*Lead by Paul Lippi (behind flower arrangement) Shabbat services
began on Friday evening with the weekday Mincha.
Dear Chaverim (Friends),
This past weekend I had the privilege of gathering with Congregation Beth Shalom for their first annual celebration of the feast of booths better know as the feast of tabernacles. The whole atmosphere was different, more Torah centered and joyful than a typical Adventist liturgy. It was a welcome contrast to the traditional 1800's liturgy used by 99% of SDA congregations and that would include all of the SDA feast gatherings I have been attending since 1993.
I suppose that if I had to highlight what I liked most about the services and gathering I would say that the synagogue liturgy with an Adventist twist was most appreciated. Paul Lippi is a very competent speaker and scholar and he has many challenging ideas to share that encourage his listeners to dig deeper into their very being to determine what all is happening in this last generation with the Advent message and the sudden intense surge of interest in Hebrew roots within Adventistism and Christianity at large.
Even though both Paul Lippi and Alan J. Reinach do not share my perspective and convictions on the continuity of Torah from old to new testament, they do share my desire to actually observe the annual festivals but for other reasons than the simple fact that God commands us to. Lev 23 (We also have the example of the Apostle Paul as recorded in several new testament passages including Acts 20:6 and commented on by Ellen White in the book Acts of the Apostles pg 390-391 as a worthy example in new testament feast keeping.) Regardless of our differences on this particular subject it brings me much joy knowing that these men do take the time to rehears these joyous commemorations for whatever reason. Both men are insightful speakers and gentle educators and I believe that there is much we can learn from them.
*Sabbath Morning Alan J. Reinach shares some insights on the book of Isaiah while we all sat on a grassy hill overlooking Lake Casitas.
Unlike Paul Lippi, Alan J. Reinach comes from a secular Jewish background and is like Paul, a very likable person and has some very interesting insights on Scripture to share with the knowledge base of a very active attorney dealing with religious liberty issues on a daily, routine basis.
*It is good to study the Word!
Then there was the joyful presence of familiar people such as John and Clara Vandenburgh, Ruthie, Dave Melilli, Patty and Steve and Marti and his mom and Ahnamica and Jacob. Most of I have been friends with for more than a decade and have been attending with at John Vandenburgh's semi annual retreats.
John Vandenburgh graced us with his presence and gave a wonderful Power Point presentation on Saturday evening. He spoke on the significance of the fall festivals and how they have played and will play again a key role not only in the great Advent awakening of 1844 but also in the unfolding of end time eschatology. Thankfully John brought his wonderful wife Clara who assisted John in setting up the generator and projector and screen.
It was very beneficial to have a very educated and capable brother leading out with a tremendous command of contemporary Hebrew. The liturgy was akin the the liturgy of a Jewish synagogue. Paul Lippi lived in Israel as a SDA minister for 23 years and can share incredible insights, not only into the Hebrew language but into modern Jewish/Israeli sociology. This knowledge could come in handy when attempting to meet with and witness to Jews that do not yet believe in Yeshua as The Messiah.
Intro to Beth Shalom Congregation