B’ney Yosef North America: Leadership Gathering 2021 Summary Report By Ed Boring, Elder BYNA
In late August, for a few beautiful days near Nashville, Tennessee, the Governing Body of B’ney Yosef North America met in person to pray, sing, eat, fellowship, laugh, and much more.
Nowadays, meeting in person is a rare gift. But it has been that way for us from our beginnings. Since we are literally scattered across the continent, we are accustomed to meeting virtually. We are thankful for the technology that allows us to do that. We can see each other and hear each other, but the interaction is relatively limited to scheduled timeframes (compounded by time zone differences) and the often fickle behavior of the technology. Being together in person gets beyond those limitations.
Let me just take this opportunity to acknowledge publicly and thank those who did all the work of planning, moderating, and keeping us on track throughout this gathering! Your work is not unnoticed.
Our time together was not nearly enough, but I believe we accomplished much in just a few days. We came prepared to address some key items – primarily a close look at our Mission and Vision, our understanding of the roles of the Elders and Administrators, and a review of our activities and plans. We handled all that business and discovered fresh pathways in our relationships and in our understanding of our place in the times in which we are living.
We closely examined our Mission and Vision (https://bneyyosefna.com///) and affirmed the core message of its current wording and purposes. After excellent guided discussion, we determined that with identity as a primary focus, our efforts need to be directed toward building relationships and sharing our vision of gathering the scattered family – the children of the whole house of Israel. We discussed and prayed about the challenges of “finding” these “hidden” family members in order to communicate with them effectively. And we explored many ways of preparing and disseminating our communications, including ways of encouraging and facilitating two-way communication.
The roles of BYNA’s Elders and Administrators have evolved over the past few years, and truly will always be a bit of a work in progress. We strive for a “hear and obey” level of operation, consciously and prayerfully examining our approaches to organization and administration to avoid thoughtlessly reverting to the “muscle memories” of our traditional or habitual perspectives and behaviors. Our experiences tell us we need coherent structure, but we are called to something different from the standard organizational forms.
Based on what we discussed together, we will over the coming months extend our efforts through targeted communications – e.g., newsletter, social media, website, video content, etc. We particularly want to discover opportunities for connecting with others through mentorships, regular contact with local groups, expanded prayer meetings, gathering regionally, participating in collaborative events, and exploring possibilities for a continental summit.
Above all, we remain true to our expectation of the restoration of the whole house of Israel. Looking at events in the world over the past couple of years, it seems clear that – to put it mildly – something is afoot. And the Kingdom of YHVH is more than ever at hand. We believe YHVH has called us to work together in the processes of gathering and motivating His people. In whatever way YHVH deigns to use us, we stand prepared to respond with boldness, determination, allegiance, faith, grace, and love.