Sunday, November 30th

THIS WEEK

Sunday, November 30th –

Our first Sunday of Advent, we will light our first Advent Candle under the Star quilts that lovely WTUC women (Hagi san, Yoki Muro, Masami Sasao, and others) made under the leadership of Nancy Bekedam.

Covenant Players will start off our Advent season with a worship service of short dramatic plays expressing hope in spite of tribulation, and God’s love through it all, using the themes of the liturgical texts for Advent 1. Since 1963, Covenant Players has pioneered the use of drama as a communications resource in the church. Units of Covenant Players travel throughout the world communicating the reality of the Gospel in churches of all denominations. Invite a friend to enjoy worship through drama and songs of Advent.

http://covenantplayers.org/about-us

Thank you for your generous response in last week`s Thanksgiving offering, 71,000 yen was collected. The offering went to support the ministry of Second Harvest Japan, one of WTUC`s outreach ministries http://2hj.org/

If you would like to participate in our annual “Socks and gifts for the children of `Nozomi No Ie`” giving opportunity, please pick up your children`s information from Jim Sack.

After the worship service will be a fellowship time.

We are also very thankful to those who help set up and take down the chairs and the sanctuary = ) *Interested/or know someone who is, in a paid position, taking down the chairs of our sanctuary? Contact Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com

WORSHIP:  11:00 AM

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: after the service – All are welcome!

***

About the Covenant Players –

   The Pacific Gate Unit of Covenant Players, whom is sharing with you today, serves all the islands of Hawaii, as well as Japan, Okinawa and Guam. The unit consists of Kurt and Cathy Purucker, and Susan Carlson.

       Kurt has been actively involved with Covenant Players since August of 1984. While attending high school in New Mexico, an interest in the performing arts came to fruition through involvement with his high school drama program. After a couple of years at a state university, Kurt felt a tugging to be more active with his faith, so when the opportunity to join Covenant Players was mentioned by a friend, he didn’t hesitate to make that move. He recently celebrated 29 years of ministry service.

     Cathy has been active in drama since pre-teen days, though she, too, decided to leave it behind for a season. Growing up in South Africa, she never heard about any sacred performing groups. When invited by a friend to attend a performance by a Christian drama company, her eyes were opened to a new possibility – Christian drama. After a couple of years of soul searching, she felt God’s good pleasure in pursuing ministry with Covenant Players. She celebrated 28 years in the ministry the beginning of April.

     Susan Carlson was born and raised in Oregon in a loving Christian family. She has been passionate about drama, singing, and stories since her childhood, and has always been at home on the stage. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from George Fox University with her BA in Theatre, as well as minors in music and musical theatre. She has long been called to combine theatre and missions in a meaningful way, and has found her hearts desire in Covenant Players. She anticipates seeing the ways God will use story to break down walls.

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         58th Annual Women’s Conference (January 30 – February 1, 2015) Inspired by Isaiah 58:11 “You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring,” the 2015 Women’s Conference is entitled Inner Gardening with Hennie Symington as our speaker.  Here is also a link to a promotional video (on YouTube) that you can also share. It is only 1 minute 44 seconds long. http://youtu.be/egrWIelgD9E

         Registration is now open. We have online registration and also a PDF that can be printed out available at our website http://wocon.net A number of women from WTUC attend every year, and we would love to see that number swell = )

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Any questions, please contact Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com, or Julie Rogers for HS; Amy Harbaugh and Steve Bennett for Upper ES and Lower MS, grades 4-7; and Carrie Bennett for Lower ES, grades K-3.

LITTLE KIDS during worship – there is no children`s church available during this service this week. Please enjoy the Covenant Players dramas, as well as books and coloring materials.

ES & MS YOUTH Pageant Practice December 7th and 14th from 9:30am

HS YOUTH Pageant Practice December 7th and 14th from 9:30am

MULTI GENERATIONAL Sunday School in Cafeteria – Sunday, November 23rd from 9:30-10:30am; Next activities: Pageant Practice December 7th and 14th from 9:30am

NEXT ADULT Sunday Schools – in the Sacks` Living Room, Sunday, November 23rd and December 14th 9:30-10:30 am.

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Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Time

November 30th    Advent 1, Covenant Players http://www.covenantplayers.org/ – in worship, invite your friends!

December 7th     Advent 2, Youth Christmas Pageant practice, Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, Mission Moment by Rev.  Saito of Inochi no Denwa, special music by Ide Sensei & choir,  Communion, after service: concert of Hiroko Ide & the Senzoku Conservatory – all are welcome!

December 14th     Advent 3, Adult Sunday School at the Sacks`, Youth Christmas Pageant – invite your family and friends! Caroling at orphanages and Christmas treats at the Sacks in the afternoon – all are invited!

December 21st     Advent 4, Rev. Dr. Timothy McKenzie  preaching, Communion

December 24th     Christmas Eve Service from 6:30pm. Christmas cookies refreshments

December 28th     Pastor Teresa preaching,Year end worship service

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MULTIGENERATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL!! ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL!!

This fall again we will have Multigenerational Sunday School from 9:30 in the cafeteria the second and fourth Sundays of the month. Who is welcome? All ages. We will be creating, discussing, playing games, acting out bible stories and more. 

The Sacks will host the Adult Sunday School, also at 9:30 am in their living room. The method for looking at the texts for the service is called the, Swedish Bible study method,interacting with  the text through our own life experiences. Their home is right across the Lutheran Campus from our sanctuary. Best coffee in town = ) Come and enjoy! (At times Adult Sunday School is held in the Upper Room, on the 2nd floor above the Sanctuary.) All are welcome. Need more information, contact wtucrev@gmail.com any time = )

***

Socks and gifts for the children of “Nozomi No Ie,”an orphanage in Mitaka.

The tradition of collecting socks and gifts for the children residing at Nozomi No Ie goes back well over 20 years. Members of WTUC are asked to select a child (or children) and buy them both some socks and a present for Christmas. This year please feel free to accept more than one child. We ask each giver to sign up for a child by writing their name on a master list. The names of the children are also placed on a slip of paper that is given to the gift giver. It lists the name of the child, their sex, their age and sock size. The slips of paper have been color coded in case you forget their sex, with boys being blue and girls being red. If you happen to lose the piece of paper, ( which I am sure will never happen) you can call me at 0422-34-4266 to be reminded of who it is you are buying for.

Presents should not cost more than Yen 2,000. We want to get them something that is meaningful but we don’t want this to become a contest between children. Nozomi No Ie has asked that coupons, money and gift cards NOT be given. The orphanage would like each child to be able to open the gift and immediately be able to make use of it. If the socks and the gift are wrapped separately that gives each child the opportunity to open up two things. Please make sure the name of the child is SECURELY attached to each gift. If the name comes apart from the gift it is difficult to know who should receive the gift. The name of the giver may or may not be written on the gifts. That is up to each individual to decide.

They can be placed under the Christmas tree at the church. I take the gifts home each Sunday and put them in a secure place until they can be delivered to the orphanage by Christmas Eve.

This project continues to be a very concrete example of sharing the love of Christ during the Christmas season. Thank you to all who support this ministry.

Jim Sack

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WTUC Announcements:

*Questions or concerns? Feel free to email wtucrev@gmail.com anytime.

*Please enjoy and refer our website http://wtuc.net/ and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others. Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.

*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt ewitt@asij.ac.jp

*If interested in joining the WTUC Prayer Chain, let Pastor Teresa or Prayer Chain Coordinator, Kayo Ozawa, know of your interest. Please submit prayers to wtucrev@gmail.com or Kayo Ozawa.

*Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or on the list on the white board for next year. We appreciate your contributions to our community life!

*Each week we will be setting up the chairs for worship and preparing the sanctuary, anyone around at 10:30am is invited to be involved in the fun = ) Each week we will also return our sanctuary to it`s classroom style after the fellowship time.

*Interested in baptism or membership, please contact Pastor Teresa.

*Interested in a paid position setting up and/or taking down the chairs of our sanctuary? Contact Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com

***

* Isaiah 64: 1-9

If only, LORD; if only you would rip the sky open and come on down!

The mountains would begin trembling in your presence,

……..like water that boils when the fire is stoked beneath it.

Then the nations too would be shaking in their boots

……..and your opponents would realise who they were up against!

You have done it before, LORD;

……..you have surprised us with your presence

…………….and done amazing things that set the earth quaking.

Never, in the history of the world

……..has anyone seen or heard of any God but you.

No matter how hard people looked, or how hard they listened,

……..they never found a shred of evidence

…………….of any other god doing anything for anyone.

You are the one who responds to those who love doing what’s right;

……..to those who keep you and your ways in mind.

But now, LORD, you are angry over the wrong we have done;

……..you were out of sight and we became corrupt.

It was all downhill and now we are horribly polluted;

……..even our best efforts to do the right thing

…………….must seem like a gift of used toilet paper to you.

Our lives become drab and brittle like a dried leaf;

……..and our immoral behaviour sweeps us away like the wind.

There is no one left who prays to you, LORD,

……..or even attempts to stick with you.

You have turned your back on us

……..and left us in the mess we made for ourselves.

And yet, LORD, you are the one who conceived us.

……..You are the potter who moulds us like clay;

…………….every one of us has been hand-crafted by you.

Please don’t be too hard on us, LORD;

……..don’t dwell on our sins and stay angry forever.

…………….Think of us, instead, as your own people.

 

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

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