archives

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 207 posts for Canaan English Ministry

Jesus the Architect

January 21, 2014

Greetings Canaan English Ministry members and friends!

Architect ToolsOne of the great perks about following Jesus is that we get to see his vision for humanity. Jesus is not the kind of architect who simply drafts a blueprint for others to follow. He rolls up his sleeves and shows us how to live. He gives us the tools and energy we need to flourish!

Our current sermon series highlights Jesus’ pattern of life. In the incarnation, Jesus shows us a God who joins us in service of others. In his baptism, Jesus teaches us that we are all ministers. And last Sunday, Pastor Chris Liu preached that Jesus’ life was about investing in, inviting, and impacting the people around him. This Sunday, a few of our brothers and sisters will share their testimonies and show us yet another pattern of Christian living – namely, sharing about God’s presence in our lives. So come and see!

Other Important Announcements

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

2. 2014 contribution receipts will be ready for pick up until the end of January. If your mailing address has changed in the past year or two, please contact Justin Lin to update your record.

3. The World Christian Conference will be held at Redwood Christian Park on Feb 13-16. The theme is “Blessed to be a Blessing” Register by Feb 2nd at wcfellowship.org/wcc/2015/

Canaan Annoucements 15_01_18.0044. The Children’s Ministry Family Potluck and Movie Night will be held on Sat, Jan 31 (Fellowship Hall, 5-8 p.m.). We will watch Mulan. Contact Nicole Lu [email]. Register at kids.ecanaan.org

5. We’ve decided not to have an all-church Superbowl Party on Feb. 1. Instead, some of our families will open their homes to people who would like to come, watch the game together, and have some food and fellowship. Contact John Tang for more details [email]

6. The Annual Inter-church Youth Retreat is coming Feb 13-16! Speak to Pastor Chris Liu for the registration form and more information [email].

7. 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 atbassconvention.org/volunteer.cfm and sign up or contact Deacon Nelson Lu [email]

8. Summer Mission Opportunities:
Canaan Annoucements 15_01_18.006- Our Taiwan Summer Mission Team (6/30-7/18)! Contact Pastor Chris Liu or mission deacon William Effendy if you are interested [email William]. The brochures for STM are now available.
Belize Missions with Pastor Brian Leong of Lord’s Grace Church (July 10-19). Let me know if interested.
– New Life Community Church Medical Evangelism Missions in Honduras (Aug 16-22) in partnership with Luke Medical Missions. Let me know if interested.

9. Service Opportunity: City Team San Jose Kitchen Help needed at 580 Charles St, San Jose 95113. Saturdays 3/21, 3/28, or 4/18 (9 am – noon). We have reserved 8 slots for each Saturday. Contact William Effendy [email].
– Duties: Help prepare and serve food to the homeless and program residents; clean up dining room and kitchen after meals; sort and shelve food.
– Qualifications: All volunteers must be over 14 years old. All female volunteers should dress modestly. We strongly urge that all females be accompanied by at least one adult male.

10. The next opportunity for baptism, confirmation, or to join Canaan as a member will be Easter Sunday, April 5. Applicants and inquirers should join Canaan Basics, which will be offered in March. Speak to me for more details.

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

12. 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

Are you having an Epiphany?

word-made-fleshJanuary 6, 2014

Happy Epiphany Canaan English Ministry members and friends!

I heard once that if Jesus had come to earth in the form of a Southern hillbilly, it would have been called “the intarnation.” Sorry, that was really bad – but I can’t promise that I won’t do that again.

In last Sunday’s message, I wanted us to see that Christ’s incarnation was God assuming the form of not just any human, but that of a servant. According to Philippians 2, Jesus literally became a slave and gave his life away to save us and the world. And throughout the four gospels, Jesus teaches us to imitate his servant’s heart. As we begin our Epiphany sermon series about Jesus as the architect of life, let’s remember that God’s servant heart was the reason for the incarnation and that our servant hearts are the foundations for authentic Christian living.

incarnational

Of course, servanthood is just one aspect of the Incarnation. Here is a list of great quotes about the Incarnation: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/incarnation

This Sunday, we’ll look at baptism, the beginning of Jesus’ ministry – and start of the Christian life. Go to http://canaanem.org/2015-theme/ to view future sermons.

Other Important Announcements

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

2. Question for everyone. Shall we host a Superbowl Party on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 3:30 pm at church? If so, we will be looking for volunteers to make it an outreach and family-friendly event. So talk among yourselves – we’ll decide by next week.

3. The Annual Inter-church Youth Retreat is coming Feb 13-16! Register this Sunday for the early bird rate. Speak to Pastor Chris Liu for the registration form and more information [email].

4. The next English testimonial service will be on Jan. 25. We invite at least three persons to share their stories that reflect on these lectionary texts: Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 and/or Corinthians 7:29-31.

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 atbassconvention.org/volunteer.cfm and sign up or contact Deacon Nelson Lu [email]

6. The next opportunity for baptism, confirmation, or to join Canaan as a member will be Easter Sunday, April 5. Applicants and inquirers should join Canaan Basics, which will be offered in March. Speak to me for more details.

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

8. 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

Now in flesh appearing…

December 30, 2014

Dearest Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Greetings from Redondo Beach! Betty and I are wrapping up a fun Southern California mini-vacation. We’ve been doing more exercise and cultural appreciation than eating – well worth it!

Redondo Sunset 2014_12_29

The new year is almost upon us. I hope you are getting ready to “upgrade” our English Youth and Adult ministries! Even as we thank God for giving us growth this year, let us not be content. So many people still need to hear the gospel accurately. The nations still need healing; the world still needs hope. All of us, young and old, are called to build up church communities that can mean the difference between despair and fulfillment.

This Sunday, we wrap up the Christmas Season with a message about the incredible reality that, in Jesus Christ, God became a human. This is called the “Incarnation.” In the Incarnation, Jesus does not only empathize with us. He shows us what an authentic human life looks like. So our Sunday sermons during this Epiphany Season will explore how Jesus is the architect of the Christian life. Have a look at this page for an overview of the upcoming messages: http://canaanem.org/2015-theme/

Other Important Announcements

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

2. Our Annual English Ministry leadership micro-retreat will be held on Saturday, Jan 10 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. We invite at least three persons to share their stories that reflect on these lectionary texts: Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 and/or 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. The next opportunity for baptism, confirmation, or to join Canaan as a member will be Easter Sunday, April 5. Applicants and inquirers should join Canaan Basics, which will be offered in March. Speak to me for more details.

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

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 and Happy New Year!

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

Jesus Is Here!

December 25, 2014

Dearest Canaan English Ministry members and friends,

Merry Christmas!

nativity-siloutte080

It was such a joy to be part of last night’s Christmas caroling experience! Our home was the final stop of what was an exciting evening of travel, singing, and fellowship. Thank you Elder Shirley Tai for organizing it – and thanks to all the carolers for bringing joy to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior!

christmas caroling 2014_12_24
baby dedication 2014_12_21

Last Sunday, five families dedicated themselves to raising their children in Christian faith. It was truly fitting to celebrate the hope that children bring in conjunction with Christmas.

In my sermon, I shared that the hope that Mary felt in anticipation of the birth of Jesus was surrounded by uncertainty and potential public shaming. Yet, Mary yielded to God’s purpose for her, sang the first Christmas carol, and became the first Christian theologian! All this despite not knowing what her son Jesus would accomplish! The song, “Mary, Did You Know?” offers words of comfort not just to Mary, but also to all of us who have taken the leap of faith.

http://youtu.be/ifCWN5pJGIE

In the next two Sundays, Pastor Chris and I will share Christmas messages. A number of our brothers and sisters have expressed concern that America is in decline because we have taken Christ out of Christmas. Instead of saying Merry Christmas, more and more people say Happy Holidays. Well, I hope that our Christmas sermons will help us think about this as we review what Christ’s birth means. I look forward to seeing you all!

By the way, here are this Sunday’s songs for English worship:

Beautiful Savior

O Come All Ye Faithful

Sing to the King

Whom Shall I Fear

Forever Reign

Other Important Announcements

1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/ Because New Years is on Thursday, please send me announcements no later than next Monday so that the bulletins can be printed on Wednesday.

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. We invite at least three persons to share their stories that reflect on these lectionary texts: Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 and/or 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. The next opportunity for baptism, confirmation, or to join Canaan as a member will be Easter Sunday, April 5. Applicants and inquirers should join Canaan Basics, which will be offered in March. Speak to me for more details.

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

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

Christmas Eve Caroling with English Ministry – sign up now!

It’s not too late!

Sign up for singing or being a stop for 2014 Christmas Eve Caroling with Canaan English Ministry youth and adults! Go to:

bit.ly/caroling2014  or

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SNQlfAS4uCFRqW3Fs3ashYpftuWkQlhCDShLD0qEzrA/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Join us (adults and youth in English Ministry at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church) for Christmas Eve caroling anytime between 7pm and 10pm on December 24. Sign up to be a caroling stop (group will come to your place to sing 1-2 songs), or sing with the group, or both! Detailed schedule of the evening will be emailed to you at the email address you provide, in case you can only join part of the evening and want to know where the group will be at a particular time. The Christmas caroling group will start 7pm at church for a brief “rehearsal” and then travel together from home to home, ending up back at Canaan no later than 10pm.

Canaan Annoucements 141221.004

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

English Service 10 AM

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Jan 25: Testimonies

Worship Location (Hall 3)

Enter through door 1 or 8

Upcoming Events

  • English Worship: Testimonies January 25, 2015 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • Everglow Fellowship Night: January 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "Living with Authority" Mark 1:21-28 February 1, 2015 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • EM Young Adults Fellowship February 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm WH2_max100
  • Everglow Fellowship Night: February 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "A Life in Motion" Mark 1:29-39 February 8, 2015 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • Everglow Fellowship Night: February 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
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