Newsdesk this month is devoted to the five-year retrospectives from the specialized ministries through which Adventist members in the Pacific Union are nurturing discipleship and spiritual growth and reaching out to the communities of the Pacific Southwest.
In the Los Angeles basin alone, there are over 800,000 Jews. Many are coming to accept the Messiah, due in part to Adventists who are answering the call to take Jesus “to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” In the Pacific Union Conference, Jewish Ministries is active in fulfilling that mission.
Jewish Ministries is led by David Gardner. Gardner has worked for the church over 40 years and holds degrees in theology and education. He also holds a certificate in Jewish Ministries Leadership from Shalom Learning Center.
Pacific Union Jewish Ministries is first a place of friendship with the Jewish community, via a presence in senior centers, community centers, church facilities, and other community spaces that offer opportunities for interactions and socializing.
The Jewish Ministries team conducts outreach to the Jewish community in several ways:
While developing friendships, our contacts are encouraged to invite their Jewish friends to church.
Ministry leaders lovingly demonstrate connections between the Old Testament and New Testament and how they relate to Jesus as Messiah. Through these efforts, many Jews have expressed joy at finding the Messiah in the New Testament.
Through these friendly interactions, Jewish friends and neighbors often accept invitations to church because they genuinely like the people who invite them. One particular gentleman even asked to visit church, and a year later he requested baptism. These efforts have resulted in a total 35 baptisms at an Adventist church in Glendale, California.
There is a vision underway to plant new Jewish congregations in the Los Angeles area.
Another pastor in the Pacific Union Conference has also built bridges between his church and the Jewish community by leading out in Jewish holidays—such as Passover Seders, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Day of Atonement—and showing the deeper meaning of how these special days point to Jesus, the Messiah.
Please “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), which is ultimately found only in Jesus, the Messiah.