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Report on the Association of Messianic Congregations
North East Leaders Conference, May 2005
by Alan Levison-Poyner, AMC Europe Director

The very first AMC public gathering of Messianic leaders took place on Schooley's Mountain in New Jersey. It began on Sunday, May the 22nd, as people arrived between 3 and 5 P.M. for registration. At 5:30 there was an evening meal and greeting for all. A total of thirty-five people attended all 3 days, with an additional 10 coming in from the New York metro area for the all day Tuesday schedule. About thirty were leaders of congregations throughout the United States with some fifteen States being represented. Many of the leaders knew each other, which enabled the whole event to start with not only the excitable joy of the Lord which continued throughout the conference, but it enabled an immediate unity in the Spirit to carry the whole event into a high state of blessing.

The first of his four sessions began at 7:30 P.M. with Sam Nadler of Word of Messiah, a well-known international speaker and Bible expositor. Sam spoke on "A Messianic Jewish Apologetic," a theme that continued throughout the conference, beginning with why we must have Messianic congregations. Although Sam had a very sore throat, it confirmed his desire to be with us. He pressed through the whole three-day stint with plenty of water at hand. Sam waxed eloquent as he used his depth of experience to affirm the fundamentals we all knew but needed to hear again. This built a firm foundation for what he had to share in future sessions, and was a great blessing to all. The next speaker was the President of AMC, Steve Shermett, who brought a fascinating look at the "Two House Movement," an important subject to discuss since many are caught up in such false teaching. The evening ended as it had begun with lots of excitement as many expressed they had been waiting for such a time as this.

Monday began with all the expectation that the previous day had left us with. Much debate developed around the breakfast tables. The first session of the day began at 9 o'clock with Sam Nadler, who continued with his theme of "A Messianic Jewish Apologetic" and "Why the Good News is Especially for Jewish People." Although Sam still had his throat problem, he continued to emphasize (with the help of much water) his Jewish beliefs along with those of many in the conference hall, exegeting his understanding of the Messianic Jewish apologetic.

The next session was a discussion among the leaders on what ministry strategies they believe do or  do not work, based on their experience. Here many wonderful plans came to light as we all learned from each other with encouraging stories of bold evangelism. The 4 o'clock session began with Messianic Rabbis Irving Salzman and Mottel Baleston of Beth Messiah Congregation, Livingston, New Jersey. They spoke on how to develop a Messianic Jewish identity in our congregations, with such topics as foundations and core principles, lifestyle, evangelism, and worship. The session was invaluable to many new leaders, with its down to earth practical applications.

Once again the evening session began with Sam, who took us further on in his theme, this time on "Why Gentiles Must be Involved in Messianic Congregations," especially "The Gentile Great Commission" from Romans 11:11-32.
The final session was by President Steve Shermett who chaired a forum on "The Recent Direction of the Messianic Movement", with many of the leaders present giving their testimony and experiences on doctrinal issues such as the necessity of faith in Yeshua, atonement and its extent, higher criticism, inspiration, Mosaic Law, and the splintering of the Movement.
Tuesday began with Steve Shermett leading a forum on "Strategies for Impacting the Messianic Movement." It took the form of sharing ways we can all make a positive difference in our movement, as well as the role of Jewish Missions, and directions for the AMC.
In our closing session, Sam gave his final presentation on "Why the Messianic Movement Must Have a Jewish New Covenant Orientation." All participants were thoroughly blessed as they prepared to return home at noon, and looked forward to next year's 2006 conference. Hope you can join us.

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