Recent News

Help With Your Taxes!

Recently we received the following message from Abbie Watton of King County United Way –   and we pass it along to all of you!

 

Free Tax Help

Did you know that 70% of Americans qualify for free tax prep services by IRS-certified volunteers?

This tax season, United Way of King County’s free tax preparation services are a convenient resource available to you, your family members, and your community! Tax time can be stressful and expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. Come take advantage of this free service at one of the 33 convenient locations throughout King County or online and maximize your refund today! Now through April 18th, households making under $66,000 can have their taxes prepared by a certified tax preparer and get connected to other community resources and public benefits.

There are two easy ways to file:

 Online

With no income limit this year, you can file your taxes online for free with United Way’s ‘My Free Taxes’ tool at www.MyFreeTaxes.com.

In-Person 

File your taxes in-person at one of 33 locations throughout King County. Locations have convenient hours to meet your schedule, and no appointments are needed. To find a location near you, languages available, a list of what to bring, and other details, visit United Way’s website at www.FreeTaxExperts.org or call 2-1-1.

If you would like digital or physical outreach materials, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at awatton@uwkc.org or call me at (206) 461-3631.

Best,

Abbie Watton (she/her/hers)

Benefits Hub Tax Associate

United Way of King County

awatton@uwkc.org | 206-461-3631

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JCC Annual Meeting!

 

  • JCC Annual Meeting – just a quick reminder to everyone that we will be holding our church annual meeting directly following worship this coming Sunday, February 2nd. We will be hearing some brief reports from 2019 as well as confirming our budget and plans for 2020. Thanks in advance for prioritizing this gathering and participating!
  • Special Discussion Time with UCC Staff – Thank you to everyone who came and participated in our discussion time on January 25th with Pastor Courtney Stange-Tregear from our UCC Conference office. It was a good time of hearing each others’ stories. We pray that God will continue to lead us as a congregation as we make important decisions this year.
  • Join us in prayer!  The JCC board has been praying together since last Fall. Each in our own place, each evening at 9:00 p.m. we have prayed a specific prayer for God’s blessing and guidance. Would you be willing to join us? Click HERE to see the prayer.
Here’s the upcoming schedule for February
  • 02.02  Pastor Tim preaches / Annual Meeting following worship
  • 02.03  (Mon) The Lord’s Table / Serving the Homeless (meet at church at 7:30 p.m.)
  • 02.08  (Sat) Mens and Womens combined Bible Study – 9:00 a.m.
  • 02.09  Shun Takano preaches
  • 02.16  Board Meeting at 8:45 a.m. / Richard Nakamura preaches
  • 02.23  Pastor Tim preaches
  • 02.28  (Friday) JCC Volunteer team at St. Mary’s Food Bank (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Prayer for JCC

During this past Fall, the JCC board committed to sharing in a time of prayer –  every night at 9:00 p.m.  Each in our own location, we would stop and offer a prayer for our church. The prayer we prayed together is the one found below. As we enter 2020 we invite all of you as members and friends to join us as we pray for God’s blessing and guidance for our congregation. Of course, it’s easy to miss and forget…. don’t worry! If you don’t get to it on a certain evening…. just pray the next day. Or commit to praying it once a week. It’s not homework…. it’s a resource we offer in order that the Holy Spirit may tune our hearts together as we move forward in making decisions that are both filled with great potential…. as well as some anxiety.

Prayer for JCC as we consider our Future

GRATITUDE

  • God, we thank you for walking with us and leading us throughout our history.
  • Thank you for the many who have gone before us and for their faith and service. Thank you for their example of love and sacrifice.
  • Thank you that you are with us now, and that you desire to communicate with us.

CONFESSION

  • Forgive us for the times that we have not earnestly sought your will, or when we have failed to accurately hear your voice.

PETITION

  • We ask for oneness in spirit… not that we will all have the same opinion, but that we will all sense your spirit leading us.
  • When we talk together as a board, help us to truly listen and hear each other.
  • We have considered many options to date – but “doing nothing” no longer seems possible or prudent. Show us Lord the direction that we should go. Are we to stay? Are we to sell and continue in a different place? Are we to close our doors and turn our assets over to another group? Are there possibilities that we have not yet imagined? Help us to see this situation as you see it…Give us wisdom.

CLOSING

  • Finally, Lord, help each of us to place our own desires and wishes at your feet. We are each willing to give up our own opinions in order that Your will for JCC may be done. Please make clear to us what that is.
  • We pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

日本人組合教会への祈り

感謝

  • 神様、私たちの歴史を通して、私たちと共に歩み、導いてくださったことに感謝します。
  • 私たちの先人たちに。先人たちの信仰と奉仕に感謝します。彼らが示した愛と自己犠牲に感謝します。
  • 今ここに共にいてくださるあなた、私たちと共に語らおうとしてくださりありがとうございます。

告白

  • 私たちが、真にあなたの意見を求めていなかった、もしくは正しくあなたの声に耳を傾けることができなかった、その時の私たちを許してください。

願い

  • 私たちが心を一つにして、たとえ私たち一人ひとりが同じ意見を持つことではなく、私たちを導くあなたを感じることができますように。
  • 役員会で、話し合うとき、互いの意見に耳を傾け、理解しようと努めます。
  • 私たちはこれまで多くの選択肢を検討してきましたが、今は「何もしない」ことは慎重な選択でもありませんし、それはもう可能でもありません。主よ、私たちが向かうべき方向性を示してください。私たちはここに留まるべきでしょうか?ここを売却し、他の場所で継続する方が良いでしょうか?私たちは教会を閉鎖し、資産を別の教会に引き渡すのが良いのでしょうか?または、まだ想像できていない他の選択肢があるのでしょうか?あなたが見えるように、私たちがこの状況を見えるように私たちを助けてください。解決できるように知恵を与えてください。

終わりに、、

  • 最後に、主よ。私たち一人ひとりが、私たちの願いと希望をあなたの御許に置かせてください。JCCに対し、あなたが何かを行われるために、私たちそれぞれの意見を放棄します。ですから主よ、私たちにそれが何であるかを示してください。
  • イエスキリストの御名によってお祈りします。アーメン。

 

 

News from Anna Rosengren!

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Wow! I can you believe it’s 2020 already. Well, whether we’re ready or not, it’s here. The starting of a new year brings opportunities to reevaluate and access priorities etc. Maybe some of you have made resolutions or have a word or phrase that you’re focusing on specifically this year. The first weekend in the new year, I had a chance to listen to a sermon that focused on the above verses from Philippians. The pastor shared about a time when he was on his motor bike and someone was driving way to close behind him. He kept checking his mirrors so worried about what was going on behind him that he ran into someone that had stepped out in front of him with out looking. The person ended up being okay, but he said that if he had been paying attention to what was ahead of him then we would have been able to stop in time without hitting them. He used this story to encourage us to think about what holds us back. What keeps us from moving forward and stepping into that upward call of God in Christ Jesus? If I’m honest with myself, and by God’s grace I was able to see upon reflection in that moment, that a lot of what I allow to hold me back is my past mistakes and not measuring up in situations before. I sell myself short before I even try in the present because of my past. I find myself in the new year encouraged to lay my past at Jesus’ feet, along with the weight of sin that so easily entangles like the writer of Hebrews encourages, and run with perseverance toward the goal set before me to pursue the prize of the upward call of God. What’s holding you back today? What’s causing you to constantly glance in your rear view mirror? Can you begin to give it to God?

READ ANNA’S ENTIRE NEWSLETTER HERE!

Meaningful Movies…

Recently JCC  received the following announcement and we pass it along for you:

On Sunday, January 26 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m., Meaningful Movies at First Church (180 Denny Way, Seattle) will show two documentary films — Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice about internment of Japanese Americans during World War II AND Families Torn Apart: America’s Deadly Immigration Policy about detention camps at the U.S. southern border. Never Give Up! is newly relevant because the children of parents who were interned now are on the front line resisting imprisonment and separation of children from parents at our border. After the films, Jorge Barón, executive director of the Northwest Immigration Rights Project, and Joseph Lachman and Palmira Figueroa with Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network will answer questions and offer opportunities for action. The event location is easy to reach by public transportation, and parking is free for event attendees in the church’s parking garage just west of the church building. For more information, see https://meaningfulmovies.org/events/never-give-up-minoru-yasui-and-the-fight-for-justice-2/

Happy New Year! / Special Meeting

Dear JCC friends and family,

Greetings on this first day of 2020. May God’s blessing and protection be on and around each of you as you begin the new year. Thanks to all who attended and took part in our recent Christmas worship and celebrations. I trust that all of you are experiencing Immanuel – God with us!

A Special Meeting…

I want to let all of you know about a special gathering that is being planned at church for Saturday, January 25th, from 9:00 a.m. until around noon. On that day Rev. Courtney Stange-Tregear of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC (United Church of Christ, the denomination that we are affiliated with) will be with us to listen and to direct a conversation about the future of our church.

As you all know, we have been holding ongoing discussions during the past 2-3 years about how to solve the issue of our older building which is in disrepair. This has led to a deepening discussion about our future in general. We have asked for the UCC conference office to come and be not only a listening ear but a “neutral / third-party” to our discussion, possibly offering wisdom and various options for us as a congregation.

Please consider making your participation in this important discussion a priority as you look at your January calendar. We would love to have each one of you present – even if you can only be there for a portion of the meeting.

Finally, thanks for your prayers about our future together! The members of our board have been trying to pray regularly at 9:00 p.m. each evening for the Lord’s direction and guidance. Together, let’s prepare our hearts for seeking God’s guidance for JCC in 2020!

Thanks to our volunteers for the St. Mary’s Food Bank!

Thank you Bi-Lan for your faithfulness in heading up the JCC volunteer team for the St. Mary’s Food Bank each 4th Friday of the month. The team is made up of friends from several churches – Japanese Baptist Church, Japanese Episcopal Church, the Buddhist Church (and sometimes others…). Here is a photo of some of the folks who helped out last month. (Howard and Carl were there too but must have been camera shy!)
IMG_2783 (1)

 

Please also take note of these other January happenings….

01.05  Pastor Tim preaches
01.12  Shun Takano preaches
01.18  (Saturday) Men’s Bible Study and Women’s Gathering at 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
01.19  Board meeting at 8:45 , Pastor Tim preaches
01.24  (Friday) St. Mary’s Food Bank Outreach (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
01.25  (Saturday) Important Discussion on the Future of JCC – 9:00 a.m.
01.26  Rich Nakamura preaches

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Tim

You’re Invited!

Christmas Worship & Potluck @ JCC

Yes, you are all invited to come and join us for
Christmas worship this coming Sunday, December 22nd, at 10:00 a.m.!
Christmas carols, Lighting of the Advent candles, Prayers and Readings,
Message – “Light of the World – For ALL People”
plus…. warm greetings and fellowship!Following worship, we will have a lovely potluck lunch together.
Bring something to share if you can…. but there’s always plenty of food,
so please join us – even if you don’t have time to prepare or bring anything!
There just may be a little something special for the children….
and we will have a special KARAOKE performance by some of our Japanese members!May God prepare our hearts for this celebration
and bless our time together!

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Tim

Advent Season Arrives!

December 1st was the first Sunday of Advent. Banners were in place, the first candle of the advent wreath was lit, songs of worship were sung, scripture was read and heard, prayers were offered, hugs and greetings were exchanged, and a lovely meal shared… in short, it was another wonderful morning of worship together. We look forward to having each of you join us in the days ahead as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ – past, present, and future!

Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following worship everyone helped to set up and decorate the tree…. the end result!

 

gift-bags.jpg

After lunch gift bags were prepared for each of the homeless individuals who would be in attendance at the meal serving on Monday night.

meal-1.jpg

The JCC team serving a hot meal for “The Lord’s Table” yesterday evening. Thanks to all who participated!

meal-2.jpg

The food and the gift bags were much appreciated by all.

Please make note of the remaining schedule items for December:

  • 12.01  Advent 1 – Pastor Tim preaches
  • 12.02  (Monday) The Lord’s Table – hot meal serving for our homeless friends
  • 12.08  Advent 2 – Shun Takano preaches
  • 12.14  Men’s Bible Study @ 9:00 a.m.  / Women’s Group also @ 9:00 a.m.  / Church Yard Clean-Up following from 10:30 until noon.
  • 12.15  Advent 3 – Board Meeting at 8:45 a.m. /   Richard Nakamura preaches @ 10 a.m. worship
  • 12.22  Advent 4 / Christmas Worship / Pastor Tim preaches followed by Christmas Potluck meal
  • 12.27  (Friday) JCC Volunteer team at St. Mary’s Food Bank (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • 12.29  Pastor Tim preaches

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

November Update!

Are you all enjoying the beautiful Fall weather? A bit of rain… a bit of fog…. several days of blue skies….. my favorite season!  Make sure you get out for a brisk walk and a chance to smell the fresh fall air.  God’s presence is all around us.

A couple of Items this month…

  • Men’s Bible Study – we welcome all men to come and join us for our continuing series in the book of Colossians. This Saturday, at 9:00 a.m., we will be looking at  part 2 of our 3-part study. It has been a great time of fellowship and prayer as well.
  • Women’s Group – the women will also begin a time of regular monthly fellowship. Come and join us this Saturday as Andrea Johnson leads the women in a time of prayer and discernment as they consider the shape and content of their regular gatherings going forward.
  • Church Yard Clean-Up – this Saturday, from 10:30 until noon. Grab your rake and gloves and come and join us! Lots of leaves…..
  • Thanksgiving Potluck – come and take part in the wonderful thanksgiving meal that will follow our worship on Sunday, Nov. 24th, from 11:15 a.m.
Please make note of the remaining schedule items for November. (You can always see the upcoming events / schedule on the front page of our JCC website!)
  • 11.09  Men’s Bible Study @ 9:00 a.m.  / Women’s Group also @ 9:00 a.m.  / Church Yard Clean-Up following from 10:30 until noon.
  • 11.10  Shun Takano preaches
  • 11.17  Board Meeting at 8:45 a.m. /   Pastor Tim preaches @ 10 a.m. worship
  • 11.22  (Friday) JCC Volunteer team at St. Mary’s Food Bank (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • 11.24  Richard Nakamura preaches followed by Thanksgiving Potluck meal

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Tim