Christmas Eve service, December 24, 2015 – 6:30PM

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly – Thursday, December 24, 2015 worship – Christmas Eve 

Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill     wtucrev@gmail.com

6:30PM – CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE featuring lessons and carols with a living Manger Scene. The Ingulsrud family will bring puppets to share an inside view of the manger. We will continue collecting our Christmas special offering for Second Harvest Japan. FELLOWSHIP TIME: bring your favourite Christmas cookie, treat or drink to add to our Fellowship table.

In our Christmas Eve service of Advent, the Seevers` family will light our Christmas Eve 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. 

Festival_of_Lights

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CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE DECEMBER 24th 6:30PM

We`ll be taking a closer look at the Manger Scene

and Emmanuel (God with us) born there

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/nativity-scenes-more-than-meets-the-eye

Robust Christmas cookie and treats fellowship time follows –

(please bring your favourite seasonal yummies to share = )

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About the special Christmas offering (collected through the end of December) that 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, 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. Since 2002 we have have delivered over 8,000 tons valued at ¥4.8 billion yen. Your support of Second Harvest Japan helps us achieve our motto, ‘Food for all People’.”

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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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Little Kidz: Please enjoy books and coloring materials during the worship. Kidz upstairs will resume January 17th.

Little Kidz, ES, MS, HS and friends: Thank you everyone for your marvelous participation in the pageant! 

Confirmation Class: Monday January 18th, 6:30-8:00pm at the Bennett`s home, Pastor Teresa is teaching. Meal will be prepared by the Ochero 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 24th  Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols, 6:30pm followed by Christmas treats fellowship, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

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

January 3rd – Paster Teresa preaching, Epiphany play, Communion will be served, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

January 10th – Rev. Sabine Kluger preaching, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

January 17th – Paster Teresa preaching, Communion will be served, worship music: Youth and friends.

January 24th – Rev. Matsumoto and Mark Penner 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 = )  Next Sunday Schools – January 10th and 24th!

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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 for the Christmas Eve worship

Luke 2 (NRSV)

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,

praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen,

as it had been told them.

Matthew 1 (NRSV)

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

    and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 2 (NRSV)

…they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Luke 1 (NRSV)

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

    and holy is his name.

50 His mercy is for those who fear him

    from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm;

    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

    and lifted up the lowly;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things,

    and sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

    in remembrance of his mercy,

55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

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