Tour overview

April 26 – May 7,  2020 

Led by Father Bill Miller 

Christ Church Covington, LA

There is nothing more powerful in this life than walking in the steps of Jesus in the Holy Land. My life has been transformed each time I have been privileged to travel in this sacred place. I am delighted to be leading this pilgrimage with Lightline – an organization that has the best guides and the most spiritually-grounded visits to holy sites. 

Lightline also supports our Christian brothers and sisters who have businesses in Israel and Palestine, who comprise less than 1% of the population. During this deeply moving pilgrimage, we will visit and worship in the sites where the ministry of Jesus unfolded. We will marvel at archaeological discoveries, be inspired by the events of Holy Scripture as they come alive before our eyes, and hear from modern-day disciples of many faiths who are the “living stones” of the Holy Land, working for good and making a difference in a land deeply divided. Your heart, mind, soul and spirit will be touched and transformed, enlightened and inspired. 

I am delighted that the Rev. Morgan MacIntire and Pastor/Musician Crispin Schroeder will join me in leading worship, teaching and preaching. There will be ample opportunities for spiritual renewal and fellowship with a wonderful group of people from across the country. I cannot wait to welcome you to the Holy Land in the Easter season, 2020. 

Please complete and send the enclosed booking form together with a deposit of $500 per person. Deposits are due by October 31, 2019 and the balance of the tour cost is payable no later than February 22, 2020.

Included

  • Airfare Including all taxes
  • Transportation
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • All entrance fees and local government taxes
  • Tour Guide
  • All Tipping

Not Included

  • Single Room Supplement
  • Travel Insurance
  • Laundry
  • Beverages
  • Iitems of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure

Day 1: Sunday, April 26

We meet at Louis Armstrong International Airport for our flight to Tel Aviv changing planes in Newark.

Day 2: Monday, April 27

We land in Tel Aviv late morning where we will be met on arrival and driven north to the Galilee breaking for lunch en route. After lunch we drive to the summit of Mount Tabor, believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration. Finally we continue to our lakeside guest house and check in. This will be our home for the next three nights. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.

Day 3: Tuesday, April 28

We begin today by driving north into the Golan Heights to visit Banias through which one of the sources of the River Jordan flows, and where we will renew our Baptismal Covenant. This is also the site of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus. We then return to the Sea of Galilee to spend the rest of the day visiting the sites associated with Jesus’ ministry of miracles and teaching set around the lake. We shall visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the ruins of Capernaum, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, and the Church of Peter’s Primacy. We will have the chance to experience our own boat ride on the lake, as well as seeing the First Century fishing boat discovered towards the end of the last century. We end our day with a visit to the recently excavated site of Magdala, the home town of Jesus’ friend, Mary Magdalene, before finally returning to our guest house in good time for before dinner. Overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.

Day 4: Wednesday, April 29

After breakfast we drive to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the traditional site of Mary’s Well, the Synagogue Church. We will also visit our sister and brother Episcopalians, celebrating the Eucharist at the parish of Christ Church, Nazareth, and visiting Christ Episcopal School. After a break for lunch we visit the village of Cana, the site of Jesus’ first sign according to St John, before returning to our lakeside guest house for time to relax and enjoy the lake. Dinner and overnight stay by he Sea of Galilee.

Day 5: Thursday, April 30

After an early breakfast we bid farewell to the Sea of Galilee and journey south. We will drive through the heart of the West Bank to the city of Nablus, biblical Shechem. Here we shall visit the ancient holy site of Jacob’s Well, where the Fourth Gospel records Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and the ancient city of Sebastia. The city was destroyed by Alexander the Great and Pompey rebuilt it and Augustus bestowed it upon Herod the Great in 27 BC. It was here that John the Baptist’s decapitated body was buried. After visiting the Roman and Byzantine ruins we break for lunch. In the afternoon we drive on to Bethany, the home of Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Finally we make our way up through the hills of the Judean Wilderness towards Jerusalem, and on south towards Bethlehem, passing through the separation wall where we will spend two nights at the Pilgrim hotel on Manger Square. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 6: Friday, May 1

During the morning we shall see the work of two remarkable Christian institutions endeavouring to bring something of the abundant life promised in the gospel to those living under the restrictions of the Occupation. We hope to visit the St. Vincent Crèche/Orphanage, which offers Christian love and compassion to over forty abandoned babies and small children, and Bethlehem University, offering high quality vocational training in many disciplines to the young people of the southern West Bank. After a break for lunch we shall visit the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in Christendom, and the nearby Shepherds Fields at Beit Sahour. Return to our hotel on Manger Square in good time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Bethlehem.

Day 7: Saturday, May 2

After breakfast we leave Bethlehem and travel to the Mount of Olives, stopping briefly on the summit for a breathtaking view of he Old City and its magnificent medieval walls. We then make our way to Bethphage, and then descend the Mount of Olives, stopping at the churches of Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit, until we come to the garden of Gethsemane, and the atmospheric church of All Nations. After a break for lunch we make our way to the Israel Museum to see a remarkable model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, and the Shrine of the Book, which tells the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We bring our day to a close with a visit to the Garden Tomb, a beautiful garden which features an early tomb with a rolling stone. Finally, check-in to our hotel situated within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City where will spend the final four nights of the tour.

Day 8: Sunday, May 3

This morning we join the local Episcopal community to celebrate the Eucharist at St. George’s Cathedral, where we hope to meet the Archbishop and/or Dean of Jerusalem. Late morning, we will visit the Western Wall, the holiest site of Judaism. After lunch we drive into West Jerusalem to visit the synagogue at Hadassah Hospital, with stained glass windows by Marc Chagall, depicting the twelve tribes of Israel. We bring our day to a close at the village of Ein Karem, believed to have been the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and thus the site of
the birth of John the Baptist, and the encounter between Elizabeth and Mary, where Magnificat was first sung. We continue to our hotel. Dinner and over night stay in Jerusalem.

Day 9: Monday, May 4

Our day starts with a visit to Mount Zion to visit sites associated with the Last Supper, the Day of Pentecost and the falling asleep of Mary, and the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu built at the top of an ancient set of steps which leads up from the City of David to what is believed to have been the residence of the High Priest. Many believe that Jesus himself was led up these steps to his trial by the authorities after his arrest. Here we recall not only Jesus’ incarceration over the last night of his life, but also Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus. We then leave Jerusalem and drive down to oasis of Jericho, the city of Palms to view the Mount of Temptation and break for lunch. In the afternoon we make our way to the Dead Sea basin to visit Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea to view the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and to explore the nearby Essene Monastery where the scrolls may have originated. After an opportunity to bathe in the unique mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea we will return to Jerusalem in
good time to freshen up before our dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.

Day 10: Tuesday, May 5

This morning after breakfast we enter the Old City via the Dung gate and proceed to the Western Wall and if permitted ascend the Temple Mount, before making our way to the remarkable church of St Anne, close to the Lion Gate and the start of the Via Dolorosa. We will prayerfully walk the Way of the Cross, through the narrow streets of the Old City ending in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The afternoon will be free to continue exploring the Old City or we have the option of visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.

Day 11: Wednesday, May 6

Our pilgrimage concludes with a final Eucharist at Abu Ghosh, one of the sites associated with the story of Emmaus. After this we return to Jerusalem for free time (lunch is not included today). We leave Jerusalem in the afternoon and drive down to Jaffa, biblical Joppa to visit this ancient city port which today is a beautiful artists colony. We will have an early celebration dinner in the evening before driving to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight home via Newark.

Day 12: Thursday, May 7

We plan to arrive back late morning and we then go our separate ways, ready to speak of all that we have seen and discovered in the Land of the Holy One.

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