• Friday, Nov 26: No Everglow Youth Fellowship
• Sunday, Nov 28: — Youth Sunday School (9:30 AM, Fellowship Hall) Study of Galatians
— Sunday REFRESH! (9:45, Conference Room). Guest speaker: Paul Tokunaga
— English Worship (11:00 AM, Second Floor). Paul Tokunaga will speak on “Three Killer Questions That Bring Life” (Gen 49:22-26).
— No Agape Family Group meeting.
— Young Adults Fellowship Potluck (5-8 PM). Meet at Chris Su’s home
Nov. 26, 2010
Dear Canaan EMers,
As I conclude my ninth month as your Interim English Pastor, Paul’s words say it best:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:3-6, NIV 2010)
Becoming part of the Canaan family has been the most profound experience for me this year. My work is much, much more than a job. It is more than helping our English ministry get back on its feet again. It is now about what Paul calls a “partnership in the gospel.” And like Paul, I also thank God and pray with joy because so many of you are eager to be partners in the gospel. In fact, you are what I thank God for most this year!
Black Friday notwithstanding, I invite you – my partners in the gospel – to prepare your hearts and minds for Advent, the season of preparation for the Lord’s coming (Paul calls it “the day of Christ Jesus” in Philippians 1:6). During the next four Sundays, we will take time to reflect on the meaning of Jesus as Emmanuel (God with us) during worship.
And during these times of reflection, I pray that God, who “began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” I pray that you will be willing to allow God to finish what he started in you. Perhaps your faith was born in the warm nurturing environment of Canaan’s children or youth ministries. Perhaps it was born through a dramatic conversion experience. Regardless of how you started your faith walk, I pray that you’ll have the desire to bring it to completion.
Indeed, Paul’s confidence in the Philippians was based on their partnership in the gospel with him. Paul knew that he could count on their support, not only for his personal needs, but also for the ongoing work of sharing the Gospel with the world and building up the Church.
As you prepare your hearts for the coming of Christ, I invite you to also help our community take the following four steps to becoming a healthy church in 2011:
1. Transforming our leadership culture
2. Strengthening our community
3. Deepening our discipleship
5. Preparing for 2012 mission
We’ll discuss these four steps in greater detail during our new Sunday REFRESH! classes (which begin this Sunday at 9:45 AM in the Conference Room). Sunday REFRESH! is for all current co-workers who are not committed to teaching in Sunday’s Children’s Sunday School or serving at that time. The purpose of Sunday REFRESH! is to build strong, joyful, and committed leaders for Canaan’s English ministry. The hour will be used for encouragement, fellowship, equipping, and mentoring.
For our inaugural meeting, we welcome Paul Tokunaga, Vice-President of Strategic Ministries with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and former Director of IVCF’s Asian American Ministries. Paul is the author of Invitation to Lead: Guidance for Emerging Asian American Leaders (InterVarsity Press) and will share with us some of his insights about developing Asian American leaders.
He will also speak during Sunday worship. Here is a summary of his message: “Three of the toughest questions I’ve faced in my life are: “What do you do when your dreams die?” “What do you do when temptation stares you in the face?” “Can you forgive those who have hurt you the most?” In my study of the Scriptures, I’ve often been drawn back to the story of Joseph and how he had to deal with these difficult questions.? What I love about Joseph is he didn’t live a sanitized, ivory tower existence.? He had to live out his faith in a very different and extremely challenging culture. On Sunday, we will take a candid look at “Three Killer Questions That Bring Life” through the life of Joseph.
So come to Sunday REFRESH! and worship! It will be refreshing!
Some additional announcements:
1. Benevolent Fund Collection: We have some members amongst us that are unexpectedly facing critical situations of financial need. Please consider making a special love offering during this Holiday season. Any amount is appreciated. Please write “Benevolent Fund” on your envelope and on the memo line of your check payable to CTCC. Thank you for sharing your love in an immediate and tangible way to our brothers and sisters in urgent need of our support.
2. Operation Christian Child update: We collected, wrapped and delivered 401 shoe boxes! Praise God for the wonderful response! We thank Wendy Huang for organizing the collection!
3. We thank God for the election of our new elders (Shirley Tai & David Weng) and deacons (William Effendy, Brian Chen, Jonathan Lin, George Chiao, Mimi Liao, Hamilton Cheng, Nathan Hsiung, and Monica Huang) during last Sunday’s Congregational Meeting.
4. Daily Bible Reading. Though there are other very good materials to help you read the bible every day, Canaan’s pastoral staff would like to encourage you to use the Book of Common Prayer’s Daily Office. Bob Lim told me to share with you about a lectionary or BCP app that is available for your smart phones or tablets. You can also find the assigned texts here: http://www.bookofcommonprayer.net/daily_office_list.php or http://www.crivoice.org/advent1.html
Thanks again for your partnership. I actually do pray for you with joy – trusting and anticipating that God will do something wonderful among us in the upcoming year!
May your encounter Emmanuel this Advent!