hosted by Revs. Brett and Trish Winters | from $4,210 per person
This 12-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 12-day tour. Schedule may be adjusted for efficiency and guide availability.
November 5-16 Daily Itinerary
Your group will fly round-trip from Kansas City to Tel Aviv on Delta, departing Kansas City at 12:16 PM. All travelers should arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours prior to departure.
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 enter Jersualem from atop the Mount of Olives, just outside the Old City, pausing to reflect on important moments in Jesus’ ministry including the Ascension, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Garden of Gethsemane. 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 heading 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 with morning worship 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 and lunch we will visit the hillside church at Beit Sahour (Shepherd’s Field) and reflect on the birth of Jesus. Conclude the day with a visit to Holy Family Olive Wood Workshop.
Today we begin at Rachel’s Tomb, a place sacred to Jews as the burial place of Jacob’s wife Rachel. Mid-morning we will visit a women’s cooperative and learn about their work with disabled Palestinian children. With them, we will work together to prepare and eat a traditional Palestinian lunch. After lunch, visit the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.
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.
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 Sea. End the day with a relaxing bob in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Tonight the group moves from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight accommodations on our final two nights.
As we near the conclusion of the pilgrimage, we will consider 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. Dinner and overnight accommodations at the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City.
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.
In the late evening, the group will transfer to Tel Aviv for an overnight flight to the United States and your return home.
Your group arrives in New York for connecting flights to Kansas City, arrive in Kansas City at 1:28pm.
The total cost for the twelve-day pilgrimage is $4,210 per person, double occupancy. Group size is limited to 20 participants. Deadline to register is July 25, 2019.
|Round Trip Airfare from Kansas City||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.