Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

A long-awaited part of my sabbatical leave is an upcoming pilgrimage and study course in Jerusalem at St. George's College.  The Learning Objectives are:
  • Integrate contextual biblical study with theological and spiritual reflection
  • Reflect on some of the contemporary issues in Israel and Palestine
  • Explore the nature of Christian ministry and Anglican identity in the context of Israel and Palestine
  • Engage with Jewish and Muslim perspectives
  • Return home renewed in faith

I wanted to share the highlights of the itinerary, hoping in a small way that you all might share this journey with me.  It will be my first trip to Israel and Palestine after many years of preaching -- trying to imagine the landscape of the many Bible stories.  

Sunday, March 8               Arrivals
Monday, March 9                      O, Jerusalem!

10:00        Board bus to Nebi Samuel (Tomb of the Prophet Samuel; only if weather is fair)    
Vistas into Samaria and Judea
Second Temple period ruins
Crusader period fortress and ruins
(If weather is inclement) Visit the Museum of the History of Jerusalem in the Citadel

         13:30        Briefing:  Geography and Topography of the
Lands, Lecture Room
14:30        Visit the City of David.  Walk through Israelite excavations and Warren’s Shaft through the dry tunnels.  Visit Pool of Siloam.  Return to Temple Mount SW corner via underground passageway.

 Tuesday, March 10           Herod the Great and the Holy Child

         8:30          Depart for Bethlehem
                                    The Wall of Separation
Church of the Nativity
                                    Tomb and Chapel of St. Jerome
                                    St. Catherine’s Church

         13:00        Depart for the Herodium
Visit interior and exterior ruins of Herod the Great’s palace and fortress
         15:30        Depart for the Israel Museum
                                    Model of Jerusalem in 66 CE
Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls and Aleppo Codex)
Wednesday, March 11              Into the Wilderness

         8:30          Depart for Judean Wilderness
                           Monastery of St. Euthymius
                                    Kasr al Yahud: Jordan River site of the
                                    Baptism of Our Lord
                                    Renewal of our Baptismal Vows
         13:30        Visit to Tel el-Sultan (ancient Jericho)
         14:15        Depart for Qumran
                           Film and visit to excavations of the
                           Essene community
                           Overview of Cave IV and Dead Sea

Thursday, March 12         The Great Sea and On To Galilee

         7:15          Depart for Caesarea Maritima
                                    Morning Prayer on the bus
         9:45          Visit Caesarea Maritim
                                    Meeting Herod the Great once again
                                    Caesarea in the New Testament
                  Roman and Christian (Byzantine) Caesarea
         12:15        Picnic lunch near the Mediterranea Sea
         13:15        Depart for Nazareth
                                    Walk through the Old City
 Friday, March 13      From Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee

         8:00          Depart for Caesarea Philippi (Banias National Park)
                                    Visit to the Shrine of Pan
         13:30        Depart for the lakeside
Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes)
                           Mensa Christi (Peter’s Primacy; opportunity
                           to wade in the Sea of Galilee)
Saturday, March 14          Transfiguration; Facing Jerusalem

8:30          Depart to Mt. Tabor

Sunday, March 15            
A “Holy Week” Begins        
         10:00        Eucharist in the Cathedral with the
Arabic/English-speaking congregations
         13:00        Depart for the Mount of Olives/Palm Sunday walk
                                    Mt. of Olives descent
                                    Church of Dominus Flevit
Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations

  Monday, March 16
7:45          Walk the Way of the Cross (meet outside College front door)
         9:15          Devotional visit to the Holy Sepulchre
 Tuesday, March 17                   Heading home 

You have come to the Holy City, and now return home in peace. Travel safely, and may . . . 
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
 The Priestly Blessing from Numbers 6

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