Sunday, May 8th, 2016

West Tokyo Union Church Weekly Sunday, May 8, 2016 worship

Pastor:  Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill

9:30 AM – Multigenerational (in the cafeteria with Pastor Teresa) and Adult (in the Upper Room with Dr. Toshi Sasao facilitating) Sunday School.

11:00 AM – Worship Service – Rev. Dr. Mike Sherrill will bring the sermon “Got a light?” from Psalm 27.  Kazuko Sacon will lead us on the organ and Carrie Bennett as our liturgist. Please enjoy Fujiko Nielson`s Easter Season art installation. Our delightful robust fellowship time will be after the service. After the fellowship time will be a Steering Committee meeting to discuss the upcoming budget.



Gracious Light-Bearer,

Into the shadows of our isolation

you speak words of life and community.

Challenger of our lives,

you call us from places we call home

to lead us more deeply into the world you love.

With your gentle, healing touch

you redeem the broken places of our lives

and you heal the wounded places of the earth.

Inspire our worship here this day,

so that we may receive liberation in your word,

and be filled to overflowing

to share your reconciling love throughout the earth.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

~ written by Rev. Elizabeth Dilley,


about the preacher for May 8th: Mike Sherrill is Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and Chair of Religious Affairs in the School of International Politics, Economics and Communications of Aoyama Gakuin University. His research interests center on ancient spirituality and the role of religion in contemporary society. He is ordained in the Mennonite Church and has served in Japan in church ministry and Christian higher education for over twenty years. With regard to hobbies he trades in pen and paper for wrenches and power tools to grapple with projects in car repair and home improvement. He is the husband of Pastor Teresa, and dad of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Sophia – & Moses the super dog.


Next Sunday, May 15th is Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday! Our confirmation class has been studying the foundations of our faith throughout the year, and will share with us their “creed” during this worship. We will have a time of blessing for them, and then we will all take communion together. A robust fellowship time celebrating Pentecost and our confirmands will follow the worship – everyone, as able, please bring red, orange, yellow finger foods to symbolize fire or blue finger foods, to symbolize the Spirit – invite your friends!

The following Sunday, May 22nd will be our annual Graduate Sunday (congratulations Sammie!) and Christian Education Appreciation Sunday. Youth and Friends will be leading the worship this Sunday – see Julie or Allie to lend your talents to the worship music. Ruth Ingulsrud is writing a special puppet play, and Allie is preparing a sermon. Another chance to encourage the Youth of WTUC and invite your friends!


a new study opportunity is coming …

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING ~ How to Have an Intentional Healing Ministry in Your Church 

By James K. Wagner

9:30-10:30, non-Multi-Generational Sunday mornings – upcoming dates – (5/29, 6/5 and 6/19) @ Sack house. This Sunday School will continue on in the fall.

We will start a study about the Sacramental Model of Healing Ministry, using this book by Methodist pastor James Wagner. Dr. Wagner helps us to see healing prayers as a natural outcome of the church, inspired by the compassion of our Lord who wills goodness to each person in both general and specific ways. Any genuine ministry is concerned with encouraging and helping others, not on building up oneself or one’s group. It is centered in the Word of God. 

Let us explore together such questions as: “What is the sacramental healing ministry of the Church?” “What about when healing doesn’t seem to happen?” “What is the significance of forgiveness?” and many other questions. 

We will continue this study over a few months, reading the text out loud together and discussing as we go along. Feel free to join whether or not you have had any prior connections with the healing ministry. 


Upcoming Preaching Ministry and Community Events

May 8th – Multigenerational and Adult Sunday Schools, Rev. Dr. Mike Sherrill preaching, Organ: Kazuko Sacon. Mothers/Caregivers celebration. Steering Committee meeting after the Fellowship Time.

May 15th – Confirmation Celebration and Pentecost Worship with Pastor Teresa giving a homily, Communion will be served, Organ: Kazuko Sacon.

May 22th – Multigenerational and Adult Sunday Schools, Allie Rogers preaching, Puppet Show by Ruth and friends, Youth and friends will lead worship, Congregational meeting after the worship.

May 29th – Rev. Dr. Jim Sack preaching, Organ: Kazuko Sacon.

June 5th – Carol Sack preaching, Communion will be served, Organ: Kazuko Sacon.


Little Kidz: Please go with Heather and enjoy learning about The Disciples.

Confirmation Class: Please be praying with the confirmands as they prepare to read their “creeds” and sing the “Books of the Bible” on Pentecost, May 15th.

HS Youth: Still working on quilting projects. Next Youth & friends worship on May 22nd and June 5th – looking for folks to lend their gifts to the service.



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  – May 8th and 22nd! All friends invited!


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

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 30:15

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

Romans 8:31b

If God is for us, who is against us?

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Luke 12:35-36

35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

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