Guest Post By Jenn Dubey
You can also read this article in the July/August Issue #7 of Torah Sisters Magazine. Click here to get your magazine. It’s in print!
One challenging aspect of living out this Torah lifestyle is finding a community of like-minded believers with whom we can link arms. It is very true that with limited fellowships available and most being home fellowships, finding community can be downright nerve-racking. Right now, throughout the U.S. and even around the world we are scattered, yet we also see Yah bringing us together in the most amazing ways!
We were designed to be in community, and we should take an active role in finding our place. Community can present itself in a variety of ways: online or in-person. Both can be very fulfilling.
A verse that inspired me is Ecclesiastes 4:10 “Woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” I knew I needed fellow sisters to hold me up on the rough days. And I desired an opportunity to hold others up, too.
If you are willing to be a little bold you can find (or create) a community that adds much beauty to your life. But are you willing to do the work? It is a similar process to a job interview in my opinion. It takes preparation and time.
For the first eight months of my Torah journey, I walked alone, and it was not easy. I only knew one other person who was keeping Sabbath, and at the time, she was not in fellowship either. I had to decide if I wanted to be bold and take a risk, or stay comfortable in my own home, continuing in some level of isolation as I pursued Torah. I knew I wanted community, but was I willing to take a bold leap of faith? Was I open to being vulnerable?
If you know me, you would right now be saying “Oh yes, she would be bold”. But it was not easy, even for an extrovert like me. Let me offer you a few words of insight and encouragement if you are deciding right now if you want to put the effort into finding fellowship.
First, it is so important to be patient and open. Before I found my fellowship, I tried several different groups, and I was all over the place. They were all lovely in their own way, but I was looking for something specific. I was willing to try a half dozen options if necessary, over just sticking with the first one I came across. This required me to be mission-minded! Oh, and I should mention, no fellowship is perfect (just like no marriage is perfect), so you should decide what things you believe are most important – and pray on these things. Ask YHVH what He wants for you. I’m going to share my story of finding fellowship with you here. I hope it encourages you.
Get Social! My first order of business was to get on social media. I knew Michigan had a Torah Keepers group on Facebook. That was a great place to start. If you don’t have one in your state, maybe consider starting one to find other like minded believers who are keeping Sabbath and feast days. I also put my name and email on other fellowship finders like 119 Ministries. If you are comfortable putting yourself out there, this is a great way to find local options. This reminded me of putting out dozens of applications when I changed jobs. The wider the net, the greater likelihood of finding success.
Begin the Interview Process. Once I had a few options, I needed to reach out via email, text, or phone call. I am going to be honest, not every conversation was great. But I did get a few warm fuzzy emails from groups who then became prospects. One Friday I found myself inviting myself into someone’s home… not my comfort zone. But I kept telling myself that if I wanted this, I had to be willing to work for it!
Make the Move. I contacted one home fellowship and planned to go but found excuses about 4 or 5 times. I let my nerves get the best of me. But then, one day I just did it. I showed up at a house, not knowing a single person, including the host/hostess. I walked in the door and said, “Hello, I am new here, and I don’t know anyone”. Awkward? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I didn’t stay the whole time, and I only met a couple of people that day, but it was a great first experience.
Connect. The next week it got a little easier, and each time after that I started to feel like part of the group. One thing I believe after this experience is that most people who walk this lifestyle are amazing humans. I have heard similar stories of boldness and taking risks. I asked myself a lot of questions about how I could contribute to the fellowship in a meaningful way and really get connected, keeping in mind that all relationships require a little work.
Create. Okay so if you can’t find a fellowship that suits you, are you bold enough to start your own? This sounds terrifying to many, but you can start a small group in your own home that will not only meet your own needs but possibly the needs of others looking for fellowship. This gives flexibility and opportunity. I do not think a person needs to be comfortable teaching, as there are many online teachings on Shabbat that you can simply tune into that are designed for home worship, we have YouTube to thank for that.
Be Content: Also, be okay with just being with YHVH if that is your only option right now. I know most people long for fellowship, but one testimony I can share is that I am so thankful for my first nine months on my own, as hard as it was. I think of it like a honeymoon. This was a time where I really got to know Abba and drew in, with no distractions. It was such a precious time, and although I didn’t meet any Torah pursuant people in my community, this honeymoon was the foundation of my Torah lifestyle, just me and the Father. It was truly a blessed time. So don’t be discouraged if this is where you are currently. Maybe that is where you are supposed to be.
The point is, Torah Sisters, be bold and be courageous. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and see where God leads you. It just might be the best thing to take you to the next level in your Torah journey.
Jenn Dubey is a wife, and mother of three grown children who lives in Michigan. Jenn is an avid golfer, hiker, and loves to mountain bike with her husband, Chad. She is the Operations Manager for a statewide Association that provides support and services to the elderly and homebound. Jenn accepted Yeshua when she was 21 and in 2011, the Father called her into obedience and she rededicated her life to him. She came into Torah in 2020 and has been hungry for Truth ever since. She currently teaches a monthly Torah study with The Rooted Kafe. She is passionate about sharing her faith and all that YHVH has revealed to her through her studies.