June 14, 2010
Happy Monday, Canaan EM brothers and sisters!
I was touched by your warmth as you officially bid farewell to Byron, Maria, and Ethan Wang during Fellowship hour yesterday. God has blessed us with their friendship, leadership, and love over the past ten years. Even though our paths are moving into different directions, I trust that we will continue to stay in touch and find opportunities to connect in the future.
Also, Betty, Nathaniel, and I had a great time visiting Agape Community Group and the Collegian and Young Adults BBQ yesterday afternoon and evening! We felt loved and supported throughout and look forward to deepening our friendships with everyone. It was great to see excellent leadership in Winnie and Jonathan (Agape) and Jonathan Weng and Chris Su (Collegian & Young Adults).
This week is a bit unusual because I’ll be sending two updates (maybe I’m just a perfectionist and am making up for the one I missed a couple of weeks ago). For today, I have some important announcements:
I. Relocation of English worship service (beginning July 11):
The English Leadership Team (ELT) met last Wednesday and requested that the church’s session consider allowing the English worship service to relocate to the second floor of the church facility. This request was made after consultation with church members and leaders and after deliberation among the ELT. This request was not unanimous – one member of the ELT did not favor it. The following motion was submitted to the session by Pastor Su, Elder Chris Lin, Elder Ed Chen, and myself – and approved unanimously:
To relocate the English language worship service to the second floor of the church building, beginning July 11, 2010 and to approve a proposed relocation budget of $3,000 from the church’s building fund to furnish the second floor worship space with an adequate AV system and chairs.
We recognize that there will be some challenges with this decision. It will be more difficult to find the English worship service. The AV equipment and chairs will not be as impressive as those in worship hall 1. Families with young children may have more difficulty coming upstairs.
But this decision was made in order to be faithful to what we believe is God’s desire to rebuild Canaan’s English ministry and to strengthen Canaan’s overall mission. Even prior to our move to the current location (4405 Fortran Court), there has been a desire to have more flexible English worship services. Although Worship Hall 1 is an excellent space for worship, it presents a number of challenges for the English ministry which would be mitigated by a move to the second floor:
1. Worship Hall 1 is too large. Because English worship has an average attendance of 60, the large space distracts from our efforts to create a more intimate and welcoming environment. We can create a more intimate worship experience on the second floor.
2. Our current worship time is a bit too rigid. English worshipers must vacate worship hall 1 by 10:45 AM in preparation for the Taiwanese language service. Holding worship on the second floor would allow us greater flexibility with our worship time.
3. Out current arrangement makes it challenging for English ministry to encourage post-worship guest follow-up and identity formation. To some degree, we have mitigated this by offering a post-worship fellowship hour in the main lobby. But once English worshipers leave worship hall 1, we have a difficult time meeting and greeting visitors because of the constant movement of Taiwanese, Mandarin, and English worshipers in the fellowship hall. By utilizing the second floor, English ministry is better able to follow up on newcomers in a less rushed environment before releasing them to Sunday School or fellowship hour.
Furthermore, relocating English worship offers direct benefits for the overall mission of Canaan. A separate location for EM worship would allow Canaan to move towards a uniform worship hour for all three language services. This would strengthen our Christian education programs for the Taiwanese service. It would also reduce the need for a second Children’s Sunday School. Also, the utilization of second floor opens up new ministry possibilities which would better steward the church’s facilities and resources.
Finally, this decision was made with an understanding that it may not be final. We do not plan on purchasing new chairs until after we’ve given worship upstairs a trial run over the summer. There may be unforeseen logistical problems that make it impossible for us to worship there. God may cause us to outgrow the space this summer.
Our church’s leadership recognizes that change is always challenging. But change also creates opportunity to see more clearly what God would have us do in the days ahead. Please pray and support this decision!
II. Re-booting Young Adults fellowship (July 2010)
Bob and Shally Lin, John and Ring Tang, the current leaders of our Monday and Friday community groups conducted an informal survey of their members regarding the future of these groups. Based on the results, they believe that we are ready to dissolve these community groups and re-start a new Young Adults fellowship in July. The specific time and location will be determined soon. We believe that a Young Adults fellowship that meets regularly will provide greater opportunities for worship, fellowship and outreach. We hope that this fellowship will provide a safe and supportive community for college students, singles, and couples without children. We are now seeking volunteers to help coordinate the new young adults fellowship this fall.
III. English Ministry Off-site Retreat (Sept. 10-12)
The Retreat Planning Team (William Effendy, Paul and Betty Hsu) have identified Sept. 10-12 and Redwood Glen [http://www.redwoodglen.com/] as the best time and location for our English Ministry retreat this Fall. Redwood Glen is located in Loma Mar, about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean Coast, roughly half way between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
The facility that we would use at Redwood Glen is called the Siden Conference Center. Siden is an intimate new building with 22 hotel-style rooms. It can accommodate 44 people double-occupancy and up to 64 people with roll-away beds. Each room has “a private balcony or patio, separate sink, shower, and toilet area, reading chairs, a table, night stand, electric radio alarm clock, wall-mounted reading lights, and two comfortable queen-size beds. Linen and towels are provided. One handicapped room is available. An elevator is available to provide access to our second floor meeting room or our first floor dining room.” The second floor meeting room provides plenty of space for 40-60 adults and the first floor dining hall can be used as a children’s play area.
The outdoor recreational facilities are quite nice. There is a playing field for softball or football, an outdoor swimming pool, basketball, tetherball, and volleyball courts, an outdoor campfire circle, a playground for children, etc.
The retreat will be targeted to families, college students and young adults. We will invite some older youth to help us with child care. We have not yet determined a theme or speaker. We believe strongly that spending some quality time together will help us grow closer to Christ and one another. But since there are only 22 rooms, we may not be able to accommodate more than fifty people.
Here is the pricing breakdown for two nights (add $54 for 5 meals) Canaan is not subsidizing our retreat costs this year, so we will have to cover the entire cost of the retreat ourselves:
– Single occupancy: $180+$54 (meals) = $234
– Double occupancy (per person): $120+$54 (meals) = $174
– Triple occupancy, with rollaway bed (per person): $110+$54 (meals) = $164
– Children 0-3 years old: Free
– Children 4-12 year olds will receive a 30% discount on the food services. So, their rate would be $157.80.
– Nuclear family rate: $351.60 for the family of four with 2 children from ages 4-12 years old (include lodging and meals). The family of 4 with a child under 3 years old would only be $325.80 for the whole family. “When the nuclear family’s lodging costs are at or more than $168 per person, we do not charge over $168 for the family for lodging. Of course, meals are added to the $168 hence $351.60 for your family of four.”
Redwood Glen would like us to give them a deposit by this Friday, so please let me know if you plan to join us as soon as possible! If your nuclear family is coming, let me know how many.
IV. New Membership Orientation Protocol
Canaan’s session approved a new membership orientation process for individuals seeking baptism, confirmation, or transfer to our church. Candidates for membership will now be required to participate in a four-session orientation prior to the approval of their application by the session. The next opportunity to join Canaan is August 1, interested individuals should inform me of their interest by June 27.
V. This coming Sunday (June 20th)
This Sunday is Mission’s Sunday and Fathers Day. We will commission those who are going to our short-term missions trip to Taiwan at a special join commissioning service at noon.
Also, please come to the Fellowship hour after worship to discuss the decision to relocate English worship service and other topics. We will meet on the second floor to get a “feel” for the space. I’m signed up to provide snacks this Sunday, but we’ll need others to sign ups for snack for July-September. Please contact Bob Lin at email@example.com
Yep, lots of things are happening, brothers and sisters! I hope you are beginning to feel the excitement. And I pray that God will stir your heart to step forward into a deeper and more joyful walk with Christ!
Have a wonderful week!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨
Interim English Pastor
Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church
4405 Fortran Court, San Jose, CA 95134
Office: 408-942-2822 x113
Check out the English Ministry website:
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President & Executive Director
Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity