December 20, 2015

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly – Sunday, December 20, 2015 worship – Advent 4 

Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill

11:00 AM – Rev. Dr. Jim Sack will bring the sermon, A Great Light from Isaiah 6 and Luke 2. Advent 4 Communion will be served. We will continue collecting our Christmas special offering for Second Harvest Japan. FELLOWSHIP Time: bring your favourite Christmas cookie, treat or drink to add to our Fellowship table.


about our 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. 

On our fourth Sunday of Advent, the Witt family will light our fourth 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. 

If you have a “Socks and gifts” for the children of `Nozomi No Ie” please put your packages under the Christmas tree (Jim takes the presents to his home after every service.)



We`ll be taking a closer look at the Manger Scene

and Emmanuel (God with us) born there

Robust Christmas cookie and treats fellowship time follows –

(please bring your favourite seasonal yummies to share = )


about the special Christmas offering (collected through the end of December) will go to benefit, Second Harvest Japan – Japan`s first food bank.  We receive donations from manufacturers, retailers, farmers and individuals and then distribute them to those in need. All of the food that we handle is unexpired and safe for consumption. We give this food a second life by distributing it to welfare agencies, orphanages, women shelters, people without homes, and those in need.  Second Harvest Japan aims to create a Food Safety Net in Japan. In order to do so, we deliver food to children’s homes, single-mother shelters, centers for the disabled as well as many other welfare organizations and individuals in need. In order to deliver enough food to those who lack food security, 2HJ cooperates with food manufacturers and other companies and hopes to use food to create new partnerships between corporations and the community. In our first year of incorporation we delivered 30 tons of food. In 2012 the number jumped to 3,152 tons valued at Â¥1.8 billion. That same year we helped companies save about Â¥310 million in disposal costs. Since 2002 we have have delivered over 8,000 tons valued at Â¥4.8 billion yen.  Your support of Second Harvest Japan helps them achieve their motto, “Food for all People.”


“Composition of a Lifetime“ The 2016 Women’s Conference will be held January 29~31 at Amagi Sanso. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life? Have you wondered about the meaning of your life? Do you admire great artists, writers, architects, and composers — and envy their genius (even just a little)? We forget that even the great geniuses who produced masterpieces had their dark moments, too. We don’t always know what goes into great compositions, but more importantly, we forget that we are great compositions! Maybe we don’t have that one thing to show for our lives. Except we do! It takes every major and minor part to compose an entire life! We have much to celebrate because we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Special Guest Presenter: Tomoko Arakawa, Director of Asia Rural Institute (ARI)

Join us for a celebratory weekend of rest, relaxation, restoration, and fun as we explore the wonderful compositions of our lives! Registration is open. Click here to register –

Enjoy a short shareable promotional video


Little Kidz: Please enjoy books and coloring materials during the worship. Kidz upstairs will resume January 17th.

Little Kidz, ES, MS, HS and friends: Thank you everyone for your marvelous participation in the pageant! 

Confirmation Class: Monday January 18th, 6:30-8:00pm at the Bennett`s home, Pastor Teresa is teaching. Meal will be prepared by the Ochero 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 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 (Adult and Multigenerational Sunday School will resume in January), Pastor Teresa preaching, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

January 3rd – Paster Teresa preaching, Epiphany play, Communion will be served, 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 = )  Next Sunday School – January 10th!


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!


Texts for the sermon – Isaiah 9:1-6 and Luke 2:8-20

Isaiah 9:1-6 (NRSV)

The Righteous Reign of the Coming King

9 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

2 The people who walked in darkness

    have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness—

    on them light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation,

    you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

    as with joy at the harvest,

    as people exult when dividing plunder.

4 For the yoke of their burden,

    and the bar across their shoulders,

    the rod of their oppressor,

    you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors

    and all the garments rolled in blood

    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For a child has been born for us,

    a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

    and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:8-20

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah,[a] the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,

praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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