May 21st, The Gathering Place will be moving spaces and will begin worshiping at Temple Beth David, Palm Beach Gardens
1. Why are we doing this?
There are many reasons we’re doing this:
- There are many reasons we’re doing this:
oWe believe this will enable us to better accomplish our mission. It meets our needs moving forward and provides us the best
available opportunity to grow as a church, and to love and lift-up
- Temple Beth-David shares our commitment to serve our community and to love others, and they will be a wonderful partner in
our community work.
- It provides the necessary space and autonomy for growth and church identity.
- We feel this is a good stewardship of our resources and time,
that this is an investment in our future and growth.
- It sends a strong and hopeful message to the greater PBG
community that we are an open and loving congregation, here to
work alongside others for the betterment of our community. In
such a divisive world, to have two faiths work together as friends
to better love and support our community is an exceptional
message of hope and love.
2. Why are we renting from a Jewish Synagogue and not another Christian church?
- Identity: At any other Christian church, we would have a difficult and exhausting battle for identity. We would be subject to that church’s reputation in the community, and we would struggle to separate our
identity from theirs. At the Synagogue, we will clearly be a separate
entity. We will not be bound to their identity as we would with a
different Christian church.
• Enmeshment: In the same way families can be enmeshed and have difficulty individualizing their personalities, beliefs, and struggles, churches can also struggle with enmeshment. At another Christian church, we risk getting caught up in the mission, struggles, and morale of another congregation. At Temple Beth-David, we have the unique opportunity to respect and enjoy their beliefs, faith, and personality, without it being a threat to our identity or expression of faith.
3. How will this impact Nativity Lutheran and our relationship with them?
We are extremely grateful for the generosity and friendship of Nativity
Lutheran and wish to make the most healthy and considerate exit possible.
- Nativity Lutheran, while greatly assisted by the additional
finances received by renting us space, is not sustained by us.
- We are still friends of Nativity Lutheran. We plan to continue our
friendship with them.
4. Will we be able to have the same types of services/ traditions/ ceremonies we have (communion, baptisms, Christmas)?
Yes, we will work together to observe all the traditions and expressions of our faith in this space. There will be some minor accommodations, in order to respect the faith of Temple Beth-David.
- Baptisms – they do not have a baptistry at the synagogue, so for
any immersion baptisms, we will arrange for those to be done
elsewhere (e.g., at the beach, river, pool)
- Funerals – We will be allowed to hold funeral services at the
temple, but, out of respect to the Jewish faith and beliefs, any
funerals that desire an open-casket will be held off-site.
These are not limitations on our faith, merely
respecting theirs. We will be able to fully express and enjoy our faith.
5. Will there be any safety/security concerns?
- Temple Beth-David is extremely considerate and cognizant of the
safety and security of their people and ours. It is a very secure facility,
and they employ a security guard who is on-site whenever the temple
is open; this will include whenever we worship there on Sunday
mornings. Their security is extremely kind and considerate.
- Temple Beth-David has a very reasonable and wise policy of no weapons of any kind on their premises. We will completely comply with this policy.
6. Does this move contradict any of our Christian/Methodist doctrines?
No. This move is in alignment with the “Ecumenical Commitment”
found in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.
“…Concurrently, we have entered into serious interfaith
encounters and explorations between Christians and adherents
of other living faiths of the world. Scripture calls us to be both
neighbors and witnesses to all peoples. Such encounters require
us to reflect anew on our faith and to seek guidance for our
witness among neighbors of other faiths… As people bound
together on one planet, we see the need for a self-critical view of
our own tradition and accurate appreciation of other traditions. In
these encounters, our aim is not to reduce doctrinal differences
to some lowest common denominator of religious agreement, but
to raise all such relationships to the highest possible level of
human fellowship and understanding…”
We have informed Reverend Dionne Hammond, our District
Superintendent of the Atlantic Central District of this initiative. We
received no objections. We will maintain our doctrines, teachings, and practices while utilizing the Temple Beth David
7. What space needs does this new facility provide?
We will be able to use:
- The Main Sanctuary
- Daily Chapel
- Social Hal
- Classrooms / Meeting Rooms
- Storage Areas
These spaces will be used for our church activities as agreed upon in
our lease agreement. This includes areas for Worship, Children’s
Ministry Youth, Classes, Small Groups, Playground, etc.
8. How long will we lease their facility?
Our agreement calls for a one-year lease starting on June 1, 2023.
9. Will there be any conflicts in our respective schedules/activities?
We will coordinate with Temple Beth David regarding our respective
schedules and calendars of services, holy days, socials, and other
events and set a unified schedule that accommodates both parties.
10. How can I submit additional questions I might think of later?
If you think of other questions, please submit them in writing to our Church Office, online at thegatheringplacefl.org, ask one of our Lead Team members, or voice them at our Town Hall, which will be held on March 26th.