Our Weekly Shabbat Services
FAQs for First Time Visitors
Our Shabbat worship service is central to the life of our community. If it’s your first time joining with us for worship on Shabbat, you’ll probably have a few questions about what to expect. Most people come to our services “dressy casual,” but you’ll notice a variety in what people wear. So, relax, you’ll look just fine! When you arrive, you’ll probably be greeted by some people wearing a “Shalom!” badge. They can help answer any questions you might have.
Our Shabbat gathering takes place in our facilities from 12PM to 2:30pm. Our liturgy is very spirit filled and simple to follow. We always starts the service with the sound of the shofar to let the brethren know service is about to start. Then a few minutes of prayer by one of our elders followed by the SHEMA and worship songs. After, what takes place is the tzedakah presentation followed by the children benedictions. Then last but not least we have our Torah portion of the week presented by our Nasi (Senior Pastor/Moreh).
Step One: Getting Settled
What items will I be presented with before the service?
- The Weekly Bulletin contains the name of the Torah reading for the week, dates & times of upcoming events, as well as announcements.
- A Shalom Card is for our first time visitors to fill out. We want to get to know you a little more, and keep in touch. You can slip it inside the tzedakah box during our presentation of offerings.
Is there a children’s program?
- Yes, children ages 4-8 participate in the main service until they are dismissed for what we call “Jr. Shabbat” at around 1 pm.
How long is the service?
- It lasts anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes.
Step Two: Understanding the Service
Although our services are different each week, you will find that the outline of the service is consistent:
A word of prayer by one of our elders and personal reflection time. 11:30-12pm
- 12pm Blowing of the Shofar
- Shema by the Worship team
- Welcome by our Nasi (Senior Pastor/Moreh)
- Praise & Worship
- Shabbat Psalm
- Children Benediction
- A mini teaching on tzedakah, tithes and offerings (like 5 mins)
- Dismissal to Junior Shabbat
- Praying and Interceding (if need it)
- Priestly Benediction
What is the etiquette during the service?
Singing, Praying and Clapping. Join in with worship and prayers as much, or as little, as you feel comfortable. We ask that you not play musical instruments such as tambourines or shofars unless invited.
The Hands. We raise our hands as an expression of praise, surrender, intimacy, worship and exaltation. This is a very Biblical way to express your love and adoration in worship. People are very free in raising their hands and lifting their voices. If this is foreign to you, don’t worry. Just relax, receive and basque in God’s presence. You’re free to respond to His love at your own pace.
Standing, Bowing and Kneeling. We stand a lot during worship. There will be clear cues for you to rise during specific portions of the service. You will notice many people bowing or kneeling as an act of reverence before the Creator at different times during certain prayers. If this is unfamiliar to you, do not feel obligated to bow or kneel. You’ll get the hang of it over time!
Dancing. We incorporate folk and contemporary dance as a worship expression during certain parts of the service. We ask that you participate with your children if they are under the age of 8.
What are the meanings of some Hebrew words I’ll encounter in the service?
- B’rit Chadashah—New Testament
- Challah—Traditional braided bread enjoyed on Shabbat
- Parashah or Parsha—Weekly reading from the Torah
- Ruach HaKodesh— Holy Spirit of God
- Shabbat—Sabbath, Saturday
- Shalom—Peace, Hello, Goodbye
- Tanakh—Jewish Bible, the Old Testament
- Torah—First five books of the Bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
- Tzedakah Box—Offering box for tithes, offerings and visitor’s cards
- The Creator—God
- Avinu Malkeinu—Our Father our King
Don’t worry if you don’t understand Hebrew. Every part of the service is translated to Spanish and English. Keep in mind that our assembly is very multicultural. You’ll see all nations and languages in our gatherings.
Step Three: Getting Connected
How can I meet people?
- Join us after services for oneg during our Shabbat table talk. “Oneg” literally means “delight,” and it is a time to schmooze, enjoy some light refreshments, and get to know people.You can also connect with us during the week at other events that are even more relaxed.
Shalom! hope see you on Shabbat