Sunday, February 27th – the 8th Sunday after the Epiphany

West Tokyo Union Church

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 – 8th Sunday after the Epiphany

Dear WTUC Members and Friends;

This week the theme is; “Look at the lilies of the field and do not define your life by worries! Cast your worries on God!”  Come hear Rev. Susan preach this Sunday; a timely sermon for many of us.

Pastor Claudia

Sunday School

ES Age 4 – Gr 2:  No Sunday School this week.

ES Gr 3 – 5:  Meets during church in the cafeteria. Contact Kristi Hoskins (khoskins@asij.ac.jp) or Julie Rogers (jrogers@asij.ac.jp), Sunday School  coordinators if you need more details or wish to help.

MS:  Meets at 9:40 in the cafeteria.

Adult Intro to Bible Study:  Meets upstairs at 9:40 a.m.  Email Dr. Toshi Sasao (tsasao1@gmail.com) for more information. Child care provided upon request, but please contact Toshi Sasao the night before. 

Worship:  10:55

Old Testament Reading:  Psalm 131

Gospel Reading:  Matthew 6:24-34

Sermon:  “Worry, Consider, Seek” –  Rev. Susan Townsley

Rev. Susan Page Townsley is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor. Susan and her family moved to Japan in the Fall of 2009. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School.  Susan has served churches in Connecticut, Maine and New York and also served as a UCC Regional Minister.  For several years, Susan consulted to churches that needed leadership development, conflict management, strategic planning, consensus-building models, and needed help in going though transition, under the shingle “Welcome the Spirit.”

Susan has been adjunct Faculty at Yale Divinity School and Hartford Seminary, teaching The History and Polity of the United Church of Christ.

She is active in our Tokyo community.  She was the speaker at the Women’s Conference in January, volunteers at the ASIJ H.S. library, sings in the Tokyo Union Church choir, does spiritual direction, teaches classes – most recently two four-week courses for the TUC Adult Sunday School called, “Conflict Management with Grace” and “Palpable and Redemptive: Poetry as a Spiritual Companion.”  Susan’s husband, Gregg Davis is the Asia Treasurer for General Electric. 

Susan and Greg have a son, Andrew, in 8th grade  at the American School in Japan and a daughter, Hannah, in 10th grade in Connecticut who will attend ASIJ in the fall.  The family also has a dog, Sandy Peach.

WHY DOES EASTER CHANGE FROM YEAR TO YEAR?

People have asked me, “How is the date for Easter calculated?”  Some churches in the East observe Easter according to the date of the Passover festival. The preparation takes off as early as on the Ash Wednesday from which the period of penitence in the Lent begins. The Lent and the Holy week end on the Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection.

The first Ecumenical Council was held at Nicea in present-day Turkey in the year 325. It decreed that Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurred after the Spring Equinox. This retained a lunar connection as a sort of “memory” of the Jewish calendar system, and ensured that the feast would be on a Sunday. Because lunar phases occur independently of the solar year, this means that there is a “window” of several weeks during which Easter may be celebrated. By this reckoning, in our calendar, Easter must occur between March 22 and April 25.

So, go to your calendar, and find the first day of spring – then find the first full moon immediately following that. And Easter will be the first Sunday after (or on) that first full moon. (Next year Easter is April 8.)

The system that was slowly developed throughout the Middle Ages is the base for what we use today.

Upcoming Calendar – Dates to Remember

March 9th – Ash Wednesday; Lentil soup supper with bread and fruit at 5:30 p.m. Service at 6:30 p.m. at Malcolm and Mio Foster’s home near ASIJ.   We need volunteers to make lentil soup, bring bread, fruit, and help provide some paper supplies.  See Pastor.

April 17th – Palm Sunday; Children process in with palms. Guest preacher will be Rev. Dr. Afrie Joye , UMC professor and pastor from  Union Seminary in the Philippines.

April 22nd – Good Friday service, 7:30 p.m. Location to be announced later.

April 24th – Easter; Easter Potluck Brunch and Egg Hunt at 9:30 a.m. Church worship at 10:55 a.m.

If you would like offering envelopes, please contact Mark Hisamatsu.

Service to our congregation and community

Church Directory – Updated published directory is now available. Please get a copy from Toshi Sasao.

WTUC supports Second Harvest Japan where WTUC member, Ruby Sakuma, works as the Food Pantry Coordinator. Second Harvest Japan welcomes volunteers on Fridays and Saturdays to help with the preparation and distribution of food to the homeless.  Those who are interested may see Ruby  or go to the Second Harvest Japan website (2hj.org) to sign up.

Music at WTUC:  If you have favorite songs that you would like to sing, please send Carrie Bennett your requests.  bennettinkuwait@hotmail.com

Carrie is going to help coordinate music at WTUC.  Anyone interested in committing their vocal and musical talents TWICE a month email or see Carrie.

Interested in being a liturgist? Contact Betsy Terada.

Interested in joining the prayer chain? See Pastor Claudia or Kayo Ozawa, prayer chain coordinator.

Interested in becoming a Lay Eucharistic Minister? Contact Pastor Claudia.

Other

 Prayer requests – send to Pastor Claudia or Prayer Chain Coordinator Kayo Ozawa (kayo@ta2.so-net.ne.jp)

 Website – www.wtuc.net

Church contacts:

Pastor:  Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto; RevClaudia@aol.com

Steering Committee chairperson: Karen Seevers; kseevers@asij.ac.jp

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