Bet Tikkun, the only Jewish Adventist congregation in the South Pacific Division, recently celebrated 10 years of existence in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
To mark the occasion, Bet Tikkun welcomed World Jewish Adventist Friendship Centre director Dr Reinaldo Siqueira, who resides in Israel. Speaking at Bet Tikkun’s Torah service on April 15 on the Torah portion named “Shemini” (Leviticus 9:1 to 11:47), Dr Siqueira discussed the concept of “our table is our altar to worship God,” highlighting how eating is an act of worship and recognising God’s goodness.
New attendees from a mainstream Christian church expressed that the experience was eye-opening, leading to a dialogue around Kiddush—the sharing of challah and grape juice that traditionally follows the service.
Dr Siqueira’s visit also provided a time for congregation leadership to discuss the Jewish-Adventist relations globally and locally, as well as share experiences and vision.
Local leaders Stephanie and Bryan Taylor and pastor Kirsten Lundqvist expressed inspiration and affirmation during discussions around the growing impact the congregation is making, in a respectful and relevant way, in this part of the world.
Earlier in the month, around 40 people from both Adventist and Jewish backgrounds came together at Bet Tikkun to celebrate Passover on April 5. Led by elders Stephanie and Bryan Taylor, the Haggadah service included added elements such as the remembrance of those fleeing war in Ukraine, symbolised by olives added to the seder plate.
A discussion contextualising the 10 plagues recorded in Exodus chapters 7 to 10, asked attendees to consider what 10 modern plagues might be, such as: self-centered (blood), blame (darkness) and “who is the better person” (death of the firstborn).
“It was a meaningful evening to experience a Passover this way”, expressed one attendee. Blueprint Church pastor Rose Robinson also noted how family-oriented and welcoming the service was to newcomers.
North New Zealand Conference General Secretary Rosalie McFarlane, attending Bet Tikkun’s Passover for the second time, commented on the value of this service for connecting with a specific community.