A Word from Our Pastor 2011 August Palestine Pilgrimmage

Palestine Pilgrammage

Dear Friends,

As you can imagine, I am behind schedule preparing for our departure in just 3 days. Knowing me, I am sure you are not surprised that I am late!

I thought it would be good to let you know where we will be!

After departing on July 25, we will arrive in Tel Aviv after 17 hours of traveling late in the day on July 26 (we “lose” a day).
July 27: We will be staying at a school in the north founded by a Palestinian Christian who has been working for peace for many years. We will visit some Roman ruins in Caesarea. Our tour guides kindly added some archaeological sites because Derek Wilairat (and others) are interested in Roman history. In the afternoon we will visit a women’s collective, Sindyanna, where they are finding new ways to develop their economy. Then we will go to Nazareth, where we will see sites related to the virgin Mary (where she heard the news that Jesus would be born).

July 28: we will have a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and go to the Mount of the Beatitudes — the setting for the Sermon on the Mount (“blessed are the peace makers. . .”

July 29: Another aracheological site (Beth Shean) and in the afternoon, to Jericho (where the walls came tumbling down); this is also the site of Jesus’ temptation (“one cannot live by bread alone. . .”) and to a monastery. We will spend the night in Bethlehem.

July 30: Another Roman ruin, and the shepherd’s field (where they saw the star shining in the east) and a walking tour of Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

July 31: We will worship at a Lutheran Church in Bethlehem in the morning and visit Wadi Foquin in the afternoon.

August 1 (Ramadan begins) and we will be touring the old city of Jerusalem; we will visits places associated with Jesus, such as the Via Dolorosa (his route to his crucifixion) and several mosques. In the afternoon, also in Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Gethsemane d several churches.

August 2: We will meet with several organizations; one will help us understand about the wall of separation that the Israelis are building on Palestinian land, which is causing the Palestinians all kinds of serious problems (we’ll tell you more about that when we get home).

August 3: More educational meetings with groups that are dealing with conflict resolution, economics and peace; we hope to be able to meet with a Palestinian family that evening.

August 4: Some of us may be able to return to Wadi Foquin; others may opt for a tour of the Dead Sea.

On August 5, we will take our long flight back to to the US, and arrive at 10:00 p.m.! We may not make it to church on the 7th, as at least some of us will be exhausted.

Also during this week, several of our church members will be at Zephyr Point. Please pray for them and for us — for safe journeys, spiritual renewal and the creation of new communities of friendship and solidarity!

We will miss you!

Rev. Naomi