New Wineskins / 40th Anniversary celebration recap

We praise God for his faithfulness to us and are grateful for all those who were able to celebrate with us in person in North Carolina

By Rev. Cariño Casas 
CMJ USA 

It’s been nearly a month, but in some ways we are still catching our breaths from the New Wineskins Global Missions Conference in late September. We are so grateful to the LORD for getting all of us there and back safely and for blessing us with such a time of great fellowship and networking. 

Israel: Key to Reaching the Nations

After a Thursday morning board meeting, we kicked things off in earnest with our Israel: Key to Reaching the Nations pre-conference. We had nearly 40 people in attendance. Rev. Alex Jacob, Tuvya Zaretsky, Rev. Philip Bottomley, and Rev. David Pileggi all gave rich talks.  

We apologize to those who attempted to join us via live stream. Sadly, the app facilitating all the New Wineskins live streams had many technical difficulties. We were able to record and stream the pre-conference. We will share those teachings with you at a later date. 

Exhibit table

The New Wineskins conference officially started with the Thursday night plenary followed by an ice cream social in the exhibit hall. We had lots of visitors to our table and made many great connections. Our cardboard cutout of Rev. Philip Bottomley in his Great High Priest costume was a great draw the whole of the conference.  

40th Anniversary Luncheon

Midday Friday, we hosted 100 friends at our 40th Anniversary Lunch with Archbishop Foley Beach. ++Foley told his personal testimony of learning late in life that he is half Jewish and how this revelation is impacting his life and ministry. He also reviewed the Jewishness of the Gospel story and of Jesus himself and encouraged and exhorted attendees to be motivated by this truth to fight antisemitism in our country and to reach out to our Jewish neighbors in friendship and ministry. 

The meal ended with Bishop Neil Lebhar honoring Theresa Newell for her more than 40 years of faithful service to CMJ USA. Theresa is the founder of CMJ USA, has been an aid and counselor to CMJ USA staff throughout the years, and has helped thousands of Christians discover Israel through Shoresh Study Tours. 

We missed seeing former directors Rev. Alfred Sawyer, Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton, and Cheryl Gonzeles, who were unable to join  us. Rev. Philip Bottomley and Marcia Lebhar celebrated with us in person.

Shabbat and other talks

The Friday evening plenary started with a moment to remember the Sabbath. Rev. Joyce Brooks of Beth Messiah Anglican Congregation in Orange County, California, spoke briefly on Shabbat and led all New Wineskins attendees in saying the Sabbath blessings (watch here). 

Our two Missions Awareness Presentations were also well attended. We will share those talks by Theresa Newell and Philip Bottomley if we are able to retrieve the live stream recordings. You can read a version of Theresa’s talk by downloading her paper “Jesus Masked” from our website. If you and your congregation are ready to build bridges with your Jewish neighbors, reach out to Philip (philip.bottomley@cmj-usa.org) about our Co-Laboring Congregation Program.  

Many thanks to Aaron Gann and other volunteers for faithfully manning the exhibit table throughout the conference. We are also so grateful for the volunteers who showed up an hour early to help us decorate tables for the luncheon. We are so encouraged and blessed by your active partnership with us.  

Please keep praying for us and consider sending us a financial birthday present to finish out this momentous year.

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Article published on 10/13/2022