December 13, 2012
Greetings Canaan EM’ers and friends,
- Please continue to pray for John Tang and his family. His mother, Anny, passed away last night around 10 p.m. The family is now preparing for memorial services in San Diego and the Bay Area.
- Praise God for the birth of Logen Chi last Saturday! Parents Dennis and Javelin are resting now. We welcome a new baby boy to the Canaan EM family and look forward to seeing the entire family soon!
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On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.” — Zephaniah 3:16 (NIV)
Why is it that the “holiday season” is such an extraordinarily busy time for many of us? For students, it is a time to take final exams, complete projects and papers. For parents, it is a time to prepare gifts and plan trips for the entire family. For most of us, it is filled with office parties while attempting to conclude our work for the year. We are so driven to distraction that it is easy to forget that Jesus is “the reason for the season.”
Many people intentionally keep busy to avoid feeling fear, uncertainty, hurt relationships, and loneliness. Indeed, for many, the excessive emphasis on Christmas cheer becomes a way to ignore darkness, death, and evil in this world and in their lives.
Advent forces us to recognize that this world is still dominated by fear. According to Zephaniah, when we live in fear, our “hands hang limp.” It’s as if fear has ripped away our ability to cling to hope. It has wrenched away any desire to clench our fists with confidence. So weakened are we that we cannot even get a grip.
And in the midst of fear (covered up by distraction and busy-ness), Advent points us to that great day of Christ’s coming. It reminds us that Christ’s birth represents the beginning of the end to fear. It helps us anticipate his return when he will reign as the ruler of all creation.
So when you are getting overly attracted to distraction, please stop for a moment. Own your fears and anxieties. Embrace the sorrow and pain of those who are suffering all around us. And then praise God for overcoming all the hurts in life by sending us His Son.
And that is how we celebrate Advent!
See you Sunday!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries
NOW FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. “LIVE! from Bethlehem,” Canaan Christmas Musical & Sing-Along (This Saturday! 12/15, 6:45pm). Invite your family and friends to learn why we celebrate Christmas!
2. THIS SUNDAY: Christmas Party during the second hour [11:30 a.m. Taiwan Center)
3. NEXT FRIDAY (12/21/12): College & Grad student dinner fellowship (6:30-9 p.m.)
4. Asian American Leadership Conference 2013 (Mar 11-13, Los Angeles). Pastor Su and I would like to invite you to join us as we attend the upcoming AALC! We would like to register as a church before the December 21 early bird group registration deadline (the deadline has been extended). So please let me know right away if you would like to join us. Here is some more information:
The third national Asian American Leadership Conference (AALC) will be held on March 11-13, 2013, at Young Nak Celebration Church, 1721 North Broadway, L.A., CA 90031, sponsored by MESA (Ministry for English Speaking Asians) and other ministries. December 10 marks the deadline for early bird registration which will give a $30 or $50 discount off the regular or late registration fee.
I attended the first two AALCs in 2004 and 2008 and conducted some workshops there. About 400 pastors, leaders, and seminarians from all over the U.S. came to each conference, both of which were designed to equip and encourage leaders serving the evangelical Asian American community. The conferences featured inspiring speakers and worship, engaging workshops on topics geared to Asian American Christian leaders, and unique opportunities for networking and resource sharing. The 2013 AALC will again offer these things, with the prospect of being even bigger and better than the first two.
Rev. Dr. Ken Fong
Conference Registration Fees:*
Early Bird: 12/21/12 – $169
Regular: 1/10/13- $199
After 1/10/13- $219
*$70 less for seminarians, full time missionaries, and spouses.
Group Rates: (Groups of 5 or more)
Early Bird per person: 12/21/12 – $150
Regular per person: 1/10/13 – $180
After 1/10/13 per person: $200
Follow on Twitter: @seacken
Join AALC FB Group
5. Opportunities to serve! We are looking for volunteers to help with the following opportunities.
- English and Youth Ministry Town Hall on Dec 23 during the second hour [2 persons
- Chris Liu Ordination Service Planning Team (Feb 10) [2 have signed up – let Pastor Tim know if you are interested]
6. Beginning in mid-January, I will lead a study of Faith Foundations. This college and pre-seminary level study group (which will be limited to 10 persons) will discuss the biblical and historical origins of Christian doctrine, what heresies are (i.e., what Christians refuse to believe), and what it means to be evangelical today. The study group will meet 8 weeknights and will be open to people from other churches. Though it will be primarily an invitation only group, if you are really interested in participating, let know as soon as possible.