Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Purpose Driven Life: Young Adults Bible Study

On Wednesday, October 7, 2009 the young adults of Canaan met with our Senior Pastor for the first class of the Purpose Driven Life Series. Our young adults engaged in an insightful and meaningful dialogue filled with relevant questions and answers based on their special needs. It was a rewarding experience for everyone. Although we have targeted young adults, the class is open to everyone of any age whether you are a member of the church or not. We invite you to join us every Wednesday from 6pm - 7:15pm in Founder's Hall. Discount Books and journals are available.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Support for President Obama's Health Care Initiative

Thomas D. Johnson, Sr., D.Min.
Senior Pastor

I do hope we all understand the need to support President Obama and his health care initiative. It has been very disappointing in recent week to listen to the partisan debate on this issue while so many Americans are living day-to-day without the benefit of a doctor's care, prescription medication and other forms of health services that lead to quality living. President Obama has been resilient throughout this campaign for national health care and I commend him for compassion and tenacity in trying to do the right thing for us all. Please join me in offering prayers daily for our President and his family.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Lydia Project

I am pleased to announce that we have begun the development of a new outreach ministry to be called, The Lydia Project. This ministry is named for Lydia who is mentioned in the New Testament whose heart was opened to the Lord and attended to the things spoken of by Paul. This ministry will serve the Canaan Family and the community-at-large by conducting clothing drives to benefit needy families and individuals. The first clothing drive will take place on Saturday, September 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Additional drives will follow in the near future.

Clothing collected will be delivered to homeless shelters, substance abuse shelters and other human service delivery agencies. We invite you to bring your clean gently used garments on Saturday, September 26 to Canaan between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Volunteers are needed to sort and to drive.

For additional information, please see Gladys Foster, Jocelyn Smith or Cheri Hunter. You may sign up to participate in the outer lobby following our 11:00 a.m. worship service.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eight O'clock Service: An Exciting Worship Experience

There are many in our community who are still unaware of our Sunday Morning early worship service. This Service begins at eight o'clock a.m. and usually last about an hour and thirty minutes. Canaan has been offering this worship service for a little more than and year and our attendance continues to grow. The early service can be characterized as more intimate that our regular service while providing the same level of passion and excitement that Canaan worship services are known for. Our research suggests that there are many in our community who prefer an earlier worship service. We appeal to you to join us each Sunday morning at eight to share in a loving fellowship, rejoice with vibrant music and praise and receive the Word of God from our Senior Pastor. Feel free to bring friends and family along.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God's Grace Will See Us Through

Thomas D. Johnson, Sr. D. Min.
Senior Pastor

Greetings Beloved!

Can you believe it! Summer is almost gone and before you know the crisp air of autumn will be upon us. The change in seasons also means that many of our disciples will be returning from vacations and extended stays out of town. I trust that each Canaan Disciple has enjoyed a healing and restful summer.

Most of us realize that during the summer months, our Canaan’s revenues generally decrease. This year our challenges are even greater because of our national financial crisis. I have no doubt that we all love Canaan and will want to insure that our financial resources are plentiful enough to sustain our ministries throughout the year. I am asking each Canaan Disciple to “give a little extra” on the first Sunday in September to help us recover losses incurred during the summer. In the months to come, there will be more challenges for which you will be informed. Let us continue to pray for God’s grace to see us through these difficult times.

On another note, I hope you are as proud as I am of our new website. If you haven’t signed on yet, check us out at There you will find up- to- date information about our Church. Be sure to visit our Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages as well.

I looking forward to an exciting Fall as we move forward with revision of our church polity, resumption of Bible Study, the launch of the new Canaan Voice, beginning discussions on our church renovations, the growth of our capital campaign and the continued growth of our church family.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Prayer In Public Worship

Thomas D. Johnson, Sr., D.Min.
Senior Pastor

Christian Worship rests at the very heart of our faith community. While we live out faith in our daily activities, the general assembly of believers provides a very important aspect for what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and a member of the Body of Christ.

Firstly, let us revisit our understanding of Christian Worship. Franklin Segler, in his book entitled Christian Worship: Its Theology and Practice suggests that to worship is,

To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God
To feed the mind with the truth of God
To purge the imagination by the beauty of God
To open the heart to the love of God
To devote the will to the purpose of God

When we worship, we are attempting to declare God’s worth.

Thus, worship involves recognition of worth in God, and the offering of our honor, praise, and adoration to the One who is altogether worthy.

Now, a very important element of our response or worship is prayer. Segler calls prayer, “the soul of worship.” Prayer is communion with God. Now, our concern today is prayer in corporate worship. Here, prayer becomes the expression of the worshipping community (not the worship leader’s individual prayer concerns or other agenda). The person praying on behalf of the faith community must always remember their position. You are ushering the congregation into the presence of God. You are communing with God on the congregation’s behalf.

According to Segler, there are ten general principles that govern corporate prayer:

1. Every prayer should have a specific purpose of its own. A prayer should not deal with vague generalities.
2. Every prayer should have good form. It should be clear, direct and well constructed.
3. Every prayer should be directed to God. It should not be a discourse about God.
4. Old English pronouns like thee, thou and thine should be avoided.
5. The prayer should be delivered in a clear, distinct voice so that the congregation may hear distinctly.
6. Public prayers should not be too long.
7. Some planning for prayer is helpful if you are leading the congregation in worship.
8. Prayer leaders should be notified in advance.
9. The public prayer must represent the entire gathered community.
10. Prayers should not sermonize.

That being said, the congregational leadership has responsibility for our Invocation each Sunday. The Invocation is the opening prayer in which adoration and praise are offered to God. This prayer recognizes that God is among us. It focuses on God and not on us. The invocation may contain:

Address to God
A relative clause acknowledging who God is
A petition or simple statement of desire
The purpose of the petition (invoking God’s presence as we worship)

Finally, all of our prayers must be guided by sincerity. We are all servants of this body. When we are called upon to lead a congregational prayer, we must carry out that duty with a high sense of humility and sincerity.

Friday, May 29, 2009

About Canaan Baptist Church of Christ

Thank you for visiting the website of one America’s great ambassadors of Christian faith. For 75 years, Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem, New York has been a beacon of light, shining brightly across the globe, bringing hope to weary travelers in search of truth.

The hand of God has worked mightily within this congregation to bring Canaan from its humble beginnings, in 1932, to its historic achievements in this present day. My predecessors, the Reverend E.M. Moore and the Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, stood at the helm of this ship for many years. God used both of these men to raise Canaan to become a national model for ministry. Our congregation is gifted with committed, energetic, and spiritual disciples, who continue to bear witness to God’s love through a spirited worship experience, a nurturing fellowship, an effective teaching ministry, and an outreach initiative that continues to transform lives in the Harlem community and around the world.

I invite you to enjoy your visit to our site. Please take time to learn about the many opportunities for spiritual growth that are available for you and your family here at Canaan . And, please log on as often as possible for news and announcements of upcoming Canaan events.