Messianics to celebrate Jewish heritage
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Members of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship will gather to celebrate their Jewish heritage and to welcome guests at their meeting ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.
Worship services are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, June 19, and 9 a.m. June 20, with registration immediately preceding both services. Following a lunch break, a Saturday afternoon service will begin at 1, with an evening service at 7 followed by an annual business meeting. Davidic worship dance instruction will be Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m.
All meetings will be in Room C205 in the south wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center.
The fellowship will hear from Jorge Sedaca, a coordinator for resource development and delivery in the North American Mission Board's church planting group, who will speak about the fellowship's partnership with NAMB for Jewish evangelism.
Also, James M. Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be featured. Hamilton is the author of "God's Indwelling Presence: The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments" as well as various scholarly articles.
Phil Adams, a multiethnic church support manager at LifeWay Christian Resources, will discuss the need for help in translating several publications into the Hebrew language.
Alicia Smith, a Messianic psalmist from Humble Hearts Ministries in Belvidere, Ill., will lead in worship. Smith's music is heard on radio stations in Israel, and her testimony is conveyed in the songs she writes and sings.
Ric Worshill, the fellowship's president, said the theme during his four years of leadership has been "Building Up the Saints."
"The vision: We must lead others to the Eternal Kingdom of Mashiach Yeshua [Jesus the Messiah]," Worshill wrote in a statement to Baptist Press. "One vision and one purpose -- to bring new life into the Body and His Kingdom. We must be exercised and trained up to do the Good Work of Mashiach.
"My heart has not changed these past four years. Friday evening I will be preaching on a subject that has been a burden on my heart," Worshill said. "I have many relatives and friends who don't know the True Savior of all mankind, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach. My message this year will be about the main sub-theme for this year's meetings: 'For Zion's Sake We Will Not Keep Silent.'"
Worshill said the fellowship is working on ways to build productive partnerships with SBC churches, and each year they include in their program speakers who have a reputation for building up the saints.
"I pray that the flame of a missionary heart will be fanned up in all of those who attend our meetings," Worshill said. "I also pray that those who come broken from the battle go home refreshed and take something with them to build up the saints around them. Our purpose is to build each other up closer and closer in Christ, so we are all prepared to be sent out in service to the Kingdom of Christ."
Anyone who plans to attend this year's fellowship meeting should contact Worshill at email@example.com for planning purposes.
"'Messianic' comes from the Hebrew word 'mashiach,' which means 'the anointed one,'" according to an explanation on the fellowship's website, www.sbmessianic.net. "It was used of priests and kings of Israel but took on a specialized meaning in reference to the coming Messiah, the supernatural Deliverer of Israel.
"In the first century, when Greek was the lingua franca, 'mashiach' was translated into Greek as 'christos' from which we have developed the English words, Christ and Christian. So Messianic and Christian mean the same thing -- they refer to a disciple of Yeshua, though they are derived from Hebrew and Greek respectively," the website says.
Placing faith in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and the one of whom the prophets spoke is the most Jewish response a person can make, the website says.
"A Messianic congregation is a fellowship of Jews and Gentiles who believe that Yeshua is the true Jewish Messiah promised by God through the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures, and who worship within the framework of traditional Jewish patterns," the website says. "Many of these groups exist in the United States, Israel and other countries."
The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship seeks to share the Gospel with the world's Jewish population, encourage Messianic believers to celebrate their Jewish heritage, and work toward the planting of Messianic congregations. The group also embraces the Baptist Faith & Message.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.