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Church news, Tim Tseng update

From Ashes to Awards

Weekend Planner [view for more updates]
• Today is Ash Wednesday – remember to use the “Seek God for the City” Lenten Prayer Guide! available at the Information Desk. You can download a scanned PDF here: (10 MB)
• Thursday, Mar 10 (7:00 PM): Young Adults Fellowship meets at church.
• Friday, Mar 11 (7:00 PM): 1st Annual Canaan Awards! A Night to Remember! A Formal and Unforgettable Moment! Tickets are $10 to reserve your spot along with dinner and countless memories! Contact Chris Su [Email Chris]
• Saturday, Mar 12 (9-11:30 AM): Breakfast with James Chuck – Old Testament Overview.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BEGINS – Please move your clocks forward one hour!
• Sunday (First Sunday in Lent)
— Youth Sunday School (9:30 AM)
— Sunday REFRESH! (9:45 AM, Room 102). We will introduce a new Lenten devotional series.
— English Worship (11:00 AM, Second Floor). Jeremy Lee speaks on “Grounded (in a Good Way).”
— Prayer Fellowship (1:30 PM, Room 150)
— Agape Family Group (4:00 PM, Fellowship Hall). “Sharing and prayer” chapter 10.

March 9, 2011 • Ash Wednesday

Dear Canaan EMers,

Even though Ash Wednesday is usually associated with Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant churches, it can be a special day of self-reflection for all Christians. According to Wikipedia:

Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. It marks the beginning of Lent and occurs 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays) before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 (February 5 on leap years) or as late as March 10.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms or Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned. Ashes were used in ancient times, according to the Bible, to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults.

At Masses and services of worship on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful. The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until it wears off. The priest or minister says one of the following when applying the ashes:

Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. —Genesis 3:19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. —Mark 1:15
Repent, and hear the good news. —Mark 1:15

Let us take time out to prayerfully consider areas of confession and repentance today and throughout Lent. Please also use the “Seek God for the City” Lenten Prayer Guide in PDF, which can be downloaded at (10 MB) This prayer guide will encourage us to reflect on our calling to care for cities around the world. Children’s Companion Guide here:

It’s a bit awkward to reflect on repentance today and then to celebrate the Canaan Awards this Friday, but life on this side of eternity is about embracing joy and suffering, celebration and pain, at the same time. Life is never completely one without the other. It is God’s way of teaching us how to put our trust in him completely and thus grow in Christian maturity.

So come ready to “party” on Friday – but also with an awareness that we have entered the Lenten Season!




1. Beyond Tiger Parenting with Helen Lee (Sat. Mar. 19th, 9 AM – Noon). A workshop for moms and dads. Learn how to be a missional parent! Child care is provided. Because Canaan is a member church of ISAAC, we can all attend for free! And you only have to pay $7 for the book, The Missional Mom. Come and ask Helen to sign your copy! Register with me. It will be held at Grace Alliance Church in Milpitas (9 AM – Noon). For more information or to register go to: or to

2. Easter Season (the seven weeks between Easter Sunday and Pentecost) is a time to prepare for missions and evangelism. The EM Mission committee will offer evangelism training in preparation for summer missions, VBS, and other outreach activities. Please set aside Sunday afternoons for these equipping opportunities. More information forthcoming.

3. The Canaan Family Retreat will be held June 17-19 at Sonoma State University. Since it is Father’s Day weekend, we will have a father-son speaker tandem for the English and Youth retreats. Amos and Aizaiah Yong! Prices are $120 per person; $80 for ages 4 – 12yrs. 3yrs and under are free. Contact Joyce Chiang <email Joyce> for more information.

4. Taiwan Summer Missions! Is there a yearning in your heart to sing, dance and share God’s love? Good News! Applications for 2011 Taiwan Summer Missions are out! Come and join us in worship and sharing God’s word with the aborigines of Taiwan from June 30th to July 17th. Contact Jeremy Lee for more details.

5. Save the Date! 2011 Vacation Bible School will be 8/2 to 8/6 (Tue to Sat; 9am to 12noon). 2 Programs: a preschool program for kids ages 3 to those entering Kindergarten; and a program for kids entering 1st to 6th grade. Seeking energetic and children-loving youths and adults to join our PandaMania Team. If you are are interested in helping out, please talk to Nicole Lu. Children Registration will begin in April 2011. Please go to for more info.

Other announcements can be found at


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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