Lord of All and Servant of All- October 31, 2021

Come and join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, October 31st at 10:00 am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts. Please see the special posts below for the WTUC youth! Exciting upcoming activities!

This Sunday, Reverend Jim Sack will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “Lord of All and Servant of All” based on Romans 3:21-28 and John 8:31-36.

Our hymns for this coming Sunday include: “Out of the Depths,” “A Mighty Fortress,” and “Savior of the Nations.”

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

Gather your family and some friends together to join us in our Zoom worship service. One of Ruth’s puppet friends will be “on hand” for the children’s message. We hope to see many of you on Sunday! You are welcome to stay on after the service to chat for awhile and to catch up with old friends.

Youth Group Activities with Tokyo Union Church:

This week, the TUC open hours will be online from 5:30 on Thursday evening. We will be having a movie night, so wear something comfy and bring your popcorn! Join here: https://tokyounion-org.zoom.us/j/89238044371

Meeting ID: 892 3804 4371


For youth group on Sunday, we will be shopping and packing food boxes for Hands on Tokyo at 1:30 pm at TUC. We will meet in person only. 


Next Sunday, October 31st, will be our annual costume contest at TUC from 5:00 pm. We will have games, pumpkin decorating, and above all, our costume contest. Come dressed to win! Please incorporate a COVID safe mask into your costume this year. I am looking for a parent or two to assist with this event. Please let me know if you are available! All adults serving in a volunteer capacity must be vaccinated.

Message from Audrey Thorne regarding the upcoming Youth Retreat:

I am excited to announce that the TUC Youth Group will be taking its first trip/retreat in over two years! We will travel to ARI (learn more about them here) from November 20-21. Our group will be limited to 15 attendees, so please sign up soon if you would like your youth to attend. 
TUC and ARI have a long history of friendship and mutual support, so our trip will strengthen that connection and we will learn more about their mission of food justice and sustainable farming. The youth will get to serve as emissaries, collecting information to bring back to share with the TUC family. We will also enjoy fellowship, free-time in nature, and rest. 

Because safety is our highest priority, we will drive to avoid public transit. Proof of vaccination or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours must be shown before departure. Masks will be worn at all times indoors and when in close proximity to others. Eating will take place either outdoors or with plexiglass screens. Rooms will sleep two, with sufficient space for distancing. 
The cost of this trip is 15,000 yen per youth which will cover lodging, transportation, food and all incidentals. We have funds set aside to support youth who would like to attend. If you would like to avail yourself of a portion of these funds, please let me know soon. A detailed schedule for the trip is on it’s way. Please register here by Nov. 12th:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdVDYFVNz4yZTsjxQsYQ2xkJ_fjze9jQeGhrIUEHXeLYx7iLg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Let me know if you have any questions about the trip. I’m so excited for our youth group to experience a retreat to the farm together!

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Faith Seeking Peace, Justice and Mercy – October 24, 2021

You are welcome to join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, October 10th at 24th at 10:00 am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Reverend Paul Shew will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “Faith Seeking Peace, Justice and Mercy” based on Micah 6:1-8, Matthew 5:1-12.

Our hymns for this coming Sunday include: “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Let There Be Light,” and “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord.”

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

Gather your family and some friends together to join us in our Zoom worship service. We hope to see many of you on Sunday! You are welcome to stay on after the service to chat for awhile and to catch up with old friends.

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Prayer Is the Breath of Life – October 17, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, October 10th at 17th at 10:00 am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Pastor Claudia Genung-Yamamoto will be preaching, and the title of her sermon is “Prayer Is the Breath of Life” based on Psalm 66:19-20. “But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me.” Another verse that will be our focus is from Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Finally, First Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us with these few simple, but powerful words: “Pray without ceasing.”

Claudia Genung-Yamamoto was the pastor of West Tokyo Union Church for seventeen years before accepting a call to Kobe Union Church in August of 2011. Claudia is the senior pastor of KUC and is also a United Methodist Church missionary.

The opening hymn for this coming Sunday is “Come Christians, Join to Sing.” Carol Sack will be blessing us with music on the harp and playing “Be Still” for the congregational response after the sermon. Our closing hymn will be “Standing in the Need of Prayer.”

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

Gather your family and some friends together to join us in our Zoom worship service. Ruth’s puppets have been asked to share about prayer, so we look forward to seeing them as well. We hope to see many of you on Sunday! You are welcome to stay on after the service to chat for awhile and to catch up with old friends.

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One Thing You Lack – October 10th, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, October 10th at 10am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Dr. Joe Ozawa will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “One Thing You Lack” based on Mark 10:21. How difficult is it for a “camel” to pass “through the eye of a needle?”  Is it “impossible” for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God?  How can Jesus say we are perfect and righteous in all ways and yet are unable to be his disciple because we cannot give up our money or wealth? Isn’t wealth a blessing from God? 

Joe and Camels

Dr. Joe Ozawa has been a clinical psychologist for 40 years and was a licensed Anglican pastor at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral of Singapore.  He has ministered in over 25 nations and was a government official in the courts of Singapore for 7 years.  Today, he continues to counsel and consult with pastors, missionaries, and others in many nations.  Joe and his wife, Andrea, were members of WTUC when they lived in Mitaka (2003-2005).

The scripture reading is Mark 10:17-23. One of the hymns for this coming Sunday is “I Surrender All.” The lyrics are listed below for your contemplation:

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that thou art mine.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to thee,
Fill me with thy love and power,
Let thy blessing fall on me.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!
(Refrain)

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

Gather your family and some friends together to join us in our Zoom worship service. Some puppets may show up for the children’s sermon… perhaps even a camel! We hope to see many of you on Sunday!

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Making Perfect Through Suffering – October 3rd, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, October 3 at 10am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Malcolm Foster will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “Making Perfect Through Suffering” based on Hebrews 1:1-4 and 2:5-11. This follows the lectionary for this Sunday.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

We hope to see many of you on Sunday!

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The Inclusive Hospitality of the Gospel – September 26th, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, September 26 at 10am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Pastor Paul Shew will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “Inclusive Hospitality of the Gospel: The Hope and Challenge” based on Galatians 3:28 and Acts 15:1-31.

Our opening hymn is “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and the closing hymn will be “O God of Every Nation.”

Ruth and her puppet helpers will be providing a short children’s message, and Betsy and Malcolm will be managing the liturgy and slides for the worship service.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

We hope to see many of you on Sunday!

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Resting in the Triune God – September 19th, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our service on Sunday, September 19 at 10am. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Pastor Claudia will be preaching, and the title of her sermon is Resting in the Triune God based on Matthew 11:28-30.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

See you on Sunday!

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The Tongue Is Like a Fire – September 12th, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our second worship service since the summer break. Sunday, September 12 at 10am is our next meeting time. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Malcolm Foster will be preaching, and the title of his sermon is “The Tongue is Like a Fire,” based on James 3:1-2. He will be talking about how our tongues are powerful little organs, capable of influencing big things much like the horse’s bit can control the horse and a ship’s rudder can control the direction of the ship. The tongue is capable of wreaking great havoc. James uses pretty strong language in this passage, so we know that this is an important issue especially for Christians.

Our tongues reveal our hearts, and ultimately we need to rely on God to transform our hearts and our tongues so that they can serve God’s purposes. Our liturgist will be Carol Sack, and Grudge the Rat will join us for the children’s message.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of another Covid shut-down. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we support each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

See you on Sunday!

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Fragments of Christ – September 5th, 2021

Join the West Tokyo Union Church community via Zoom for our first worship service since the summer break. Sunday, September 5 at 10am is our next meeting time. We will be continuing to meet online until it is safe to meet in person. We will keep you informed via email and updated website posts.

Painting of Jesus feeding the five thousand.

Our sermon this coming Sunday will be delivered by Rev. Jim Sack. The title, “Fragments of Christ,” refers to the feeding of the 5,000 found in the Gospel lesson of John, chapter 6, verses 4-13. Our online organist will be Kazuko Sacon, the liturgist is Malcolm Foster and the children’s message will be augmented by Hamlet the Pig.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going despite setbacks and the Covid catastrophe. So many people have contributed to our thriving spiritual life and our committed connections to keep WTUC vibrant. Thank you for your prayers, your financial support and your helpful hearts as we weather the woes of this world and find joy in God’s gracious answers to prayer.

See you on Sunday!

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Faith in the Lord

Reverend Jim Sack will be preaching this Sunday for our last Zoom worship service of the season. The WTUC community will take a two month hiatus after which we will meet up again in early September to resume our fellowship. Please join us at 10 am, Japan time, on Sunday, June 27 as we gather for worship. The theme of our service will be “Faith in the Lord.” We may even be joined by several puppet friends who would like to contribute to the “children’s time” which is actually enjoyed by many of our enthusiastic adults. Hope to see you there!

“Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.”

Scripture Reading: Mark 5:21-43

        When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So, he went with him.

         A large crowd followed Jesus and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”   

        And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 

        While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Blessings on your Sunday!

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