Building Project Updates
This page is updated with the latest, exciting news. We’ve started our building project! The congregation and elders agreed that we should start the site work so we got our building permit, cut down trees from the construction area (for which the logger gave us half the proceeds from the valuable hardwood), met with our engineers, and the excavator has started the site work.
God told the children of Israel in Exodus 23:30, “Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.” So we believe He is leading to possess our land one step a time, by faith first beginning the site work, using all the funds we have available. Then by faith we will build a Ministry House that will combine the purposes of a Worship Center and a Community House. See below for details. We can build the Ministry House at remarkably low cost because our members and friends can help.
Contribute to our Ministry House gofundme (tax-deductible)
Beit Simcha (meaning “House of Joy”) Messianic Fellowship was founded in 1992 and incorporated in 1996. Our vision statement is: “We are a community, welcoming Jews and Gentiles, rejoicing, worshiping the God of Israel, learning and loving one another.” Our vision is the core motivation for our building project, creating both a Synagogue and a Community House that welcomes Jews and Gentiles to rejoice and worship the God of Israel with us. We want to remove barriers between people and to extend a bridge between people and God.
A Phased Building Approach
The building project has 3 distinct phases of construction to complete the entire project which will include both a new Synagogue (left of the picture) and Community House (right of the picture).
Phase 1 is preparing the land, completing all required site work. Since God has provided all the funds necessary to complete this phase (about $650K—praise the Lord!), it has begun and you can watch our progress.
In Phase 2 we will build the future Community House side as a multi-purpose Ministry House. It will combine most of the uses of the Synagogue and Community House in one facility, by setting up a Worship Center on the first floor. It will have a capacity of 130, plus a kitchen, fellowship area, two classrooms and a nursery leading out to a patio that can be fenced in, plus a full, unfinished basement. The facility will also have four apartments (of the planned six), in which ministry leaders (including the Rabbi and his wife, an elder and his wife, two younger leaders, and an intercessory prayer leader) will reside and offer ministry throughout the week. This approach duplicates how the Moravians planted their community in the Lehigh Valley, by first building a chapel for worship within the Gemeinhaus (Community House) in historic Bethlehem.
In Phase 3 we will build the new Synagogue and retrofit the Community House to finalize the 2 remaining apartments.
Purpose of the New Synagogue and Community House
Once completed we plan to use the Synagogue more than once a week: for Erev Shabbat (Friday Evening) fellowship, for Saturday evening musical coffeehouses featuring special guests, food and fellowship. Praise and worship can come from our new building on any night, even weekdays.
Beit Simcha is in the Lehigh Valley to bless the community. Our new building will be available for community events, activities for children and youth, a Judaica shop and possibly child care and a food pantry for the wider community. All of these will share the love of Yeshua (Jesus) with our local community and beyond.
The Community House (on the right in the picture) will enable us to be more intentional in our vision for community, welcoming others to experience Erev Shabbat dinners, fellowship, Bible study, prayer and ministry—all to be held in a common room attached to the Community House and open to the public. Residents of the Community House will be leaders and members of Beit Simcha in good-standing, filled with the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) and committed to the vision of hospitality and community. These special people covenant to participate regularly in the House activities, to welcome others into their lives in addition to maintaining the House and surrounding premises.
The Vision of Communal Living
For many years (since the 1980’s) God has been building the vision of communal living in Messianic Rabbi Glenn Blank’s heart. While completing his PhD and living in a community house called “The Mansion”, Rabbi Blank met his wife, Pamela.
The Mansion modeled the lifestyle of the early Jewish and Gentile believers of Acts. Residents held common agreement in Biblical values and standards. They regularly gathered together in spiritual commitment to prayer, Bible study, and good works. Together, they tackled the practical responsibilities of maintaining the building, preparing evening meals, cleanup, etc. As “iron sharpens iron” the residents of The Mansion experienced tremendous spiritual growth. They became open and vulnerable to one other, sharing their lives with a freedom that could only come from the Ruach. Those living in The Mansion made lifelong friends and even a few marriages.
As it says in Acts 2:46-47
“Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.”
This same vision from the believers of The Book of Acts and residents of The Mansion will extend to our future community house enabling tremendous spiritual and congregational growth.
How you can participate
Exodus 35:5, “Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution:”
Our Synagogue & Community House is a faith & community project! You can participate in any of the following ways:
- Pray: Rabbi Glenn will send updates by email and update the Progress Blog
- Donate: Donate directly to the building project through our Ministry House Gofundme Account (tax-deductible)
- Invest: email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to invest and earn a return
- Volunteer: email email@example.com with your skills & availability during building construction
Exodus 36:6, “The skilled men said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the work of this construction that ADONAI has commanded to be done!”
Thanks be to God for the many gifted people He has already brought together for this project.