Sunday, Dec. 15th,Â Rev. Jim Sack will bring a message using lectionary texts fromÂ Isaiah, Psalms and Matthew sharing with us, â€œ”The Wilderness will Rejoice and Blossom.” We will also have Communion.Â After service, we will enjoy a robust fellowship hour filled with Christmas delights and conversation after the service.Â All are invited to stay and be refreshed.
UPCOMING FUN!Â We will be Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen (two orphanages in our neighborhood) on December 22nd.Â We will meet at the Sack`s at 3:45 (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for directions.Â After caroling we will gather at the Sack`s for a simple and delicious chili supper.Â Looking forward to singing and fellowshipping with you!
After our Christmas Eve service, 6:30pm on the 24th, we will have our traditional â€œChristmas Cookie Exchange.â€ Please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas treat to share with others!Â 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.Â 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)Â Contact Carrie Bennett for ES, Julie Rogers for MS, Amy Harbaugh for HS or Pastor Teresa at email@example.com with any questions.
All classes will resume in January.Â The children`s child care held during the service will also resume in January.Â For those with children, we LOVE children of all ages in our worship.Â Please at any time in the service get books and coloring materials from the cupboard at the back of the room.Â 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.Â The 2014 conference will be held January 31st – February 2nd at Amagi Sanso – one week later than usual.Â Â Give yourself the wonderful gift of this special fellowship!Â The theme is Through the Valley and the keynote speaker is renowned author and educator Sharon M. Draper.Â 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 22Â Â Â Rev. Tim McKenzie, 3:45 pm Christmas Caroling at orphanages and chili supper at Sack`s
December 24Â Â Â Pastor Teresa, Christmas Eve Service – 6:30pm, please bring a Christmas treat to share
December 29Â Â Â Pastor Teresa
January 5Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pastor Teresa, Epiphany, Communion
January 12Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pastor Teresa, Steering Committee meeting
January 19Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rev. Jim Sack, Communion
January 26Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rev. Jim Sack
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT during our special Thanksgiving offering for Child Fund Japan for their outreach to the Philippines.Â 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.Â 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.Â Need directions, call Teresa at 080 3233 0948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information from Jim Sack about Socks and Gifts for the children of â€œNozomi No Ie,â€ 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 donâ€™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.Â We greatly appreciate your contributions to our community life!
*Any questions or concerns?Â Feel free to email email@example.com anytime.
*Please enjoy and refer our website and FB page (West Tokyo Union Church) to others.Â Please make any suggestions for additions to the Pastor Teresa and/or Steering Committee.Â https://wtuc.net/
*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt firstname.lastname@example.org
*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 email@example.com or Kayo Ozawa.
The shopperâ€™s Christmas
with its myriad deals,
and easy payments,
arrives with early autumn.
Santa in September â€“ 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 â€“
that silent longing of the soul
which is deep within us all.
Itâ€™s not the shopperâ€™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