hosted by Revs. Brett and Trish Winters | from $2,280 per person
This 11-day journey to the Holy Land will bring you close encounters with the land of ancient Judaism and Christianity. Watch the scriptures come to life as you walk through the wilderness and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Experience modern religious traditions as we celebrate Shabbat with Jewish Israelis and walk down the Mount of Olives. Learn about the modern history of this land and meet people and organizations engaged in the work of peacemaking. Build deep and lasting relationships with others from your congregation through group reflections and shared worship. At Progressive Pilgrimage, every journey is carefully crafted to meet the interests and ability of the group. This itinerary offers a glance at what you can expect in your 11-day tour. Schedule may be adjusted for efficiency and guide availability.
November 5-15 Daily Itinerary
Your group will fly round-trip from Kansas City to Tel Aviv. Flight arrangements are still pending and will be updated here in mid to late December 2018.
Those wishing to originate from an airport other than Kansas City should indicate that on the registration form. In those cases, any fare increase will be invoiced to the traveler.
Group members will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. In the afternoon, a private coach will transport the group from Tel Aviv to our guesthouse on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After a brief orientation, enjoy a traditional Middle Eastern dinner and overnight accommodations.
Begin the day in the Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth for the Basilica of the Annunciation, the traditional site of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. An off-the-beaten-path tour of the Old City visits local artisans, samples local cuisine, and enters the White Mosque. The Synagogue Church in Nazareth is, according to tradition, built over the remains of a synagogue from Jesus’ time. Today it is home to a Melkite Christian congregation and offers a quiet place for prayer.
In the afternoon, visit the small town town of Cana and tour the Franciscan church there. Those wishing to do so may renew their wedding vows. In the evening, return to the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Today we explore Jesus’ adult ministry in Galilee. Highlights of the day include the Mount of Beatitudes, the churches at Taghba, the ruins of Capernaum (home of Simon Peter), a lunch of “St. Peter’s Fish,” a museum with a 2,000 year-old boat, and a sunset boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Close the day by celebrating Shabbat with a local Jewish community. Enjoy one more dinner and the final overnight at this location.
This morning we leave the Sea of Galilee behind and head south toward Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Along the way, we will stop at the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan where pilgrims wishing to do so can renew their own baptismal vows. We will visit the archaeological ruins at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1949. Climb (by gondola!) to the top of Masada, Harod the Great’s stunning desert retreat/fortress, and take in expansive views of the Judean Desert and Dead See. End the day with a relaxing bob in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea and then head to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight accommodations.
In addition to being the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem was home to Ruth and King David in the Hebrew Bible. Today we explore this Palestinian city beginning on the hills of Beit Sahour (Shepherds’ Field). In the mid-morning we will worship with the Christian community at Christmas Lutheran Church where Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac is pastor and Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb leads the affiliated organizations including International Center of Bethlehem, Dar al-Kalima Health Center, and Dar al-Kalima College. After worship we will join Noor Women’s Empowerment Group for a lesson in traditional Palestinian cooking and then share together the meal we prepare. We will end the day at the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth and share together in a moment of prayer. Dinner and overnight accommodations in Bethlehem.
Today we head into the Old City of Jerusalem to explore historic Judaism and Islam. Be begin at the ancient Temple complex built first by Solomon, rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah, expanded by Herod the Great, and destroyed by Rome in 70 CE. Today the site is also home to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. After leaving the Temple Mount, we will sit on the Temple’s Southern Steps and pray at the Western Wall. In the afternoon, your group will either tour the archaeological ruins at the City of David – the oldest section of Jerusalem or meet with ultra-Orthodox Jews to learn about their religious and social lives (to be determined by your group leader.) Return to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Begin the day atop the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem’s old city, pausing to reflect on important moments in Jesus’ ministry including the Ascension, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Garden of Gethsemane. After lunch in the Old City, we continue to the area known as Mt. Zion to visit churches associate with Jesus’ betrayal by Peter (St. Peter in Gallicantu), the Last Supper and Pentecost (Cenacle). Celebrate evening vespers with the monks at Dormitian Abbey before returning to our hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Return to the Old City of Jerusalem today to experience the last day of Jesus’ life. We will walk the traditional Via Dolorosa, updated with modern reflections from local clergy and laity. Spend time in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where you can touch the bedrock of Golgotha and enter the traditional tomb of Jesus. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Old City on your own. For our last two nights, the group will have dinner and overnight accommodations at the gates of the Old City.
Close out your trip by considering the modern state of Israel. We will visit the impressive Israel Museum with its magnificent collection of classical and modern art, judaica, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Tour the Knesset, the home of the Israeli parliament. Finally, spend time at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial. Return to our Old City hotel for evening free time before a celebratory group dinner and overnight accommodations.
Transfer to Tel Aviv for return air travel to Kansas City. (Flight information pending.)
The total land cost for the eleven-day pilgrimage is $2,280 per person, double occupancy. Group size is limited to 22 participants. A full price including round-trip airfare from Kansas City will be available in mid-December and will be updated here.
|Guest House Lodging||Ground Transportation||Expert Local Guides|
|All meals||Entrance Fees||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|Ordained Spiritual Guide||Gratuity for Drivers and Guides|
Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge of $420.
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via PayPal or credit card. Full payment is due by September 1, 2019. Participants will be invoiced for the balance due which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balance will incur a 3% fee.
Terms and Conditions
Please read the complete Terms and Conditions online. ENROLLMENT IN AND PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONDITIONS AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.