Sunday, December 29th

Sunday, Dec. 29th,  Pastor Teresa will bring us the sermon, “Compassion Lavished, Love Extravagant” from Isaiah 63:7-9.  We will have a time of reflection on “All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising” (the Message translation heading of our passage!).  After service will be our fellowship time.
******************
West Tokyo Union Church women have been a integral part of the 57 year history of the Women’s Conference.  The 2014 conference will be held January 31st – February 2nd at Amagi Sanso – one week later than usual.   Give yourself the wonderful gift of this special fellowship!  The theme is Through the Valley and the keynote speaker is renowned author and educator Sharon M. Draper.  For more information, please see the website at http://wocon.net
***
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Contact Carrie Bennett for ES, Julie Rogers for MS, Amy Harbaugh for HS or Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com with any questions.

All classes will resume in January.  The children`s child care held during the service will also resume in January.  For those with children, we LOVE children of all ages in our worship.  Please at any time in the service get books and coloring materials from the cupboard at the back of the room.  Your whole family is welcome at WTUC.
***
Interested in becoming a member at WTUC? – please talk to Pastor Teresa about the upcoming membership classes.
***
Upcoming Preaching Ministry
December 29    Pastor Teresa
January 5          Pastor Teresa, Epiphany, Communion
January 12        Pastor Teresa, Steering Committee meeting
January 19        Rev. Jim Sack, Communion
January 26        Rev. Jim Sack
***
SNACK SIGNUP Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or on the list on the white board.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to our community life!
***
WTUC  Announcements
*Any questions or concerns?  Feel free to email wtucrev@gmail.com anytime.
*Please enjoy and refer our website and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others.  Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.  https://wtuc.net/
*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt ewitt@asij.ac.jp
*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 Ozawa.
***
THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE AMAZING TIME Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen (two orphanages in our neighborhood) on December 22nd.  After caroling we gathered at the Sack`s for a simple and delicious chili supper, amazing Christmas treats, yummy Russian Tea and luscious fellowship.

After our Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service on the 24th was our yummy “Christmas Cookie Exchange.” Thanks to all who made these times special!
***
Isaiah 63:7-9
All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising

I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,

All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—

Compassion lavished,
love extravagant.

He said, “Without question these are my people,
children who would never betray me.

”
So he became their Savior.
In all their troubles,
he was troubled, too.

He didn’t send someone else to help them.
He did it himself, in person.

Out of his own love and pity
he redeemed them.

He rescued them and carried them along
for a long, long time.

Sunday, December 22nd

Sunday, Dec. 22nd,  Rev. Tim McKenzie will bring us the sermon, “The Obedience of Faith” based on the Luke 1:46-55 and Romans 1:1-7 texts.
After service, we will enjoy a robust fellowship hour filled with Christmas delights and conversation after the service.  All are invited to stay and be refreshed.  From 3:45, all are invited to reconvene at the Sack`s to go Christmas Caroling (see below for details.)
******************
UPCOMING FUN!  We will be Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen (two orphanages in our neighborhood) on December 22nd.  We will meet at the Sack`s at 3:45 (contact wtucrev@gmail.com for directions.  After caroling we will gather at the Sack`s for a simple and delicious chili supper.  Looking forward to singing and fellowshipping with you!
After our Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service, 6:30pm on the 24th, we will have our traditional “Christmas Cookie Exchange.” Please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas treat to share with others!  We look forward to enjoying each other`s yummies.
Please let Pastor Teresa know if you are going to be in town on the 24th and attending the service.  We would LOVE to integrate your gifts into the service!
***
    CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Contact Carrie Bennett for ES, Julie Rogers for MS, Amy Harbaugh for HS or Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com with any questions.
All classes will resume in January.  The children`s child care held during the service will also resume in January.  For those with children, we LOVE children of all ages in our worship.  Please at any time in the service get books and coloring materials from the cupboard at the back of the room.  Your whole family is welcome at WTUC.
***
West Tokyo Union Church women have been a integral part of the 57 year history of the Women’s Conference.  The 2014 conference will be held January 31st – February 2nd at Amagi Sanso – one week later than usual.   Give yourself the wonderful gift of this special fellowship!  The theme is Through the Valley and the keynote speaker is renowned author and educator Sharon M. Draper.  For more information, please see the website at http://wocon.net
***
Interested in becoming a member at WTUC? – please talk to Pastor Teresa about the upcoming membership classes.
***
Upcoming Preaching Ministry
December 24    Pastor Teresa, Christmas Eve Service – 6:30pm, please bring a Christmas treat to share
December 29    Pastor Teresa
January 5          Pastor Teresa, Epiphany, Communion
January 12        Pastor Teresa, Steering Committee meeting
January 19        Rev. Jim Sack, Communion
January 26        Rev. Jim Sack
***
SNACK SIGNUP Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or on the list on the white board.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to our community life!
***
WTUC  Announcements
*Any questions or concerns?  Feel free to email wtucrev@gmail.com anytime.
*Please enjoy and refer our website and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others.  Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.  https://wtuc.net/
*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt ewitt@asij.ac.jp
*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 Ozawa.
***

Mary’s Song
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

Mary’s song continues to echo through the ages.  It sounds whenever a wrong is righted, a heart is healed, a life takes another step toward wholeness.  Our hearts fill with praise, just as hers did, when we realize that we are the ones who have been lifted up and filled with good things; we have been looked upon with favor by a loving God. There is much to trap our attention during this season, but we can choose to focus on the light that penetrates our darkness; the glory of Immanuel-God with us; the joy that fills us when we “prepare him room.” In return for the gift of a Savior, serve as God’s agents of grace and instruments of peace.  Let the joy overflow to others.

Sunday, December 15th

Sunday, Dec. 15th,  Rev. Jim Sack will bring a message using lectionary texts from  Isaiah, Psalms and Matthew sharing with us, “”The Wilderness will Rejoice and Blossom.” We will also have Communion.  After service, we will enjoy a robust fellowship hour filled with Christmas delights and conversation after the service.  All are invited to stay and be refreshed.

******************
UPCOMING FUN!  We will be Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen (two orphanages in our neighborhood) on December 22nd.  We will meet at the Sack`s at 3:45 (contact wtucrev@gmail.com for directions.  After caroling we will gather at the Sack`s for a simple and delicious chili supper.  Looking forward to singing and fellowshipping with you!
After our Christmas Eve service, 6:30pm on the 24th, we will have our traditional “Christmas Cookie Exchange.” Please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas treat to share with others!  We look forward to enjoying each other`s yummies.
Please let Pastor Teresa know if you are going to be in town on the 24th and attending the service.  Our Christmas Eve service will be in a Lessons and Carols style, and we would LOVE to integrate your gifts into the service!

***
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Contact Carrie Bennett for ES, Julie Rogers for MS, Amy Harbaugh for HS or Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com with any questions.

All classes will resume in January.  The children`s child care held during the service will also resume in January.  For those with children, we LOVE children of all ages in our worship.  Please at any time in the service get books and coloring materials from the cupboard at the back of the room.  Your whole family is welcome at WTUC.

***
West Tokyo Union Church women have been a integral part of the 57 year history of the Women’s Conference.  The 2014 conference will be held January 31st – February 2nd at Amagi Sanso – one week later than usual.   Give yourself the wonderful gift of this special fellowship!  The theme is Through the Valley and the keynote speaker is renowned author and educator Sharon M. Draper.  For more information, please see the website at http://wocon.net

***
Interested in becoming a member at WTUC? – please talk to Pastor Teresa about the upcoming membership classes.

***
Upcoming Preaching Ministry
December 22    Rev. Tim McKenzie, 3:45 pm Christmas Caroling at orphanages and chili supper at Sack`s
December 24    Pastor Teresa, Christmas Eve Service – 6:30pm, please bring a Christmas treat to share
December 29    Pastor Teresa
January 5         Pastor Teresa, Epiphany, Communion
January 12        Pastor Teresa, Steering Committee meeting
January 19        Rev. Jim Sack, Communion
January 26        Rev. Jim Sack

***
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT during our special Thanksgiving offering for Child Fund Japan for their outreach to the Philippines.  Their webpage is accessible in both Japanese and English http://www.childfund.or.jp/

Now our hearts move towards our ANNUAL SOCKS AND CHRISTMAS PRESENT outreach for the children of Nozomi no Ie orphanage.  Please place your presents under the tree and Jim will pick them up at the end of the service. We will be Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen December 22nd, meeting in front of the Sacks at 3:45.  Need directions, call Teresa at 080 3233 0948 or email wtucrev@gmail.com

More information from Jim Sack about 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 some 30 years. Members of WTUC are asked to select a child (or children) and buy them both some socks and a present for Christmas. We ask each giver to sign up for a child by writing their name on a master list. 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, you can call me to be reminded of who it is you are buying for.

Presents should not cost more than 2,000 yen. 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.

We ask that the gifts be brought to church by December 15, 2013. 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 before Christmas Eve. This project continues to be a very wonderful example of sharing the love of Christ during the Christmas season. Thank you to all who support this ministry.

***
SNACK SIGNUP Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or on the list on the white board.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to our community life!

***
WTUC  Announcements
*Any questions or concerns?  Feel free to email wtucrev@gmail.com anytime.
*Please enjoy and refer our website and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others.  Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.  https://wtuc.net/
*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt ewitt@asij.ac.jp
*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 Ozawa.

***

The shopper’s Christmas

with its myriad deals,

and easy payments,

arrives with early autumn.

Santa in September – a symbol of our age,

robbing us of waiting,

of surprise, even of joy.

Yet with Advent

a different truth arrives

amidst our tinselled lives:

the gift of expectancy –

that silent longing of the soul

which is deep within us all.

It’s not the shopper’s rush,

for on this path we face within ourselves

the baggage of the years,

the memories that haunt the mind,

the fear that lurks behind the mask:

but let us travel on,

expectant, and with hope,

for there is a guiding star

tenderly leading us to outstretched hands of Love.

Peter Millar, Edinburgh, Advent 2013

GREATLY LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN WORSHIP

Sunday, December 8th

With the 2nd Sunday of Advent we bring our YOUTH CHRISTMAS PAGEANT!  Cathy Berghahn, our director has readied the youth to present “A Story of Joy” for you.  Please feel free to invite your friends and family for this special time.  After service, we will enjoy a robust fellowship hour filled with Christmas delights after the service.  All are invited to stay and be
refreshed by good food and conversation.

******************
For our December 8th fellowship hour we are having our traditional “Christmas Cookie Exchange.” Please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas treat to share with others!  We look forward to enjoying each other`s yummies.

***
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Contact Carrie Bennett for ES, Julie Rogers for MS, Amy Harbaugh for HS or Pastor Teresa at wtucrev@gmail.com with any questions.

Classes will resume in January

Sunday, December 8th: @ 9:45-10:45 am. Pageant Practice – this is just before we do it for real for that service. So we will need to get everyone in costume and set to go. Even if your child has not been to the other rehearsals we can still put on wings or sheep ears and have them be a part. It is lovely if we have some stray sheep or angels.   Any questions: wtucrev@gmail.com

***
West Tokyo Union Church women have been a integral part of the 57 year history of the Women’s Conference.  The 2014 conference will be held January 31st – February 2nd at Amagi Sanso – one week later than usual.   Give yourself the wonderful gift of this special fellowship!  The theme is Through the Valley and the keynote speaker is renowned author and educator Sharon M. Draper.  For more information, please see the website at http://wocon.net

***
Interested in becoming a member at WTUC? – please talk to Pastor Teresa about the upcoming membership classes.

***
Upcoming Preaching Ministry

December 15    Rev. Jim Sack, Communion
December 22    Rev. Tim McKenzie
December 24    Pastor Teresa, Christmas Eve Service
December 29    Pastor Teresa

***
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT during our special Thanksgiving offering for Child Fund Japan for their outreach to the Philippines.  Their webpage is accessible in both Japanese and English http://www.childfund.or.jp/
Now our hearts move towards our ANNUAL SOCKS AND CHRISTMAS PRESENT outreach for the children of Nozomi no Ie orphanage.  There will be a time during today`s pageant for us to bring our gifts forward to the tree.  We will be Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen in December.

More information from Jim Sack about 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 some 30 years. Members of WTUC are asked to select a child (or children) and buy them both some socks and a present for Christmas. We ask each giver to sign up for a child by writing their name on a master list. 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, you can call me to be reminded of who it is you are buying for.

Presents should not cost more than 2,000 yen. 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.

We ask that the gifts be brought to church by December 15, 2013. 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 before Christmas Eve. Those who bring gifts on the day of the pageant (December 8) may be directed to bring them up front as part of the pageant. If that is the case there will be further notifications from Cathy Berghahn about what to do.

This project continues to be a very wonderful example of sharing the love of Christ during the Christmas season. Thank you to all who support this ministry.

***
SNACK SIGNUP Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or on the list on the white board.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to our community life!

***
WTUC  Announcements
*Any questions or concerns?  Feel free to email wtucrev@gmail.com anytime.
*Please enjoy and refer our website and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others.  Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.  https://wtuc.net/
*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt ewitt@asij.ac.jp
*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 Ozawa.

***
for a little clicking fun during Advent
http://whyismarko.com/2013/the-50-worst-and-weirdest-nativity-sets/

GREATLY LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN WORSHIP

YOUTH CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

Christmas Cookie Consuming Opportunity this Sunday, December 8th from 11 AM!  Yes, one of WTUC`s favorite days of the Church Year is here – the YOUTH CHRISTMAS PAGEANT will cheerfully bring in the second Sunday of Advent.  After our grand worship service will be a robust fellowship hour, filled with everyone`s favorite treats of the season.  Let`s each please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas Cheer (cookies, candies, fruit etc) to share with everyone.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Here is a note from our marvelous director, Cathy Berghahn about the pageant;

Today`s Wednesday Pageant Rehearsal will be at the Hoskin’s House (Thanks to Kristi, Glenn, Sammy, and Sara for opening up their home). This is for all with speaking parts and those others who want to practice.

Contact wtucrev@gmail.com if you need an address – Fun will be from 5:30-7:00. Pizza will be ordered to feed the performers.

On Sunday the 8th, we will meet at 9:45 to run through the pageant get into costumes and then present for the service. All parts should be there at 9:45.

Thank you for your help in making our Christmas story a success.