Next week Christ the Reconciler will receive a messenger from Israel. Marianna is our friend and co-laborer in the ministry of reconciliation. She is a Jewish believer in Yeshua, born in Russia. now living in Israel where she leads a vibrant ministry to orphans and widows. Indeed, the needy among God's people have found refuge in her arms.
We first met Marianna at Fr. Peter's house in Hainburg. Her reputation preceded her. From Fr. Peter I already knew that Marianna was a powerful woman of prayer, in tune with the Holy Spirit, one of the prophetic voices he listened to closely. When I met her in person, I was even more awed. She was beautiful, articulate, funny, bold. Later I learned that Marianna had been trained in theater in St. Petersburg. What a leading lady she might have been!
But that was not the path our Lord had in mind for this sister. Marianna's story is fascinating, winding through many different spiritual landscapes. She has a great love for the Russian Orthodox Church. She has been deeply influenced by Western Evangelicals, and by Catholics. And of course, she is a Jew. Marianna's experience and affection for these seemingly disparate expressions of faith grace her a with unique wisdom and authority.
Among Marianna's manifold gifts is the gift of teaching. Last year Marianna spoke to us on the topic of "God's Heart for the Poor." This time she will be teaching on "Israel the Widow" I believe this teaching is an important foundation for our community in its calling to reconciliation, so I encourage everyone to come.
We will have a Shabbat meal followed by prayer and teaching on Friday. November 14. The following Monday we will open our table to anyone who wants to come for dinner and discussion with Marianna. Hope to see you here!