Shabbat

Our services are every Saturday from 10:30 AM-12 PM.

As a Messianic Synagogue, we celebrate Messiah Yeshua [Jesus] and the Judaism He represents, where the principles of Torah are observed from the heart and not merely from the head. Since we believe this Judaism is for everyone, we welcome those who seek to better understand Messiah and connect with the Jewish roots of their faith.

Services: In our services, we combine traditional Jewish liturgy with a mix of scriptural- based contemporary  Messianic music that helps lead people into an enhanced worship experience. This is referred to as Davidic praise, as popularized by King David. We also include group, Israeli circle and congregational dance, as a meaningful and joyous expression of our love for ADONAI. Our music leader then will lead us in more songs of praise with his guitar, sometimes accompanied by the keyboard and congas. These and other jubilant manifestations, such as clapping (Ps. 47:1) and lifting our hands in surrender to ADONAI (Ps. 63: 5), are all part of Davidic praise and worship (Ps. 150). We encourage everyone to participate and not just be a spectator so we also have gold flags available on the back table if you would like to wave them during the praise time, just be sure to return them at the end of the service.

Shofars: We blow shofars (either short ram’s horns or long Yemenite ones) to begin our service and sometimes during praise.

Hebrew: You will notice that a portion of our service is done in Hebrew. This is the original language of the Bible and is spoken in Israel. If you are a newcomer to this, don’t be alarmed! You don’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to worship with us; but if you listen carefully, you will find that almost everything in Hebrew is immediately repeated in English or on the slides in yellow. (We do have a Beginning Hebrew class if you are interested in learning!)

Sh’ma“-“Sh’ma Yisrael, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad.” Hear O Israel, the L-RD is our G-d, the L-RD is One. This is the Hebrew letters on the back wall of the sanctuary, when we turn around to face east, towards Jerusalem and the first line of the pledge we make to ADONAI, as we take on the Yoke of the Kingdom as disciples of Yeshua Messiah. We say the Sh’ma, it’s blessing and V’ahavta in Hebrew and then in English.

You may see people bend their knees [Baruch/Blessed] and slightly bow [attah/ are You] when these words are said during blessings or prayers. This is in honor of ADONAI, because you are standing before and praying to the King of the Universe!

Torah: Our Torah Teachers follow the Torah cycle and teach on the weekly portion. The new cycle begins in the fall after Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. You can find the cycle listings in a Complete Jewish Bible, online at FFOZ and we also post them each week in the Weekly Announcements and also on our Facebook page. You can read the entire portion ahead of time and be prepared for the teaching during the service and the discussion on it, if you stay for the Bible Study hour after Oneg.

Respect and Reverence: We request your help in holding up high respect and reverence for ADONAI by turning off your cell phones or silencing them if you can’t have it completely off. Besides bottled water please do not bring food, coffee or drinks into the newly remodeled sanctuary.

Prayer Shawls with Tzitzit: Some wear a Tallit (a fringed prayer shawl) during our services. The biblical reference for “fringes” [Tzitzit] is found in Numbers 15:37-41, where ADONAI instructs His people to put fringes on the corners of their four-cornered garments. These were used as a reminder to obey His commands and not the lusts of our hearts. Also, the blue thread can represent ADONAI’s presence interwoven with every aspect of our lives. Non-Jewish men and all women are not required to keep this commandment. It is ok, however, for women to wear a feminine version of a Tallit or a scarf, if they like (though it is required if you are invited to light candles or read from the Scriptures on the platform.)

We also hold up a very large Tallit during the service and call up the children and teens for a blessing to be prayed over them as they stand under it. Parents are welcome to bring up babies and toddlers.

You may see couples or families hold up a Tallit over themselves during the Aaronic Benediction at the very end of service.

Head-covering: Although there is no direct biblical reference to today’s skullcap (kippah or yarmulke) worn by Jewish men, there are references to a head covering worn by the Cohanim (Levitical Priesthood). Traditionally, the kippah represents a deep desire to humbly submit ourselves to the headship of ADONAI. It has been a symbol of Jewish identity for at least the past several hundred years, and it serves as an outward sign of respect for the House of G-d. For your convenience, kippot are provided for those men who would like to wear them during any of our services. Women have the freedom to wear a scarf or not; but one is required if you are invited to light the candles or read the Scriptures.

Offerings & Charity: In accordance with Yeshua’s instructions recorded in Matthew 6:4, and consistent with synagogue practice, we do not take up a regular offering during service. However, a tzedekah box on the back table along with offering envelopes are available for you to support the work of Congregation Tree of Life. Your offerings are a form of worship that expresses trust and reliance on ADONAI, as the Great Provider, and serves as an acknowledgement  that everything we have comes from His hand.

Prayer Box: We have a decorated prayer box up on the platform, where you can put any prayer requests in and our prayer team will pray for these each week.

Kiddush, Oneg & Lunch: After our Shabbat services we have an “oneg” which means “delight” of the Shabbat. This is where we bless the fruit of the vine and the challah, special braided bread for Shabbat. This set of blessings is called Kiddush. In keeping with the biblical dietary commandments, our Oneg/lunch will always be “kosher” in obedience to ADONAI. If you plan on staying for Oneg, please bring a pre-prepared dish, enough for your family and some to share. Sandwiches, salads, Crockpots and dessert are great for this. We eat after service, the food is all put out and Kiddush is said. We need everyone’s help with clean up so we may begin the Bible Study hour on time.

Shabbat Afternoon activities:
1:30 PM-3:00 PM Bible Study Hour

3:30 PM-5 PM Beginning Hebrew Claas

(If these are canceled for any reason there will be notification in the Weekly Announcements or on Facebook).

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Membership: If you desire to become a member of CTL, indicate this desire to one of our Elders. We have these requirements: confess faith in Messiah Yeshua, attend services faithfully for at least four months, support us through prayer, tithes/offerings, and service. You must also share in the vision that we are to remain a Messianic Synagogue and to be a witness to the Jewish and Christian communities.

Our Facebook page is: congregationtreeoflifemobile/