Members of Altoona Alliance Church, who lost their facility to a fire in May 2007, will worship at Temple Beth Israel for the next few months.
"We are looking forward to partnering with them," said Pastor Tim McGarvey of Altoona Alliance. "We appreciate their offer of a place until we are in our new home."
The church hopes to move by summer into the former Value City Department store, a building it purchased in 2009 and has been renovating. For the past 3 years, Altoona Alliance has been holding its services in the former First Presbyterian Church, 1314 12th St. That building is in the process of being sold.
The first worship service at Temple Beth Israel, 3004 Union Ave., will be held at 10:45 a.m. Sunday with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and an evening service at 6:30 p.m. The adult prayer and youth group will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
The services do not conflict with Temple Beth Israel's schedule which holds sabbath services Friday evenings and has moved its board meeting from Wednesday to Tuesday in the interim.
"We are happy to share our space with another faith community," said Temple Beth Israel Rabbi Audrey Korotkin, who gave members of Altoona Alliance a tour of the facilities Wednesday.
McGarvey said he teaches from the Old Testament from time to time and appreciates the Old Testament symbols that are evident at the temple such as the shofar or ram's horn and the menorah. He said the temporary move presents an opportunity to focus on the Old Testament and its teachings.
He said the Temple also has room for Altoona Alliance to store equipment that it will need for services so the church will not have to pack up items it needs for worship, such as hymnals, every week.
Sunday school classes will continue with the five adult elective classes being merged into one class. Sunday school classes for Jewish children are being held at Agudath Achim Synagogue this semester.
One of the problems that needed to be solved for the move was parking for the 200 people who attend Altoona Alliance's services. In addition to parking on Union Avenue, the church will provide valet parking and Altoona Bible Church has offered spaces in its back lot. Members also will be encouraged to park at the Value City lot and car pool to the temple, McGarvey said.
Altoona Alliance's offices will continue to be based at the former First Presbyterian Church until Alliance moves into its new facility.
McGarvey said the church is looking forward to its move to Temple Beth Israel.
"They have been a joy to work with and so has the Presbyterian church," he said.