Here are some questions we are frequently asked. If you have more questions, you are welcome to email us and we will get back to you quickly!
- What do you believe – are you Christian, or Jewish?
That probably depends on who you ask. 😉 By modern Jewish definition, because we believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah, we are Christian. But our lives in practice represent Judaism in many ways, including our day of rest, our holidays, and our approach to Scripture. To read our statement of faith, click -here- and scroll to the bottom of the page. Within Messianic Judaism, there is a spectrum of practice (Shabbat prayer/worship styles, kashrut, roles of men/women, etc.) just as there is within traditional Judaism. Some Messianic congregations look more like a church and some more like a synagogue. We are somewhere in the middle.
- Are you all Jewish by blood?
Messianic Judaism refers primarily to Jewish believers in Jesus who continue to practice Judaism. Some people who attend Kehilat Yeshua are not Jewish, but they practice Messianic Judaism in imitation of Jesus. We are part of the larger Messianic Jewish movement of Jews and Gentiles worshiping together, and welcome everyone.
- Do you use the Sacred Name of God?
Scripture tells us to sanctify the name of God and not to take the name of God in vain. We refrain from using the personal name of God in keeping with the example set for us by Yeshua and the early believers. For more information about why we don’t use God’s personal name, you can listen to this message from Mark: Our Father, May Your Name Be Sanctified.
- How much liturgy is in your services? Is it in English or Hebrew?
We have about 20 minutes of traditional synagogue liturgy in our services, most of it in English, but some in Hebrew and then translated. Words are projected on a screen to follow along. For more information about liturgy in worship, see: The Role of Liturgy. You can also preview our Shabbat liturgy here: Shabbat Liturgy.
- Do you use instruments in your services?
Yes, we do. Psalm 92, a psalm for Shabbat, celebrates the use of instruments. In addition, instruments were used in Shabbat worship by the greater Jewish community (including in the Temple) until recent history, when they stopped out of a desire to separate themselves from Christianity (Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg at 3 min mark). They are still used in Conservative & Reform synagogues. We worship the Lord in song as part of our services.
- What do you have available for children during your services?
Our Shabbat day is split into 3 main time periods: Torah Study from 9:30-11, Worship Service from 11-1, and Oneg from 1-3.
– During Torah Study, we have children’s classes available for ages 5-12. They learn about God and his Word, and also study Hebrew. There is no nursery available during this time.
– During Service, we have a nursery available for children 4 and under. Children 5 and older stay in service with their parents, and we provide coloring sheets and crayons to help occupy their hands.
– During Oneg, we do not provide children’s care. The nursery is open for anyone to play in, but is not supervised. Parents are expected to supervise their children during this time.
- Do you have a dress code?
We don’t have a set dress code but we ask that you come dressed in a respectful way to meet with the Master of the Universe.
– Men are welcome but not required to wear a kippah or hat as a sign of respect and a reminder of submission to Hashem’s authority. Men are also welcome to wear a tallit during prayers and tzitzit on a four-cornered garment.
– Women are also welcome but not required to cover their heads in a feminine fashion. Women sometimes cover their heads to show submission to God’s design of authority over her. A woman’s head covering is an outward symbol of celebration of God’s design.
- What calendar do you use?
The Jewish calendar in use today was codified by Rabbi Hillel II in the 4th century, and this is the calendar we use here at Kehilat Yeshua. For more info about why, see: What Calendar Do You Use?
- Do you require membership to participate in your services?
We do not yet have a voting membership, but plan to incorporate that in 2018-2019. Congregational members will be able to vote on council members (the council makes financial decisions and helps oversee the congregation), and vote on other business matters. Members will also be able to teach the weekly midrash and hold other roles of leadership. Membership will be optional and will never be required for attendance in our services. Unlike in traditional Jewish communities, membership in Kehilat Yeshua will not require an annual fee, but it will require the signing of our statement of faith. Jews and Gentiles alike will be welcome into membership.
- What are your affiliations?
As a congregation, we are a part of the Foursquare denomination. We understand that some may be thrown off by our connection with the greater church and have written an article explaining why here: Our Relationship with the Greater Church. Mark is licensed through the Foursquare and as such is able to officiate weddings and funerals, etc. We are a registered 501c3 non-profit organization. Mark and Judy are also members of the MJAA – the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, and we are working on becoming an MJAA-affiliated congregation as well.