Sunday, December 14th

THIS WEEK:

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL:  9:30 AM at the Sacks

YOUTH CHRISTMAS PAGEANT PRACTICE: 9:45 AM

WORSHIP and PAGEANT:  11:00 AM

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: after the service – All are welcome!

CHRISTMAS CAROLING and PARTY: 3:30 PM

Sunday, December 14th –

A note from our Youth Christmas Pageant director, Cathy – “All children wishing to be in the church pageant should arrive by 9:45 on Sunday the 14th. If there is anyone in the congregation wishing to share music during the pageant time they should email me at wtucrev@gmail.com as soon as possible so I am sure to include them in the plan.”

Our third Sunday of Advent, we will light our next Advent Candle– with the theme of joy and obedience, under the Star quilts that lovely WTUC women (Hagi san, Yoki Muro, Masami Sasao, and others) made under the leadership of Nancy Bekedam. The symbol of this Advent 3 is a candle and a stone. A rock is often used as a symbol for Christ. In the wilderness, Moses struck a rock and it poured forth water to refresh the people. A rock can also symbolize obedience to Christ as we see with St. Peter, whose name means “rock.”

This week is our Christmas Pageant directed and written by Cathy Berghahn, and brought alive by our dear WTUC Youth and friends. Please join us for this fun celebration of Advent as we wait for the birth of Christ.

Calling all bakers and Christmas treat finders extraordinaire – please bring your favourite Christmas treat to share after the worships on the 14th and the 24th.  Looking forward to partying with you this precious season.

Today we will start collecting this year`s Christmas Offering – which will go to Asian Rural Institute, http://www.ari-edu.org/en/home-eng/ The mission of the Asian Rural Institute is to build an environmentally healthy, just and peaceful world, in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential. This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. To carry out this mission, we nurture and train rural leaders for a life of sharing. Leaders, both women and men, who live and work in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, form a community of learning each year together with staff and other residents. Through community-based learning we study the best ways for rural people to share and enhance resources and abilities for the common good. We present a challenge to ourselves and to the whole world in our approach to food and life. Motto: That We May Live Together.

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. Please place your gifts under the Christmas Tree.

After the worship service will be a robust fellowship time sharing Christmas Cookies. Please bring your favorite treats of the season to share with others.  Homemade or otherwise, all will be enjoyed = )

In the afternoon we will have our Annual Christmas Caroling at orphanages and Christmas treats at the Sacks` celebration. Meet at the Sacks’ around 3:30 PM, leave for NOZOMI NO IE by 3:45, arriving around 4 PM, then CHOYO GAKUEN around 5, and then eating chili and cookies at the Sacks’ around 6 or whenever finished. ALL are invited and bring along a friend! Join us for any and all of the fun!

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

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL:  9:30 AM at the Sacks

PAGEANT PRACTICE: 9:45 AM

WORSHIP and PAGEANT:  11:00 AM

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: after the service – All are welcome!

CHRISTMAS CAROLING and PARTY: 3:30 PM

***

         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 = )

***

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, ES, MS & HS YOUTH – a message from Cathy Berghahn – “All children wishing to be in the church pageant should arrive by 9:45 on Sunday the 14th. If there is anyone in the congregation wishing to share music during the pageant time they should email me at wtucrev@gmail.com as soon as possible so I am sure to include them in the plan.”

MULTI GENERATIONAL Sunday School – Pageant Practice December 14th, 9:45 am.

ADULT Sunday School – December 14th in the Sacks` living room, 9:30-10:30 am. Uses the Candle Method to look at the Sermon`s passage.

After the 14th, all classes will resume in January – everyone is welcome!

Thank you so much Cathy Berghahn for your marvelous direction of this year`s Christmas pageant. Thank you everyone for your joyous participation!

***

Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Time

December 14th     Advent 3, Adult Sunday School at the Sacks`, Youth Pageant Practice (all youth are welcome to join in – there`s always room for one more sheep or angel = ), Youth Christmas Pageant – invite your family and friends! Caroling at orphanages in the area 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 and refreshments

December 28th     Pastor Teresa preaching,Year end worship service

January 4th           Epiphany Play, First Communion of 2015

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MULTIGENERATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL!! ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL!!

We 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. This Sunday School will start up againMulti-generational-worship in January – 1/11 and 1/25.

The Sacks host the Adult Sunday School, also at 9:30 am in their living room. The method used is the, Swedish Bible study method,interacting with the texts for the service 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 2,000 yen. 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

***

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

***

Luke 1:31-38                                   New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.34 Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I am a virgin?[a] 35 The angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[b] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.38 Then Mary said, Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.Then the angel departed from her.

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