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Christ Church of Chicago 6047 N. Rockwell Chicago, IL 60659 Phone (773) 338-8170 Fax (773) 338-8730 www.ChristChurchChicago.net THE PASSAGE November - December 2010 Dear Friends, “Faith,” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said, “is a form of listening.” I have always believed in this truth and, as a minister, I have tried my best to listen for the whispers of the Spirit in my life as part of an ongoing spiritual discipline. When Russell Katahira invited me to preach at Christ Church in November of 2005, by faith I heard God’s call in Russell’s invitation. It was also faith working in and through my intentional listening for God’s will for my life that inspired me to joyfully accept the call to become your pastor on October 1, 2006. Now, five years after I stood at the pulpit of this congregation for the first time, I am poised to take another leap of faith. I will be leaving Christ Church to wander off into the unexplored territory of a new calling. Making the decision to step outside the circle of the familiar and close-knit relationships that define Christ Church was not easy. We have come a long way since God brought us together! This church has given me the privilege of growing as a UCC minister and as a person of faith. I am thankful for your patience and kindness as I learned to do ministry in a community that emerged from the dark days of the internment camps and, against all odds, remained true to its identity, traditions and dreams. My life has been certainly enriched by all I have been able to learn about Christ Church and the trajectory of the Japanese American community in Chicago and the United States. I give thanks for the indelible mark that you have left on my life and ministry. I want to say a special thank-you to the people on the Pastoral Relations Committee – Jane Kaihatsu, Suzanne Ogawa, Jon Shimabukuro and Karen Nakagawa – who were incredibly supportive and instrumental in helping me to figure out how to best serve this congregation. I will be forever grateful for the many hours of sharing, listening, and planning that the PRC and I spent together. Lois Shikami also offered me invaluable guidance at times when I felt disoriented as a Brazilian pastor serving in a predominantly Japanese-American community. Always a patient listener, a strong supporter of my ministry and a dedicated member, Lois never failed to give me thoughtful advice on how to interpret and understand the many layers of cultural traditions that are part of this congregation’s rich history. I enjoyed working with Elaine Kaneshiro and Russell Katahira, our co-moderators. There is no question in my mind that Russell and Elaine love Christ Church and take great pride in the work they do to lead this congregation into its future. One of my greatest joys was undoubtedly to lead three Confirmation Classes and to get to spend time with the youth of this church! I have repeated this many times and I will say it once again: Christ Church is blessed to have such an amazingly talented, creative, intelligent and fun group of young people. I am glad that Craig Kaneshiro and Stephanie Nitahara are committed to being the youth leaders; they have so much to offer to our kids and I know they will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the youth and family ministries. I am also thankful that during my time as your pastor, Christ Church welcomed new members into the life of this congregation. Your commitment to being faithful to the Japanese- American heritage while embracing the diversity of the human family is truly inspiring. I pray that you will continue to walk boldly toward the goal to become a more multi-cultural and multi- ethnic church. There are countless other church members and volunteers who make Christ Church into this strong church family that I have had the honor to lead as a pastor. I have always admired Marcia Kushino’s dedication to one of the most challenging and difficult ministries in this church: the Ministry of Caring. The Women’s Fellowship never ceased to amaze me with their hard work and organization. The Christian Education Board always works tirelessly to provide our children and families with the best Sunday school program this church can afford and they are not afraid of trying out new ideas. During the last two years, Kent Ijichi has gone above and beyond anything this church could have asked of any trustee. Having this building is a true blessing and I am glad that Kent has used his skills and talents to help this congregation claim it as its true home. I am not sure how I will celebrate Maundy Thursday without Hiro Toyama’s delicious navy bean soup! It was always a torture to sit in the church office while the aroma of Hiro’s soup took over the building before we could finally savor it as we gathered for our agape meal!! And who could have imagined that Mary Mantel would come along and would help us run such a well- organized and successful rummage sale?! It is truly incredible how this congregation always comes together and gets everything done so efficiently and successfully. I am thankful for the staff of this church and how we were able to work together. Arlene Hayn has been a great colleague in the church office. It was good to come to the office knowing that I could count on her efficiency, dedication and knowledge. Pedro has always done so much more than anyone could have asked and this church is so lucky that Pedro not only cares about how our building looks, but he also cares about the people who come to worship whether they are long time members or first time visitors. Gracias Pedro! Then we have a really faithful and talented group of musicians who lift our hearts and spirits with their gift of music. I am grateful that I was able to work with Sunnie Hikawa, Fran Walker and Hue Jang. Listening to God can be risky! It is always easy to remain in those places where we feel loved, accepted and safe. But every now and again, as one of our hymns says it so wisely, the Spirit of restlessness stirs us from our placidness and, empowering us with bold decisions, the Spirit gives us new vision and calls us to leave the comfort of the fold so we may do something new. This is the time the Spirit is blowing through the church and is inviting us to arise and to listen for God’s will for all of us. In faith, let us be ready to let the Spirit speak and lead us. In this season of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for every person I met in this congregation; for your love and friendship and for the amazing opportunity I have had to be your pastor and spiritual leader for five years. I pray that you will remember my ministry at Christ Church with joy and gratitude and I thank you for allowing me to experience the love and grace of God through the ministries of this congregation. My last day as the pastor at Christ Church will be officially December 28th; however I have accumulated several weeks of vacation time that I will use to facilitate my transition and, for that reason, my last Sunday at Christ Church will be November 28th. As I mentioned in my letter of farewell, one of my favorite poems by German poet Herman Hesse declares, “At every call of life the heart must be prepared for leave-taking and new beginnings…” As I prepare for my own leave-taking, I praise God for everything we have been able to accomplish together and, trusting that the God who sustained us up to this point will continue to smile on us all and will grant us God’s blessings, I pray that God will keep and bless Christ Church. Sincerely, INTERGENERATIONAL HAND CHIME CHOIR In celebration of Reverend Paulo’s 5 years and his last Sunday at Christ Church of Chicago, on November 28th, our Intergenerational Hand Chime Choir will accompany the opening hymn, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. All are invited to come and ring with us! Music reading not necessary. We will rehearse in the choir loft after the Sunday service. ALL SAINTS’ DAY All Saints’ Day will be observed at Christ Church on Sunday, November 7th. Candles will be lit in memory of loved ones who have passed away within this past year. If you would like to honor your loved ones, please call the church office from Tuesday through Thursday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM and give Arlene Hayn the name of the person you want to remember. Please, do not leave messages on the church’s voicemail as it may be difficult to hear the correct name of your loved one. FAMILY NIGHT SAVE THE DATE! NOVEMBER 20th, 2010 AT 5:30 PM FAMILY NIGHT AT CHRIST CHURCH: Plan for Advent and Christmas, make ornaments for the Christmas Tree of Hope, go shopping for Christmas gifts, have fun and fellowship with your church family ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS AT CHRIST CHURCH The first Sunday of Advent is the Church’s “New Year’s Day.” During the season of Advent, which begins on November 28th and lasts until mid- night on Christmas Eve, Christians prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child. However the focus of the season of Advent is not only on the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation, which was the first Advent. The Church of Jesus Christ also waits and longs for the second Advent when Christ shall come again. In this double focus on past and future, Advent is the season when people of faith affirm their conviction that Christ is present in the world today and that He will come again in power. This season gives us courage to live as faithful followers of Jesus Christ in the world celebrating God’s in-breaking into history in the Incarnation and anticipating a future consummation to that history for which "all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption." You and your family are invited to join members and friends of Christ Church during this hopeful and joyful season. First Sunday of Advent, November 28th - The Sunday of Hope - Rev. Paulo’s last Sunday at Christ Church. Second Sunday of Advent, December 5th - The Sunday of Peace with Celebration of Holy Communion. Third Sunday of Advent, December 12th - The Sunday of Joy. Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19th - The Sunday of Love. There will be no service in the morning. You are invited to join us for our traditional Christmas potluck at 1:00 PM and the Christmas Pageant at 2:30 PM in the sanctuary. All are invited. Bring a dish for the common table and enjoy this time of fellowship with family and friends. O Come All You Faithful and Let us Adore Him! CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE December 24th at 7:30 PM CHRISTMAS POTLUCK AND PAGEANT Our Intergenerational Hand Chime Choir will accompany the congregation in a special Gloria. Get ready to snap your fingers and tap your toes while our youth and chancel choirs sing “The Little Cradle Rocks”! CHRISTMAS CAROLING On Sunday December 12th, the children will be spreading Christmas cheer as they sing songs of the season while visiting some of our homebound members. We will gather at church at 10:00 AM. (No Sunday School on this day). Contact Josie Sugai and Fran Walker if you can help with transportation. CHRISTMAS PAGEANT REHEARSALS There are only four rehearsals scheduled for the Christmas Pageants and we want to ask you to save the dates below on your family calendar. To honor the time commitment of our organist Fran Walker and Choir Director Sunnie Hikawa we ask that you and your children attend all the rehearsals. November 20th at 5:30 pm - Fran Walker will practice the songs with the children during Family Night. December 3rd at 6:30 pm - It’s Friday night and we will provide pizza. Please make sure you and your family will make an effort to attend this rehearsal! December 5th at 10:45 am - Sunnie Hikawa will hold a rehearsal during the time allotted to Sunday School. December 19th at 11:35 am - Before our Christmas Potluck, Sunnie and Fran will hold a final rehearsal with all of the children. CHRISTMAS TREE OF HOPE Christ Church will partner with Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights to spread the joy of Christmas. The ornaments adorning our Christmas tree will list a gift or item from the wish lists of a family in need. Let’s give generously! ORDER YOUR POINSETTIA Joy Fujiwara will be accepting your order for poinsettias until December 12th. DONATIONS Thank you to all the Friends and Members of Christ Church of Chicago for your generous donations during the month of August and September. Sumi Kimura Passage Appreciation Peggy and Jim Mita In Remembrance of Elsie Shiozaki Helen Miyake Flower Fund Jane Oda In Appreciation of Friends and Members of CCC Peggy and Yosh Sakai In Memory of Ritsuko Inouye Olgha and Robert Sandman Herbert Suruki Edith Takaki Celebration of Grandchild Payton Akemi Takaki's birth Kiyo Takemoto Flower Fund Lily and Pedro Ulate (8) Susan Yamanaka In Memory of Emily Robertson, Myrtle Hattori, Mary Matsumoto BUILDING FUND E. Higashi, F. Taniguchi E. Higashi, F. Taniguchi E. Higashi, F. Taniguchi In Memory of Lillian Yoshida E. Higashi, F. Taniguchi Helen Miyake Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie In Memory of Rosie Kawakami Yamaga By, Scott Nitahara FAREWELL TO KIYO TAKEMOTO Kiyo Takemoto has been an active member of Christ Church for many years and she is now relocating to Southern California to be closer to her family. Kiyo will be missed but she will always remain a dear member of Christ Church of Chicago. Our prayers and our love go with Kiyo as she begins this new phase in her life. Blessings, your Tri-C Family. AKI MATSURI, A LESSON IN TEAMWORK Team work is everything! It teaches one to depend on others, it builds mutual respect, it spreads the work around, it helps one to get to know others better, it makes work fun, it gives each individual a chance to shine, and it allows people of all ages to work together towards a common goal. Consider our Aki Matsuri 2010, held today, on October 2. The camaraderie was stunning. The annual bazaar was a big success because it ran like a well-oiled machine. Each phase, each committee, each activity, ran autonomously, yet in concert, to achieve the end result - our church building filled with happy, satisfied customers supporting our biggest fund raiser of the year. Ever since our first planning meeting that was held in June, the committees have been gathering to set schedules and goals. That’s when the publicity team began its work, and the tickets and posters were designed. But the group action really began to take place in September when volunteers spent a day preparing ingredients for making sushi, then during the week of the bazaar, they chopped vegetables and made tsukemono, and on another day, prepared the ingredients for the bento box lunch. Bakers answered the call for goodies and other goodies. Then on the night before the Saturday Bazaar Day, a whole group gathered to prepare the dining room and the selling booths, and to help with kitchen work. It was a relaxed and mellow bunch of mixed ages, working while munching on pizza. Today, bazaar day, everyone worked together creating the joyful scene: The udon chefs and their helpers served hundreds of steaming bowls of noodles, the grill team spent their day cooking teriyaki chicken breasts to perfection in spite of occasional rain, the yakisoba team stirred and stirred the giant wok, the sushi makers filled and rolled, the pot scrubbers worked to keep ahead, and all of the sellers fussed over their wares to best entice their customers. When the doors were opened at 12 o'clock noon, the cashiers were ready with their dining room order tickets, and the wait staff stood at the ready for their tables to fill. Our welcome mat was out and our eager community came in droves. I would like to thank each volunteer who contributed to the whole effort and to those who involved generations of their own families. That includes our members and friends who bought tickets, our supply purchasers, the delivery persons, the furniture and door movers, the rice washers, the sushi and tsukemono packagers, the takuwan makers, the handcrafters, the bento assemblers, the money counters, the tea brewers, and most particularly, the committee chairmen. What team work! I'm proud to be a member of the Christ Church family, aren't you? Lois Shikami Chairman, Aki Matsuri 2010 Once again, our very generous benefactors have joined our fund raising effort. We are deeply grateful to Fuki Yamamoto, Nancy and Daniel Yoshida, Scott Shimizu, Henry Fukui, and one anonymous friend for donating gifts, totaling $4,400 to cover our Aki Matsuri expenses. Special thanks to Jim Shikami. THANK YOU Neil Brown - for donating a table at the JASC Christmas Delight held in December Clean-up Crew that came to Christ Church on Oct. 16th and got lots done to prepare our church for the holiday season Elaine Kaneshiro, Russell Katahira, Erik Pavesic and Rev. Paulo for representing Christ Church in the Chicago CROP WALK 2010 HELP YOUR CHURCH TO WELCOME GUESTS, VISITORS AND REGULAR CHURCH MEMBERS The first people newcomers to Christ Church encounter on Sunday are the ushers and greeters. Depending on how genuinely welcome visitors feel, they may or may not come back on the following Sunday. Our regular church members also rely on our ushers to make sure that we have a pleasant worship experience. It’s nice to come into Christ Church and feel that we are welcome and loved no matter who we are! We need more church members to sign up to usher on Sunday morning. It would be particularly meaningful if some of our church families and young adults decided to volunteer on a regular basis. Can you help Christ Church to be more welcoming? Contact Arlene Hayn via e-mail or by phone and let her know that you are volunteering to be an usher and to share Christ’s love with all those who are coming to worship. YOUTH NEWS The youth will go straight to the Youth Room every Sunday morning, except on the first Sunday of the month when they will stay in the sanctuary to worship with their families. ANNOUNCEMENTS Happy Birthday to all of those celebrating in November and December! November - Craig Kaneshiro, Danny Nitahara, Clara Pedtke, John Pedtke, Joseph Pedtke, Hiro Toyama and Christine Woo. December - Sachi Suzuki, Nancy Takagi, Nancy Toyama and Jordan Yamagiwa. Please accept our apologies if we omitted anyone! If your birthday is not listed here, chances are that we do not have your updated information. Please contact the church office. and request a membership update form. . PASSAGE DEADLINE The Passage Deadline will be December 8th, 2010. PRAYERS AND CONCERNS Prayers of healing for Jeanne Kawako, Paul Kimura, Tracey Shimabukuro, Aiko Amino, Corinne Hamill (friend of Tomi Shimojima), Sandy Parsons and Judy Scheller.
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