Pictures from Israel

The Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Steve Wilson
Grace Episcopal Church
Carthage, MO

May 11 – May 24, 2010

Trip map

DAY 1, Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - Depart from Springfield, MO to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport where we will board the connecting flight to Frankfurt, Germany.  At Frankfurt, we will connect to our flight to Tel Aviv.  Meals on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 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. BLD

DAY 3: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46):  Herod’s City-Caesarea; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon. . to the Sea of Galilee.  We head north toward Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province, where we visit the Roman and Crusader remains 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 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 Har-Megiddo have uncovered a fortified city built by Solomon (1 Kgs. 9:15).  We continue to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 4: Friday, May 14, 2010 - Today we will explore the holy sites of Nazareth and the area surrounding Nazareth.  We will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Orthodox Church, Christ Church (the oldest Anglican Church in the Middle East) and Mary’s Well.  We begin with Mt. Tabor, the traditional spot of the Transfiguration.  The beautiful church was constructed on the site of a fiercely contested Crusader fortress.  We visit Sepphoris, a major town in the first century near Nazareth.  This is probably where Jesus and Joseph worked.  We will return to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 5: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - We visit Akko (Acre) on the shores of the Mediterranean, one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world.  The city dates back to the time of Pharaoh III and has been conquered by Muslims, Ottomans and Crusaders.  We will visit the Khan El Umdan, the 18th century structure where camel caravans brought grain and other supplies to the area.  We will visit the underground crusader city and see how the Turks built on top of the old city.  We will see Knight’s Hall which the Hospitallers, the Knights of the Order of St. John, used as a fortress more than 700 years ago.  After some time to wander the labyrinthine streets and alleys of Akko, we will return to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 6: Sunday, May 16, 2009 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28):  The Sea; Capernaum; Tabgha; 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.  From Tabgha we will take a boat ride and celebrate Holy Eucharist on the Sea of Galilee as we sail back to Tiberias.  Afterwards, we will journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount and then we will hike down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee as Jesus and his disciples would have done.  We visit the museum that holds the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  We will return to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 7: Monday, May 17, 2010 - We begin making our way through the West Bank toward Jerusalem.  We will visit Jacob’s Well at Sychar where Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink.  The well is fed by underground springs and its water is fresh and cool and thus the term “living waters” which Jesus used so many times was derived.  We continue following the footsteps that Jesus and his family would have taken as they made their way through Samaria.  We will continue to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.  An evening walk along the walls of the city helps to fix the cityscape in our minds. BLD

DAY 8: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - The Holy City:  Temple Mount, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian Quarters:  Through St. Stephen’s Gate to the Holy City, we enter the walled city of Jerusalem.  St. Anne’s Church, a Crusader jewel, stands on a property facing the Temple Mount. Once inside we find ourselves singing (the acoustics are glorious).  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.  We will visit the Armenian Quarter and St.  James Cathedral and St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Church where, according to Syrian tradition, Jesus and his disciples shared the last supper.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 9: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - The Passion:  Palm Sunday Walk: We walk the Palm Sunday Path from the top of the Mount of Olives into the city, visiting the Tomb of Lazarus, the Church of Dominus Flevit, the Mosque of the Ascension, the Church of the Lord’s Prayer, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tomb of Mary en route.  We will have free time this afternoon for resting or shopping.  Overnight Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 10: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - The Judean Wilderness:  We visit St. George’s Monastery and Jericho, the oldest city in the world and then continue along the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountain-top fortress located above the Sea.  Masada was fortified as early as the 1st or 2nd century BC and enlarged by Herod the Great.  For those who wish, there will be the opportunity to either climb Masada to the top or to hike down the mountain.  We visit Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  Afterwards, there will be time for a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.  Then we are off to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul before returning to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 11: Friday, May 21, 2010 - A full day free for those who wish to take some time for shopping or visiting old sites.  You might visit the New city sites such as Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Knesset, the Israel Museum, which houses the Shrine of the Book, and the artists’ community of En Kerem, or perhaps take the day to wander the suq of the Old City picking up souvenirs.  A dip in the Mediterranean at Joppa is possible as well!  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. B

DAY 12: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - Bethlehem: We visit Herodion, built by Herod c. 24 BCE as both a palace and a fortress.  The Herodium sat on the flattened top of a hill that rises c. 400 feet above the surrounding terrain.  The roof and upper stories of the Herodium no longer exist; the remains of four towers, however, are still visible.  Josephus describes the Herodium as follows, "The naturally strong and very suitable for such a structure, raised to a (greater) height by the hand of man and rounded off in the shape of a breast.”  We visit Bethlehem for lunch at a wonderful Arab restaurant called Two Moustaches.  After lunch, we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.  Depending on security, we will visit the Tomb of Abraham in Hebron, or return for a free afternoon in Jerusalem.  We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 13: Sunday, May 23, 2010 - The Holy City:  Christian Quarter:  We begin with services at St. George’s Cathedral and then move along the Via Dolorosa which winds its way through the busy markets of the Old City.  We stop for prayer at the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa before ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist in the Chapel of Abraham in the Holy Sepulchre.  We will have a farewell dinner in Jerusalem tonight. BLD

DAY 14: Monday, May 24, 2010 - We board our flight in Tel Aviv for our return flight arriving back in the US this afternoon. BL

Price: $3,399.00.  Price includes airline taxes and fuel surcharges totalling $390.00 per person. If these change, price will change.  Roundtrip air from Springfield, MO on United Airlines connecting with Lufthansa Airlines.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement costs $799.00.

Final Payment due January 10, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 10, 2010: $100 per person.
◊ January 11, 2010 – March 1, 2010: $300 per person.
◊ After March 2, 2010: NO REFUND

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.

Note that Israel is a physically demanding destination. Good shoes and some preparing for the trip on the stair master are invaluable aids to a healthy and happy pilgrimage.