Pictures from Israel

Lenten Pilgrimage:

Seeking Jesus with Heart, Soul and Mind

Led by:

The Rev. Jim Nixon
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Marietta, Georgia

March 4 - 15, 2007

Trip map

DAY 1, Sunday, March 4, 2007 - Depart United States on a wide-body jet for a trans-Atlantic flight with dinner served on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2, Monday, March 5, 2007 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins:  After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, we travel to Netanya on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 3, Tuesday, March 6, 2007 - We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46): Herod’s City-Caesarea; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon; Nazareth ... to the Sea of Galilee.  We head north toward Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province, where we visit the Roman and Crusader ruins and the harbor from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome.  We continue toward Mt. Carmel (Is. 35:2), a symbol of strength, beauty and fertility for OT prophets.  Traditionally, Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal is located at Muhraqa (‘the sacrifice’), a peak offering a spectacular view of the Jezreel Valley.  This fertile valley, also known as the plain of Megiddo, has been the scene of horrible carnage and almost constant strife.  Legend portrays this area as the stage for the final battle of history: Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).  The excavations at Megiddo have uncovered a fortified city built by Solomon (1 Kgs. 9:15).  We continue to the kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we will have dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4, Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28): The Sea of Galilee; Capernaum; Tabgha; Korazin; Mount of Beatitudes.  We begin at Capernaum where we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St. Peter’s house.  We continue to Korazin (Mt. 11:21) before traveling to Tabgha where we will see the mosaics of the Loaves and Fishes and celebrate Holy Eucharist.  From Tabgha we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee back to Tiberias.  Afterwards, we will journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount before returning to the kibbutz where we will have time for a stroll along the shores of the Sea of Galilee before our dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5, Thursday, March 8, 2007 - The upper Galilee: Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon.  We travel to Caesarea Philipi, once the largest city in northern Israel.  It is here that Jesus said to Simon, “and upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16: 13-20).  Near the foot of Mt. Hermon, we will walk along the Jordan River to the Springs of Banias and renew our baptismal vows.  We will travel to Safed, the highest city in Israel before we return to our kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and visit the museum which houses the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  We will have dinner and overnight at the kibbutz. BD

DAY 6, Friday, March 9, 2007 - We now continue to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We will visit Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine.  We continue to Akko, called Acre by the Crusaders who turned it into one of the most important ports of Palestine until Haifa overtook it in importance.  We will explore the remains of this ancient Crusader port before we continue to Haifa where we will see the Carmelite Monastery known as Stella Maris and the cave where the prophet Elijah found refuge to fight worshippers of Baal.  After lunch today, we will continue to Mt. Tabor, the traditional spot of the Transfiguration.  The Church of the Transfiguration incorporates two chapels; one of Moses and one of Elijah.  We will return to the kibbutz for overnight. BD

DAY 7, Saturday, March 10, 2007 – From Galilee “up to Jerusalem“:  We will start the day with a walk along the mouth of the Jordan River where we may renew our Baptismal vows.  We then follow the Jordan Valley as we make our way from Galilee to Jerusalem.  The road passes through Jericho, the oldest human settlement in the world.  From the vantage point of the site in Jericho, we have a spectacular view of the “Mt. of Temptation”.  Driving up to Jerusalem, we view the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan and St. George’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, literally carved out of a cliff.  Once in Jerusalem, we find a site high above on Mt. Zion or the Mt. of Olives in order to view the city and orient ourselves.  Then, it is on to our Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8, Sunday, March 11, 2007 – The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable car to the top.  Following lunch, we drive to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul; then on to the Essene Center at Qumran, overlooking the Dead Sea.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 9, Monday, March 12, 2007 - Life’s Bread, Jerusalem and Bethlehem:  Through St. Stephen’s Gate to the Holy City, we study the model of ancient Jerusalem to orient ourselves to the city.  We walk to St. Anne’s Church, standing on a property facing the Temple Mount.  Once inside we find ourselves singing (the acoustics are glorious). Nearby, we visit excavations which speak to us of Jesus’ healing at the “pool with the five porticos.”  We walk together to the Temple Mount Dig, to the Dome of the Rock, to the Western Wailing Wall and the Jewish Quarter.  We will visit the ancient excavated cisterns that were found under the Old City and explore the excavations of the Temple Mount Dig before continuing to St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Church, possible site of the Upper Room.  We will travel to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.  We will meet with some local people in Bethlehem for an in depth discussion of the Palestinian situation.  We will have lunch with some local Palestinian families.  Afterwards, there will be some time for shopping in Bethlehem before we return to Jerusalem for dinner.  Following dinner at our hotel, we will visit St. Andrew’s and Craftaid. BLD

DAY 10, Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - The Passion: Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Church of the Agony; Garden of Gethsemane; Cave of the Olive Press; Kidron Valley to the House of Caiaphas.  We will walk along the Palm Sunday Path stopping to celebrate Eucharist in a private garden that is a part of Gethsemane.  From here we shall move on to walk the Via Dolorosa, winding through the busy markets of the Old City.  We shall end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  The rest of the day is free for further exploration in the Old City.  We will join together at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral for Evensong followed by dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 11, Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - New Jerusalem:  Today we shall visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Knesset, the Israel Museum which houses the Shrine of the Book, along with other important sites.  There will be some free time this afternoon for exploring your favorite sites in the Old City on your own.  We will enjoy an early gala farewell dinner together at the wonderful Arab restaurant in Bethlehem known as Two Mustaches.  We will overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 12, Thursday, March 15, 2007 - Homeward Bound!  We will board our motorcoach and depart for Ben Gurion Airport where we bid goodbye to our driver and guide, board our trans-Atlantic flight, and journey home with a new appreciation of the Holy Land arriving back in Atlanta this afternoon. BL

Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Air from Atlanta, Georgia.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement costs available on request.

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.