Well, we are here!   I am sorry I have not blogged before but internet service is more difficult this time.   We all, 28 of us total, and 10 of us from Olympia, arrived safely and on time on January 12th.   We began our pilgrimage in and around the coast of the Sea of Galilee.  We are in our last night here before moving to Bethlehem tomorrow.  It has been a very good beginning, rich, and full, for so many who are seeing these sites for the first time.   We arrived after a red eye flight from Seattle Sunday night, an 8 hour layover in Newark, then a 10 plus hour flight to Tel Aviv.  But, we looked pretty good in the baggage area of the Tel Aviv airport

Tel Aviv arrival

 

We made our way to Mt. Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, and our first Eucharist as a group.  After that, we made our way to Pilgerhaus, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee for our first night of three here.  We were tired folk!.    But, thanks to the time change my eyes popped open at 5 am, which gave me a change to catch the beautiful 6:40 a.m. sunrise over the Sea of Galilee

Galilee Sunrise

We took the next day in Nazareth, where we prayed held our Eucharist at Christ Anglican Church, then a walk through town to the Church of Annunciation, where we were fortunate to get there just in time for the noon Angelus.  Wonderful and beautiful building.   We sang there together and prayed.

We also saw some amazing archeology including one of only 11 round tomb stones that still exist from the era of Jesus’ time in Israel.  This one thought to be the tomb of Joseph.

Nazareth stone correct

We went to many sites, Cana of Galilee, the site of the Beatitudes, Capernaum, and the site of the Loaves and Fishes, which is an exceptionally beautiful site just a short walk from our lodging.   After a long day, several of us sat, unannounced and unplanned for a long time in silence, looking out at the Lake.

Dalamutha 2

Dalamutha 11

We have loved our time in the Galilee, to once again walk in the places Jesus walked and lived for the vast majority of his life.  Tomorrow, we move closer to the places in which he lived his last days.   Blessings to all of you and please keep us in your prayers as we pray for you each day, along our journey.

 

+Greg