The name of our congregation comes from Isaiah 26:8. It says, “In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.” This verse captures the essence of who God called us to be and what he’s called us to do.
In the Apostolic Scriptures (the New Testament), Jesus is the head of his church and is the Chief Shepherd (I Peter 5:4). Under his leadership, the Bible indicates a plurality of leadership is Jesus’ pattern for his church. As a result, we have multiple men who function as elders/pastors.
Currently, we are not affiliated with any denomination or association. However, we have an established accountability relationship with Pastor Mark McLellan and the leaders of The Harvest, a Messianic congregation in Denver, Colorado. We are also associated with Zambia Messianic Fellowship in Lusaka, Zambia.
While not comprehensive, the following list summarizes many of the practices often associated with a Messianic congregation.
- We worship on Sabbath (Saturday).
- We observe God’s Appointed Times including: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles.
- We observe the biblical celebrations of Purim (told in the book of Esther) and Hanukkah (prophesied in the book of Daniel).
- We celebrate life cycle events like circumcision, bar/bat mitzvahs, and weddings.
- We observe a biblical expression of diet (biblical kosher).
- We study the weekly Torah portion after our corporate worship on Sabbath.
- Many men wear tassels.
In the Bible, the seventh day of the week is called Sabbath or Shabbat in Hebrew. He declares this twenty-four hour period of time—beginning at sunset Friday and ending at sunset on Saturday—was holy or set apart. Then, he rested on the Sabbath. So, there are three important reasons why we meet on Saturday.
First, God instructed his people to gather with him and other believers on Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3). It’s called a holy convocation. This means it’s a gathering of people set apart to God. And it’s a gathering set apart from all other gatherings.
Second, the Sabbath is a sign God gave to his people to remember they were his chosen people, called to trust in his Messiah and walk in his covenant promises (Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17; 35:1-3).
Third, the Sabbath reminds us we’re saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Hebrews 4:1-9). When we cease all work on Sabbath, we’re reminded nothing we do can earn God’s salvation.
Like the Jewish people, we find it helpful to mark the beginning and end of the Sabbath through traditions that separate this day from all other days. At the beginning of the Sabbath, there is a traditional meal and a time of prayer and remembrance that marks the end of the Sabbath.
Some of our members wear tassels. God instructed us to wear these as a visual reminder that he’s called us to worship him alone and express our worship through faithful obedience to his ways. All tassels are to include a blue thread, which is the color of royalty among God’s people. So, they also remind us of our identity as God’s chosen people (Numbers 15:37-41; Deuteronomy 22:12).
When God appeared to Moses, he revealed his personal name. God said his name would be an eternal memorial of his unique role in creation as the one, true God. It is his memorial name in every generation (Exodus 3:13-15). His name conveys the promise that God is forever and always present with us, his chosen people. More simply, it means faithful presence. God’s name is found 6000+ places in the Bible. Because the Bible does not speak directly to the issue of using God’s name, we do not require anyone to pronounce God’s personal name nor do we forbid the use of it (as is done in Rabbinic Judaism).
In Hebrew, his name is conveyed through the consonants YHWH. As a result, scholars don’t agree on the exact pronunciation of God’s name. So, we don’t take a position on how God’s name is to be pronounced.
In the first century, the Torah (first five books of the Bible) was read by some Jews in a one-year cycle. Others read it in a three-year cycle. In the last two thousand years, the one-year reading cycle has been adopted by most Jewish people. Worldwide, Jewish people follow the same reading schedule each year. We simply use the Jewish reading cycle to read and study the Torah each week.
For the one year reading cycle, the Torah has been divided into fifty-six sections. One section is read each week of the year. Due to differences in the Western and Jewish calendars, some sections are occasionally combined to complete the reading cycle in one year.
You can also get the Torah portions on our church app or at church on Sabbath.
In the original manuscripts of the Bible, these terms were never used to describe the books of the Bible written before or after Jesus. They’re terms created at a later point in history. While there’s nothing wrong with utilizing terms that aren’t in the Bible, we strive to use vocabulary that accurately articulate our ideas. As a result, we avoid using these terms because they convey inaccurate ideas about the books written before Jesus’ time. Old usually means worn out or out of date and new often conveys contemporary or up-to-date.
We believe all the Scriptures are profitable (II Timothy 3:16,17). What the Apostles wrote confirms and expands upon the books written by Moses and the Prophets. In fact, in the first decades of Jesus’ disciples, there was no “New Testament”. To preach the gospel, to share God’s vision of a restored creation, to call non-Jewish people to follow Jesus, the apostles and disciples used the books we commonly call the “Old Testament”.
In Twenty Six Eight, we often use the terms Jesus used. We refer to the whole of the books written before Jesus as the Tanakh. This is the traditional Jewish abbreviation for phrase “Torah, Prophets, and Writings”, taking the letters from each of the Hebrew terms: Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). We also use the term Apostolic Scriptures to denote the books written during the generation of the twelve apostles.
We use the words church and congregation to describe ourselves.
The term synagogue is used in the Apostolic Scriptures to refer to the buildings that housed gatherings for the Jewish religion. It was also used to refer to the gathering of the people who trusted in and followed Jesus (James 2:2). When translating the word synagogue from the Greek, most modern translations substitute terms like assembly or meeting. The Greek word ekklesia, usually translated church, was used by early Messianic Jews to describe their meetings. It conveyed the idea they considered their gatherings part of God’s chosen people, Israel.
In their earliest usage, the terms synagogue and church both refer to the gathering of God’s people. Both point to the fact that Jesus’ body consists of people, not buildings or human organizations.
We do not use or encourage the use of rabbi in our congregation. If one does not have the proper training, credentials, and appropriate religious institutional ordination, then using the term rabbi can be misleading and inauthentic. We ordain people in various ministerial capacities, none of which qualifies anyone for the title of rabbi. Additionally, we won’t refer to anyone else as rabbi if they’re not properly trained and credentialed.
No! And we never intend to give this impression. All who follow Jesus are adopted into Abraham’s family and grafted into the nation of Israel. While there may be important cultural distinctions because there are Jews and non-Jews in Jesus’ body, Jesus makes it clear that all people are called to trust him and participate in all his covenants of promise (Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-14).
We believe all of God’s word is authoritative and applicable. As a result, we believe God established dietary restrictions to show us how the important daily ritual of eating is an act of worship (Leviticus 11:1-47; Deuteronomy 14:3-20). Regarding those who do not agree with our convictions, we have neither interest or energy to judge or separate from them. At the same time, we believe God’s instruction brings blessing and encourage all believers to consider appropriating this expression of God’s instruction.