February 14-25, 2022
Led by Cotty & Andrea Peabody, the Rev Dr Wayne Whitney and Bishop Barry Beisner (retired, Northern California)
Dear Friends in Christ,
We invite you to join us for the Church of the Nativity’s second pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The Holy Land holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of all who follow Christ. A visit to the region where Christ was raised, preached and died offers an unforgettable opportunity to personally experience the foundations of our faith.
In addition to visiting many of the sites and shrines that we all know from our reading of the Gospel, our pilgrimage will give us the chance to learn more about the people of today’s Holy Land and to see for ourselves the reality of The Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
We will also visit a number of Episcopal parishes and institutions and attend Sunday service at the Episcopal Cathedral in Jerusalem, where we hope to meet with Archbishop Hosam Naoum.
A pilgrimage of this kind offers opportunity for enrichment, education, fellowship and refreshment. We will be supported as we travel by the Christian tour company with whom we traveled previously, and we will be staying in entirely Christian run pilgrim houses and hotels, and be led by Christian guides and bus drivers.
We hope you will prayerfully consider joining us for this pilgrimage journey. You will be astounded as the Gospel comes to life and we can attest that this experience is truly life changing.
- 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: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14
We meet in the early morning at Phoenix International Airport to fly to Newark, where we will change planes for our early evening flight to Tel Aviv. Dinner will be served on board the plane, and we hope to be able to sleep well before our landing in Israel the next day.
Day 2: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16
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. We will return to our guest house in time to relax before dinner.
Day 4: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17
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 hotel in good time for dinner.
Day 5: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18
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. Here we will visit the ancient holy site of Jacob’s Well, where the Fourth Gospel records Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman. We hope to meet the Rector of St Phillip’s Episcopal Church and the Episcopal hospital in the city. After lunch with members of the parish we leave Nablus and drive down to the Jordan River, near to the place where it is believed Jesus was baptized by John. After renewing our own baptism we drive 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 staying at a Pilgrim Hotel close to Manger Square. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 6: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19
During the morning we will see the work of two remarkable Christian institutions endeavoring 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 Creche/Orphanage - the only facility of its kind in the West Bank, offering Christian love and compassion to over forty abandoned babies and small children and Bethlehem University which is partially funded by the Vatican and other donors. We will break for lunch here after our visit. In the afternoon we will visit the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in Christendom, and the nearby Shepherds Fields at Beit Sahour. Return to our hotel behind Manger Square in good time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 7: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20
This morning we leave Bethlehem after breakfast and drive over to East Jerusalem to attend the principal Sunday Eucharist at St George’s Episcopal Cathedral. After coffee with members of the congregation we drive to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park. After lunch we will visit the Israel Museum, to see a remarkable model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, and the Shrine of the Book exhibit about the Dead Sea Scrolls, before finishing our day 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 of the encounter between Elizabeth and Mary, when Magnificat was first sung. Finally we come to our hotel, located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, which will be our home for the final nights of our pilgrimage.
Day 8: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21
This morning 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 lunch we head towards Jerusalem, to walk down the Mount of Olives from Bethphage to the Garden of Gethsemane, stopping at the churches of Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, and the Church of All Nations.
Day 9: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Our day starts with a visit to The Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities, a charitable institution entrusted under the Anglican Episcopal church. The centre was established in 1966 and has assisted children with disabilities with physical rehabilitation, education and helps create opportunities for their future employment. After a break for lunch we 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 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 faithless threefold denial of Jesus.
Day 10: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23
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 a break for lunch there will be an optional excursion to visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947, excavations uncovered the nearby Essene Monastery, where the Scrolls may have originated before having the opportunity to bathe in the unique mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea before driving back to Jerusalem.
Day 11: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24
On this, our final day in the Holy Land, we will visit one of the sites associated with biblical Emmaus, the village of Abu Ghosh, where we will pray together as pilgrims one last time. From here, like the two disciples who encountered the risen Christ, we will return to Jerusalem, to enjoy the rest of the day as free time to revisit favorite sites, pray, shop or just rest. Lunch will not be provided today. In the late afternoon we leave Jerusalem to visit Jaffa, set on the shores of the Mediterranean. Here we will have a final dinner before heading to the airport for our late night flight back to the United States.
Day 12: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25
We land in Newark in the early morning, and after clearing immigration and Customs formalities catch our connecting flight back to Phoenix, where we land mid-morning, ready to share with our family and friends all we have seen and learned in the Land of the Holy One.