Passover Celebrated in Five Conferences of the Pacific Union
Adventist Jews around the world gather at Passover time to enjoy a traditional meal and retelling of the Exodus known as a Seder. It is the most popular Jewish holiday of the year, and a wonderful opportunity to build spiritual bridges with Jewish friends. This year, Passover Seders were conducted in diverse places throughout the Pacific Union, connecting the story of the Exodus from Egypt with the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah and the Last Supper.
At the Glendale, Ariz., church, Bruce and Liana Lipps prepared a traditional meal, including matzoh ball soup, for more than 130 people who attended a Seder during the potluck time after worship. The Seder followed a liturgy that Jews have been using since before the time of Christ. It was led by Alan Reinach, director of the Church State Council, who connected the various elements of the service with the events of the Last Supper enjoyed by Jesus and his disciples. There were a number of Jewish people in attendance, some who had become Adventists, and who had not celebrated a Seder in many years. They became very emotional about connecting their own culture and history with their newly-cherished Christian faith.
Reinach flew home that evening to conduct a second Seder in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as a ministry of the Jewish Adventist ministry starting there, known as Congregation Beth Ohavey Torah, “The house of those who love the Torah.” Pastor Paul Lippi from New York recently began leading weekly services on Sabbath afternoons at the Thousand Oaks church, following a traditional Jewish liturgy, offering a contextualized outreach for Jews and Christians alike.
Meanwhile, Dr. John and Elizabeth Dexter from Santa Barbara conducted not one, but two Seders, thanks to weather related travel delays, in Sacramento and in Reno, Nev. Small groups retold the Passover story, and attendees got both physical and spiritual nourishment.
Tom Eisendrath hosted a Seder in Kauai, Hawaii, for many Jews from the community.
Althought Adventists do not believe celebration of the biblical festivals is a legal obligation, many report that doing so can be a spiritual blessing. Paul writes about keeping the Passover, and Ellen White compares camp meetings to the Feast of Tabernacles. For Jews, the Passover Seder is the most popular holiday of the year, combining wonderful food, music, stories and tradition in a gathering of family and friends.
Because the Passover is so rich in spiritual blessings and outreach opportunities, Pastor Jeff Zaremsky, who leads two Jewish Adventist congregations in Florida, teamed up with White Horse Ministries to produce “The Ultimate Passover,” a DVD presentation of the spiritual significance of the Passover. It is a resource for any church or member who wants to understand the Passover or conduct a seder, and is available from White Horse Ministries and at Adventist Book Centers.
- Sheila on 25 Apr 2011The other day you advertised some information re: the Jewish Passover with material to be obtained. Would be interested in the material, as I have a Jewish background. Please reply