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Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 2017

As I am writing this Bridge article, our President is in the Holy Land visiting important and powerful religious places, and I am reminded of my own pilgrimage there this past January. I am also reminded that the Holy Land is a complex place, that is best understood by going there. It is complex politically, often portrayed in a minimizing and one sided way in our U.S. media. Likewise, the Holy Land is complex historically with layers and layers of history from the time of our Lord Jesus, and extending much earlier to the time of Abraham.

Traveling on pilgrimage in the Holy Land offers an opportunity to engage with Scripture and learn more about the foundational stories of our faith. As John’s Gospel illustrates for us, Jesus invites his disciples to “come and see” for themselves where he was staying, (John 1:35-41) There is nothing in my own spiritual journey that compares with walking in the footsteps of Jesus in the land where he lived.

Initially I had hoped to lead a St Luke’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land this coming January 2018. For some of our parishioners this proved to be too soon to adequately plan. As a result we have moved this pilgrimage to February 4-16, 2019.

Some of the highlights of this pilgrimage will be three days spent in Galilee, including stops in Nazareth where Jesus grew up, Capernaum, the home of Simon Peter and the place where Jesus called many of his disciples, and the Mount of the Beatitudes. Then we will journey to Bethlehem, experience the church of the Nativity, the oldest church in all of Christendom, crossing over into modern day Palestinian territory and learn about some of the conditions there, visiting a Christian hospital and orphanage our diocese helps to support. After that we will journey to Jerusalem as Jesus himself did, following his steps to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will also see the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, among many other things, while staying within the walls of the old city.

If you would like to see a full color brochure, you can email a request to me and I will send it to you in pdf format. The cost of the pilgrimage, all inclusive, will be approximately $4000.00 per person, and is yet to be determined.

I hope you will prayerfully consider if you are called to come and see the places and peoples of the Holy Land in the company of your Rector and members of your faith community in February 2019.

We will be supported as we travel by a Christian tour company, Lightline Pilgrimages, that is the ‘preferred partner’ of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. We will be staying in Christian-run pilgrim houses and hotels, and accompanied at all times by Christian guides and bus drivers who live in the Holy Land.

Blessings to you as you prayerfully consider this unique opportunity.
Marlene Jacobs +