Saul to Paul, Soul Overhaul – Second Sunday after Easter – May 1, 2022

Join us for our weekly online service, as Malcolm Foster, journalist and artist, will be preaching at our 10:00 am online service. (See the link at the bottom of the page.) We were very happy to be able to meet in person on Easter Sunday and to celebrate the baptism of two of our church members, Akiko and Shintaro! If you missed out on Akiko’s moving testimony, be sure to read and meditate on its meaning; it is included in this post below.

The transformation of Saul (later known as Paul) from persecutor to champion of the church is one of the more dramatic turnarounds in the Bible. This Sunday, we’ll be taking a look at this episode in Acts 9. It has some good lessons for all of us, including that God can save and change anyone, even cruel enemies, and that we aren’t just saved from something, but for God’s greater purposes. Malcolm will be preaching and Kazuko will be leading our music on the organ as always. Please join us at 10 am on Sunday!

Paul’s Conversion on the Road to Damascus – Caravaggio

The scripture readings are from Acts 9:1-20, Romans 5:20 and Psalm 30.

Please come join us remotely to worship together. Ruth brings the children’s message with help from her puppet friend Grudge, (who may grudgingly assist). Thank you to Kazuko who will be playing the organ and to the many members who help out with our weekly services.

Akiko’s Testimony:

First of all, I would like to appreciate WTUC to give me this opportunity of baptism, especially Jim and Malcolm for supporting me to take this step.
I want to tell you a bit about the journey that has led me to this place today to be baptized and commit my life to Jesus.

Eighteen years ago, I experienced an enormous tragedy in my life, and I went through a period of deep despair and grief. It happened around this time of year — cherry blossom season, which normally represents the coming of spring and new life — a happy time after the cold winter. But after that tragedy, cherry blossoms came to represent sadness and loss to me.

About 11 years ago, God gave me a new reason to rejoice during cherry blossom season: My son Shintaro was born. His birthday is actually next week; he is turning 11. This new life, coming at a time that I associated with despair, filled me with joy and new hope.

Today, with my baptism, I am taking another important step toward hope by putting my faith in Jesus.
I want God to transform me in three ways:

1. I’m weak, and I want God to give me the strength to face difficulties in life and overcome them.

 2.  I’m lonely, and I want God’s companionship to walk with me through the rest of my life.

 3.  I’m a sinner, and I want God to take my burden and wash my sin away and change me so I can be clean and pure.

I want to open up my heart to God and ask him to fill me with peace, joy and rest. I want him to change me to be stronger to face the difficulties and tragedies I may face in the future. 
After the cold winter is over, the beautiful spring comes to remind us of new life. By being baptized I now see the cherry blossoms beautifully full in bloom in my heart, and I know that God will never leave me.

Thank you very much. —- 2022, Apr.17th —- Akiko Nishikata

We welcome friends and members from around the world to join us as we continue to worship remotely. You may be distant geographically, but you are as close as our hearts and prayers.

We are very thankful that our little community church can keep on going even in the midst of difficulties. Many friends keep contributing to our worship services and to our parishioner connections. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, financial support and weekly acts of service as we help each other in doing the work of the Kingdom.

Offering Link: Please note that the link for sending in your gifts and tithes has been changed to and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

About Ruth

Author of, founder of, tree climber and storyteller.
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