October 31 – November 11, 2023
Led by the Rev W. Frank Allen
Rector of St David’s Episcopal Church, Wayne, Philadelphia
Making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land can be a life-changing experience. Some of the holiest places in the world are concentrated in this tiny sliver of land situated between the desert and the sea and spending time where three of the world’s great religions were founded can deepen our understanding and touch our very souls.
Christians have been making pilgrimage to the Holy Land for nearly 2,000 years, walking where Jesus walked to broaden their understanding of Christ’s place in our world today. On this holy journey we will follow in his footsteps, seeing some of the sights he saw, praying in the place where he was born, baptized, tempted, taught, transfigured, tried, crucified and raised from the dead. We will meet modern day followers whose ministries help bring healing and peace to a land deeply divided. Our hearts and minds and souls and spirits will be transformed, enlightened and inspired.
Come join me on on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this Fall. We will pray and worship together, share delicious meals, stay in great accommodations, and see unforgettable sights. You will never read or listen to the Scriptures in the same way again and I am confident you will feel touched by God.
Yours in Christ,
- Airfare (for details & restrictions, please download the brochure below)
- All airport departure & passenger taxes
- Hotel Accommodations
- Breakfast, Lunch & dinnerch
- Entrance fees & local government
- Modern air-conditioned tour bus
- Single room supplement
- Travel insurance
- Any item of a personal nature
FLIGHT INFORMATION & ITINERARY
+ Scheduled flights economy class from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv on Air Canada:
DEPARTURE: October 31
-DL1444 -Philadelphia / Atlanta - 9.00 am/11.12 am
-DL248 -Atlanta / Tel Aviv -2.00 pm/8:15 am (Nov 1)
RETURN: November 11
-DL249 -Tel Aviv / Atlanta -11.30 am/5.55 pm
-DL2894 -Atlanta / Philadelphia -8.20 pm/10.23 pm
+ All airport departure & passenger taxes (US & Israel)
+ En Suite accommodation at Christian pilgrim hotels & guest houses
Galilee - Pilgerhaus (Benedictine guest house by the Sea of Galilee)
Bethlehem - Sunrise (A recently opened hotel a short walk from Manger Square)
Jerusalem - The Ambassador Boutique (Situated within the Old City, by Jaffa Gate)
+ Full board throughout (breakfast, lunch & dinner daily).
+ All entrance fees and local government taxes.
+ State licensed English speaking guides throughout the tour.
+ All touring in modern air-conditioned tour buses.
Day 1: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31
We meet in the morning at Philadelphia International Airport for our short flight to Atlanta, where we change planes, and will have time to purchase lunch in the airport. Mid afternoon, we take off for Israel, and dinner will be served on board the plane, and we hope to be able to sleep well before our landing the next day.
Day 2: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1
We land in Tel Aviv the following morning, where we will be met by our guide and driver, with whom we will journey to the Galilee and stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit Mount Tabor, believed to be the site of Jesus’ transfiguration, after which we drive to our beautiful pilgrim house on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which will be our home for the next three nights our home for the next three nights.
Day 3: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2
Our morning begins in the town in which the Good News itself began – Nazareth. We will visit the Episcopal parish and celebrate an opening Eucharist for our time together, before making our way to the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Synagogue Church. After a break for lunch we will visit nearby Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed his first sign and changed water into wine at the wedding feast. Our day will end with a visit to Sepphoris, a major city at the time of Jesus, where there are breathtaking ruins that show us something of the life of this region in the first century.
Day 4: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3
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: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4
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 specialist 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 will journey to the River Jordan to renew our Baptismal Covenant, before carrying on to the ‘little town’ of Bethlehem, situated behind the 27 foot high Separation Wall, where we will sleep for the next two nights.
Day 6: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5
After breakfast we drive the short distance to Jerusalem to worship at St. George’s Episcopal Cathedral with our sister and brother Episcopalians. After the service we return to Bethlehem to visit the Shepherds Fields and the Church of the Nativity, stopping for lunch at the delightful Tent restaurant in Beit Sahour.
Day 7: MONDAY, november 6
Our morning begins with a visit to the city of Hebron, one of the most important Palestinian cities in the southern West Bank. Here we will visit the Tombs of the Patriarchs, and get a clear sense of the impact of the Occupation on the life of this historic place. Returning to Bethlehem we will visit the St. Vincent Crèche, where we can see love expressed in action at what is the only Christian orphanage in the Palestinian territories. After lunch we will visit Bethany before descending the Mount of Olives visiting the churches which celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, the giving of the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Finally we come to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Agony, where we recall Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. From here we make our way to our hotel in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, which will be our home for the remainder of our pilgrimage.
Day 8: TUESDAY, november 7
Our day starts with a visit to the Western Wall, the holiest site in the world for Jews. From here we ascend to Mount Zion, to visit and pray in the Abbey of the Dormition, the room associated with the Last Sup- per and the Day of Pentecost. Our morning closes at the church of St Peter in Gallicantu, built on what is believed to be the High Priest’s palace, in which Jesus was imprisoned on the last night of his life. In the afternoon we will visit Ein Karen, believed to have been the home of the parents of John the Baptist, visited by Mary during her pregnancy. Here we remember where Magnificat was first sung, before we end our day at the Israel Museum, to see a vast scale model of Jerusalem as it was at the time of Christ.
Day 9: WEDNESDAY, november 8
We make an early start this morning in the hope of being allowed to ascend the Temple Mount, to get a close look at the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. From here we come to St Anne’s church and the pools of Bethesda, after which we make our way to the Ecce Homo Convent, and after celebrating the Eucharist, we will make our way prayerfully along the Via Dolorosa, until we come to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and remember Christ’s death and burial. After lunch, for those who wish, there will be an optional visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Day 10: THURSDAY, november 9
Today will be devoted to exploring the Dead Sea Basin, going first to the hill-top fortress of Masada. The site of two palaces built by Herod the Great, Masada was besieged by the Romans in 73-74CE, resulting in the famous mass suicide of the c.1000 rebels who had taken refuge there. After a guided tour of this remarkable site, we will break for lunch. After lunch we visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Finally, for those who would like to do so, we will have the chance to float in the unique, mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea, before returning to our hotel.
Day 11: FRIDAY, november 10
This morning we will journey 7 miles out of Jerusalem, retracing the possible steps of two disciples who wearily walked to the village of Emmaus while in conversation with someone they did not recognize at first. At the village of Abu Ghosh we will have a chance to celebrate the Resurrection and recall Luke’s wonderful story. From here we drive to the coast to visit the ruins of the once great city of Caesarea Maritima. After a lunch by the shore of the Mediterranean, we will explore this site, and remember the inspiring stories from Acts of when Peter visits Cornelius and of Paul speaking to the Governor Festus before being sent to Rome. We return to Jerusalem for our final dinner together as a pilgrim group.
Day 12: SATURDAY, november 11
After an early breakfast we head for the airport to fly back to Philadelphia via Atlanta, landing at night, ready to share with our family and friends all we have seen and learned in the Land of the Holy One.