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Church news, Tim Tseng update

The days are long, but the years are short

October 12, 2012

Greetings Canaan EM’ers and friends,

When my sons, Nathaniel and Benji, were young, each day in our family felt very long. And each day’s routines were repeated the next day. It felt like parenting would never end. Yet, it amazes me how quickly my boys grew up! Within the blink of an eye, it seems, they’ve become adults!

I imagine that many of Canaan’s long-time members feel the same. Each week’s worship, small group and prayer meetings, and activities that they have engaged may have felt like the “same old routine.” But before they knew it, their children transformed into adults and their hair turned grey. 32 years have breezed by!

Our weekly commitments to church life may feel like endless drudgery at times, but we shouldn’t be surprised by how quickly the years pass by and how dramatically we and our families are transformed spiritually. The everyday commitments we make to each other at Canaan are long-term investments into a healthy spiritual life.

For example, when we place our “tweener” kids into Canaan’s youth ministry, we are investing in children’s healthy transition into adulthood. At first, it may be be difficult to send our kids to Friday evening fellowship every week, but it is a worthwhile long-term investment. I have met many young adults who are spiritually discouraged and even resentful because their parents moved them from church to church when they were teenagers or kept them out of their church’s youth programs because of other priorities. They never experienced that wonderful sense of intimacy in a youth fellowship where teens could interact regularly with each other and adults.

When young adults make a long-term commitment to a church, it is an investment into building a community that, in turn, supports them through life’s transition whether they remain single or not. Likewise couples or young parents who make long-term church commitments create a community that will make them feel like they (and their children) belong, especially as they journey through the child-rearing years and changes in their marriage.

Spiritually growth and intimacy in community are not instantaneous. They are not dramatic. Usually it takes patient participation in the routines of Christian community life over a long period of time. Such long-term and regular commitments is called “devotion” in Acts 2:42-47. The first Christians were “devoted” to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer. The believers shared everything in common, sold their possessions, and gave to anyone in need. And they met everyday in the temple courts, and ate together in homes (Acts 2:43-46).

I see this kind of “devotion” emerging in Canaan’s English ministry! Let us keep it going! Let’s invest in staying connected with each other long term so that we can share in the joy of making healthy transitions together towards Christlikeness!

This Sunday…

  • We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper during English worship.
  •  A new, informal “board game” fellowship will begin meeting on Sundays (1:30-4 pm in the Fellowship Hall). We invite you to “bring your own board game” (byobg) or just join whatever games are being played. This will be a casual time for cross-life-stage friendship-building, fun, and conversation. It doesn’t replace small groups. But will be an activity-based fellowship opportunity for anyone interested in English and Youth ministries (even kids are welcome). So, people, bring games on Sunday!
  • All-church Christmas Musical and Sing-a-long Walk-thru (1:15-2:30 in Worship Hall 1). All are welcome to celebrate the kick-off of our Christmas musical. No commitment necessary, though we need 20-30 people to come and stand in for different parts (some read lines, some act, some just stand there) for the musical. Talk to Mrs. Joy Su [EMAIL JOY], Elder Shirley Tai [EMAIL SHIRLEY], or Nicole Lu [EMAIL NICOLE] today if you would like to help out.
    Our schedule:
     10/14 Sunday. First gathering: 1:15pm—2:30pm @WH1. We will walk-thru the entire program with CD, so we can get the big picture and the whole concept. PLEASE BE ON TIME.
     10/28 Sunday. 1:15pm—2:30pm @WH1, all skit actors practice
     11/18 Sunday. 1:15pm—2:30pm @WH1, all skit actors practice
     12/02 Sunday. rehearsal (TBA)
     12/09 Sunday. Full rehearsal with all actors, musicians, etc. (TBA)
     12/15 Saturday. Full rehearsal with all actors, musicians, etc. (TBA)
  • Youth Parent’s Luncheon (12:30-1:30pm in the blue wavey wall room [Main Lobby]). Please grab a lunch and join us. We will go over our youth group’s mission statement and vision for this upcoming year, inform you of some of our upcoming events, how parents can better get involved, and some possible changes that we can do to improve our youth group. We will close our time with a time for Q&A. Contact Chris Liu for details [EMAIL CHRIS].

Looking Ahead:

  • On October 21, Ed Chen will lead a second class on “Your Life, Your Choices,” which will discuss decision making. Contact Ed Chen for more information [EMAIL ED].
  • In November, please prepare for the following:
    • Our missions committee will be facilitating Operation Christmas Child again. Please prepare to help us collect items to help needy children around the world.
    • Our missions committee is planning a Thanksgiving Day outreach lunch. Speak to William Effendy for more information [EMAIL WILLIAM].
    • English Ministry adults are scheduled to serve Sunday lunch. Sign up at or contact Deacon James Chang for more details [EMAIL JAMES].
    • Pray for me because I’ll be the speaker for Chinese in Christ Church (Milpitas)’s Annual Thanksgiving Church retreat (Nov. 22-24).

Sign up to provide refreshments for pre-worship snack time

We especially would like to invite our youth and young adults to provide refreshments. Youth can ask their parents to help them buy their favorite snack items! You (or your parents) will be reimbursed or receive a donation receipt. Sign up at or contact Deacon James Chang for more details  [EMAIL JAMES].

See you Sunday!


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

Walk Like Disciples!


About Tim Tseng, Ph.D.

I am Pacific Area Director of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate and Faculty Ministries. I'm also a historian, theological educator, and pastor.


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English Service 10 AM (Worship Hall 3)

Worship Location

Enter through door 1 from rear parking lot.


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