2018 Holy Land Pilgrimage

Slideshow with music. February Aurora article below. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

From the February Aurora:

The pilgrims reported feelings ranging from exhilaration to heartbreak as they roamed the multifaceted landscape and encountered the wonder of the Holy Land. They muscled through jet lag, cold and rain. Some took amazing photographs (see slideshow, above) that they graciously shared with those of us back home.

Some thoughts from the pilgrims as they traveled:

Bishop Barry: "The beginnings of our pilgrimage in the Galilee were a time of great blessing. ... A wonderful group with whom to walk the pilgrim way. What a privilege to witness their joy and wonder in these holy places!"
Kevin Gore, CDSP seminarian: "Today (Jan. 28) involved a lot of driving, a drastic change in landscape, and very profound moments of beauty and pain. (The Rev. Nael Rahmoun of Christ Church, Nazareth) said one of the most heartbreaking but important things; They as Christians in this country are very alone, and feel it very deeply. From there we raced off to the traditional site of the Baptism of Jesus, with armed Israeli guards on one side and armed Jordanian guards on the other, and renewed our baptismal vows." The next day featured a trip to an orphanage that takes in abandoned babies, and a visit to the separation wall that in Bethlehem.
Laura Simkins, St. Francis, Fair Oaks: "We started out the day (Jan. 27) with Holy Eucharist outdoors by the Sea of Galilee. It was the most moving and spiritual celebration of communion that I have ever experienced. We were at Tabgha, where tradition says Jesus preached and fed the multitudes with the loaves and fishes. We stood on the beach there and imagined the resurrected Jesus sharing a fish fry with the disciples. I later enjoyed St Peter's fish (a fresh water tilapia) for lunch! Viewing the preserved fishing boat from Jesus' time and then, during a miraculous clear part of the day, riding in a boat on the Sea of Galilee were extraordinary experiences. A later visit to Megiddo, also known as Armageddon (look it up!) was appropriately harrowing as we descended into and raced through an ancient water tunnel before the site closed for the day. Not for the faint of heart! Rainbows reassured us on our bus ride home."

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