proclaimed to Christ’s …Read More

  • Good Friday Evening Tenebrae Service

    Our evening Good Friday Service is a Tenebrae which is one of increasing darkness.  As the Passion of Christ according to the Gospel of John is read, candles are extinguished one by one.  This 35 minute service is contemplative as we reflect on the final days of Jesus and God’s life-giving love for us. You …Read More

  • Good Friday Mid-Day Worshipful Experience

      The Mid-Day Good Friday Worshipful Experience is from the perspective of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus.  The first one scoffed at Jesus.  His perspective is shared through the song “Friday Morning” by Sydney Carter.  The second one confessed.  His perspective is offered in the poem “What Was It Like for You …Read More

  • Maundy Thursday Worshipful Experience

    Maundy Thursday is the night we remember the meal Jesus shared with his disciples for the forgiveness of sin and his commandment to love one another. Please join us!  You will find the link to our Maundy Thursday “worshipful experience” below. As you worship with us, we invite you to participate in the sacrament of …Read More

  • Palm Sunday Worshipful Experience

    Dear friends! Here is our Worshipful Experience for Palm Sunday!  We hope it lifts your spirits and nurtures your soul. Feel free to cut a green branch or pick a flower to wave as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Watch to the very end for a St. Mark Palm Sunday Parade of saints!  …Read More

  • Virtual Visit from Loretta

    We had a virtual visit from Loretta this week. Loretta, true to her unique self, delivers a poignant message about social distancing and living as children of God.  She speaks the truth with clarity and humor. If you don’t know who Loretta is, you will after this brief 8 minute video!  Thank you, Loretta! To …Read More

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 – A Worshipful Experience

    Dear friends, Here is the link to our worshipful experience for Sunday, March 29, 2020.  It is approximately 21 minutes long. The Scripture lessons for this week are from Psalm 130, Ezekiel 37:1-14, and John 11:1-45.  I encourage you to read them, light a candle, and join us for worship as we breathe deep the …Read More

  • Sunday, March 22, 2020 – A Worshipful Experience

    Dear Friends, Please use the link below to enjoy a “worshipful experience” created for you by Pastor Beth.  It is about 12 minutes long.  You can read the Gospel Lesson before viewing:  John 9:1-41.  Many thanks to John Martin, Terry Shaw, and Isaiah Utto-Galarneau for their musical offerings.  This is a way for us to …Read More

  • The Labyrinth is Open

    On these gloriously sunny days, if you want to practice spiritual nurture (and promise to practice social distancing as well), the St. Mark labyrinth is open for prayerful meditation. The labyrinth is located between the sanctuary and the educational wing with an entrance from the side parking lot. (The church building unfortunately is closed due …Read More

  • The Living Water Flows

    In Sunday’s Gospel (John 4) Jesus meets an unnamed woman from Samaria who came to draw water from the well. Parched, he asks her to give him a drink. When she questions him, Jesus speaks to her of the Living Water. “Anyone who drinks from this water will be thirsty again; those who drink from …Read More

  • St. Patrick’s Day Prayer

    Dear friends, On St. Patrick’s Day, I encourage you to go outside and take a walk this afternoon or evening. Use this prayer attributed to St. Patrick as your guide.  Breathe deep as you step into the next moment and pray: Christ with me Christ before me Christ behind me Christ in me Christ beneath …Read More

  • A Prayer for the Close of the Day

      Please offer this prayer as often as needed to center you in God’s grace. Lord it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been …Read More

  • Sunday afternoon thoughts from Pastor Beth….

    Dear friends, I missed worshiping together today.  Eric and I hold you in our thoughts and prayers. We are working on ways to stay connected with you.  We will be in touch in the next several days about those sorts of things. So, now, I am just going to say it.  This is weird.  This …Read More

  • March 14, 2020 Dear friends at St. Mark, After much thought, prayer, and conversation the Church Council has decided to suspend worship services and close the building at St. Mark through the end of March. This is not a decision we have come to lightly.  Our hearts are heavy. Worship is central to who we …Read More

  • Readings & Gospel for 3-15-2020 – 3rd Sunday in Lent

    First Reading Exodus 17:1-7 1From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel …Read More

  • Good News in a Bad News World

    Sometimes there seems to be a bad news cloud hovering over the world. We have bad news in our own lives. And sometimes we are the bad news. We contribute to the bad news by the things we say and do, things we don’t say and don’t do. We confess in church each week that …Read More

  • More Resources for Corona Virus (COVID-19) Information

    Both of the below websites update their information on a daily basis. For the latest local Information see the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) website: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus For the latest national information see the Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Facts from the World Health Organization

    The following are links which present facts and resources from the World Health Organization. Everyone should also keep track of national, state, and other local resources. These links are updated daily with the latest information. WHO: COVID-19 Updates WHO: Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19) WHO: Travel Advice  

  • First Sunday in Lent

    God loves you. Remember that every time you see your reflection in a mirror. This Sunday’s bulletin cover shows a reflective black and white picture of mountains and a lake. A mirror image. Just like the image we see when we look into a mirror.  What do we see? The mirror shows the desires of …Read More

  • Transfiguration of the Lord

    On this Transfiguration Sunday, Pastor Beth explored with us what the transfiguration of the Lord meant then, and what it means for us now. God spoke to Peter, James and John from a cloud, as Jesus was enveloped in a brilliant light. “This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased. Listen …Read More

  • Climate Change

    Our Planet is Heating Up Fast – It’s Not Too Late to Change Course Today, the Earth is much hotter than it was just 200 years ago. And sadly, we are seeing extreme impacts of that warming across broad landscapes, affecting wildlife and people around the globe. HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW RISE IN SEA …Read More

  • 6th Sunday After Epiphany

    First be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:21-37 is the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus exhorts his followers to embrace standards of righteousness that exceed legal requirements and traditional expectations.  Much of today’s gospel reading echoes portions of the Ten commandments.  Jesus’ instructions to …Read More

  • Be the Salt and the Light

    Today’s Gospel reading, which includes the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13-20), shows Jesus encouraging his followers to be the” salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”.  What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? As salt flavors our food, God flavors us with His grace and forgiveness. And …Read More

  • 4th Sunday after Epiphany

    The Beatitudes.  Living right-side-up in an upside-down world. Pastor Beth asked us, ‘What does it mean to be blessed?’. Also, ‘What is the opposite of being blessed?’. Who are the blessed ones of God and how does it all work with God? Are the Beatitudes things we need to do to be blessed by God.  …Read More

  • 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

    Called to be fishers of people not keepers of the aquarium. Matthew 4:12-23 tells how Jesus begins his public ministry by calling fishers to leave their nets and follow him. ‘What’s the deal with fishing?,’ Pastor Eric asked. You throw out the net and hopefully get good fish. You can catch and release fish. Jesus …Read More

  • Love Requires Sacrifice

    In today’s Gospel (John 1:29-42), upon seeing Jesus, John the Baptist declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus was the Lamb slain as a sacrifice, and in doing so Jesus saved the whole world. Pastor Eric asked if we are the people of the Lamb, then …Read More

  • Baptism of Our Lord

    According to Matthew 3:13-17, before Jesus begins his ministry, he is baptized by John the Baptist, touched by the Spirit and identified publicly as God’s child. Pastor Eric brought up three questions from today’s gospel to Vicki L. and was surprised that she had answers to all three. So he asked Vicki if she would …Read More

  • Shine Like A Diamond

    This Sunday, the Epiphany of Our Lord, we celebrated the revelation of Christ to all nations with Lesson and Carols. New angels joined Gabriel on the Art Wall, heralding, “Jesus is here!”. A bright and perfect image of Jesus appeared as well.  Each member of the congregation was shining like a diamond, wearing or carrying …Read More

  • Be the Light

    On this First Sunday of Christmas, our service was filled with Lessons and Carols that told the story of the birth of Christ Jesus through scripture readings and music. We lifted our voices to celebrate the fulfillment of what was spoken through the angel Gabriel, whose image was presented on the altar wall for all …Read More

  • Full Audio of Christmas Eve Service 2019

    For those of you who may have missed our Christmas Eve Services, here is the Audio of the complete service, including all music and all readings. The audio runs through to the final dismissal “Go in peace. Be kind. Share the good news – Christ is born! Thanks be to God!” Be patient as you …Read More

  • Christmas 2019 Children’s Program

    The Children’s Christmas Program was presented during the 4th Sunday of Advent Worship Service. The 22 minute Program was well done and well received by the congregation. Check out the picture above to see the youth and adult helpers presenting their Program. Check out the audio below to hear the entire Program.

  • 4th Sunday of Advent

    This Sunday’s Gospel reading was Matthew 1:18-25 which is the story of Jesus’ birth focusing on the role of Joseph, who adopts the divinely-begotten child into the family of David and obediently gives him the name Jesus, which means “God saves”. Pastor Eric read a story he had written of the birth of his two …Read More

  • John the Baptist’s Wonderings

    In today’s Gospel from Matthew 11, John the Baptist from his prison cell wonders whether Jesus is the one who will bring God’s judgement upon the earth. Jesus told his disciples to let John know that God’s work is already being done through healing and restoration. In fact, “the way is being prepared for you”. …Read More