Excerpts from "A Ministry Grows in Brooklyn" at christianitytoday.com
Earlier this year, Chosen People Ministries, a Messianic Jewish organization, purchased an 11,000-square-foot building in Kings Highway/Gravesend/Sheepshead Bay area, the heart of Orthodox Brooklyn.
"If you walk out the door and turn left, you are in an Orthodox Jewish community," says president Mitch Glaser. "And if you turn right, you will be able to buy the best borscht you have ever tasted."
Once rehabbed, the building will allow the organization to provide substance-abuse counseling and to teach English as a second language. It will house a library for Messianic research and a 150-seat sanctuary. It will also host an accredited pastoral training program in partnership with an evangelical seminary.
The institutional changes are in many ways symbolic of new opportunities—and lasting tensions—in the modern-day Messianic movement...
With an estimated 275,000 Messianic believers worldwide, the movement is divided on theological and missional issues. Still, many leaders now believe there is a "critical mass" of Messianic believers, giving them greater potential to become a more influential movement, if they can resolve their differences...
In 2007, Messianic leaders started a peacemaking effort in New York. They gathered in Borough Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Orthodox population, for new dialogue...
The leaders tried again this past spring. Bock described it as a peace process, bringing together people with longstanding personal and theological differences. "We wanted to provide a safe space, not unity." The Messianic movement includes Jews who describe themselves as "Hebrew Christians" and belong to a church, as well as observant Messianic Jews who follow Old Testament laws and worship on Saturdays in a synagogue-like setting...
Glaser believes attitudes are changing. Messianic Jews are more willing to overlook ill will coming from the Jewish community. In a few cases, Messianic believers are looking to take their place in Jewish community affairs. "As long as there is clear fidelity to the essentials of the faith [and] the preaching of the gospel, we will encourage Jewish believers in Jesus to remain part of the Jewish community...
For more see
Related Isaiah 53 Campaign
Related upcoming event:
A Scholarly Dialogue: The Book of Isaiah in Jewish and Christian Tradition
A scholarly dialogue on the importance of the Book of Isaiah in both Jewish and Christian tradition, with a special focus on the Dead Sea Scrolls collection and the well-known 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Two outstanding scholars, one Jewish and the other Christian, will engage in a dialoguical discussion. The conference will include a limited time for questions and answers
Location: Trinity Baptist Church, 250 East 61st. Street, between Second and Third Avenues, in Manhattan
Date and Time: Thursday, Septermber 30 at 8:00 PM (doors open at 7:30)
Cost: $10 for the general public and $5 for students with student ID