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Tim Tseng

I'm Pastor of English Ministry at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church (San Jose, CA), independent scholar and theological educator.
Tim Tseng has written 202 posts for Canaan English Ministry

Let it be so

December 17, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

How delightful it was to worship with the entire Canaan congregation last Sunday! We welcomed our new members, celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and installed our new leaders. Afterwards, I had lunch with some of our emerging young adult men.

Last night over 30 of our Young Adults had a Christmas Party/White Elephant Gift Exchange. Betty and I had a great time connecting with everyone – including a number of new people. Unfortunately we had to leave before the gift exchange. I hope that all the young adults will keep Canaan in their hearts and prayers – and build up a special place for young adults at Canaan.

Canaan EM Young Adults Christmas Party 2014.001

This Friday, Everglow Youth will have a Christmas Party and Lock-in. Contact Pastor Chris Liu [email] for more details.

This Saturday (9 a.m. – noon) our Men’s Fellowship will help serve the hungry at the Second Harvest Food Bank near the church. Contact John Tang [email] for more information.

let-it-be-lyrics-the-beatles-type-Favim.com-134532Quick question: Was Paul McCartney correct? Did Mother Mary really say “Let it be”? Come Sunday and find out! Because…

This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Advent! We’ll sing Christmas Carols! Several of our parents will dedicate their children. Join us as we covenant to raise our kids in the Christian faith. Afterwards, we’ll have a Christmas party (special thanks to Stanley Chow for helping to arrange it).

And then, join Christmas Eve Caroling with Canaan English Ministry youth and adults next Wednesday! Sign up for singing or being a stop – bit.ly/caroling2014 or contact Shirley Tai [email] for more information.

Whew! What an incredible Advent Season it has been already! And Christmas hasn’t even started! May Jesus Christ continue to be at the center of your worship, work, and family!

Other Important Announcements

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go tocanaanem.org/calendar/ Because Christmas and New Years are on Thursdays, please send me announcements no later than Monday so that the bulletins can be printed on Wednesdays.

2. Our Annual English Ministry leadership micro-retreat will be held on Saturday, Jan 1o at 9 a.m.. Pray for this half-day retreat as we prepare for the 2015 year. Pastor Brian Leong of Lord’s Grace Chinese Christian Church will be our featured resource person. Let me know if you are interested in joining.

3. The next English testimonial service will be on Jan. 25, 2015. We invite at least three persons to share with the lectionary texts to frame their stories (Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31).

4. The BASS [Bay Area Sunday School] Convention (March 5-7, 2015] is looking for volunteers to serve as ushers and information desk managers. Visit their web page at bassconvention.org/volunteer.cfm and sign up or contact Deacon Nelson Lu [email]

5. Are you interested ins starting a VisionQuest group? Let me know and I’ll help you set one up!

6. Canaan People column: Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Thanks to all who have already participated.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

Surface Relationships and Relationship Surfaces

December 10, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Wesleyan Quad - bible firstLast Sunday’s Advent Scripture was Isaiah 40:1-11. We were reminded that the Bible is our primary source for knowing who God is because it points us to and prepare us for Jesus. While tradition, experience, and reason are also important sources for knowing and worshiping God, scripture is the most important part of the Wesleyan quadrilateral.

And Isaiah 40 foreshadows the coming of Jesus Christ by highlighting five of God’s characteristics that can provide comfort for those who follow him:

  1. God is forgiving
  2. God does not hide
  3. God is reliable
  4. God sends us
  5. God is mighty yet gentle

So when all others and all else fails, let us hold on to God with a strong individual faith!

As Christmas approaches, let us also take time to worship him with all our best. This Sunday, Canaan will have an all-church worship service at 10 AM in worship hall 1. Please come early because there may not be enough seating for everyone. As we have done for the past few years, we welcome new members, baptize new believers, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper whenever we have all-church services. This Sunday, we’ll also install our newest officers.

After service, the English ministry will have their regular community hour programs such as Everglow Youth, Adult study of Acts, and recent college grad connect.

But on Dec. 21, the last Sunday of Advent and the Sunday before Christmas, we will have a number of child dedications during English worship service and a party during Community Hour to celebrate Christmas and our newly dedicated babies.

Also, come join the Christmas Eve Caroling with Canaan English Ministry youth and adults! Sign up for singing or being a stop – bit.ly/caroling2014 or contact Shirley Tai [email] for more information.

Let’s give God our worship and celebrate his grace and love for us!

Other Important Announcements

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

2. The next Young Adults Large Group Fellowship will be on Tuesday, Dec. 16 from 8-10pm. We will be having a Christmas Party/White Elephant Gift Exchange so please bring a $15-20 wrapped gift. Please no chocolate/food items for the gifts. Ask Pastor Chris Liu for location [email].

3. Everglow Youth will have a Christmas Party and Lock-in on Dec. 20 (8 PM). Contact Pastor Chris Liu for more details [email].

4. On Saturday, Dec 20 our Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people atSecond Harvest Food Bank between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information [email].

5. The BASS [Bay Area Sunday School] Convention (March 5-7, 2015] is looking for volunteers to serve as ushers and information desk managers. Visit their web page at bassconvention.org/volunteer.cfm and sign up or contact Deacon Nelson Lu [email]

6. Canaan People column. Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Thanks to all who have already participated.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries


EM 2.0 BLOG:

“From Surface Relationships to Relationship Surfaces”

One of the four building blocks for English Ministry 2.0 is this: “ministry is about people.” Healthy people relationships is a key for becoming the church that Jesus desires. But many of us struggle with maintaining healthy relationships within the church. Our sisters and brothers in Christ often feel more like surface relationships to us than deep, intimate friendships.

red-dice-iconIt is easy to blame cliquishness and clannishness for this But I think a more fundamental reason is because, like dice, our relationship surfaces are limited.

Maria Konnikova’s article, “The Limits of Friendship” for Oct 7, 2014 The New Yorker magazine highlights this point (and says a lot more). View article at this link.

Each of us can manage only a limited number of relationships. For those of us influenced by family-centric Confucian values and who have relatives who live nearby, our relationship surfaces are largely taken up by our extended family. Other factors that limit our relationship surfaces are getting married and having children. Each life-stage transition requires that we yield more time and energy to our spouses (and his/her family and friends) and our kids (and their friends, classmates, parents. etc.). For English-speaking Asian Americans, in particular, the opportunities to enlarge our relationships beyond our family and ethnic community is quite attractive and encouraged. This also takes up a number of relationship surfaces.

The older we become, the fewer relationship surfaces we will have available (at least until after mid-life). Some friendships get squeezed out – such as the buddies that we used to play basketball or video-games with when we were single. Often, church relationships also get squeezed out. We settle for worshiping as many Sundays as we can without investing time into relationships with church people. Most troubling is that for many, our relationship with God gets squeezed out. What do you think happens to a church when the majority its members reach a saturation point with their relationship surfaces?

That is the unhappy story of EM 1.0. in many immigrant Asian churches.

EM 2.0 requires us to be good stewards of our limited relationship surfaces. Relationships are not a dice roll. God places people into our lives for his purpose. So followers of Christ will invest in relationships with his kingdom in mind.

dice - many surfacesPractically speaking, this may mean…

  1. Finding out if you can add more relationship surfaces to your life.
  2. Reserving relationship surfaces for your brothers or sisters in Christ. Make a commitment to the spiritual growth of a small group within your church.
  3. Reserving at least one relationship surface for new friends. Allow for time to socialize and evangelism.
  4. Reducing the number of surfaces that our biological family and relatives expect of us. Our Christian relatives should understand that we don’t need to save face; they will excuse us from attending every family function. If we have un-churched relatives with high face-saving expectations, find alternative ways to sustain these relationship without sacrificing our Christian relationship investments.
  5. That if you have young children, be very selective about the many after-school activities that are available. Model to our children that we are investing in relationships that build up the church and proclaim God’s love to the world.

Can you think of any other suggestions?

For further reading:

Gerald L. Sittser, Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For (InterVarsity Press, 2008)

It’s Advent-ure Time!

December 3, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

It was wonderful to worship with you last Sunday. It was a delight to connect with our college students who returned for Thanksgiving break. I am also grateful for everyone who helped decorate the Christmas tree and prepare us for Advent and Christmas! Though we only had a limited number of Advent devotionals to give away, I hope that those of youAdvent-ure Time.001 who have a copy are enjoying the biblical readings and reflections.

In my message last Sunday, I highlighted the importance of preparing ourselves for the coming of the Lord. When Jesus comes, he reveals a God who is not apathetic about human suffering and sin. Rather, Jesus shows us God’s patience with our apathy towards the same.

For instance, I’m sure God wonders how people can be so apathetic and callous towards the homeless. Just a few days ago, two young men were arrested for callously beating a San Francisco homeless man to death. So many of us (including myself) were not aware that Silicon Valley has the highest number of homeless people in America. Have a look at the article that I referred to during my message “Hotel 22: The Dark Side Of Silicon Valley.”

Yet God is patient with us.

As we wait for God to answer our prayers, God waits for us to confess our sin (Isaiah 64:6-7) and to yield ourselves to him (Isaiah 64:8). At some point, God’s light will appear and darkness will be driven away. When that happens, I pray that all of us will be revealed to be his people (Isaiah 64:9; Romans 8:19)!

This Sunday, we will continue our Advent worship with an appreciation of Children’s Ministry co-workers and candle-lighting ceremony. God prepares the way for us. He is our source of comfort!

Other Important Announcements

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

2. This Saturday, Dec 6, there will be a Gospel Outreach service conducted in Mandarin at 7:00 pm in church. Contact Pastor DJ for details [email].

3. On Sunday, Dec 14, we will have an All-church Advent Welcome service at 10 a.m. in Worship Hall 1.In addition to celebrating Baptism and Holy Communion, we will welcome new Canaan members and install new terms of elders, deacons, nominating members, and auditors. English ministry will have a regular Community Hour (i.e., no welcome reception).

4. Everglow Youth will have a Christmas Party and Lock-in on Dec. 20 (8 PM). Contact Pastor Chris Liu for more details.

5. On Saturday, Dec 20 our Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people at Second Harvest Food Bank between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information [email].

6. Dec. 21 is the last Sunday of Advent and the Sunday before Christmas. We may have a number of child dedications during English worship! Stay tuned. We will also have a Christmas Party during Community Hour to celebrate Christmas and our newly dedicated babies.

7. Canaan People column. Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Thanks to all who have already participated.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries
[email me]

Truly Thankful

November 26, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Thanksgiving Canaan EM 2014It is so fitting that Thanksgiving Day comes at this time. It always comes after “the Reign of Christ” or “Christ the King” Sunday. On this, the last Sunday of the Christian year, we celebrate  Jesus’ victory and coronation. For that we have much to be thankful for! Let us thank everyone who participated in last Sunday’s Thanksgiving service!

But if we are honest, it is often a struggle to be grateful. The travesty in Ferguson shows us how terrible America’s racial problems continues to be. And this just scratches the surface of so much injustice, poverty, and pain there is in our world today. Even though we celebrate Jesus as King of the universe, why do so many people suffer? Skeptics and doubters have a right to ask this question.

For this reason, followers of Jesus who live in comfort and abundance need to be very careful about how we give thanks. We misrepresent Jesus when we give people the impression that our King blesses only some people and allows the vast majority of the world to suffer.

Pray for Ferguson.001The best thanks we can give to God, therefore, is to show this fallen world – with our lives – that our King Jesus is saving the world by putting an end to sin, death, suffering, and injustice.

This type of Thanksgiving testifies to a loving God.

This type of Thanksgiving gives birth to hope.

Which is what Advent is all about!

So come worship with us this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent. We will celebrate the Christian New Year by decorating our worship space and the Christmas tree.

  • If you want to help hang the greens and lights, come to church at 9 a.m. We’ll be decorating before the start of service.
  • Please bring an ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. Be part of our annual Advent celebration!
  • 25 Days of Advent50 copies of 25 Days of Advent devotional booklets will be available this Sunday. It features 25 days of devotions for the season of Advent. Each daily reading includes thematically tied selections from Scripture, along with a statement that encourages meditation or a question to ponder, and ends with a simple prayer. I highly recommend it for discussion with family and with unchurched friends and relatives, too.

Other Important Announcements

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

2. Turkey Bowl XVII will take place tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, at 9:30am. Join us for our annual flag football games at Kennedy Middle School (821 Bubb Road) in Cupertino. Bring water, cleats and friends. Rain or shine, it’ll be fun! Contact John Tang [email].

3. On Saturday, Dec 6, there will be a Gospel Outreach service conducted in Mandarin at 7:00 pm in church. Contact Pastor DJ for details [email].

4. On Saturday, Dec 20 our Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people at Second Harvest Food Bank between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information [email].

5. Canaan People column. Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Thanks to all who have already participated.

Happy Thanksgiving! See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

P.S. The video clip that was shown on Sunday did not have audio. Have a look at it with the audio. It’s called First World Problems Anthem:

EM 2.0

November 19, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

Also, we will have a special Thanksgiving English service this Sunday. Bring your friends and family!

Canaan EM Cong Meeting Report.001At last Sunday’s Congregational meeting, I gave a short report about the English and Youth Ministry to our members. I shared about many good things that God appears to be doing among us, for example:

  • Numerical growth across life stages (including the exciting baby boom).
  • A greater desire to reach out to people in Christ’s name rather than come to church just for friends and families.
  • We are paying closer attention to ministering to people in life-stage transitions, especially children to youth and college grads to young adults. We can still improve on singles to married couples, families with young children, and empty-nesters.
  • Moving our worship space downstairs has helped English and Youth feel closer to the rest of the church.
  • Gradual upgrading of our worship space (e.g., new chairs, a stage, etc.)

Canaan EM Cong Meeting Report.004But, we are also exhibiting clear signs of becoming what I call English Ministry 1.0. This is what every Asian immigrant church faces. As youth enter the adult life stages, there is a gradual disengagement from church life. English-speaking and American-acculturated parents often do not choose to bring their children back to their home church. As a result, English ministries in these churches become a revolving door for adults and perpetually children and youth ministries. EM 1.0 can neither reach the wider U.S. community nor build up a church membership that can take responsibility for the congregation’s facilities and organization. This is our greatest threat and I believe we only have a one or two year window to redesign our English Ministry.

That is why I propose that for 2015, we adopt the theme E.M 2.0. Our pastoral staff has been working towards this idea by attending to life-stage transition ministries, but I feel that the time has come for the entire church to support and build a well-designed and distinct way of doing English and Youth Ministry – EM 2.0.

I believe commitment to three key principles will help us redesign and upgrade our English ministry next year:

  1. Every person a minister; every ministry is for people (Eph 4:11-12): We will encourage our English Ministry adults and youth to internalize the idea that everyone participates in and has a role to play in building up our church. Everyone has a ministry. We won’t be satisfied with upgrading Canaan’s customers. We need an upgrade of our laborers and investors. Furthermore, we want our ministries to focus more on building up people’s Christian vision and spiritual growth rather than unreflective acts of service.
  2. Beyond spiritual milk (Hebrew 5:13): It is time to challenge ourselves to grow deeper in our discipleship. It is time to move beyond a shallow faith in which church attendance is seen as little more than being part of a social club. We want to encourage everyone to give more time and energy to eating the meat of biblical and theological nourishment. Doing so will upgrade our ability to minister effectively to thoughtful people within and outside our church.
  3. Taiwanese PLUS+. We want to make conscious decisions that create space for non-Taiwanese people. For example, we can bring on administrative staff who relate directly to an English-speaking population, highlight missions and people that are not Taiwan or Taiwanese, offer more than Taiwanese food. None of these suggestions abandon our Taiwanese heritage or identity. But for our English Ministry to flourish, we need to intentionally create space for non-Taiwanese.

These three principles are just the beginning of the process of reshaping (and maybe rebranding) our English ministry. I invite you to be part of this opportunity to build a special church community next year!

Now for some important updates…

1. Canaan People column
Come on people! Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Don’t be a “gated” and “guarded” believer! And thanks to all who have already participated.

2. Turkey Bowl XVII. Thanksgiving Day, 9:30am. Join us for our annual flag football games at Kennedy Middle School (821 Bubb Road) in Cupertino.  Bring water, cleats and friends.  Rain or shine, it’ll be fun! Contact John Tang [email].

3. On Saturday, Dec 6, there will be a Gospel Outreach service conducted in Mandarin at 7:00 pm in church. Contact Pastor DJ for details [email].

4. Advent Season begins on Nov 30th. We encourage everyone to bring an ornament and participate in the tree lighting service that Sunday. We are also looking for people to set up the Christmas tree. This year’s Advent theme is “Jesus is Coming!” What does that mean?

5. On Saturday, Dec 20 our Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people at Second Harvest Food Bank between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information [email].

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

Anchor of my soul, captain of my salvation

November 12, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Thanksgiving marks the end of the Christian calendar. So on November 23, we’ll have a special English service where we’ll have opportunities to share our gratitude for God’s provision and goodness during the past year.

It’s difficult to be grateful when we face stormy weather in life. Last Sunday I shared that Paul’s counter-intuitive outlook, an outlook shaped by his vision of Jesus and mission for the Kingdom of God, sustained him through his struggles. Believe me, I know how hard it is to maintain this outlook during life-stage transitions. Recent college grads often struggle with doubt and uncertainty about their futures. Moms with very young children often feel frustrated and depressed because of the intensive demands of child rearing. And a large majority of us struggle with real and imagined pain of the excessively high cost of living in the Bay Area. Truthfully, there very few seasons of life when we don’t experience struggle.

So I encourage you to remember Paul’s story. Despite his struggles and suffering, he became the most influential follower of Jesus we know. Though his entrance to Rome in chains was rather ignominious, his life and his letters would forever be etched in the hearts of Christians. As we saw over the last three months, Paul was anchored to his intimate experience with Jesus and his saving grace. This is what inspired me to use this photo of an anchor for my twitter profile. Jesus Anchor

This Sunday, Pastor Chris Liu will wrap up our series on Acts with a concluding message about Paul in Rome.

So come and engage God’s word!

Now for some important updates

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

2. Thanks to all who participated in last Sunday’s Operation Christmas Child Packing Party You can still make tax deductible donations of $20 per shoebox by next Sunday 11/23. Write your tax deductible donation check to CTCC memo OCC. Our goal this year is to reach 600 children If you want to help, contact Wendy- whuang625@yahoo.com.

3. Canaan People column
Come on people! Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Our Canaan People queue is empty, so please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Don’t be a “gated” and “guarded” believer! And thanks to all who have already participated.

4. The 2014 Congregational meeting will be held this Sunday, Nov. 16 at 11:30 a.m. in Worship Hall 1. Come on time because the Bell Choir will perform!

5. Applications for Canaan membership through baptism, confirmation, or transfer are also due this Sunday. The next welcome service will be on 12/14. Please speak to pastors and elders for an application.

6. The Young Adults will hold a Large Group Fellowship next Tuesday, 11/18 at 7:45 PM. Contact Pastor Chris Liu for details.

7. On Saturday, Dec 6, there will be a Gospel Outreach service conducted in Mandarin at 7:00 pm in church. Contact Pastor DJ for details.

8. Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people at Second Harvest Food Bank on Dec 20 between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

Say Yes and Thank You

November 5, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Canaan Yes 2014A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help serve lunch in October and support the Canaan Yes Festival last Saturday!

Also, thanks to all who helped with the college student care packaging. Almost all our college students have received them – many have posted their appreciations on our Facebook group pages.

We all live busy lives. Yet because of your commitment to Christ, you gave of yourselves to build up our faith community through these services of love. Thank you!

In my sermon last Sunday, I encouraged us to look again to Paul as a model for Christian witness. Paul’s unwavering determination to proclaim the gospel despite suffering and difficulties was rooted in his encounter with Jesus. In that vision, he realized that the resurrected Jesus was the fulfillment of all his aspirations and those of his people. Jesus is the fulfillment of Hebrew scripture – and the Savior of the whole world.

It is my hope and prayer that all of us at Canaan will encounter Jesus as Paul did. Christians who have had this encounter are the most determined to make a difference in the world for Christ. The encounter doesn’t have to be as dramatic as Paul’s (or Moses’ or Isaiah’s), but once we find our vision from God, nothing will be able to deter us from living our lives for him.

This is why I encourage you to start or participate in a VisionQuest group. These groups of 3-4 people who meet about once a month for ten months are geared towards helping us find (or focus) our vision and calling. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll help you set one up!

Looking forward to this Sunday, my sermon will be based on Acts 27:18-32. We’ll reflect on how to weather storms in our lives. So come and engage God’s word!

Now for some important updates…

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/

2. An Operation Christmas Child Packing Party will be held this Sunday (11/9) at 11:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome. Shoeboxes & tax deductible donations of $20 per shoebox are due Sunday 11/23. Write your tax deductible donation check to CTCC memo OCC. Our goal this year is to reach 600 children If you want to help, contact Wendy- whuang625@yahoo.com.

3. Canaan People column
Please share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin! Our Canaan People queue is empty, so please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you!

4. The 2014 Congregational meeting will be held on Nov. 16 at 11:30 a.m. in Worship Hall 1. Please attend the Congregational Meeting Informational Meeting this Sunday at 1:30pm in Worship Hall 2.

5. Applications for Canaan membership through baptism, confirmation, or transfer are due on Nov 16. The next welcome service will be on 12/14. Please speak to pastors and elders for an application.

6. A Thanksgiving Worship Service will be held on Nov. 23. Please come ready to share what you are grateful for via a short testimony or a talent offering. Let me know if you’d like to participate.

7. Men’s Fellowship has a service opportunity for ten people at Second Harvest Food Bank on Dec 20 between 9 a.m.-Noon. Contact John Tang for more information.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

Canaan Yes this Saturday (rain or shine)

The Canaan Yes Festival will be held this Sat., Nov. 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church’s parking lot (indoors if it rains). Please invite your friends to come! Share this page with with them!

Csnaan Yes flyer


And don’t forget. Daylight Savings ends this Sunday!

Daylight Savings ends.001

How well does English Ministry reach out?

October 9, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

In only a few weeks, this Christian year will conclude. Our English Ministry has been reflecting on what it means to reach out and, together, be an influence for Christ – thus, this year’s theme has been “Confluence.”

I’m happy to report that God has been stirring among us. Our members are more intentionally reaching out to guests and visitors – especially on Sundays. Members of each life stage are increasingly sharing the responsible for reaching out and ministering to their own life stage. We are now paying closer attention caring for brothers and sisters who face life transitions. And since the middle of August, the English worship attendance has eclipsed 100 (the only exception was during the weekend of the EM camping trip).

While all this encouraging, we need to be realistic. For example, like most churches, attendance rises in the fall and spring, but declines in the winter and summer.

Church Attendance is a Two-Humped Camel

Church Attendance is a Two-Humped Camel

Nevertheless, there are indicators of growth in the area of outreach. Last Sunday, I took a survey of our attendees’ Outreach Consciousness. The survey came from Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn, What Every Pastor Should Know. 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church (Baker, 2013), 15. The authors called this a measurement of “Good Commission Consciousness.” Our worshipers were asked to affirm as many of the following ten statements as they could:

Statement – Number affirmed

  1. I see the primary purpose of our church as sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. – 43
  2. I have participated in an outreach training event in the last year. – 15
  3. I have invited an unchurched friend or relative to a church event in the last six months. – 22
  4. I would support a motion to designate at least 10 percent of our church budget to outreach events and training activities. – 36
  5. I would prefer that the pastor call on nonmembers more often than on members. – 11
  6. I would be willing to take a new member or visitor home for dinner once every six months. – 30
  7. I have intentionally introduced myself to a new member or visitor in the past month. – 38
  8. I have talked with an unchurched person about my faith in the past three months. – 28
  9. I have prayed for a specific unchurched person in the past month. – 36
  10. I would be willing to be a pioneer in a new group or new church fellowship to help reach new people. – 13

I then tallied the number of affirmations based on returned surveys:

No. affirmations/ Number of surveys returned
0 – 8
1 – 2
2 – 2
3 – 7
4 – 7
5 – 15
6 – 10
7 – 8
8 – 2
9 – 0
10 – 1

Of the 62 total received (54, not including blank responses), 11 responded with seven or higher. According to the authors, “If 20 percent or more respond favorably [respond yes to seven or more of the questions], you have a congregation with a Great Commission conscience.”

Canaan EM Outreach Consciousness 2014_10_05If we don’t count the surveys that were returned blank, then we have a congregation with a Great Commission conscience.

In sum, I think we are pretty close to an evangelistic breakthrough. It is an encouraging sign! We have some challenges ahead of us. In the near future, I’ll share more about these and some suggestions about how we can face and overcome them. For now, here is a sample of what is your leaders are planning:

1. We are setting up a section in Worship Hall 3 for parents with little kids
EM Worship Hall with kids section
2. Friday Family Night with programs for children is in the works.

3. English ministry fellowship or retreat for married couples without kids

3. High School seniors’  meals and outings

4. Care packages for college students

In the meantime, please continue to pray for me. I am teaching a course called “Theology of Ministry” for Doctor Ministry students at San Francisco Theological Seminary this semester. Here are my students:
Tim Tseng SFTS students 2014 FallI miss engaging people about Christian faith and ministry at a deeper level. So this has been an enriching experience for me. I am eager to have these conversations with more people, especially with folks from Canaan!

Thanks for reading this longer update.

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries

Conquer Busy this Sunday

September 18, 2014

Dear Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Betty, Benji, Nathaniel, and Tim on the North Shore of Oahu (Sept 9, 2014)

Betty, Benji, Nathaniel, and Tim on the North Shore of Oahu (Sept 9, 2014)

We haven’t had a real family vacation since our boys were in high school. Having a chance to go to Hawaii with Nathaniel and Benji was a real joy. Thank you fellow Hawaii afficionados for recommending places to visit and to eat!

Last Sunday, while many of our members were camping out in Half Moon Bay, I was delighted to share a message to remind our youth and young adults that we are God’s own people. Peter says it this way:

But you aretumblr_m0knvwTgtw1qb5lxeo1_500
a chosen people,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
God’s special possession. (1 Peter 2:9)

There is a special freedom that comes from belonging to God’s family. All our good deeds and love for God’s people and God’s world flow out of our identity. Therefore we don’t have to “earn” the privileges of being his chosen people. That’s Good News! So please don’t forget who you are!

This Sunday, we will continue our sermon series on the Acts of the Apostles. I’ll look at Paul’s Macedonian call and Lydia’s conversion as instances of overcoming busyness. Being busy is insidious. Even Paul and Lydia had to find ways to conquer its faith-destroying effects. Let’s find out how this Sunday!

See you then!

Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries
Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church


OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Bell Choir

Registration for CTCC’s Fall Bell Choir (for grade 2 and up, youth, and adults) is now up and running. Rehearsals start in October. Please register online here:

https://sites.google.com/a/ecanaan.org/canaankids/home/children-s-choir


2. Serving Lunch in October (Stanley Chow)

Thank you for being part of Canaan.

You’re invited by Canaan’s English Ministry to signup for “Lunch Service for Canaan Christian Church in October 2014.” Please click on the link to view the online sign up.

We are grateful for your participation!

To sign up, go to:

http://www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0D44A8AC2AA75-emlunch/

English Service 10 AM

http://canaanpromise.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/stickman_walking_by_adscomics.gif

Tim Tseng "The Christmas Carol" (Luke 1:46-55)

Worship Location (Hall 3)

Enter through door 1 or 8

Upcoming Events

  • Everglow Fellowship Night: Christmas Party and Lock In December 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm – 11:00 am Room 160
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "The Christmas Carol" (Luke 1:46-55) December 21, 2014 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • English Ministry Christmas Caroling December 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Meet at church, but will travel. Contact Shirley Tai (shirley.tai @ecanaan.org) for details Canaan English Ministry youth and adults! Sign up for singing o r being a stop - bit.ly/caroling2014
  • NO Everglow Fellowship Night: December 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • English Worship: Chris Liu "Sons and Daughters" (Galatians 4:4-7) December 28, 2014 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • Everglow Fellowship Night: January 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "Becoming Flesh" John 1:10-18 January 4, 2015 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
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