Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 in retrospect

2007 has been both challenging and rewarding.

On the challenging side
we lost 2-3 families over issues of doctrine, practice, or personality issues. Finances due to the new location and the loss of two Sunday groups renting the facilities have also created a budget shortfall (One church ceased to function, the other broke the lease). This $800 to $1200 monthly shortfall hopefully will be corrected by bringing another Church in on Sunday.

While the loss of any family or person is to be mourned; we must realize that when a body strives to live and teach as our Messiah lived and taught, some will not make the transition. The transition to being truly Messianic Jewish, as opposed to being a Church with some Jewish symbols thrown in, is a difficult one. We should not look down on those who chose to move on; but instead wish them well. We hope and pray Adonai leads them to a place of peace.

On the positive side
, we have gained new families and what I believe is a renewed sense of purpose and direction. We have moved from being a Hebrew Roots body to a Messianic Jewish Synagogue in both practice and beliefs. Let's recap some other key blessings that have occurred (We means the Synagogue as a whole):

* We occupied the new Building
* The addition of the Prayer Wall
* The wall hangings from Israel
* The Sanctuary Menorah
* The Mikvah was completed
* The new bookstore was completed and a much larger stock on items are now available
* We acquired a second Torah
* We acquired a Bema and Lectern
* We graduated our largest Bar / Bat Mitzvah class
* We redesigned the Bar / Bat Mitzvah class to be more in-line with other Bar Mitzvah classes (materials covered)
* We began our Congregational Yeshiva (we are beginning the 4th Qtr)
* We held several Sisterhood Meetings
* We held our first Messianic Jewish conversion
* We increased the Liturgy and added Hebrew Torah readings
* We had 138 people at our Congregation Passover
* We lead several external Passovers for more than 500 people
* We had 5 televised events reaching approximately 1 million people each
* Our Internet sites reached over 300,000 people yearly.

When weighed on equal scales, the good clearly outweighed the challenges we faced. During a time when our Sunday Brothers in the Church saw a 25 million reduction in attendees (source Barna Group), that we have remained relatively steady and where able to grow in key spiritual areas is a blessing from Adonai.

Blessings - Rabbi Gavri'el

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