Kehilat Yeshua

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This blog has been rather quiet this year, hasn’t it? I had envisioned spending this year blogging about the fun projects I have been working on in our new house, but I’ve realized that there are only so many hours in the day, and blogging just didn’t make the cut!

But it has been a fun year, full of adventures and changes as we have settled into our new home and new town. We have done a lot of decorating, and I’ve really enjoyed that as a creative outlet. We’re still working on plans for the landscaping, so other than planting some baby trees, our land is still rather barren. Last fall we had the fun adventure of “chicken-sitting” our friends’ chicken flock. They were loads of fun to watch roam around looking for treats. And we’ve brought in another kitty to keep our Simba company – Stella is a sweet friend to him.

But the biggest change this year was the transition from helping to lead worship at our church to moving forward with the dream God gave us to plant a Messianic community here in the Treasure Valley.

Last summer, we hosted a Bible study in our home on Saturday afternoons, and had a lovely time making friends.

On the Shabbat before Rosh HaShannah, Mark and I were in prayer and felt God clearly tell us it was time to step out in faith to start a Messianic Fellowship. Within a few days, this calling was confirmed through another couple that God told to reconnect with us. And so we began with 2 couples last October.

Since then, we have been joined by many more people who share our heart and dream. It has been an exciting honor to see how the Lord is placing people in our group, which we call Kehilat Yeshua.

If you have stumbled on this blog and are interested in learning more about our community, please check out our website or come join us for a Shabbat morning service!

Blessings!
Judy

2015 Messianic/Christian Passover Seder

Messianic Seder tables

2015 Christian Messianic Passover Seder in Boise/Meridian, Idaho!

** If you found this post in 2017, please note we ARE doing a seder this year and tickets are FREE! Signup is required. Please visit http://boisepassover.com for more details!**

This year we are hosting our third annual Community Passover Seder! If you have never gone to a Seder before, it’s an incredible time of learning about the Lord’s appointed time and the significance of His death and resurrection during Passover.

It will be held at the address and time below. If you are in the greater Boise/Eagle/Meridian/Nampa/Caldwell area, you are welcome and invited to attend! This Christian Passover seder is open to everyone (non-denominational) and will be family-friendly.

This year it will also be free of charge, as an organized potluck. Our hope is that this will enable anyone to attend and be blessed by this amazing experience. Please register at the link below, as we will need to arrange sufficient seating. Thank you!

Location: Treasure Valley Worship Center, 50 Spicewood Drive in Meridian, Idaho
Date/Time: Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30pm

For more information and to register, please go to http://boisepassover.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!
– Judy

New Year, New Beginning: The Next Season of Growth and Change For Us…

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As we get ready to embark on a new year, we are also gearing up for a new adventure in the Rich family! For the past few months, Mark and I have been praying about forming a congregation here in the Boise area. We have become aware of a deep need for Biblically-solid Messianic teaching here and have felt led to take a step forward to try to fill that void.

We have been so blessed by the past 8 years we’ve spent at Beit Tikvah. While things aren’t perfect there, we have learned a lot about leadership, balance, and priorities. It has given us a great foundation that we hope to carry with us as we move into this next season in our lives.

We will begin opening our home for worship and Bible study this upcoming Saturday at 2pm. If you’d like more information about what we believe and our style of practice, you can check out our website at: http://houseofhopefellowship.com.

Mark and I would love your prayers during this time! We need a lot of wisdom and seek to honor the Lord with our actions and attitudes in all things. Thank you and much love to you all!

~Judy

Our Family’s Sabbath

Today is the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week.  We usually refer to it as Shabbat, the Hebrew word for Sabbath. Sabbath/Shabbat means “rest” or “cessation.” Sabbath-keeping has been a big part of our lives since we began walking down this path of Messianic observance almost 8 years ago.  We have discovered such beauty in the Sabbath!

This morning, Mark and I had a short but meaningful conversion of how our observance has been lacking lately. This has been in part to a crazy month with three trips away from home. But it is also a result of, quite honestly, laziness on our part. As many of you may know, we have been home-churching since we moved here almost 6 months ago. Every Shabbat morning, we plug our computer into our tv and watch our home congregation’s live streaming service. It has been such an incredible blessing to us to be able to stay somewhat connected with our community as we make the transition to life in Idaho. But it’s also so easy to get slack. When you can watch service in your pajamas while eating french toast, it’s hard to discipline yourself to engage in the service, enter into worship, and let God speak to you during the message.

This morning, as service was starting, I realized that our busyness and lack of routine had really made our lives go topsy-turvy, and this feeling was especially strong as I was trying to enter into the presence of God. Have you ever noticed how the state of your spiritual life tends to be a microcosm of the rest of your life? That’s what I had realized this morning. Mark had realized the same thing (don’t you love when He speaks to your spouse at the same time?!) and was really feeling the importance of getting back on track.

So, today has been a powerful Sabbath at our home. It has been a day of inward rededication to the Lord’s plans, purposes and priorities.

I’ve been asked before what Sabbath observance looks like for us, and I want to share that here, partly in hopes of inspiring you in your practice and partly in effort to hold myself accountable to keeping this holy day holy in our home. Don’t take this as a list of what you should do, but rather seek HaShem for what He would have you do!

A Typical Shabbat In Our Home

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(and, no, it doesn't look like this - but a girl can dream right?)

As laid out in Genesis 2:3, the Sabbath begins on sundown Friday and goes through sundown Saturday. We strive to make Friday night special as we welcome the Sabbath. This usually means a yummy dinner that is well-liked, and if I’m really on it, a loaf of challah (traditional bread for Shabbat). 😉 We light 2 candles and say a short series of blessings, thanking the Lord for the Sabbath day, for all He has provided for us – both basic necessities and those added extras – and then laying hands on our children and blessing them. We try to have a relaxing mealtime 😉 and evening. We do our best to stay off screens (one of those we’ve gotten lax in and need to get better about again) and keep the focus on each other and the Lord.

Saturday mornings are slow-starting, usually with lots of in-bed kiddo snuggles. We enjoy a relaxed breakfast and morning, and Mark and I try to make sure each other gets a quiet time. At 11:30 we turn on service in our living room. The kids are required to stay with us until the kids are dismissed from adult service after worship. (This is also something we have to work harder on. It’s so easy to just send them out so that we can focus, but then they will completely lose out on the service.) During announcements we usually make a simple lunch that we eat during service because it goes until 2ish. After service is over we make sure the littles are napping (they usually fall asleep during), and then we’re working on spending some quality spiritual time with the older two.

After that, we rest! Naps are awesome. 😀 This is also a discipline issue, because it’s so easy to justify away planning things for the day. But God’s word is so clear that the Sabbath is to be a day of rest.

There is also a short series of blessings to close out Shabbat that we sometimes do, called Havdalah. I’d really like to be more regular with this. It’s a beautiful way to bring closure to the day instead of just letting it fade away with the sun.

And there you have it – a typical (with God’s grace) Sabbath in our home! What does your day of 1st look like? Do you struggle with keeping your focus on this day? What helps you? Do share!

Interested in the Jewish Roots of Your Faith?

Have you ever wondered about the Jewish roots of Christianity?  Are you interested in learning about the land, people, and culture of ancient Israel – the land that Jesus came to over 2000 years ago?  Do you wonder what relevance it has to your life today?

We are super excited to be starting up an in-depth, well-researched Bible study about our Jewish roots!  It is called HaYesod, which means “The Foundation.” From www.hayesod.org:

“The HaYesod discipleship program attempts to educate believers on their relationship with the Promised Land, the historic people of God, and the Scriptures of the Jewish people. Knowing the Jewish foundation of Christianity deepens the faith of the believer, clarifies the meaning of the Bible, and reveals God’s purpose for all of His people.”

HaYesod will run for 10 weeks, beginning Saturday evening, September 8th.  It is open to believers from all backgrounds, and will be located at our home in Meridian, Idaho.  Families are welcome!  Cost is $35/single or $60/couple and includes a gorgeous, in-depth (3/4″ thick!) student workbook for each registered student.

Watch the video preview below, and if you’d like a longer preview, click here!

After watching, if you are interested in signing up, please contact me at judyrich04{at}gmail{dot}com.  Thanks!!

Home-Churching & Leadership

Although my blogging has slowed down a bit lately, our lives sure haven’t! We have had a wonderful summer so far – filled with gorgeous sunny days spent riding bikes, playing at the park, running in the sprinklers, and playing at the pool. Our kids have been growing and developing by leaps and bounds! In the span of one week, Eliza & Judah both learned to ride their bikes without training wheels, and Avigail started walking. Caleb’s speech has been taking off too – so many changes!

The biggest thing that I wanted to mention is that after much prayer, Mark and I have made a pretty big decision: We are going to be home-churching! For anyone who may not be familiar with that term, it basically means doing “church” at home. You may be wondering why, and the answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is that God told us to. The complex answer is that God has used a series of life experiences (in both of us) to guide us, has been gently speaking to us about this topic for years (warming us up to it, I believe), and had given us complete peace about it.

So what does this look like for our family? Shabbat starts on Friday night as it always has, with dinner, candles, and blessings. On Saturday, we get a slow, relaxing start with breakfast and our personal quiet times in preparation for hearing God’s word. Then, at 11:30am, we hook up our computer to our tv and stream the entire service live from Beit Tikvah! This is the highlight of our week. 🙂  We sing along, pray, and encourage our kids to join in too. When BT breaks for announcements, etc, I get lunch started. Then we sit and listen to the message, and our kids can stay and listen and/or color, or go play. When service is over (around 1:45pm), we have lunch. In the afternoon, we have family time! It’s relaxed and centered on God and family.

In addition to our own family Shabbat, we are planning on starting a Saturday evening home Bible study in the weeks to come. We are still trying to figure out the details, but we are going to be going through a program called “Ha Yesod”, which is a study of the Jewish roots of Christianity. (For more information, please visit hayesod.org)

Mark and I really believe that God is calling us to step up to the plate, so to speak. We both were heavily involved in ministry for many years before getting married, and when God called us to Beit Tikvah, we knew that it was to be a time of being poured into, a time of growth, and a time of developing a firm foundation for the rest of our lives to be built on. We knew that when we left BT, we were supposed to get back into reaching out to the world around us. Now were here, and we feel called to the area of helping the Christian church to better understand their relationship with God through their roots in their Jewish Messiah.

So if you think of it, pray for us! We still have so much change ahead of us and we want to make sure that we are clearly hearing and following God’s voice all along the way!

~ Judy

* By the way, if you have a free Saturday morning, check out Beit Tikvah’s service yourself! Go to ustream.com and search for Beit Tikvah. It streams Saturdays at 10:30 PST. Enjoy!