On a vibrantly beautiful Shabbat spring morning I am greeted at Netzer HaGalil Congregation with warm smiles and loving hugs. This fellowship was planted in Nazareth in 2004 by our own daughter congregation in Haifa, Shavei Tzion (Return to Zion).
Netzer, in Hebrew, is a sprout, shoot, offspring, young branch, or a descendant. “New life budding in the Galilee,” might be a free poetic translation of their name. This is indeed a season of new life and fruit in this growing congregation of 50 members. For its first dozen years, Netzer conducted worship services and operated a soup kitchen/food distribution ministry out of a tiny facility. If 25 people arrived for a Shabbat service the place was packed!
Last year, in a step of faith, the congregation took over the rent contract from a neighboring pub. It had finally closed after years of intercession to remove the seedy joint from next to their Messianic worship center. You can imagine the joy that accompanied remodeling and expansion. Now, the sanctuary seats 100 easily, and its high ceiling gives a far greater feeling of freedom and spaciousness.
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