Different beliefs were set aside as people came together to find common ground in social action and tikkun olam – a Jewish concept meaning “repairing the world” that is also a cornerstone of Christianity’s vision statement. This shared commitment to peace and tikkun olam was symbolically highlighted by hundreds of paper doves being released in the sanctuary’s lobby.
The first of its kind in the nation, Ocala Tree of Life Sanctuary is a unique joint venture between First Congregational UCC and Temple Beth Shalom. The two separate worship spaces can also be combined into one big space for shared events due o the presence of movable walls and seating. Ocala Tree of Life Sanctuary is a symbol of the strong bong between the two congregations and of the strong communal spirit in Ocala.
On October 14th of 2020, congregations of Temple Beth Shalom and First Congregational United Church of Christ of Ocala broke ground on their new Tree of Life Sanctuary. Here they create an environment where both congregations can share worship space and come together to support each other’s educational, social justice, and artistic endeavors.