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Church news, Tim Tseng update

The Greatest Generation

Weekend Planner
• Thursday, Feb 3 (7:30 PM): Young Adults Fellowship
• Friday, Feb 4 (7:30 PM): Everglow Youth Fellowship
• Saturday, Feb 5 (5 PM): Canaan welcome dinner
• Sunday, Feb 6:
— Youth Sunday School (9:30 AM, Fellowship Hall): Breakfast and lunch service
— Sunday REFRESH! (9:45, Conference Room): “Verbal Trust Building.”
— English Worship (11:00 AM, Second Floor). Tim Tseng speaks on “The Acceptable Fast” (Isa 58:1-12; Matthew 5:13-20)
— Prayer Fellowship (1:30 PM, Main Lobby).
— Superbowl Party sponsored by Agape Community Group. Come to the fellowship hall to watch the game. Kickoff at 3:30 PM!

Feb 2, 2011

Dear Canaan EMers,

Happy Lunar New Year!

A few years ago, television news journalist Tom Brokaw wrote a book entitled The Greatest Generation. The book is a collection of stories told by a cross-section of American men and women who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. Brokaw considers these the “Greatest Generation” because they built modern America despite economic collapse, war, and the threat of Communism. Some fought the most virulent forms of racial and gender discrimination. Many dispute whether this was the “Greatest” generation but there is no doubt that the people of this period in history, through their sacrifice and commitment,  made the 20th century America’s century. They rebuilt America.

Similarly, the generation that built the immigrant Chinese and Taiwanese congregations in North America is our “greatest generation.” Flung across the Pacific Rim, this generation faced incredible socio-political and economic uncertainties. Yet, they had the audacity to raise Christian families and build churches. But that alone did not make this generation the greatest. You see, immigrant churches are harvested each time their children come of age. Their first fruits are given to pan-Asian, multiracial, and mainstream American ministries. More often than not, their offspring deny, ignore, or forget their legacy and inheritance. And a new crop must be planted yet again (n.b. Canaan is experiencing a “baby boom” – it’s time to grow a new generation).

The generation that built churches like Canaan is the “greatest” because it is like the mother who sends her children off to war. The children become foot soldiers for someone else’s army. They become workers in someone else’s vineyard. Multiracial and mainstream churches in the Bay Area that are experiencing renewal are doing so because they have reaped what these churches have planted.

Don’t ever call racial-ethnic churches second class or ghetto. There are some who think that English ministries of immigrant Chinese or Taiwanese churches are like the Syrophoenician woman who begs for crumbs that fall from the table (Mark 7:24-30). But the truth is that immigrant Chinese or Taiwanese churches can be the greatest laboratories for producing World Christians (maybe they already are). Within these churches some crazy transnational, multigenerational, cross-cultural, multi-linguistic, frustrating, amazing, blessed, exciting stuff happens. What better place to prepare a new generation of Christian disciples and leaders who have the capacity to transform North America and the world for Christ?

Why stay in a church like Canaan? Because we can and will do a better job of building up a new generation of World Christians. That makes us a part of the legacy. We are, indeed, the “greatest generation.”

Now for some announcements:

1. Canaan Welcome Party (Sat, Feb 5, beginning at 5 PM). Still time to get in on the party! Request or respond to your Evite – let me know.

2. Sunday REFRESH! (9:45 AM, Conference Room). A time for co-workers to pray for and support one another. Also, a time to be equipped in “Trust building.”

3. Superbowl Party in the church this Sunday! Come to the Fellowship Hall at kickoff time (3:30 PM) and watch the game live with all your buds. Thanks to Agape Community Group for sponsoring the party.

4. Agape Community Group will have an Open House (BBQ, fellowship & games) on Saturday, Feb 26, at Emmeline and Ed Chen’s home in Pleasanton. Come at 11:30 AM – people are welcome to come all day. Invite friends, couples who are expecting babies, and any 30/40-somethings who would like to join us. Contact Emmeline Chen [Email Emmeline]

5. BASS Convention (Mar 3-5). Request or respond to Evite sent by Nicole Lu [email Nicole]. Crash my pad, I live very close to Redwood Chapel.

6. If you are led to receive Christ as Lord and Savior and/or to join Canaan, there will be three opportunities this year: Apr 24 (Easter Sunday), Aug 14, and Dec 11. Let me know mp later than Mar 27.

In Christ,
Tim Tseng

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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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English Service 10 AM (Worship Hall 3)

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