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Church news, Tim Tseng update

Lost in Transition

October 25, 2012

Greetings Canaan EM’ers and friends,

Today, I’d like to share a word with our teenagers:

Do you sometimes feel lonely or lost at church or in school? I know how that feels. My parents enrolled me in a junior high school outside my neighborhood school district. As more and more Black, Haitian, and Jamaican people moved into our shrinking Jewish and Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, my parents decided to transfer me to a district with mostly White students. My parents thought that the White schools were better and acted out of this racial prejudice. I didn’t have any say in the decision and wound up going to a Junior High School where none of my classmates attended. It was very difficult to make new friends. Then, two years later, I enrolled in a magnet high school in Manhattan which took me out of the school district and again disconnected me from the few new friends that I made in Junior High School.

My teenage years were very lonely. I became shy and withdrawn. The only thing that helped was to be part of my church’s youth fellowship. I felt like I could be myself there.

Now I’m not saying that church youth groups are the solution to the loneliness many teens sometimes feel. But at my church’s youth fellowship, many of the youth (including myself) dedicated themselves to doing things together and getting to know each other better. We went on camping trips, outings, formed baseball and basketball teams, and played ping pong, soccer, and field hockey in the church basement every week. Some of us did not know or care for each other at first. But because we kept on meeting and doing things together, we learned to care for and even love each other

The lesson: friendships are built over time. They take persistence, consistency, and effort.

If you are new to our Sunday worship service, I encourage you to reach out to other teens. Don’t wait for others to reach out to you – they are probably also adjusting to the new environment. If you show more interest in them first, most will respond to you and want to be your friend. Find out what they like to do first. Learn their interests and dislikes. And chat with them about what they like and dislike.

Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or other adults (other than Pastor Chris, Arthur, or Vicki). Just because we may be the same age or are older than your parents doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t speak to us. In fact, our English adults would love to talk to you. As you get to know them better, you’ll feel more like you belong!

God sees His goodness in you even though you are young. As you show boldness, curiosity, and caring for others first, God will grow your friendships and help you find yourself and your community in the middle of transition. Let me know if you would like to chat further.

See you Sunday!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries


1. Love 20/20 Live!
Next Wednesday, a live on-line chat as eight leaders in the faith community share their expertise on relationships, marriage, date nights, passing on the faith to your children and much more! You will be able to ask questions and interact with our live chat room! Register now at 

This seminar is sponsored by Family Life, a ministry that supports marriage, parenting, faith, and life issues.

2. I’m on YouTube!
Jamie Hsieh and Mimi Liao recorded my presentation, “Your children’s world outside your home,” at the NFL fellowship last Saturday evening. They’ve posted the videos at:


1. 2012 Fall Festival (Wed, 10/31 – 6:15pm to 8:30pm)
Family, faith, and fun come together! Bring the kids! Invite family & friends! $3 dinner. Children & adults are welcome to come dressed up – no weapons, ghosts, witches, or other scary costumes please. Please RSVP at:

2. Come and serve!
I am looking for volunteers to help with the following areas.
– Canaan Awards Night (tentatively Jan 5) [2 coordinators]
– Advent Season support [2 coordinators]
– Chris Liu Ordination Service Planning Team (TBD) [1 or 2 coordinators]

3. Angklung Choir
Syeffy Sie is searching for people to join the Christmas Angklung choir. Rehearsal begins this Sunday afternoon! Contact Syeffy Sie.

4. November Lunch Service
Adults, please sign up at! Half of the slots are available. We especially need young adults to sign up.

5. “LIVE! from Bethlehem,” Canaan Christmas Musical & Sing-Along (Sat, 12/15, 7pm)
Invite your family and friends to learn why we celebrate Christmas!
PRACTICE is this Sunday (WH1; 1:15pm to 2:30pm). Future rehearsal dates:
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)

6. Operation Christmas Child – Shoebox Packing Party (Sun, Nov 11, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
All are invited to the Fellowship Hall during second hour on Nov. 11 to help pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Refreshments will be served! Contact William Effendy.


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)

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Enter through door 1 from rear parking lot.


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