JANUARY 19-31, 2022
Led by the Rev. Jim Brisson and Bishop Jay Magness
From the GR8 Land in Alaska, to the Holy Land of Israel, come join us for an adventure of a life time! St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Palmer, AK invites you to join us as we make pilgrimage to explore the roots of our faith. Enjoy the fellowship and adventure of the Alaskan spirit while enjoying three nights in Galilee, two nights in Bethlehem and four nights in Jerusalem. I will be leading this pilgrimage with Bishop Jay Magness, and we will be supported by an expert local Christian as our tour guide.
How exciting to stand at the Sea of Galilee with Bibles in hand and read of the miraculous catch of fish in the Gospel of John. Or stand in Capernaum and actually see the synagogue in which Jesus healed on the sabbath, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark. This pilgrimage will make the pages of the New Testament come alive as we journey together day by day. I hope you can join us!
- All airport departure & passenger taxes
- Hotel Accommodations
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Entrance fees & local government taxes
- English speaking guides throughout tour
- Modern air-conditioned tour buses
- Single room supplement
- Travel insurance
- Any items of a personal nature
Day 1: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19
We gather at Anchorage International Airport this evening to start our journey to the Holy Land, flying overnight to the continental United States.
Day 2: THURSDAY, JANUARY 20
Landing in the early morning at Denver, we change planes for Chicago, landing at O’Hare International Airport in time to purchase some lunch. In the early evening we board our flight to Israel. Dinner will be served on the flight, and we hope to be able to sleep well as we head across the Atlantic to the Holy Land.
Day 3: FRIDAY, JANUARY 21
We land at Tel Aviv in the early afternoon. After clearing immigration and Customs formalities we will be met by the local Christians who will be our guide and driver throughout our journey, and make our way to our beautiful pilgrim guest house on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will arrive in time to freshen up before dinner and an early night!
Day 4: Saturday, JANUARY 22
Today we will devote ourselves to the events of Jesus’ ministry of healing and teaching around the home he chose in Capernaum, on the Sea of Galilee. We will visit Capernaum itself, as well as sites associated with the Beatitudes, the commissioning of Peter, and the feeding of the Five Thousand. We will go out in a boat on the lake, and we will visit the newly-excavated First Century synagogue in Magdala, the home town of ‘the apostle to the apostles’, Mary Magdalene.
Day 5: Sunday, JANUARY 23
This morning we will make the short journey to Nazareth to join with the local Episcopal community in its celebration of the Eucharist in the town that saw the first announcement of the Good News. After lunch we will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, built over what is believed to be the house in which the Holy Family lived, as well as nearby Cana, where Jesus performed his first sign. We will close the day with a visit to Mount Tabor, the site of Jesus’ transfiguration before Peter, James and John.
Day 6: Monday, January 24
Leaving the beauty and tranquility of the Galilee, we will journey through the heart of the West Bank to the major Palestinian city of Nablus. We will see the work of St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, providing significant medical care in the heart of the city, and visit Jacob’s Well, which was already a place of pilgrimage in the time of Jesus. After lunch we come to the Jordan River to renew our Baptismal Covenant. From here we make our way to Bethlehem, stopping in the town of Bethany, where Jesus would stay in the home of his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Finally, we will arrive in the ‘little town’ of Bethlehem, situated behind the 27 foot high Separation Wall, where we will sleep for the next two nights.
Day 7: Tuesday JANUARY 25
Today will be devoted to discovering how the gift of abundant life promised in the Incarnation is lived out in Bethlehem. We will visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds’ Fields, as well as two heart-warming examples of Christian mission in action. At the St Vincent Crèche we will see love in action at the only Christian orphanage in the West Bank, and at Bethlehem University we will see hope in action in the nurture and training of many capable and committed local students.
Day 8: Wednesday, JANUARY 26
Leaving Bethlehem after breakfast, we journey south to the major Palestinian city of Hebron, where we will visit the tombs of Abraham and the other matriarchs and patriarchs. We will also see very clearly the hideous complexity of the Occupation and its impact on the people of this city. After this we head towards Jerusalem, first to the Israel Museum, to see a vast model of the city as it was at the time of Christ. Our day will finish with a walk down the Mount of Olives from Bethphage to the Garden of Gethsemane. Tonight and our remaining nights in the Holy Land will be spent at our hotel in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Day 9: Thursday, JANUARY 27
We make an early start this morning to ascend the Temple Mount, to see the exterior of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Later in the morning, we will meet members of Settler communities living in the main settlement blocks south of Jerusalem, to see the environment in which they live, and learn something about their outlook and understanding of the politics and sovereignty of the lands of this region. After lunch we return to Jerusalem and ascend Mount Zion to visit sites associated with the Last Supper, the Day of Pentecost and the falling asleep of Mary, before finishing our day at the church of St Peter in Gallicantu and recalling Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. Return to our hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 10: Friday, january 28
Our morning begins with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, which records the history and pays poignant tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. From here we will visit the Monastery of the Cross - a beautiful Orthodox monastery set in a wooded area from which it is believed came the tree that provided the wood for Jesus’ cross. After lunch we will enter the Old City at St Stephen’s Gate to walk the Via Dolorosa, coming at last to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the site of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Day 11: Saturday, january 29
Today will be spent in the Dead Sea basin, starting with a visit to the breathtaking hill-top fortress of Masada. Built by Herod the Great some thirty years before the birth of Jesus, it was the site of a long siege by the Roman army that ended in 74CE after the mass suicide of almost 1000 Jewish rebels. After a break for lunch, we will visit the site at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, before finishing the day with an opportunity to float in the unique, mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea.
Day 12: Sunday, january 30
On our final day of pilgrimage, we will gather for worship at St. George’s Episcopal Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Jerusalem. After the service, we hope to have the chance to meet the Archbishop or one of his staff. We will have some free time after the service (and lunch will not be provided today), before leaving Jerusalem mid afternoon. Making a brief stop at one of the churches associated with Emmaus, we head onwards to the beautiful town of Jaffa where we will have a final dinner by the shores of the Mediterranean, before heading on to the airport for our flight home.
Day 13: Monday , january 31
Landing at Newark in the early morning, we clear US immigration and Customs before flying onwards to Denver, and finally to Anchorage, where we land mid afternoon, ready to tell our family and friends of all that we have learned in the Land of the Holy One.