West Tokyo Union Church
Sunday, March 13, 2011 – First Sunday of Lent
Purple is worn during the penitential season of Lent. Â Purple signifies great solemnity, with connotations of both penance and royal dignity. The church altar cloths and the pastor’s stole will be purple during the season of Lent.
ES Age 4 â€“ Gr 2:Â No Sunday School this week. Next class is April 3rd.
ES Gr 3 â€“ 5:Â No Sunday School this week.
MS:Â No Sunday School this week.
Adult Intro to Bible Study:Â No Adult Bible Study class this week.
Old Testament Reading:Â Genesis 3 : 1-4
Epistle Reading:Â Romans 10 : 9-10
Gospel Reading: Â Matthew 4 : 1-11
Sermon:Â “We Begin our Lenten Journeyâ€ – Â Pastor Claudia
THE SEASON OF LENT began on Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of the penitential season of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and Easter. The six Sundays in this period are not counted because each one represents a “mini-Easter,” a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.Â The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer â€” through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial â€” for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The forty days of Lent represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan. (Matthew 4:1-2, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-2.)Â The number forty has many Biblical references: the forty days Moses spent on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18); the forty days and nights Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8); the forty days and nights God sent rain in the great flood of Noah (Genesis 7:4); the forty years the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while traveling to the Promised Land (Numbers 14:33); the forty days Jonah in his prophecy of judgment gave the city of Nineveh in which to repent (Jonah 3:4).Â In Latin the term quadragesima (translation of the original Greek tessarakoste, the “fortieth day” before Easter) is used. In the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the vernacular instead of Latin, the English word â€œlentâ€ was adopted. This word initially simply meant â€œspringâ€ (as in German language â€œâ€Lenzâ€ and Dutch â€œlenteâ€) and derives from the Germanic root for long because in the spring the days visibly lengthen. Giving up something during Lent is common spiritual discipline but adding something to your life is also appropriate, e.g. a daily prayer walk, reading a chapter of the Bible a week, volunteeringÂ to help Second Harvest Japan, reading a book on faith or prayer, visiting someone in need in our community (Pastor Claudia can suggest names) , etc. Â Find a way to grow spiritually this Lent.
Upcoming Calendar – Dates to Remember
Steering Committee meets today after church
March 20 – Second Sunday in Lent. Pastor Claudia preaching
March 27 – Third Sunday in Lent. Pastor Claudia preaching
April 3 – Fourth Sunday in Lent. Rev. Teresa Sherrill preaching
April 10 – Fifth Sunday in Lent. Pastor Claudia preaching
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; 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.Â Those who are interested may see RubyÂ or go to the Second Harvest Japan website (2hj.org) to sign up.
Music at WTUC:Â If you have favorite songs that you would like to sing, please send Carrie Bennett your requests.Â email@example.com
Carrie is going to help coordinate music at WTUC.Â 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.
Â Prayer requests – send to Pastor Claudia or Prayer Chain Coordinator Kayo Ozawa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Â Website – www.wtuc.net
Pastor:Â Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto; RevClaudia@aol.com
Steering Committee chairperson: Karen Seevers; email@example.com
I served as pastor of WTUC from mid-July 1984 to June 1986, and enjoyed the opportunity so very much. When CNN came on with news of the cataclysmic 8.9 earthquake near Sendai, and showed the horrific scenes of devestation all over Japan including Tokyo, I immediately began to wonder how you folks are faring in this disaster. I know a lot of people will be inquiring, and you are no doubt also deep into rescue and recovery efforts, but I would appreciate hearing how things are with you all.
I’m sure Bonny and I are long forgotten, but in case anyone still remembers, they may wish to know that Bonny died in 2000, and I am still around at the age of 88, comfortably established in an independent living retirement community. I can’t do much more than pray for you all, but I am doing that and would appreciate hearing from you.
In Christian love and concern, Philip Bembower Clergy PCUSA retired
Dear Philip– it is lovely to hear from you. In preparation for taking on this “co-pastor interim” gig, I had read what history I could of the church and hoped to track down some of the former ministers. I didn’t get very far. Feel free to email us (both pastors, one email) at firstname.lastname@example.org— in particular we’d love to hear where you are living, and any particular memories you have of the church.