The Best of Israel Adult Pilgrimage
May 2 - 11, 2019
We invite you to travel with us to the Holy Land, to walk where Jesus walked and experience the places where he worshiped, prayed, taught, healed, and served. This pilgrimage around Israel is a unique opportunity to deepen your faith by bringing Biblical geography to life.
Copies are also available in the Rotunda.
Registration Deadline: January 11, 2019
What's on the Itinerary?
Israel, Jaffa, and Caesarea
We’ll visit Jaffa, the ancient port that Jonah sailed from and the location where Peter had a vision from God, and travel along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, and aqueduct before checking into our seaside hotel.
Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and Mt. Arbel
Next we journey toward Galilee and to Mount Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. We will visit Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, and Mount Tabor, believed to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. At Mount Arbel we'll enjoy a birds-eye view of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. From atop Mount Tabor we’ll better understand the graphic layout of Jesus’ ministry. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi, and Mt. of Beatitudes
We will see Dan, where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship, and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession. In Capernaum we visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel to the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee.
Jordan River Baptism Sites, Beth Shean, Bethany, and Jerusalem
You will have an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site before traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archaeological site in Israel. We will follow the Jordan Valley southward, through the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s irrigation development. We'll pass ancient Jericho, famed as the oldest city in the world, on our way to the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel were led to the Promised Land.
Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum
Conditions permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen’s Gate, and St. Ann’s Church. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the “Upper Room.” At the Israeli Museum, we will walk through collections of centuries-old artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. A model of Biblical Jerusalem will help prepare us for the following days.
Jesus’ Steps, the Last Days
After a panoramic view of Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives, we'll see the Garden of Gethsemane and the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. We will also visit the Wailing Wall and the Rabbinical Tunnels, leading us through the Second Temple era. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate and then transfer to the Dead Sea, where we will enjoy our dinner and overnight.
Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham’s Tent
We will enjoy a cable car ride to the mountaintop fortress of Masada, and then proceed to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat,” an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea known for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. Next we visit Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham’s Tent and relive the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride, and authentic food.
Day of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem
We will walk along the Via Dolorosa and see Golgotha and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.