Sunday, December 7th

Sunday, December 7th –

A note from our Youth Pageant director, Cathy – “All children wishing to be in the church pageant should arrive by 10 am on Sunday the 7th and 9:45 on Sunday the 14th. If there is anyone in the congregation wishing to share music during the pageant time they should email me at as soon as possible so I am sure to include them in the plan.”

Our second Sunday of Advent, we will light our second Advent Candle with the theme of light and darkness, under the Star quilts that lovely WTUC women (Hagi san, Yoki Muro, Masami Sasao, and others) made under the leadership of Nancy Bekedam.

Rev. Dr. Jim Sack will preach from Isaiah 40 and Mark 1, with a title of “Ready or Not, Here I Come.” During the worship service, under the direction of Professor Hiroko Ide, choir members and musicians from her class at the Senzoku Music Conservatory

will perform a selection from the Messiah. After the service they will perform in an afternoon concert (see selections below) and all are invited. The doors will open for the concert at 12:30.

If you would like to participate in our annual “Socks and gifts for the children of `Nozomi No Ie`” giving opportunity, please pick up your children`s information from Jim Sack.

After the worship service will be a robust fellowship time before the concert.

We are also very thankful to those who help set up and take down the chairs and the sanctuary = ) *Interested/or know someone who is, in a paid position, taking down the chairs of our sanctuary? Contact Pastor Teresa at


WORSHIP:  11:00 AM

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: after the service – All are welcome!

AFTERNOON CHOIR AND MUSICIANS CONCERT: brought by Senzoku Music Conservatory under the direction of Professor Hiroko Ide, accompanied by Miki Orii. Doors open at 12:30 PM


  1. Trio in Eb major, Brahms (Horn, Violin, Piano)
  2. Ave Maria, Caccini (Flute, Violin, Piano)
  3. Carmen Medley, Bizet (Sax Quarte)
  4. Christmas Medley (Brass Quintet)

5.    Christmas Songs (Voice, Violin, Piano)

6.    Amazing Grace (Voice, Violin, Piano)

7.    Miniature Symphony (Sax Quartet)

8.   Frozen Medley (Sax Quartet)

9.    Arrival of the Caravan (Sax Quartet)

10. Take Five (Brass Quintet)

11. Theme of Back to the Future (Brass Quintet)

Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

Class Members of Professor Ide

Vocal:     Tomomi Miyamoto

Violin:     Clara Fujimoto

Piano:     Chiaki Harada

Trumpet:   Sakura Sugiyama   Eri Honma

Trombone: Sahoko Mayumi

Horn:    Akiho Shibata

Tuba:     Mitsuki Togane

Percussion:   Eri Sannomiya

Soprano Sax: Natsuki Ishikawa

Alto Sax:     Yui Kono

Tenor Sax:   Ayaka Kojima

Baritone Sax: Rin Ishikawa


About the Preacher – Jim and Carol Sack have been long term missionaries in Japan with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Japan since 1982. Jim teaches clinical psychology classes in the undergraduate and graduate school as well as pastoral counseling classes in the seminary. Carol is director of “Lyra Precaria,” a ministry that provides harp music and voice at the bedside of the dying.  

About the Mission Moment – Yukio Saito, is the Chair of the Japanese Association for Suicide Prevention and CEO of the Japanese Federation of Inochi no denwa (Lifeline), Japan’s first and largest telephone counseling service. For the past five decades, Saito has been educating the public and lobbying relentlessly to bring an end to Japan’s shockingly high suicide rate, which is one of the highest among developed countries.

Hiroko Ide, Soprano, has given acclaimed performances throughout the world, singing numerous roles in Operas and Oratorios, including Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Boheme and Handel’s Messiah. She has been an invited guest artist at prestigous International Music Festivals, notably the Montignac Music Festival, France; the Graz Music Festival, Austria; the Phoenix Music Festival, USA and the Gyeonggi-do Music Festival, South Korea. Ms. Ide was a finalist in the 24th Long Beach Mozart Competition. Ms. Ide holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Performance from the Kunitachi College of Music and the University of Southern California, specializing in Opera and Baroque Music. Currently, she is on the faculty at the Senzoku Music College where she teaches the Ide Movie Music Research Seminar. She is a member of Nikikai and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). As a composer, Hiroko Ide has contributed Music Scores to the reknowned films of film director Naoko Ogigami, being invited to the Berlin International Film Festival. Recently, Ms. Ide has been heard in the “Concert for Peace”with pianist Miki Orii at the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels.

Miki Orii, Pianist, has performed extensively as both soloist and chamber musician in North America and Asia.She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Kunitachi College of Music and  continued her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, earning a Master of Music Degree with Academic honors. Ms.Orii has been a participant in numerous Music Festivals, including the Graz Music Festival in Austria and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, where she was invited to perform with principal members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a former faculty at The Rivers School Conservatory in Boston, USA. Currently, she concertizes as a collaborative pianist and maintains a private teaching studio.


         58th Annual Women’s Conference (January 30 – February 1, 2015) — Inspired by Isaiah 58:11 “You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring,” the 2015 Women’s Conference is entitled Inner Gardening with Hennie Symington as our speaker.  Here is also a link to a promotional video (on YouTube) that you can also share. It is only 1 minute 44 seconds long.

         Registration is now open. We have online registration and also a PDF that can be printed out available at our website A number of women from WTUC attend every year, and we would love to see that number swell = )


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER (we value your prayers & involvement in this vital ministry)  Any questions, please contact Pastor Teresa at, or Julie Rogers for HS; Amy Harbaugh and Steve Bennett for Upper ES and Lower MS, grades 4-7; and Carrie Bennett for Lower ES, grades K-3.

LITTLE KIDS during worship – after the children`s message you may go with Oliver who has prepared a lesson on Jesus is born and the Shepherds.

ES, MS & HS YOUTH – a message from Cathy Berghahn – “All children wishing to be in the church pageant should arrive by 10 am on Sunday the 7th and 9:45 on Sunday the 14th. If there is anyone in the congregation wishing to share music during the pageant time they should email me at as soon as possible so I am sure to include them in the plan.”

MULTI GENERATIONAL Sunday School – Pageant Practice December 7th, 10 am and 14th, 9:45 am.

ADULT Sunday School – December 14th in the Sacks` living room, 9:30-10:30 am. Uses the Candle Method to look at the Sermon`s passage.


Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Time

December 7th     Advent 2, Youth Christmas Pageant practice, Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, Mission Moment by Rev. Saito of Inochi no Denwa, during the worship will be a selection from the Messiah by Hiroko Ide, Miki Orii and singers and musicians from Senzoku Music Conservatory, Communion; after the service: there will be a full concert by by Hiroko Ide, Miki Orii and singers and musicians from Senzoku Music Conservatory – all are welcome!

December 14th     Advent 3, Adult Sunday School at the Sacks`, Youth Pageant Practice (all youth are welcome to join in – there`s always room for one more sheep or angel = ), Youth Christmas Pageant – invite your family and friends! Caroling at orphanages in the area and Christmas treats at the Sacks in the afternoon – all are invited!

December 21st     Advent 4, Rev. Dr. Timothy McKenzie preaching, Communion

December 24th     Christmas Eve Service from 6:30pm. Christmas cookies for refreshments

December 28th     Pastor Teresa preaching,Year end worship service



This fall again we will have Multigenerational Sunday School from 9:30 in the cafeteria the second and fourth Sundays of the month. Who is welcome? All ages. We will be creating, discussing, playing games, acting out bible stories and more. Multi-generational-worship

The Sacks will host the Adult Sunday School, also at 9:30 am in their living room. The method for looking at the texts for the service is called the, “Swedish Bible study method,” interacting with  the text through our own life experiences. Their home is right across the Lutheran Campus from our sanctuary. Best coffee in town = ) Come and enjoy! (At times Adult Sunday School is held in the Upper Room, on the 2nd floor above the Sanctuary.) All are welcome. Need more information, contact any time = )


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 well over 20 years. Members of WTUC are asked to select a child (or children) and buy them both some socks and a present for Christmas. This year please feel free to accept more than one child. 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, ( which I am sure will never happen) you can call me at 0422-34-4266 to be reminded of who it is you are buying for.

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

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 by Christmas Eve.

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

Jim Sack


WTUC Announcements:

*Questions or concerns? Feel free to email 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.

*If you’d like to be added to the WTUC church email list, please contact Gene Witt

*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 or Kayo Ozawa.

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

*Each week we will be setting up the chairs for worship and preparing the sanctuary, anyone around at 10:30am is invited to be involved in the fun = ) Each week we will also return our sanctuary to it`s classroom style after the fellowship time.

*Interested in baptism or membership, please contact Pastor Teresa.

*Interested in a paid position setting up and/or taking down the chairs of our sanctuary? Contact Pastor Teresa at


Passage for pondering in anticipation of the sermon

Isaiah 40:1-11

God’s People Are Comforted

40 Comfort, O comfort my people,

says your God.

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

that she has served her term,

that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

double for all her sins.

3 A voice cries out:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all people shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6 A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass,

their constancy is like the flower of the field.

7 The grass withers, the flower fades,

when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand forever.

9 Get you up to a high mountain,

O Zion, herald of good tidings;[a]

lift up your voice with strength,

O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[b]

lift it up, do not fear;

say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

10 See, the Lord God comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;

he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead the mother sheep.

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news[a] of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[b]

2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,[c]

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,[d]

who will prepare your way;

3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight,’”

4 John the baptizer appeared[e] in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with[f] water; but he will baptize you with[g] the Holy Spirit.”

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