We’re encouraged to know that you are finding your spiritual needs met and are being challenged to walk with the Lord here at Congregation Shema Yisrael, and want to join our community! We take membership very seriously. Being an active and involved part of Messiah’s Holy Community of Believers is one of the most important things you can do. It’s one of the most important relationships that you have.
Please read and study the following documents:
Then answer the following questions and provide us with the requested information. Please use the back of these sheets as necessary to fully answer any of the following questions or provide the requested information.
- We prefer that people to come to Shema and be involved for about one year before they apply for membership. When did you start coming on a regular basis?
- Why are you applying for membership at Shema?
- Are you in agreement with the congregation’s doctrinal statement? If not, where do you disagree?
- Is there anything in the “What I Believe And What I Reject” article that you disagree with? If so, what is it?
- If ever you find yourself in disagreement with our doctrinal statement, or in disagreement with our position on a given issue about which you feel strongly, will you agree to bring the matter before Rabbi Loren and/or the leadership of the Congregation, so as to prevent division or dissension within the Congregation?
- The New Covenant Community is not the nation of Israel living under the Covenant made at Sinai, nor are our rabbis the Levitical Priests, nor do we offer bulls, goats, lambs and other offerings as the sons of Aaron did at the Jerusalem Temple, nor are we living under the same economy as the nation of Israel from Sinai to the Destruction of the Second Temple. Rather, we are a religious community living within another nation – the United States, with it’s own government and financial and social system. For these reasons, we don’t teach tithing as was commanded to the Jewish people under the Torah. Nor do we support our congregation like non-Messianic synagogues do, charging their members annual dues. We depend on the members to systematically contribute as God prospers them. We teach generous, cheerful giving, not giving grudgingly or because you feel forced to give, because the Lord loves a cheerful giver. We recommend – we don’t demand, we only suggest – that ten percent is a reasonable amount to try and give if you are able to do so. Can we count on you to support the congregation in this way?
- As the Lord has set for us the example, we expect all members to adopt a servant’s attitude. In what ways can you see yourself contributing to the growth of our community?
- Being an active and involved part of the community is one of our spiritual duties. It is also essential for spiritual growth. Are you committed to faithfully attending scheduled services unless something unusual occurs to prevent you from doing so?
- We expect that our members will give their time, energy, finances, allegiance and loyalty primarily to our congregation. They ought to attend our services and Bible studies. We don’t mind when our members have fellowship with other Believers and congregations. Fellowship is a good thing. But if they are attending somewhere else on a regular basis (a church, a Sunday service, a Bible study) we would like to know what influences and teachings they are placing themselves under. If you go somewhere else on a more than occasional basis, will you inform us?
- Have you been baptized? If so, when, and through what Messianic Congregation or Church? Was it by full immersion, or by sprinkling? Were you a Believer when you were baptized, or did it happen before you had personally and consciously committed your life to serving Messiah?
- Have you been divorced (if a couple: were either one of you divorced)? If so, what were the circumstances? Were there Biblical grounds for divorce (adultery, abandonment of the Believer by the non-believer)? Did it happen before or after you were a Believer? We particularly want to know if you were divorced and remarried as a Believer, and also if you went against the advice and council of your previous congregation.
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony? We ask this question for several reasons: A felony is a matter of public record, and if the public has the right to know, so do we. Knowing helps protect the congregation from doing something foolish. For example, if you have been convicted of a felony regarding embezzling, we want to know before we ask you to be part of the finance committee or be the treasurer; if you have been convicted of a felony for child sexual abuse, we need to know before we ask you to serve in Shabbat school. If you have been convicted of a felony, it does not mean that you are automatically disqualified from becoming a member. If you have been convicted of a felony, please describe the details of what happened.
- It’s traditional for congregations to receive some sort of recommendation from the previous congregation from which a person is transferring. Do you have a letter of recommendation? If not, please provide us the name, address and phone number of your previous church/messianic congregation, and the name of the pastor/rabbi.
- When someone leaves a congregation it is proper to inform the leaders of their intention to leave. Will you agree to extend us that courtesy should this happen?
If you are still interested in becoming a member, please fill out the rest of the information on this page, sign and return this completed form to the synagogue’s office. After reviewing it, we will contact you to arrange an interview with the elders. If the interview goes well, at the end of the interview we will welcome you as a member. Then, at a service we will introduce you as a member to the rest of the community. Thank you again for taking the time to share these things with us, and for your desire to walk with the Lord in our midst!
Being a community characterized by Messiah’s love, we like to recognize special days in our members’ lives. Please provide your names, address, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdays (year not necessary) and anniversary (please include the year).
Names of adults
Address (include city and zip)
Names of children