New Canaan Society gets its name from several places.
Most directly from the Manhattan bedroom community of New Canaan, Connecticut where Jim Lane, our founder, lived at the time. Jim’s wife Susie let Jim open up their living room at first to a dozen or so men and eventually over 200, and led to the first six chapters.
The Biblical reference is of the promised land of Canaan. For NCS, the analogy is our leaving behind the bondage of any fragmented, and, often broken, lives and journeying toward a “new” Canaan, a place where we are connected, where life together is richer, more fulfilling and empowered with God’s grace.
The fact that the word “Canaan” means “merchant” or “trader” also seemed apt: since NCS’ers are men from the marketplace, the moniker suits us well.
The word “Society” is a purposeful completion to our name. We are not a club or religious organization. We are an intentional community, a fraternity of men for men, who are committed to friendship with each other and friendship with God. Just as 19th century English parliamentarian William Wilberforce used the term “Society” over 15 times in various endeavors to end slavery and reform the moral condition of Britain, we became the “New Canaan Society” — a community of men committed to hospitality, companionship, friendship and the fulfillment of the two Great Commandments: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.