Easter Sunday Service at WTUC – In-Person & Zoom – April 17, 2022

A joyous Easter to you all! Our in-person Sunday service starts at 10:00 am JST in the regular worship room on the Tokyo Lutheran College campus. We will also be broadcasting the service via Zoom through our usual link. Dr. Reverend Jim Sack will be preaching and there will be two baptisms! Akiko Nishikata and her son, Shintaro Nishikata will be entering into the family of God through holy baptism. After the service, we are all invited to Ann Tang’s house for an Easter luncheon and egg hunt. Please contact a WTUC church member for directions.

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.

Jim will be preaching a sermon titled, “Mary!” and the Gospel reading is from John 20:1 – 18. The epistle, or the readings from the letters of the apostles to the Christian churches is First Corinthians 15:20 – 26. We’ll join Ruth and Hamlet the pig for children’s time and a discussion on first fruits, (provided Hamlet does not consume the object lesson first).

Link to children’s sermon (in case you missed the service):

Easter’s First Fruits as Explained to Hamlet the Pig

The Lord is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!


Opening Hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Hymn of Response: Have You Seen Jesus My Lord?
Closing Hymn: Thine Be the Glory

Please come join us remotely or in person to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Thank you to Kazuko who will be playing the organ for our Easter Sunday service.

* Don’t forget, we are all invited to Ann Tang’s house and big yard for lunch and fellowship. We’ll car pool in several cars there and back. Pray for good weather!


Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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Good Friday Service at JLC Chapel

On Friday night, April 15, at 6:15 pm, a bilingual Good Friday service will be held in the main chapel of the Japan Lutheran College (See graphic below.) The service consists of Scripture readings of the Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross, a time of silence, Taize chants, recorded Requiem music and diminishing candlelight. Into darkness as we leave in silence at the conclusion of the service.  (No sermon or spoken message.) Please come and enter into the meaning of “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The service will last about 45 minutes. The photo below is all that is needed for the “bulletin.”

Please join the West Tokyo Union Church for this very special and meaningful in-person service on the Lutheran College Campus.

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He Emptied Himself – Palm Sunday – April 10, 2022

Our Sunday service starts at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. Rev. Paul Shew will be preaching. This Sunday, April 10, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. But on EASTER Sunday, we will gather in-person adding a remote feed for those who cannot come in person. 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.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, when Christians commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four of the Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week, also called the Passion Week. It is the last week of the solemn season of Lent that precedes the arrival of Eastertide.


Opening Hymn: 62 All Creatures of Our God and King
Responsive Reading #167 Canticle of Christ’s Obedience
Second Hymn: 278 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna


Gospel Reading:  Luke 23:1-49
Epistles:  Philippians 2:5-11
Sermon: “He Emptied Himself”


Hymn after Sermon 166 All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine

Please come join us to worship, learn and connect with one another as we prepare for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Thank you to the Shew family for providing the scripture readers. Ruth and her puppet friends will bring a children’s message and Kazuko will be playing the organ.

We hope you can join us at 10 am! Please come join us! Please see the important announcements below:

* We WILL be meeting in person for Easter, April 17, at our normal location on JLC campus. The service will also be broadcast via Zoom so others can join us. Jim Sack will be preaching.

* Akiko and Shintaro Nishikata will be baptized at Easter!

* Afterwards, we are all invited to Ann Tang’s house and big yard for lunch and fellowship. We’ll car pool in several cars there and back. Pray for good weather!


Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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Putting God First – 5th Sunday in Lent – April 3, 2022

Our Sunday service starts at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. This Sunday, April 3 and Sunday, April 10, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. But on EASTER Sunday, we will gather in-person adding a remote feed for those who cannot come in person. 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.

This week’s sermon is titled “Putting God First.” Last week, we took a look at God’s extravagant, self-sacrificial love for us in the parable of the two lost sons. This week, Malcolm will be looking at Mary of Bethany, who in John 12: 1-11 showed extravagant, self-sacrificial love for Jesus just six days before his death by pouring expensive perfume on his feet and wiping them with her hair. One person watching suggested that the perfume could have been sold to give money to the poor, but Jesus defends her actions, saying it is preparing him for his burial, which is just days away.

It is a bit of a curious story at first, but there are some lessons for us about Mary (not be confused with Mary Magdalene), whose siblings Martha and Lazarus were also close friends of Jesus, who wept at the death of Lazarus before raising him back to life. 

The message is based on John 12:1-11, and other Bible texts include Psalm 126 and Philippians 3:4-11.

Please come join us to worship, learn and connect with one another as we prepare for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Mio will be liturgist, Ruth and her puppet friends will bring a children’s message and Kazuko will be playing the organ.

Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus

We hope you can join us at 10 am! Please come join us! Please see the important announcements below:

* We WILL be meeting in person for Easter, April 17, at our normal location on JLC campus. The service will also be broadcast via Zoom so others can join us. Jim Sack will be preaching.

* Akiko and Shintaro Nishikata will be baptized at Easter!

* Afterwards, we are all invited to Ann Tang’s house and big yard for lunch and fellowship. We’ll car pool in several cars there and back. Pray for good weather!


Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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The Ministry of Reconciliation – 4th Sunday in Lent – March 27, 2022

Our Sunday service starts at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

For this fourth Sunday of Lent, Rev. Paul Shew will be sharing with a message called “The Ministry of Reconciliation,” based on Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son, and other scriptures.

Rembrandt Sketch – The Prodigal Son


Kazuko will be playing the organ and accompanying some traditional Wesley hymns.

Hymns for Sunday, March 27:

#57 — Oh for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

#355 — Depth of Mercy

#363 — And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Ruth and her puppet friends will offer a children’s message. We hope you can join us at 10 am!

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — Psalm 32

Epistle — 2 Corinthians %:16-21

Gospel — – Luke 15:1-3 and 11b-32

Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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Suffering and Bearing Fruit – 3rd Sunday in Lent – March 20, 2022

We meet at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

This third Sunday of Lent, Jermy Balukh will be sharing with us about “Suffering and Bearing Fruit,” based on the lectionary passage Luke 13:1-9. He’ll talk about how God gives us opportunities to live “one more time” to bear fruit, and how God uses incidents around us as a call to remind us about his purposes to save us and the world. 

Jermy will also be sharing a bit about his home church in West Timor, Indonesia, where he will be returning in April. We’re so glad that he’s been able to join us while doing linguistic research at Tokyo University of Foreign Languages in Fuchu.


Kazuko will be playing the organ and bringing us some excellent, classical Lenten music. Ruth and her puppet friends will offer a children’s message. We hope you can join us at 10 am!

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — – Psalm 63:1-8

Gospel — – Luke 13:1-9

Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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Transfiguration – 2nd Sunday in Lent – March 13, 2022

Dr. Jim Sack will be preaching for our WTUC online worship service this Sunday. We meet at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

Hymns for this Sunday:
  # 142 (1-3)  If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee
  # 173 (1-3) Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
  # 269 (1-3) Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

Raphael’s Transfiguration


Carol will be liturgist, Kazuko will be playing the organ and bringing us some excellent, classical Lenten music. We hope you can join us at 10 am!

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — – Psalm 27

Epistle — – Philippians 3:17-4:1

Gospel — – Luke 9:28-36

Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

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Christ in Japan – Part 2 – March 6, 2022

This is the second Sunday in a row for our WTUC online worship service to feature lay preacher Malcolm Foster! We meet at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

This Sunday, March 6, we’ll continue our tour of the history of Christianity in Japan, following the journey of Malcolm’s parents, Robert & Phyllis Foster, who came to Japan in 1949 as young missionaries. They served in Japan in both Tokyo and Hokkaido, working in publishing, radio evangelism and university instruction.

To make it personal, Malcolm will be sharing more about the ministry his parents had during their 44 years of missionary service in Japan, picking up on when they moved to rugged, beautiful Hokkaido just before Malcolm was born. We’ll be winding up with a brief look at some of the challenges the church in Japan faces today, and some reasons for hope about the future. 


Mio will be liturgist, Kazuko will be playing the organ and we hope you can join us at 10 am!

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — – Isaiah 55: 1-12

Gospel — – Matthew 11: 28-30

Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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 https://wtuc.net/offering/ and now has recurring offering and fee recovery options.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The deadline for sign-ups at the 2022 Women’s Conference is fast approaching! March 8 is the last day to sign up. Please send in your registration to: 2022 Japan WoCon

https://woconjapan.wordpress.com/registration/

WTUC’s Carol Sack will be one of the workshop leaders — and there are many other wonderful workshop choices to choose from. Take a look and sign up with a friend for the 65th annual Japan Women’s Conference. Last day to register is March 8th! That’s this Tuesday.

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Christ in Japan – Feb. 27, 2022

The next two Sundays, our WTUC online worship service will feature as its lay preacher, Malcolm Foster! We meet at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

Robert & Phyllis Foster, 1949 Japan

For the next two Sundays, Feb. 27 and March 6, we’ll be taking a quick tour of the history of Christianity in Japan, from its initial positive reception through the decades of horrific persecution up to the church’s growth after World War II. Lay preacher Malcolm will tie this to the ministry of his parents, Robert & Phyllis Foster, who in 1949 came to Japan as young missionaries to share a message of reconciliation and new life, as Jesus commanded in the Great Commission, Matt. 28: 19-20, one of our Bible texts. They served in Japan for 44 years, in both Tokyo and Hokkaido, working in publishing, radio evangelism and university instruction.

A fumie, or picture that Japanese were required to step on to show they rejected Jesus

Some of us may be well-versed in the church’s history in Japan, but others may not; in any case, it’s good to review and to be familiar with this important history. Christians in Japan have faced some of the worst suffering anywhere in the world, and their faith and sacrifices should be an inspiration to us all. 

There will be slides and photos to help us visualize what life was like for Christians over the generations, and we’ll also be singing some hymns written by Japanese Christians. Please join at 10 am on Sunday!

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — – Isaiah 43: 5-7 and 10-12

Gospel — – Matthew 5: 10-12 and – Matthew 28: 19-20

Kazuko will be playing the organ for us, and is assisting in choosing the hymns for this Sunday. Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The deadline for sign-ups at the 2022 Women’s Conference is fast approaching! Please send in your registration to: 2022 Japan WoCon

https://woconjapan.wordpress.com/registration/

WTUC’s Carol Sack will be one of the workshop leaders — and there are many other wonderful workshop choices to choose from. Take a look and sign up with a friend for the 65th annual Japan Women’s Conference. Last day to register is March 5th! That’s next Saturday.

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God Sends – Feb. 20, 2022

Our church community is blessed this Sunday by having one of our former pastors, Teresa Sherrill, join us to preach at our online worship service! We meet at 10:00 am JST via Zoom through our usual link. For now, we will only be gathering online, through Zoom. 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 will keep you informed via email and updated website posts concerning which future services can be held in person.

Joseph’s Life — Artwork by John August Swanson

Rev. Teresa Sherrill was co-pastor with Rev. Susan Townsley 2011-13 and continued pastoring until 2016. After 25 years in Japan, the Sherrills listened to the needs of teens launching and parents’ health concerns and moved to Goshen, IN in 2016. Mike is now Executive Director/CEO of Mennonite Mission Network, Teresa works at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Enrollment and Financial Aid, Isaiah is a student at Ivy Tech, Jeremiah at Goshen College and Sophia is at Eastern Mennonite University. Moses still cheers us and enjoys walks around the neighborhood. We live by the precept that every day is grace.

Pastor Teresa will be preaching on the message, “God Sends,” and will be focusing on a text that mentions the Land of Goshen. Since Teresa and her family moved to Goshen, this is quite an appropriate text for her to choose. She is looking forward to seeing her beloved WTUC friends and is thankful that we can remain connected across space and oceans and borders.

Rev. Teresa says, “In Genesis 45, our OT Lectionary text for today, Joseph says to his siblings, “Come closer to me.” What do you think happened during that discussion? In addition to a great many feelings, I think that part of the discussion that enfolded was about restoration. Many of us, as well, face times where we need restoration in our families, amongst friends and in societal situations. Genesis 45 offers us insights into aspects of restoration, and we will do some pondering together about this important theme.”

Scripture Readings:

Old Testament — Genesis 45:3-11, 15

Gospel — Luke 6:27 – 38

Our hymns for this coming Sunday include:

In the Bulb There Is a Flower

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Kazuko will be playing the organ for us, Carol is the liturgist this Sunday, and Ruth will bring the children’s message with help from some friends. Thank you to everyone who helps to make our worship services come together each week.

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.

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