December 25, 2014
Dearest Canaan English Ministry members and friends,
It was such a joy to be part of last night’s Christmas caroling experience! Our home was the final stop of what was an exciting evening of travel, singing, and fellowship. Thank you Elder Shirley Tai for organizing it – and thanks to all the carolers for bringing joy to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior!
Last Sunday, five families dedicated themselves to raising their children in Christian faith. It was truly fitting to celebrate the hope that children bring in conjunction with Christmas.
In my sermon, I shared that the hope that Mary felt in anticipation of the birth of Jesus was surrounded by uncertainty and potential public shaming. Yet, Mary yielded to God’s purpose for her, sang the first Christmas carol, and became the first Christian theologian! All this despite not knowing what her son Jesus would accomplish! The song, “Mary, Did You Know?” offers words of comfort not just to Mary, but also to all of us who have taken the leap of faith.
In the next two Sundays, Pastor Chris and I will share Christmas messages. A number of our brothers and sisters have expressed concern that America is in decline because we have taken Christ out of Christmas. Instead of saying Merry Christmas, more and more people say Happy Holidays. Well, I hope that our Christmas sermons will help us think about this as we review what Christ’s birth means. I look forward to seeing you all!
By the way, here are this Sunday’s songs for English worship:
O Come All Ye Faithful
Sing to the King
Whom Shall I Fear
Other Important Announcements
1. The weekly Canaan English Ministry Calendar has been updated. Go to canaanem.org/calendar/ Because New Years is on Thursday, please send me announcements no later than next Monday so that the bulletins can be printed on Wednesday.
2. Our Annual English Ministry leadership micro-retreat will be held on Saturday, Jan 1o at 9 a.m.. Pray for this half-day retreat as we prepare for the 2015 year. Pastor Brian Leong of Lord’s Grace Chinese Christian Church will be our featured resource person. Let me know if you are interested in joining.
3. The next English testimonial service will be on Jan. 25. We invite at least three persons to share their stories that reflect on these lectionary texts: Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 and/or Corinthians 7:29-31.
4. The BASS [Bay Area Sunday School] Convention (March 5-7, 2015] is looking for volunteers to serve as ushers and information desk managers. Visit their web page at bassconvention.org/volunteer.cfm and sign up or contact Deacon Nelson Lu [email]
5. The next opportunity for baptism, confirmation, or to join Canaan as a member will be Easter Sunday, April 5. Applicants and inquirers should join Canaan Basics, which will be offered in March. Speak to me for more details.
6. Are you interested ins starting a VisionQuest group? Let me know and I’ll help you set one up!
7. Canaan People column: Share about yourself to our community in the Canaan People column of our weekly bulletin. Please go to bit.ly/iamcanaanpeople and let us know who you are and why Canaan is so special to you! Thanks to all who have already participated.
See you Sunday!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries