On organizational letterhead
October 27, 2004
Mr. Robert J. Vickers
The Robert J. Vickers Foundation
P. O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Vickers:
Greetings! [The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections AND/OR relationships.]
"You cannot be Jewish and believe in Jesus!" This is the mind set of many Jewish people, and even some Christians. But things are changing. Jewish people are discovering that you can be Jewish and believe in Jesus. Christians are learning that Jesus is Jewish and some of them are desiring to learn more about Israel and the Jewish roots of their faith in the Messiah.
Mashiach Yisrael is here to help people meet the Messiah of Israel who changes lives. Over the last 30 years God has been raising up Messianic Congregations all over the world. Together with other things God is doing, hundreds of thousands of Jews have now come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus). But once they come to faith in Yeshua some are not comfortable walking into a "Christian" church as they would face the fear of assimilation and losing their heritage. Because of this, many Jewish believers are confused and some are left with no place to worship and grow in their new faith. This has been tragic and Messianic Congregations (like ours) are working to meet this need. Therefore, our purpose is to establish a place of worship for Jewish Believers to feel at home and grow in their faith.
As Christians desire to learn more about Israel and the Jewish roots of their faith we are here to assist them too. By becoming a part of our congregation, they can get a taste of Israel and the Jewish roots of their faith. This Spring, our congregation will be presenting a series of messages entitled, "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of od." We will share it in our community to reach out to Jewish people as we present God's desire to dwell among His people, and what He did to accomplish this. This presentation will begin with the Story of Creation and go through the Death and Resurrection of Yeshua. The presenter(s) will be dressed in "costume" and the presentation will also include music. This simple and clear teaching will be effective in reaching Jewish people, and people from all nations, with the Good News that by trusting in Yeshua we can personally know God. That God can dwell in our midst like He did in the very beginning with Adam and Eve, and with the people of Israel who worshiped in the First Temple.
We are preparing for utilization of slides and overhead transparencies to explain each item of worship found in the Tabernacle/Temple and share how the specific items helped people draw close to God. We will show pictures of items on the screen and will maximize the effectiveness by having many of the actual items in the room as well. We currently have some items and are building replicas of others.
Our primary need at this time is to buy a building to worship God in and house the items and artifacts of our spiritual heritage. In March, a Pastor asked me, "How does anyone know we exist?" This is a great question and we have recently begun asking ourselves this same question. Over the past few years several people have said, "We are the best kept secret in town!" It is time for this "secret" to come out. With no building of our own, we have no building or sign for anyone to see. We need to have our building this year. We need to establish our presence so that people can find us, and we need to have a building to fulfill the vision God has given us.
We are currently looking for a building in Johnson County. With Interstates 81, 88 and 17/86 all leading to Warrensburg, we will be accessible for people to join our congregation and for people (including tourists) to visit "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God."
You can help make our vision a sustained reality. We are talking with a realtor to locate a building but desperately need partners to help us purchase a building. We are seeking one building which can be used for Congregation Mashiach Yisrael to worship in, and for the presentation "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God."
More importantly, you can help us fulfill God's vision for our ministry. You can help us get this "secret" out. You can have a part to play in changing the lives of many people in our community. Would you please review the enclosed proposal and consider giving to our ministry? If you have any questions or if I can help facilitate this request in any way, please call me at (660) 747-6390.
Thank you very much for considering this request. The Messiah of Israel came to change peoples lives. He came so that we could live forever in the presence of God, and be in God's presence here on earth now. Please join with us in fulfilling this vision and help it come to pass.
Joseph Goldstein, Messianic Rabbi
Congregation Mashiach Yisrael
Congregation Mashiach Yisrael
Mission and Vision Statement:
Mashiach Yisrael is a Messianic Congregation that exists to help people meet the Messiah of Israel who changes lives. We have Jewish people and people from all nations who worship together. We believe Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah of Israel (Mashiach Yisrael), and Savior of all people. We are called to proclaim Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel in our community.
1. Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel: Yeshua is the Messiah promised to the people of Israel all throughout it's history. By proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel we can help Jewish people put their faith in Him, and follow the Biblical pattern for outreach that Sha'ul (Paul) gives us in Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the Good News, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." By proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel, we can reach out to the Jew first, and those from all nations.
2. Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel: He lived His entire life in Israel. Everything He did was influenced by the culture, people, language and customs of Israel. Jewish people look to Israel as their home land, and Christians look to Israel as the Holy Land: Israel is a common denominator that can bring us together as one. By proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel, we can reach out to Jewish people, and people from all nations.
We are asking you to join with us and by providing a portion of the funding necessary to obtain property for Congregation Mashiach Yisrael to have a home of Worship to God. When people come, they will meet the Messiah of Israel, be in the presence of God, and have their life changed.
As a Congregation, Mashiach Yisrael is primarily committed to reaching people in Johnson County with a population of 330,000 with another 250,000 within a 50 mile radius. Since we are at the crossroads of major interstates, our reach can extend into neighboring counties and Northern Arkansas. With the presentation of "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God," there’s great potential to draw tourists.
Congregation Mashiach Yisrael is a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization founded in 1993. We are governed by a Board of Elders and are in relationship with other Messianic Congregations in Missouri for additional assistance and accountability (See attached IRS Determination Letter).
Primary Contact Information:
Messianic Rabbi Joseph Goldstein (660) 747-6390
Mashiach Yisrael E-mail: RabbiGoldstein@mashiachyisrael.com
101 Maguire Street Suite A Website: www.mashiachyisrael.com
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Jews and Christians each have differences in worship. At Mashiach Yisrael Jews and Christians are called to worship God together. God has been showing us how He wants us to worship Him so that we can more effectively reach out to both Jews and Christians. We need to purchase our own building so that we can have the freedom to fulfill this and need $80,000 to make this vision a reality. We are writing to ask you to contribute any portion toward this need (See Budget on Page 5).
Evaluation and Accountability:
The Board of Elders of Mashiach Yisrael will provide oversight and leadership for the Congregation and "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God." Input will be sought from the Missouri Messianic Rabbis as well. We desire to walk in complete integrity and are willing to perform any reasonable measure of evaluation you request.
Congregation Mashiach Yisrael
Many Jewish people choose to believe that one cannot be Jewish and believe in Yeshua. We believe and teach differently. Many Jewish people are also not comfortable walking into a traditional "Church" building. Due to some tragic events in our history, this is understandable. If the sanctuary is set up like a "Traditional" Temple, Christians sometimes feel out of place.
In the eyes of many Jewish people, a building brings credibility to a group. We have spent many deliberate hours praying and seeking wisdom for just the right worship location and atmosphere that can honor our traditions and heritage, yet still help people in their worship of God. In bringing people together to worship and yet still hold to their heritage, we believe God will be honored. The very presence of a Temple will help bring credibility in the eyes of Jewish people, and show them that there really are Jewish people who believe "Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel."
Our Place of Worship will be unique: It will not look like any other Temple or Church. Jews will be at home and not feel like they are walking into a "Church." Christians will be at home and not feel like they are walking into a "Jewish Temple:" A place where Jews and Christians can worship God together.
Since we are proclaiming Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, God has spoken to us to model our worship after the pattern He revealed to the people of Israel through Moses. This pattern was not only how He called Israel to worship Him, it was also the pattern of how He was worshiped in Heaven. When we walk into our building, especially our sanctuary, we want to use all our senses to meet the Messiah of Israel, and worship Him as was done in the Tabernacle/Temple and in Heaven. Through the items of worship found in the Tabernacle/Temple we can look back and see how God called His people to worship Him, and how He is worshiped in Heaven. Each item also points us to Yeshua. As we stop at each item we can respond appropriately and offer ourselves to God in light of all that Yeshua did for us.
God has called us to help people meet the Messiah of Israel who changes lives. People all throughout Johnson County have many different needs, including spiritual, physical, financial, and emotional. We are convinced that the Messiah of Israel can meet their needs. As we meet people, we need to have a building so that we can attend to their needs. At present, we hold Saturday services in a local church (First Presbyterian Church of Warrensburg). We have an office in the building but we are not free to use the building throughout the week. Every time we need to use the facilities, we must wait a month and present our request to their Board. This is understandable, but it doesn’t allow us to freely minister to people. Due to our unique calling as a Messianic Congregation, we also need our own building so that it is appropriately built and decorated for our calling.
Cornerstones of and Reasons People come to Mashiach Yisrael:
1. Sabbath Worship: From creation, before there were Jews, God set apart the seventh day for all people to worship Him. We continue to worship our Creator on the seventh day.
2. The Roots of Our Faith: Besides the Sabbath, there are the Feasts of the Lord. They are God's appointed times to worship Him and are also rehearsals for Messiah's first and second coming. Therefore, we worship God as He directed Israel in Leviticus 23, and celebrate the fulfillment found in Messiah. We also incorporate Hebrew (language), Jewish music, Davidic Dance, etc. in our services. Finally, in our teachings we look to draw out the culture and mind set of Yeshua and the people of Israel.
3. Family: The deterioration of family is one of the major problems we are facing in America today. Israel was not just a group of people sharing land, but they were extended family (12 Tribes). At Mashiach Yisrael our services, times of fellowship, and outreach are all designed for families to participate in together. As we function as a family, we believe our lives will be enriched and that we will be able to impact our community in a positive way.
Our Temple Includes:
Sanctuary - Built just like the Tabernacle/Temple formerly in Israel.
Gift Shop - There are no Judaica Gift Shops in Johnson County. Running a gift shop allows us to meet more Jewish people, who we can then introduce to the Messiah of Israel. We also sell Messianic items which are of interest to the Christian community. As people will come to the presentation of "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God," people will be interested in buying Judaica and Messianic items.
Fellowship Hall/Snack Bar - Many congregations have fellowship halls for meals, wedding receptions, etc., and ministries with presentations such as "The Tabernacle: The Dwelling Place of God" often have a snack bar to provide for the needs of their visitors.
Offices, Classrooms, Nursery - These rooms are necessary for the functioning of all congregations. As a Messianic Congregation, we receive requests from people in our community to teach Hebrew Lessons.
The Arm of Yah (God) - God has put it on the hearts of our congregants to tangibly meet some of the needs of people in our community. We are beginning to collect furniture, clothing, household items, etc., that we give away to needy families in our community.
Congregation Shema Yisrael - Messianic Rabbi Joseph Goldstein served as Youth Rabbi at Shema Yisrael for several years before planting Mashiach Yisrael. He was ordained as a Messianic Rabbi there.
International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues - Mashiach Yisrael is a member of this fellowship that brings together Messianic Congregations from all over the world to encourage us in our calling as a Messianic Congregation.
Missouri Messianic Congregations - In November 2001 the Rabbis from several Messianic Congregations from Missouri met. We are beginning to meet quarterly so that we can assist and encourage one another. Rabbi Jonathan Bernis who has played an important role in lives and congregations will be visiting twice a year to provide encouragement, direction and accountability for us.
Cooperation with Other Congregations:
Through the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues we connect with other Messianic Congregations for Conferences throughout the year. Since we believe Yeshua is the Messiah, Messianic Rabbi Joseph Goldstein is actively involved in a local association of Pastors, and we participate in city wide events together with other Churches. Churches also invite us to minister in their services so that we can share with them the Jewish roots of our faith in Yeshua.
Organizational Background and History:
From 1989 - 1992, I served as the Youth Rabbi and director of College Outreach at Congregation Shema Yisrael in Centerview, MO. In 1992, I began holding monthly Shabbat Services in Warrensburg, MO on the first Friday of every month. In September of 1993, on Rosh Hashanah, (the Jewish New Year) I began holding weekly services in Warrensburg, MO. We were sent out as a daughter congregation of Shema Yisrael in Centerview, MO and continue to maintain a relationship with them. In 2000, I began attending conferences and reading books about leadership, especially in regards to vision, goals, and strategy.
We need to be in a new building by the end of 2004. We can do a few simple things to create some atmosphere of Israel in our sanctuary, but we need our own building to do this as God is leading us. For the "Arm of Yah" outreach we are presently storing items in the basements of congregants. But we need our own building to effectively assist needy families. More importantly, the Presbyterian Church we are meeting at is in need of more classrooms and is planning on renovations in 2005. The renovations would affect us, and cause us to need a new meeting place.
Congregation Mashiach Yisrael
Budget to Purchase and Utilize Building
I. Specific Costs
Purchase an existing building (down payment) 30,000
Pay off purchase of building 30,000
II. Renovation and Preparation for Occupation of New Building 15,000
III. Building and Replication of Artifacts 7,500
Sample gifts chart to meet the need:
Number of gifts needed Range Total (if midpoints)
1 lead gift 25,000 to 50,000 37,500
1 10,000 to 25,000 17,500
3 5,000 to 10,000 22,500
5 1,000 to 5,000 15,000
10 100 to 1,000 5,000
In the past year, what difficult organizational problems have you overcome?
A few years ago congregants were not regularly attending Shabbat Services. During this past year we have seen these people begin to regularly attend Services. We also had no goals written out to guide and direct us in our mission. Last year we met with our core group of congregants to share our goals and strategy. We are now using them to guide us in what we do and how we use our time.
What opportunities have you taken advantage of?
To develop and grow as a leader I have attended a few Seminars by John Maxwell, and two Messianic Rabbi Leadership Conferences. I have also studied from books and videos, by John Maxwell and Zig Ziglar, and attended Leadership Seminars via satellite at a local church. I have also invited other congregational leaders to view the videos with me.
Where have you demonstrated innovation and creativity in fulfilling your mission?
Most Messianic Congregations look to Jewish Temples and Christian churches for ideas in ministry. We seek the Tabernacle/Temple and "Israel" for direction as they are both of interest and familiarity to Jews and Christians. We are not aware of any other Messianic Congregations going to local festivals to set up booths. We assembled a cast for a Musical about the Story of Purim. Without a budget, we developed props for it as well. We shared this musical in several local churches and a city-wide tent meeting.