Messianic Congregations Across United States Move to New ‘Abuseless Shabbat’ Format Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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Murca — With a global pandemic at hand and the world rapidly changing, Messianic Congregations across the United States are being forced to re-format their weekly activities. Just as many corporations have moved their work online, Messianic Congregations are following suit. Synagogues are rushing to begin live-streaming their services, so as not to lose the attention of their attendees, while they are forced to close their physical locations for the unforeseeable future. Live-streaming services will allow Rabbis to continue giving their sermons, as well as collect online tithes. However, not meeting in person does present some challenges, including having to loosen their reigns on ensuring congregants stick by their side during this time of uncertainty.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to do with myself on Shabbat right now,” said Missy W., a member of a nameless Messianic Congregation, located somewhere in the United States. “I can live-stream my Rabbi’s sermon while I’m still in bed. I don’t even have to get up. So that’s like 45 minutes of my life. I don’t even have to get dressed to attend services right now. On a normal week, as a member, I’m required to be at my Synagogue for 10 hours every Saturday. I have to be at my Rabbi’s every beck and call. Sometimes I lead worship, sometimes I am in the nursery, sometimes I am running the soundboard, sometimes I am just a gopher for leadership. If I even try to miss a week of services, they pretty much put out an Amber Alert for me. One week I had a 103º fever and I had five people tell me if I didn’t show up in the next 20 minutes they would have a Sheriff’s Deputy come to my house and escort me there. My Rabbi is a really gifted speaker, but I can do without the rest of his controlling behavior. Our congregation has been closed for two weeks already, and I feel so free right now. I feel like I can breathe. For the first time, in eight years, I can finally just rest and not have to worry about what will happen to me if I just take the day to myself. This new arrangement, where our congregation is 100% virtual, allows me to filter out the bad and only deal with the good. And I am kind of enjoying not dealing with the bad. I’m seriously considering not even returning to my congregation when they re-open in a couple of months. And I actually feel okay with that. Is it okay to do this for myself? I don’t even know if that’s okay. It’s okay, right? Please tell me it’s okay.”

More than 70 Messianic Congregations across the United States and Canada have moved their Shabbat services online, during this time of social distancing. If you would like to attend a virtual Shabbat service, please visit this page for a list of options: https://messianiccomedy.com/find-a-messianic-congregation/

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