On-Site Blogging the UMJC Conference

Shalom all:

I am in the Windy City (Chicago, in case you didn’t know). Tomorrow begins the 2007 UMJC Conference. I will be blogging issues and themes that come up at the meetings.

The UMJC is a congregational network and tends to have well-educated, articulate leaders. I started our congregation six years ago and I knew next to nothing about practicing Judaism. I had always looked at Judaism as an outsider. I was trying to save Jews from Judaism and into Christ.

At first, I was impressed with the level of schaolarship and depth I found in the UMJC. Yet I was rankled by the fact that few seemed to agree with my stance on Judaism. I thought, “These people have bought into Judaism too much and have diluted Christ.”

Gradually, I began learning to pray the Siddur. I began reading Jewish sources in a positive light, not to find errors to argue against. I began to think more critically about certain Christian theologies I had been exposed to. I realized that Judaism is a human institution in the same way Christianity is. God is in Judaism just as he is in Christianity.

Just so you don’t read me incorrectly, I continue to believe in the Messiahship of Yeshua and the universal need for all men and women to understand and believe in his message, his death, his resurrection, and his soon return to redeem this world. I simply learned that Judaism is THE preserver of Jewish identity and THE place Jews belong. It simply must be Yeshua Judaism.

I learned from my colleagues in the UMJC. Without them, I would perhaps still be in a place I am glad to have left behind.

I do not mean to suggest that all in the Union would agree about such things as the value of traditional Judaism or how Yeshua and Judaism integrate. Still, I know of no better place for Messianic Jews to come and learn.

Take a minute and look over UMJC.NET and see for yourself.

Tomorrow, the leaders and delegates meet for business. I won’t bore you with reports of business. But I would imagine that themes and ideas of interest will come up. Check back and see.



About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
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