Pictures from Israel

The Holy Land & Jordan

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus & Moses

Led by:

The Rev. Dr. Tom Schacher
Memorial Presbyterian Church
Midland, MI

February 2 - 15, 2015

Trip map

DAY 1: Monday, February 2, 2015 - Depart the United States from Detroit, MI on United Airlines for our flight to Newark, NJ.  There, we transfer to our trans-Atlantic flight into Tel Aviv. M

DAY 2: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins:  After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, we travel to Netanya on the shores of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea for dinner and overnight. D

DAY 3: Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 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 our kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Thursday, February 5, 2015 - Today we explore the Holy sites of Nazareth and the area surrounding Nazareth.  We visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Orthodox Church, Christ Church (the oldest Anglican Church in the Middle East) and Mary’s Well.  We see 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 return to the kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Friday, February 6, 2015 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28):  The Sea; Capernaum; Tabgha; Mount of Beatitudes.  We begin with a visit to Capernaum where we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St.  Peter’s house, from there we visit Tabgha where we will see the mosaics of the Loaves and Fishes and celebrate Holy Eucharist.  Afterwards, we journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount and then we drive down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  We enjoy a boat ride on The Sea of Galilee and a visit to the museum that holds the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  After lunch on our own, we continue to Banias, formerly Caesarea Philppi, where Peter made his confession of Christ and said “Thou art the Christ”.  It was here where Jesus gave his charge to Peter.  Time permitting we visit Korazin (Mt. 11:21) before returning to the kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for our dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 6: Saturday, February 7, 2015 - This morning we cross the Sheikh Hussain Bridge into Jordan and visit Madaba to see the mosaic of the Old City of Jerusalem.  We will visit Mt. Nebo where God showed Moses the Promised Land and then continue to Petra for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Sunday, February 8, 2015 - A day to explore the Red Rose City of Petra which some historians equate with Sela, a town in which the Israelites had a famous victory over the local Edomites.  We will have the choice to walk to the site or to take a carriage ride through the dramatic “siq” or canyon.  We see the Treasury, carved in pink stone, and continue past the Roman Theatre, the Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb.  We continue and see the theatre, the Roman Soldier Tomb, the Columbarium and much more as we make our way to the High Place of Sacrifice located at the top of Jabal Mount.  The High Place of Sacrifice is considered to be the oldest major cultic facility in Petra.  We visit the museum and, for those who take the 60 minute walk to the Monastery, they will be rewarded with the best sites in Petra.  We will depart for Amman where we will have dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Monday, February 9, 2015 - We drive to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, believed to be the true baptismal site of Jesus.  Here we will renew our baptismal vows and then we cross back into the Holy Land crossing over the Allenby Bridge and visit Jericho, considered to be the lowest and oldest city on earth.  We continue 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.  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 Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 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).  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 that is the Western Wall Tunnel, to the Dome of the Rock, to the Western Wailing Wall and the Jewish Quarter.  We visit the ancient excavated cisterns that were found under the Old City and explore the excavations of the Temple Mount Dig.  We visit the Armenian Quarter, 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. BD

DAY 10: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - The Passion:  Palm Sunday Walk:  We walk along the Palm Sunday Path from the top of the Mount of Olives into the City, visiting 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.  We continue to the City of David and Hezekiah Tunnel, ending the day at the Davidson Center and archaeological site next to the Wailing Wall.  Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 11: Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 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 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 fortress...is 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 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 12: Friday, February 13, 2015 - Today we visit the New city sites; Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and, the Israel Museum, which houses the Shrine of the Book.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 13: Saturday, February 14, 2015 - The Holy City:  Christian Quarter:  Today we move along the Via Dolorosa which winds its way through the busy markets of the Old City.  We pause for prayer at the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa before ending our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  The afternoon we are free to wander through the streets of the Old City.  This evening we join together for a “Farwell to the Holy Land” dinner and then drive to the airport at Tel Aviv where we will board our overnight flight back to the United States. BD

DAY 14: Sunday, February 15, 2015 - We arrive back to the United States at the Newark Airport where we board our United Airlines flight arriving back in Detroit late morning.  We return home with our souls nourished from walking in the footsteps of Jesus and Moses. M

Price: $3,589.00.  Price is subject to change until the air space is confirmed.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Pricing based on minimum of 17 pilgrims.  Roundtrip air from Detroit, MI Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $899.00

Estimated taxes as of May 14, 2014 are $713.32 per person.  These may change.

Deposit $300.00 due with application

Final payment due October 31, 2014

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until October 31, 2014: $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ November 1, 2014 – December 18, 2014: $200 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ December 19, 2014 or later: 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.

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.