For Such A Time As This
You are cordially invited to Congregation Shema Yisrael’s “For Such A Time As This” gala fundraising banquet, with keynote speaker Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis and guest Messianic Jewish recording artist Paul Wilbur at 5:00 PM on Sunday evening April 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Rochester, NY.
Why are we having this banquet? Congregation Shema Yisrael was established in 1984 by Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, who is now the host of the Jewish Voice show, seen on TBN and other Christian cable networks. Shema Yisrael means “Hear Oh Israel” in Hebrew. We are a congregation in which Jewish people, who have come to believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah, can maintain their Jewish identity by living and worshipping in a Biblical Jewish way. We are also a congregation with many non-Jewish members who are with us to learn about and be involved in the Jewish roots of their faith in the Messiah.
In 1988, we were able to buy and renovate our current facility in Rochester, NY on North Winton Road. We have been greatly blessed to have this facility as our home for almost 31 years. Many people, both Jewish and Gentile (non-Jewish), have come to know the Lord in a personal way in this place, been set free from bondage, connected with their Jewish Roots, received a Biblical understanding of God’s plan for Israel and gained a Biblical understanding of their relationship to the Laws of Moses. Significant community events have also taken place at our current home and many outreaches to the local Jewish community have been launched from there.
But now, our current facility’s location has created a significant “visibility” problem, because it is not in a Jewish neighborhood. Over the years, when I have talked about spiritual things with local Jewish-people they have asked me, “What synagogue do you attend?” When I answer “Congregation Shema Yisrael,” they almost always say, “I’ve never heard of that synagogue.” That answer has been helpful, because I usually get to share that it is a Messianic Jewish synagogue where we believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. But that answer has also been very discouraging, because it means that 34 years after Congregation Shema Yisrael’s founding, most of the people we are called to share the Good News with, still don’t even know we exist, much less what we believe, or what we have to offer. We have not been visible to them, even though we have put on many outreach events, advertised, have an online presence and use social media.
Therefore, I am very pleased to be able to share with you the direction the Lord is now leading Congregation Shema Yisrael. He has opened a door of opportunity for us to purchase a beautiful, modern, larger facility in the heart of the Greater Rochester Jewish Community, as a new home for our congregation. The closing on this facility is planned for the end of 2020. God has confirmed this move is His plan for us through a series of miracles providing finances, experience, coaching and much favor.
This facility will greatly enhance our visibility and therefore our ability to fulfill the purpose of Congregation Shema Yisrael, which is to effectively reach the Jewish people of the Greater Rochester area with the Good News of Yeshua and disciple them in Biblical faith. The increased visibility will also enhance our ability to effectively reach and disciple non-Jewish people.
We believe reaching and discipling the Jewish people of this area is vitally important:
- Because Jewish people, like all people, need to hear the Good News effectively presented and have an opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.
- Because Yeshua, speaking to the Jewish people in Jerusalem just before His crucifixion, said “For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of ADONAI (the LORD).’” (Matthew 23:39). This phrase, “blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD” is how one greets an honored guest in Hebrew. So, we understand Him to mean He will not return until the Jewish people welcome Him.
In order to make this move we have sold our facility on North Winton Road to raise part of the necessary funds. Our congregants have pledged to contribute a significant portion of the rest. However, we believe the Lord wants us to acquire this facility mortgage free, so we are sharing this news because we are expecting He will lead believers outside our congregation to contribute the rest of what is needed for this project. Please pray for us to be able to walk with the Lord through this awesome open door and ask the Lord, “what do You want to do through me to accomplish Your will for this opportunity?” If you pray that prayer and do what God leads you to do, in faith, our capital campaign, “For Such A Time As This” will succeed in raising the rest of the money we need to close on this facility, mortgage free, at the end of 2020.
You can make a reservation to attend our gala fundraising banquet by following the instructions on our website www.shematime.org. The keynote speaker will be Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis and the guest Messianic Jewish recording artist will be Paul Wilbur. The banquet will begin at 5:00 PM on Sunday April 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The cost of the banquet is $150. No children younger than 13 please. Reservations for the banquet must be made by Tuesday, April 23rd. At the banquet you will be able to make a tax deductible contribution or make a pledge. If you have any questions contact our office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 585-288-0670.
You can also make a tax-deductible donation by going to the above website and clicking on the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page. You can donate through Paypal or by credit or debit card. Or you can mail your check to Congregation Shema Yisrael, 1326 North Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14609. Please write “New Building Fund” on the memo line of your check. You can also make a pledge to contribute periodically over the next two years by contacting our office.