December 13, 2015

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly – Sunday, December 13, 2015 worship – Advent = JOY  Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill     wtucrev@gmail.com

9:45 AM – PAGEANT PRACTICE and ADULT Sunday School at the Sacks`

11:00 AM – CHRISTMAS PAGEANT directed by Cathy Berghahn in the WORSHIP – We will begin taking the Christmas special offering for Second Harvest Japan.

FELLOWSHIP TIME: CHRISTMAS TREATS after the worship – bring your favourite Christmas cookie, treat or drink to share. 

3:30 PM – CHRISTMAS CAROLING – meet in the Sacks` driveway, and then we will go to Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen

from 5:30 PM – SWEDISH CHRISTMAS treats and supper at the SACKS` – all are welcome, drop in any time!

about our director – Cathy Berghahn, our Pageant Director grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church in New York, where she was active in the the church music and drama programs. She has been living overseas teaching in International schools for the past 23 years. She is a middle school math and science teacher with a background and training in the theater. She has taught drama and directed plays and musicals in the many schools she has worked at – and we are very thankful to her for sharing her considerable gifts with our WTUC Youth and the young at heart!

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Sunday, December 13th – Our second CHRISTMAS PAGEANT practice (directed by Cathy Berghahn) will be from 9:45 AM. ADULT Sunday School at the Sacks` will also be from 9:45 AM. During the 11AM worship service we will have our CHRISTMAS PAGEANT.

A note from our Youth Christmas Pageant director, Cathy – “All children and young at heart wishing to participate in the church pageant should come to the 9:45AM practice on Sunday the 13th. And from Julie Rogers – a group of singers is being organised to sing the first verse (with the congregation joining in on the 2nd verse) of `Hark the Herald Angels Sing` in church on Sunday, Dec 13th during the pageant. We will meet before the service to go over the piece.

All regulars, please bring your favourite Christmas treat to share during the robust fellowship afterwards.

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

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 or Betsy Terada or put your packages under the Christmas tree (Jim takes the presents to his home after every service.)

3:30 PM Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen – at 3:30 PM meet at WTUC/Sack`s drive way.

There will be a Swedish Christmas feast at the Sack`s home afterwards – from 5:30 PM – all are welcome to these FUN traditions of WTUC – feel free to bring along a friend or family member = ) 

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about the special Christmas offering (collected through the end of December) will go to benefit, Second Harvest Japan – Japan`s first food bank.  We receive donations from manufacturers, retailers, farmers and individuals and then distribute them to those in need. All of the food that we handle is unexpired and safe for consumption. We give this food a second life by distributing it to welfare agencies, orphanages, women shelters, people without homes, and those in need.  Second Harvest Japan aims to create a Food Safety Net in Japan. In order to do so, we deliver food to children’s homes, single-mother shelters, centers for the disabled as well as many other welfare organizations and individuals in need. In order to deliver enough food to those who lack food security,¹ 2HJ cooperates with food manufacturers and other companies and hopes to use food to create new partnerships between corporations and the community. In our first year of incorporation we delivered 30 tons of food. In 2012 this number jumped to 3,152 tons valued at ¥1.8 billion. That same year we helped companies save about ¥310 million in disposal costs. Since 2002 we have have delivered over 8,000 tons valued at ¥4.8 billion yen.  Your support of Second Harvest Japan helps them achieve their motto, “Food for all People.”

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 a Nativity reflection from Madeleine L’Engle –

First Coming
 
He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.
 
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.
 
He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.
 
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
 
We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
 
~ Madeleine L’Engle, in Cry Like a Bell, 57.
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“Composition of a Lifetime“ The 2016 Women’s Conference https://woconjapan.wordpress.com/ will be held January 29~31 at Amagi Sanso. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life? Have you wondered about the meaning of your life? Do you admire great artists, writers, architects, and composers — and envy their genius (even just a little)? We forget that even the great geniuses who produced masterpieces had their dark moments, too. We don’t always know what goes into great compositions, but more importantly, we forget that we are great compositions! Maybe we don’t have that one thing to show for our lives. Except we do! It takes every major and minor part to compose an entire life! We have much to celebrate because we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Special Guest Presenter: Tomoko Arakawa, Director of Asia Rural Institute (ARI)

Join us for a celebratory weekend of rest, relaxation, restoration, and fun as we explore the wonderful compositions of our lives! Registration is open. Click here to register – https://woconjapan.wordpress.com/about-3/registration-2009/

Enjoy a short shareable promotional video http://youtu.be/egrWIelgD9E

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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 (please see Jim or Betsy). 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 or email wtucrev@gmail.com to be reminded of who it is you are buying for. Presents should not cost more than 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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Little Kidz, ES, MS, HS: Everyone is needed for this year`s Pageant being created by our own Cathy Berghahn. Practices will be at 9:45 AM December 13th, with the Pageant being in the service on the 13th. Also on the 13th is Christmas Caroling at local orphanges (meet at 3:30 PM at Sack`s driveway) and Swedish Christmas treats at the Sacks` home from 5:30 PM.

Confirmation Class: Monday December 14th, 6:30-8:00PM at the Bennett`s home, Pastor Teresa is teaching. Pizza provided this month by the Loveman family.

HS Youth: Gathering cloth to continue with quilting projects – quilts are being created to give to refugees – please give your usable material to one of the Youth.

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Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Events

December 13th Advent 3 – 9:45 AM Christmas Pageant Practice and Adult Sunday School at the Sacks`, Pageant during 11AM Worship. Christmas Caroling at local orphanages (meet at the Sacks driveway at 3:30PM for caroling) and Swedish Christmas treats at the Sacks` home – from 5:30, drop in any time – all are welcome.

December 20th  Advent 4 – Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, Communion will be served, organ: Gene Witt.

December 24th  Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols, 6:30PM followed by Christmas treats fellowship, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

December 27th (9:30 AM Adult and Multigenerational Sunday School will resume in January), Pastor Teresa preaching, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

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MULTIGENERATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL!! ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL!! 

We have Multigenerational Sunday School from 9:30AM 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. At the same time, the Sacks host the Adult Sunday School, also at 9:30AM 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, hosted by Dr. Toshi Sasao, on the 2nd floor above the Sanctuary.) All are welcome. Need more information, contact wtucrev@gmail.com any time = ) 2015 Sunday School schedule: 12/13 (9:45 AM pageant practice and pageant during worship). Adult Sunday School at the Sacks` from 9:30 AM.

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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, are interested in baptism or membership, please contact Pastor Teresa *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. *Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or Jill. We appreciate your contributions to our community life!

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Texts from our Christmas Pageant –

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and his name shall be called Emmanuel or “God with us. ”  Matthew 1:23

Bethlehem, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah,

but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel.  Micah 5:2

For unto to us a child is born, unto us a son is given.

And the government will be upon his shoulder;  and his name will be called

Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God,

the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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