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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Clues to the Universe

Our WTUC community worship this Sunday, June 20th, will focus on art and creativity and its connection to the Divine. The message will be offered by Malcolm Foster who will be preaching about how our creative natures reflect one key way in which we are made in God’s image. All of us have an urge to create, depending on our gifts, whether it’s art or food, furniture or computer programs. Pursuing those passions brings us joy and fulfillment. The title of the message will be “Art and Creativity — Clues To the Universe.”

Join us at 10 am, Japan time, for our Zoom worship service:

Creation of the Universe, by Bill Beil

Scripture Readings:

Gen. 1:26-31 — Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (NIV)


Isaiah 40:12-14 — Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding? (NIV)


Ephesians 2:8-10 — For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday! This will be our next-to-the-last worship service before our summer break starts. Please contact us with any prayer requests. May the Lord bless your week ahead!

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Hope for Tomorrow

Join us at 10 am Sunday morning, June 13, 2021, for a community-led worship service. Pastor Paul Shew will be bringing us the message, “Hope for Tomorrow” and he has invited the Aoyama Gakuin Gospel Choir to share a song for worship. This will be a very special service as several members of the choir will also be joining us to participate in our Sunday celebration of hope. The hymn that the choir will be singing is a Gospel song called, “After This.”

The “Call to Worship” is inspired by Jeremiah 29 where we are challenged to “Keep God in the center of all that is.” Jeremiah reassures us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”

Scripture Readings:

Ezekiel 17:22-24. — Psalm 92:1-4, 12-152 — Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17

Hymns:

Great Is Thy Faithfulness — Amazing Grace — Jesus, Joy of Our Desiring

We look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. After the service, you are welcome to stay and chat with each other for a while. We look forward to the time when we can all meet together again in person.

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One Bread, One Body

Carol Sack will be giving the message this second Sunday after Pentecost, June 6, 2021, on the theme of accepting people of all colors. Her message, “One Bread, One Body” will reference scripture from the Psalms and from First Corinthians. You are welcome to join the West Toyko Union Church community as we gather at 10:00 am on Sunday via Zoom to worship together.

Sunday Scriptures:

Psalm 139:13-1813 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-2019 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

We hope to see you in the worship service. Please let us know if you have any prayer concerns.

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My Times Are in Your Hands

Join the WTUC community worship service this Sunday, May 30, at 10 am Japan time, on this first Sunday after Pentecost. Malcolm Foster will be giving the message on God, time and patience. His message, “My Times Are in Your Hands” draws on his personal experiences of God’s timing in his life.  

Although it can be difficult, we need to be patient and trust God. Often, God takes time to achieve intended purposes, and maybe that’s a good thing because it leads to longer-lasting change. Malcom will be sharing some stories from the Bible and from his own life. Impatience is often our response, but in the end God is always been faithful and his timing is good. We can learn to trust God more and not to worry, following the lessons in Psalms and in the Sermon on the Mount.

You, O Lord, are my Rock and my Fortress

Bible Readings:

Psalm 31: 1-5; 9-16

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
10 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
11 I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.

Matt. 6: 25-34 

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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The Spirit of Pentecost

Happy Pentecost Sunday! Join us as we celebrate the birthday of the church. Our preacher this Sunday is Jim Sack and the sermon title is: “The Spirit of Pentecost.” We will be joining together via Zoom for an online worship service at 10:00 am Japan time. Please join us and wear red in celebration of this important day in the church calendar.

WTUC members have sent in sound files for this special service, so we will have a virtual choir to enjoy during the Pentecost worship service. The previous post on this WTUC website contains the sheet music and the sound files which were referenced in an earlier mailing. Here are the results, featuring the voices of Gene Witt, Jim Sack, Zelda Edmunds, Malcolm Foster, Mio Foster, Joel Ingulsrud and Ruth Ingulsrud:

603 Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire – WTUC Virtual Choir 2021-05-23
500 Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart – WTUC Virtual Choir 2021-05-23
420 Breathe on Me, Breath of God – WTUC Virtual Choir 2021-05-23

If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be added, please send us a message. The email address is: pastor@wtuc.net or admin@wtuc.net

Here is a link to the children’s message in case you missed it. Click on the title to go to Kidsermons.com to view the video with Baabara the Lamb.

The Bible verses for Sunday’s service are as follows:

Romans 8:22~27 and John 15:26~16:15.

Romans 8:22~2722 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

John 15:26~16:1526 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin,because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

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Pentecost 2021 Virtual Choir

Hymn #603 Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire verses 1~3


#500 Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart verses 1, 2 and 5

#420 Breathe on Me, Breath of God verses 1~4

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