Church of the Week: Beth Messiah Synagogue, Loveland, OH

Until ten days ago or so, I had never worshiped with a messianic Jewish congregation, though I had long wanted to. So I made my way on a Friday evening to Beth Messiah Messianic Synagogue in Loveland, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. As I entered the building (it was after dark, so I took no pictures of the exterior, which was unremarkable except for the Star of David over the entrance), I was intrigued by the Jerusalem timeline decorating the walls of the large lobby.
Just outside the entrance to the auditorium was a rack of tallit and a bowl of kipas. I availed myself of the latter and entered about fifteen minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. start of the service.
I was greeted quickly by the Rabbi, Michael Wolf, and sat in the second row. I was one of the earliest arrivals, and so got to listen to the worship band practicing.
The service was not all that different from most contemporary church services. The worship music, however, was all from the messianic movement (I knew none of the tunes but was able to sing along easily, and recognized the author of one--Joel Chernoff--as one of the members of the group, Lamb, whose debut self-titled album was once in my collection). Several worshipers danced throughout the singing, which delighted me. After an announcement by Rabbi Wolf of the death of a synagogue member's mother (whom he had visited), we said Kaddish. We recited the Shema in both Hebrew and English, and a woman came onstage to light the Shabbat candles and recite the Shabbat prayer, also in both Hebrew and English. Rabbi Wolf preached on Isaiah 42:5-7, a sermon which spoke to me.

I learned that the Torah scroll is used only in the Saturday morning worship service (which the rabbi said is the more well-attended of the two services), so the ark (at the back corner of the stage) and the Amud were unused.

I was given a welcome packet and encouraged to fill out a visitor form, which I did.

It was a unique blessing, and one I hope to repeat soon--perhaps next time at 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Beth Messiah Messianic Synagogue is located at 9054 Columbia Road in Loveland, Ohio.


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1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your message. Looking forward to visiting this church as well...

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete