December 6, 2015

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly Sunday, December 6, 2015 worship    

Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill


11:00 AM – WORSHIP

FELLOWSHIP TIME: after the service

Sunday, December 6th – Our first CHRISTMAS PAGEANT practice (directed by Cathy Berghahn) will be from 9:45 AM. During the 11AM worship service Rev. Christian Zebley will bring the sermon “A Dwelling Place for God” from Colossians 1. Following our worship will be a open choir practice of `Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Fun Fellowship time after worship.


A note from our Youth Christmas Pageant director, Cathy – “All children and young at heart wishing to participate in the church pageant should arrive by 9:45AM on Sunday the 6th and 9:45AM on Sunday the 13th. 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.”

WTUC Potential Choir members – Julie Rogers “is trying to put a group of singers together to sing the first verse of `Hark the Herald Angels Sing` in church on Sunday, Dec 13th during the pageant.  We will practice after church on Dec 4th and then one more time before the service on Dec 13th.  We will sing the first verse as a choir and the congregation will join us for the second and third verse. No need to RSVP, just please join our practice after the service this coming Sunday to practice. We’re singing the version from our hymnal.”

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

Rev. Christian Zebley will preach from, with a title of “A Dwelling Place for God.”  Communion will be served. 

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 or Betsy Terada.


UPCOMING! December 13th

9:45AM Christmas Pageant Practice

11:00 AM  Christmas Pageant in the worship service. Yummy Christmas treat fellowship afterwards – bring your favourite Christmas cookie, treat or drink.

3:15 PM Christmas Caroling at Nozomi no Ie and Choyo Gakuen – at 3:15 PM meet at WTUC/Sack`s drive way. There will be a Swedish Christmas feast at the Sack`s home afterwards – all are welcome – bring a friend = )


About the Preacher on December 6th – The Zebley family lives nearby in Nishi Tokyo. Christian is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and preparing to plant a new church in the Roppongi/Ebisu area of Tokyo in 2016. He is working in partnership with Grace City Church in downtown Tokyo and the City to City Asia network of Redeemer PresbyterIan Church in NYC. In 2011, he founded and leads Global Leadership Dynamics.  GLD ministers to leaders of diverse backgrounds, creates unity in the Body of Christ and forges partnerships between organizations for Kingdom advancement. Christian recently served as the leader of the Co-Labor Follow-Up department for the BGEA Celebration of Hope at the Budokan. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College BA, Princeton Theological Seminary MDiv, and currently working on a DMin in Leadership at Denver Seminary.   Kay is a graduate of Wellesley College with a degree in International Relations.  She has also studied spiritual direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary.  She leads the Zebley family home school.


“Composition of a Lifetime“ The 2016 Women’s Conference will be held January 29~31 at Amagi Sanso. Registration is open. Click here to register –

Enjoy a short shareable promotional video


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 (please see Jim or Betsy). 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 or email 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


Little Kidz: All are welcome to go with Sammie and learn about the Christmas Story.

Little Kidz, ES, MS, HS: Everyone is needed for this year`s Pageant being created by our own Cathy Berghahn. Practices will be at 9:45 AM December 6th and 13th, with the Pageant being in the service on the 13th.

Confirmation Class: Monday December 14th, 6:30-8:00PM at the Bennett`s home, Pastor Teresa is teaching. Pizza provided this month by the Loveman family.

HS Youth: Gathering cloth to continue with quilting projects – quilts are being created to give to refugees – please give your usable material to one of the Youth.


Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Events

December 6th   Advent 2 – Christmas Pageant Practice from 9:45AM, Rev. Christian Zebley preaching, Communion will be served, organ: Kazuko Sacon, Choir practice after worship.

December 13th Advent 3 – 9:45 AM Christmas Pageant Practice, Pageant during 11AM Worship. Christmas Caroling at local orphanages and Christmas treats at the Sacks` home (meet at the Sacks` driveway at 3:15PM.)

December 20th  Advent 4 – Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, Communion will be served, organ: Gene Witt.

December 24th  Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols, 6:30PM followed by Christmas treats fellowship, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

December 27th (9:30 AM Adult and Multigenerational Sunday School will resume in January), Pastor Teresa preaching, organ: Kazuko Sacon.



We have Multigenerational Sunday School from 9:30AM 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. At the same time, the Sacks host the Adult Sunday School, also at 9:30AM  in their living room. The method used is the, “Swedish Bible study method,” interacting with the texts for the service 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, hosted by Dr. Toshi Sasao, on the 2nd floor above the Sanctuary.) All are welcome. Need more information, contact any time = ) 2015 Sunday School schedule: 12/6 (9:45AM pageant practice for kids); 12/13 (9:45 AM pageant practice and pageant during worship)


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, are interested in baptism or membership, please contact Pastor Teresa *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. *Sign up for snacks for fellowship time with Ann or Jill. We appreciate your contributions to our community life!


Sermon texts – Colossians 1:15-23 (NRSV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

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