Sunday, January 24, 2016

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly - Sunday, January 24, 2016 worship 

Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill

9:30 AM – ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL in the cafeteria with Dr. Toshi Sasao

9:30 AM – MULTIGENERATIONAL SUNDAY in the cafeteria with Pastor Teresa

11:00 AM –  Rev. Matsumoto and Mark Penner will bring the sermon, Jesus` Keen Awareness, from Mark 7. Kazuko Sacon will be on the organ. Our delightful FELLOWSHIP time will be after the service. Great time to invite friends who are interested in hearing about some of the ministries and progress of of the Japanese Sign Language Bible.

Please click around this evocative website that introduces the work of the Japanese Sign Language Bible –

a testimony from the United Bible Societies –


about the preacher and the interpreter –

Rev. Eiji Matsumoto is pastor of the Yamagata Deaf Christ Church. He serves as board chair of the Japanese Sign Language (JSL) Bible translation project, and is also board chair of a network of Sign Language Bible translation project leaders called Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association (APSDA). He is of the key leaders in the global Sign Language Bible translation movement.

JSL BIble:  For 300,000 Japanese Deaf people, Japanese is a foreign language they have to study arduously to learn. In reality, their first language (their heart language that is naturally absorbed), is Japanese Sign Language (JSL). JSL is a visual language more different from Japanese than English is from Chinese. The JSL Bible is a desperate need if the Japanese Deaf community is to access God’s Word and be transformed by it.


English website:

Japanese website:

Mark Penner grew up in Japan and serves here now as a WorldVenture missionary. He has worked in the Japanese Deaf community for 32 years, first in leadership development and now with a team of Deaf people translating the Bible into Japanese Sign Language.


“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 go with Sophia to learn about Jesus feeding the 5000.

Confirmation Class: Ash Wednesday simple soup and Imposition of Ashes service, soup: 5:30pm, service: 6:30pm.

HS Youth: Gathering cloth to continue with quilting projects, please give your usable material to one of the Youth. Next youth group meeting at Papa Pasta (on the six lane), Sunday, January 31 at 5:00 pm.


Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Events

January 24th – Rev. Matsumoto preaching (Deaf pastor of Yamagata Deaf Church, board chair of the Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project and also of the Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association) and Mark Penner (WorldVenture missionary who has worked in the Japanese Deaf community for 32 years) translating, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

January 31st – Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

February 7th – Pastor Teresa preaching, Communion, organ: Kazuko Sacon.

February 10th – Ash Wednesday simple soup and Imposition of Ashes service, soup: 5:30pm, service: 6:30pm.



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 Schools – January 24th; February 14th and 28th!


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!


Text for the sermon – Mark 7:31-37 (NRSV) Jesus Cures a Deaf Man

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus[a] ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

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