Pictures from the Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

The Holy Land/North UMC

Led by:

The Rev. Kevin Armstrong and Dr. Perry Kea
North UMC
Indianapolis, IN

June 11 – 22, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Depart U.S. on a wide-body jet for a trans-Atlantic flight.  Meals on board the aircraft. M

DAY 2: Sunday, June 12, 2011 - - 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. MD

DAY 3: Monday, June 13, 2011 - 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, 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 our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we will have dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28):  The Sea; 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) and Bethsaida, birthplace of Peter, Andrews and Philip 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 all the way 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 will return to our kibbutz and visit the museum that holds the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel at the Sea of Galilee. BD BD

DAY 5: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - The upper Galilee:  Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon:  We begin our day with a visit to Mar Elias Educational Institute in Ibillin, and then travel to Caesarea Philipi, once the largest city in northern Israel.  It is here that Peter first confessed of Jesus, “You are the Messiah” (Mk. 8:29).  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 return to our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Perhaps you will want to take a stroll around the grounds or take a dip in the pool before dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 6: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - This morning we travel to Beth Shean to see the best preserved Roman-Byzantine town in Israel.  Beth Shean lay on the old trade routes between Mesopotmia and the Mediterranean.  Our journey now takes us to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation. We will visit Sepphoris to see its splendid mosaics and then continue following the footsteps that Jesus and his family would have taken as they made their through Samaria.  We will continue to our kibbutz on the shores of the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Friday, June 17, 2011 - The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountain-top fortress about 440m above the banks of the Sea.  Masada was first fortified as early as the 1st or 2nd century BC and then 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.  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 our kibbutz on the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - “Up to Jerusalem”:  We begin today with a visit to Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  We then travel to Jericho, where we find the remains of the oldest city in the world.  We will travel by cable car to the Mount of Temptation to visit the Monastery of the Temptation where Jesus was tempted by Satan during his 40 day fast (Mt. 4, 1- 11).  We will continue traveling up to Jerusalem and stop for a hike to St. George’s Monastery, an ancient retreat literally built into the side of the mountain.  As we travel into Jerusalem, we will find a site on Mt. Zion or the Mount of Olives in order to see the city and orient ourselves.  Then it is on to our hotel for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Sunday, June 19, 2011 - New Jerusalem and Bethlehem:  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.  We will then depart for Bethlehem, stopping at Herod’s fortress Herodium.  We will have lunch at a wonderful Arab restaurant called Two Moustaches.  After lunch, we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field and have some time for shopping before beginning our return to Jerusalem.  We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 10: Monday, June 20, 2011 -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.  We will visit The House of Caiaphas, site of the imprisonment of Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  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 Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  We will visit the Garden Tomb, thought by some to be the site of Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus.  The rest of the day is free for further exploration in the Old City.  After dinner at our hotel in Jerusalem, we visit the Scottish Hospice where a consortium of Arab women sell their handmade wares. BD

DAY 11: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - Life’s Bread, Jerusalem:  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.  We will have a “farewell to the Holy Land” dinner and then travel to the airport to board our return flight to the US that departs shortly before midnight. B

DAY 12: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - We will arrive at Newark, NJ where we will clear customs and continue to Indianapolis arriving early this morning. BD

Price: Pricing $3,699.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Indianopolis, IN.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $899.00

Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel charges estimated to be $527.95.  These will be added to your final invoice.

$300.00 per person deposit due with reservation.

Final payment due March 10, 2011

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until March 9, 2011: $200 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After March 10, 2011: 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, M Meals on aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.  Disclaimer:  The above itinerary is subject to change.  Opportunities to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are being arranged for this trip.  Details will be provided at a later date.

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.