Pilgrimage overview

March 17-28, 2022

Led by The Rev. Jamie Pahl and Frances Penick

Dear St. Michael’s Family and Friends,

We are so excited to bring you an opportunity to experience the Holy Land especially during the season of Lent!  Even though we traveled on separate pilgrimages a year apart, what we experienced in the Holy Land was transformational for each of us. Vibrant technicolor replaced the black and white pages of read scripture as we walked in the footsteps of Jesus. Stories about this biblical man, the Son of God, of where he lived and ministered suddenly became very real, very personal, and very spiritual reaching deep inside our hearts. It is our hope that you will experience the same inspirational awe and connection to God’s Word through your pilgrimage there. Indeed, the tangible presence of God on this Holy Land is profound and lifechanging.

 

We will be supported as we travel by a Christian tour company that is the preferred partner of the Diocese of Jerusalem, and we will be staying entirely in Christian-run pilgrim houses and hotels. Also, we will be accompanied at all times by a Christian guide and bus driver who live in the Holy Land.

 

We hope you will prayerfully consider joining us on this once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As the beloved Hymn declares, “… ‘tis Grace that brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.”  May we too rejoice in this as we discover overflowing Grace while following Jesus in the Holy Land!

Included

  • Airfare
  • 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

Not Included

  • Single room supplement
  • Travel insurance
  • Any items of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure

Day 1: Thursday, March 17

We meet at RDU airport for our evening flight to New York’s JFK airport, where we will change planes for our flight over the Atlantic to Tel Aviv. Dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Friday, March 18

We land in Israel mid afternoon, and after clearing immigration and customs formalities, we will be driven to our pilgrim hotel, beautifully located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, where we will spend three nights. We will have time to freshen up before dinner.

Day 3: Saturday, March 19

After breakfast we begin our pilgrimage by driving up to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the traditional site of Mary’s Well and the Synagogue Church. We then continue to the village of Cana, the site of Jesus’ first sign according to St John before breaking for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit another recently excavated site, Sepphoris, biblical Zippori, believed to be the birthplace of Mary and it is quite possible that Joseph met Mary whilst working here. Sepphoris was a major Roman and Byzantine city with paved colonnaded streets, grand villas, synagogues and churches. Our day finishes with a visit to Mount Tabor, believed to be the site of Jesus’ transfiguration before Peter, James and John. We will return to our guest house in time to relax before dinner.

Day 4: Sunday, March 20

Our day will be spent by the Sea of Galilee 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 5: Monday, March 21

After an early breakfast, we visit the major city of Haifa, beautifully positioned on the Mediterranean coast. We will visit the site of Mount Carmel, and have a chance to view the spectacular Bahai gardens, before beginning our journey south. We will stop at the fascinating ruins of ancient Megiddo (biblical Armageddon) before heading on to Caesarea Maritima, one of the major Roman cities of the region, and the site of several significant events in the Acts of the Apostles. At the end of the afternoon, we drive to Bethlehem, where we will spend the next two nights.

Day 6: Tuesday, March 22

During the morning we will visit the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in Christendom, and the nearby Shepherds Fields at Beit Sahour. We also visit a remarkable Christian institution endeavoring to bring something of the abundant life promised in the gospel to those living under the restrictions of the Occupation - the St Vincent Creche/Orphanage. The only facility of its kind in the West Bank, it offers Christian love and compassion to over forty abandoned babies and infants. After lunch we will visit the remains of Herod’s palace at nearby Herodium, dramatically set with breathtaking views across to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Day 7: Wednesday, March 23

Our day starts with a visit to Hebron, to visit the Tombs of the Patriarchs, which represent the roots of the three great Abrahamic faiths. Divided between mosque and synagogue, this building contains cenotaphs marking the burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We will visit both parts of the shrine, and get some sense of the impact of the Occupation on this major Palestinian city. From Hebron we descend to the Dead Sea Basin, first breaking for lunch in Jericho. In the afternoon we visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, before ending our day with the opportunity of floating in the unique waters of the Dead Sea. From here we come to Jerusalem, and check in to our hotel in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, which will be our home for the remaining nights of our pilgrimage.

Day 8: Thursday, March 24

This morning we drive north into the West Bank to Nablus, where we will get to see one of the most important ministries of the Episcopal diocese at St Luke’s Hospital, which brings high quality medical care to the people of this major city. We will also visit Jacob’s Well, an ancient religious site visited by Jesus himself on one of his journeys. Returning to Jerusalem, we visit the Israel Museum to see a model of the city as it was in Jesus’ own time. After lunch we come to the Mount of Olives, and retrace the traditional Palm Sunday route from Bethphage down to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Kidron Valley, stopping at the churches of Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit as we descend.

Day 9: Friday, March 25

Our morning begins with a visit to the Princess Basma Center – a remarkable institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem offering support to disabled children and their families. From here we will visit the Western Wall, before coming to Mount Zion. Here we visit the Tomb of David as well as sites associated with the Last Supper, the falling asleep of Mary, and Peter’s betrayal of Jesus while he was held captive by the High Priest. Lunch will not be provided today, and the rest of the day will be free for people to explore Jerusalem on their own or take some time to pray, relax or rest.

Day 10: Saturday, March 26

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. After a break for lunch, we will visit the Garden Tomb, a beautifully maintained space just outside the Old City, where we can reflect further on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Day 11: Sunday, March 27

We celebrate the resurrection by joining the local Episcopal community at St George’s Cathedral. After the service we will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and then have lunch. Later in the afternoon we say farewell to Jerusalem and drive west towards the Mediterranean. We hope to stop at one of the traditional sites associated with Emmaus, before coming to Jaffa, where we will have a final dinner before heading to the airport to check in for our flight back to the United States.

Day 12: Monday, March 28

We land in Chicago in the early morning, and after clearing immigration and Customs take our short flight back to RDU airport and our homes, ready to share with our friends and family all that we have seen and learned in the land of the Holy One.

Download pdf brochure