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Church news, Tim Tseng update

Is the honeymoon over?

Weekend Planner
TONIGHT Thursday, August 26: Young Adults Fellowship (7:30 PM). All college and young adults are welcome to join! Bob and Shally will lead on “Dating and Relationships.” We will meet at Jonathan Weng’s place.
Friday,  August 27: Everglow Youth Fellowship (7:30 PM Youth Room 160).
Sunday, August 29: English Worship (9:30 AM, Second Floor) Albert Hong speaks on “Cheap Substitutes” (Jeremiah 2:1-13); He will also share with us during Fellowship hour (11am – Noon); Youth Sunday School (11-Noon); Agape Family Group (families with young children) will meet Sunday at 4:30 PM. It is ladies night! The ladies’ gathering event is open to all females collegians, young adults, and moms. Plan is to have tea time at Verde Cafe and then dinner at Beyond Thai. Those with husbands and children are welcome to hang out at the Tai’s while the ladies relax and chat. Contact Winnie So & Jonathan Lin.

August 25, 2010

Dear Canaan EM brothers and sisters,

I don’t know how long honeymoons are supposed to last. As I complete five months as your interim pastor, it occurred to me that our honeymoon might be over! By now, you’ve seen my warts and I’ve seen yours. And maybe the thrill is gone! But unlike a marriage, we both can decide whether or not to continue our relationship at the end of my contract. So please devote time to prayerful discernment next month about my long term relationship with Canaan. For me, knowing where God is leading will determine the focus of my energies with Canaan’s EM for the remainder of my time as an interim.

One of the key criteria during my discernment process is passion. I ask myself every week, “do I continue to have a passion for Canaan?” And after five months – after the honeymoon has ended – I still feel excited about our community and ministry. I still believe that God has some incredibly transformative purpose for us.

But I also need to know how much passion you have for Canaan. Over the last few months, your leadership team has removed some roadblocks that have hindered the flow of God’s Spirit and grace in our English ministry. For example:
1. We are building a stronger sense of community and identity (improved coordination of and communication about our ministries, second floor worship, Sunday fellowship, and the upcoming retreat)
2. We are rebooting Young Adults ministry (intentional efforts to reconnect returning college students this summer, Young Adult fellowship was restarted)
3. We will make Sunday worship more friendly to families and guests (starting Sept. 5, English worship will begin at 11 AM. On Sept. 19th, our children’s ministry will join us for worship).

So now that these external roadblocks have been removed, there remains the inner, personal roadblocks to a renewed passion. Many of us still need to overcome burn out and trauma from last year’s events before we can restore our passion for Canaan. Frankly speaking, evidence of a growing passion for Canaan will be one key factor in discerning my future here. I may be the pastor who helped reboot Canaan’s EM, but not necessarily the one who can guide us to a re-kindled passion for the church. So what is evidence of a growing passion?

1. When our youth and young adults are willing to be equipped and to lead.
2. When our existing “burned out” leaders decide to “hang in there” for one more term of service.
3. When there is a greater desire for unity and community across our age and cultural differences.
4. When we exhibit an increasing confidence in Canaan as a vehicle of evangelism, discipleship, and mission (for example, we are not afraid to talk to our friends about Christ AND Canaan).

So please let God’s spirit, power, and grace flow through your hearts, minds, and souls in the next several weeks. Think about how much Canaan means to you – maybe it’s time for second honeymoon? Perhaps you can write a short testimony for the 30th Anniversary celebration booklet. Anyway, let me know how your passion for Canaan is growing. This will help us discern God’s will for me and for Canaan.

Blessings,
Tim Tseng
Interim English Pastor

P.S. Though the deadline for the EM retreat preregistration has passed, you can still preregister on-line. We still have some rooms left. Come and build community. Come and rekindle your passion for Christ AND Canaan!

The Fruit of the Land of Milk and Honey: Canaan People

Last Sunday Becky Chiang, who grew up at Canaan, shared with us her ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Becky will be planting a new ministry to fraternities and sororities at U.C. Berkeley this Fall. Please pray for her and consider supporting her ministry financially. She can be reached at this email link.

This Sunday, our guest speaker will be Albert Olson Hong. Albert grew up and found Christ at Canaan. He was a member of Canaan’s youth group from middle school until he graduated high school.  A member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UC Berkeley, Albert went on to serve as Youth Director at Harbor House Ministries in Oakland.  Albert received his MA in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and his Master of Divinity from American Baptist Seminary of the West where Pastor Tim was one of his professors(!).  He and his wife, Shauna, live in Oakland with their two kids, Alana and Kai, and are expecting one more in October.

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About Tim Tseng

I'm Pastor of English Ministry at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church (San Jose, CA), independent scholar and theological educator.

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