ICEJ USA Staff Lead Passover Seders Across the United States

Participating in a Passover seder is a beautiful way for Christians to keep in step with Jewish people around the world who celebrate it every year to remember how God redeemed them “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 26:8)—and also to unlock the significance of our Lord’s last supper. This year, with what happened on October 7 and knowing the pain and grief Israelis are still experiencing, it was especially meaningful for us at ICEJ USA.

Several of our staff members hosted a seder this year, including two virtual seders. Shannon Bennett, our ICEJ USA communications director, hosted a seder for her church’s singles group in Orlando, Florida, and said participants were surprised at how experiential it was: “There were times of laughter and moments where the picture of Jesus’ sacrifice for us that Passover points to was clear and sobering.” Shannon shared that people came to the seder who rarely come to the singles group meetings. “The next week a visitor came who heard about the seder and wanted to ask me questions about the biblical feasts.

“The seder reconnects me to the reality of God’s faithfulness over thousands of years of history and to all of those who celebrated before me dating back to the Hebrews of the original Exodus story,” Shannon added.

Also in Florida, our director, Dr. Susan Michael, hosted a large seder of about 60 participants, led by ICEJ USA Board member Dr. Tony Crisp, at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. “Calvary Chapel is my home church, and we have taken over 300 of their members on tour to Israel. Many were greatly impacted and awed by the seder. It was a very special evening, and we are already scheduling one for next year,” said Susan.

ICEJ USA Managing Editor Karen Engle hosted a virtual seder over Zoom, and 25 people from four different states joined in. Most participants gathered all the items for the seder and even lit candles at the beginning, giving them a full, immersive experience even while online. “Everyone used our new Passover seder booklet A Night to Remember so they could follow along,” Karen said. “The beautiful thing about doing it online was that it allowed for time at the end for questions, which opened even deeper conversation about the significance of Passover for Christians, as well as what is happening in Israel and around the world.”

It’s not too early to start planning a seder for next year—many churches set their event calendars a year or more out.