In the Footsteps of Jesus
An Alternative Tour to Palestine and Israel
Hosted by Jeff & Janet Wright
Schedule for late 2021 Pilgrimage dependent on COVID-19
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Alternative (responsible) travel seeks to transform curious tourists into informed pilgrims by engaging the people who live in the land — and the history, culture and social realities that shape their lives.
The Wrights are hosting two pilgrimages in early 2020, one for Philips Theological Seminary and another for First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Madisonville, Kentucky. Both tours are now open to other participants. The Philips tour will have a more theological emphasis, but both pilgrimages will spend about half the time visiting holy sites and half the time meeting with Jews, Muslims and Christians in the region.
As the tour title suggests, many of the first-century conditions that shaped Jesus' life and ministry continue to shape the lives of Palestinians and Israelis today. In addition to exploring the holy stones — the historic places and sites that have defined our faith — participants will engage the Living Stones: Jews, Muslims and Christians who live in the land.
Experienced tour leaders Jeff & Janet Wright have served as short-term Mission Co-Workers to Israel/Palestine through the Disciples of Christ/UCC Global Ministries, having traveled there many times. Janet is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Working near Bethlehem, she and colleagues created an all-Arab training team in EMDR. Jeff is recently retired as lead pastor of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The tour will be accompanied by a professional, local guide.
To facilitate conversation, take advantage of unplanned opportunities and provide a more enriching experience, tour size is limited to around two dozen persons. Participants will: explore the holy sites of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth (where Jesus was raised); visit the Abrahamic mosque and divided city of Hebron; tour Jericho, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and more; learn from Global Ministries mission partners; meet and discuss differing perspectives on the current political situation with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders. Some meetings on the itinerary are subject to change due to speakers' availability and other conditions; substitutions of similar interest and quality are made.
Travel arrangements have been made through the award winning Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies. Overnight accommodations are clean, comfortable and modest, booked to maximize our contact with the Living Stones and make the tour more affordable. Past tour participants have rated the tour experience very highly. Cost of the 2020 tour is $2,340 (based on twenty participants, double occupancy, and excluding airfare).