January 27- February 8, 2020
Led by The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, The Rev, Sally French & The Rev. David Umphlett
Diocese of North Carolina
Welcome! We are delighted that you are considering journeying with us on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This is a rare opportunity for us to travel together as part of the Diocese of North Carolina, and for you to explore the lands of the bible in the company of your Bishop Suffragan, assisted by two priests of the diocese with experience and knowledge of the lands of Jesus. As we journey through the Holy Land, the landscapes and stories of our faith will come alive in new ways. We’ll explore Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee, the Wilderness and more, encountering not only the ancient sites and landscapes of scripture, but also the people and places of today’s Israel and Palestine. It will be joyful, challenging, and above all an opportunity for deep connection – with God, with each other, and with our brothers and sisters, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish.
As part of our preparation for this pilgrimage, we ask that participants plan to join us for two meetings, one in Durham and one in High Point. The meetings will take place on Saturday mornings, November 9 (Durham) and December 7 (High Point). As well, in addition to trip fees payable to Lightline Pilgrimages, we ask you to consider a $150 donation to Bishop Anne’s discretionary fund. We use these funds to provide honoraria for our guest speakers and donations to churches and nonprofits in the Holy Land. You’ll receive more information after you register.
The Holy Land is a wonderful place to visit and our itinerary includes a number of walks on uneven ground and several hikes in wilderness destinations. It is a place where it is easy to get dehydrated. In order to participate fully, you must be able to walk a minimum of three miles unassisted in a variety of landscapes. If you are concerned about the level of fitness required for this pilgrimage, or if you are over age 75, please contact one of the leaders to learn more. If you have any significant medical conditions that could be exacerbated by strenuous physical exertion, please consult with your physician as part of your discernment.
This is an exciting opportunity and we are delighted to share it with you. Spaces are limited so please register soon if you’d like to join us for this life-changing pilgrimage.
Please complete and send the enclosed booking form together with a deposit of $500 per person. Deposits are due by September 3, 2019 and the balance of
the tour cost is payable no later than November 18, 2019.
- Airfare Including all taxes
- All Meals
- Hotel Stays
- Tour Guide
- Single Room Supplement
- Travel Insurance
Day 1: Monday, January 27
An early evening flight from RDU Airport will take us to New York for our overnight journey to Tel Aviv.
Day 2: Tuesday, January 28
Following our arrival in the late afternoon, we transfer to Bethlehem, arriving in good time for dinner, a brief gathering, and to rest in the town where Christ was born. We will spend three nights here at our Bethlehem hotel.
Day 3: Wednesday, January 29
We begin our journey with two cities rich in Jewish history and tradition. After exploring Bethlehem, beginning with the Shepherd’s Fields where we will celebrate the Eucharist in one of their chapels, we journey south to Hebron, the city of the patriarchs. Our morning visit will help us to see our pilgrimage within the wider context of the Jewish Scriptures, our Old Testament. From Hebron, we return to Bethlehem for lunch, a visit to the Church of the Nativity, the Herodion (King Herod’s great palace-fortress) and finally, a visit to a local orphanage. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 4: Thursday, January 30
Having explored some of the sites associated with the birth of the Messiah, we travel today to the Jordan River baptism site, the place where Jesus’ ministry began. At the river, we will take some time to renew our baptismal vows before departing for Jericho and the wilderness, including Qumran and the Dead Sea, followed by a return to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight stay in our hotel.
Day 5: Friday, January 31
Today, we venture north by way of the ancient city of Nablus. There, we will visit Jacob’s Well and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, with lunch in ancient Samaria, before continuing across the fertile Jezreel Valley, the biblical scene of Armageddon to Mount Tabor, the site where we remember the Transfiguration of Jesus. Finally we come to the town of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. We will spend the night at the simple but beautiful guest house of the Sisters of Nazareth, located in the heart of downtown Nazareth.
Day 6: Saturday, February 1
Today, we will explore the churches and sites of Nazareth, including the ruins below the convent guesthouse where we are staying, the Church of the Annunciation and the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel (Mary’s Well), together with visits to Cana and Sepphoris. At the end of this day, we will travel onward to the Sea of Galilee for dinner, and overnight at the Pilgerhaus Tabgha on the shores of the lake.
Day 7: Sunday, February 2
After a Sunday morning celebration of the Eucharist, we will explore the area around the Sea of Galilee to visit the churches and sites of the North Shore (Mount of the Beatitudes, the Church of Peter’s Primacy, Tabgha, Magdala, and Capernaum). We will also enjoy a boat ride on the lake and enjoy time for rest and reflection, returning to the Pilgerhaus for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Monday, February 3
Today, our pilgrimage takes us north from the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi, where we visit Mount Hermon. Our journey will include an opportunity to stop at Gamla, an ancient Jewish fortress and national park, where we will enjoy a short hike, a visit to a Druze village and if circumstances permit, a stop at the Golan lookout point, before returning to the Pilgerhaus for the evening.
Day 9: Tuesday, February 4
This morning, we turn towards Jerusalem, driving south via the Jordan River Valley to Bethany, on our way to the Mount of Olives. There, we begin our time in the Holy City by walking down the Pilgrim Path from the top of the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane and the Kidron Valley. We will also visit the treasures of the Israel Museum, before checking into our hotel (the Gloria) in the Old City, with time to relax before dinner.
Day 10: Wednesday, February 5
We begin our time within the walls of Jerusalem with an exploration of the four quarters of the ancient city. After lunch in the Old City, we will visit the Temple Steps and Mount Zion, together with St Peter in Gallicantu, Dormition Abbey, the Cenacle and St Mark's Syriac Church (a possible site of the Upper Room and the Last Supper). Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 11: Thursday, February 6
This morning begins with a visit to the Haram al-Sharif - the Temple Mount, on which is found the Al Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. From there, we will walk to St Anne’s Church, the site of the ancient Pool of Bethesda, ending at the Holy Sepulcher, the place of the Resurrection. After lunch, we’ll visit the Israel Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem. Our day ends with a visit from a Jewish-American resident of Jerusalem.
Day 12: Friday, February 7
We wake early today for a morning walk along the Via Dolorosa. In the morning, we’ll continue to the site of Abu Ghosh, one of the possible locations of biblical Emmaus, followed by lunch. Our day will continue with an opportunity for free time in the city of Jerusalem, before driving to Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast for dinner before checking into the airport for an 11:35 pm flight home.
Day 13: Saturday, February 8
We arrive back at RDU at 10:30 am, ready to tell the world all we have seen and heard on our pilgrimage.