The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) will be sponsoring a pilgrimage and fact-finding mission to the Holy Land in March 2003. The trip will include visits to Holy Sites throughout Jordan, Palestine, and Israel and will be lead by Donald Kruse, HCEF Executive Vice-President. Mr. Kruse is a former Deputy Consul General at the American Consulate in Jerusalem and he has much experience leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation*
News Release

HCEF Announces Pilgrimage and Fact-Finding Mission to the Holy Land

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) will be sponsoring a pilgrimage and fact-finding mission to the Holy Land in March 2003. The trip will include visits to Holy Sites throughout Jordan, Palestine, and Israel and will be lead by Donald Kruse, HCEF Executive Vice-President. Mr. Kruse is a former Deputy Consul General at the American Consulate in Jerusalem and he has much experience leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Jordan will serve as our gateway to the Holy Land.  In Jordan, we will visit Amman, Petra, Madaba, and the exciting new archeological find where John the Baptist baptized Jesus at Bethany Beyond the Jordan. The pilgrimage will also include visits to the predominantly Christian towns of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Taybeh, Birzeit, Ain Arik, and others. Pilgrims will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.

Pilgrims will meet and worship with Palestinian Christians, the descendents of the original Christians who first heard the words of Christ 2000 years ago. There will be ample opportunity to observe first hand the effects of the occupation and the impact that the occupation has had on the indigenous Christians living in Palestine. These Christians will share with pilgrims about the privilege of living out the faith in the birthplace of Christ as well as the burden of living under occupation. Meetings will be arranged with political and religious leaders in the region and there will be opportunity to hear their views on the prospects for peace and resolving the crisis and conflict.  

Pilgrims will visit and share delicious meals with Christians in villages throughout the Holy Land. There will be ample opportunity to shop for gifts at small, family-run shops that sell the fine handcrafts of local artisans.  The weather in March will be mild and the Holy Sites will not be overcrowded, making it a particularly good time to travel.

The cost of the pilgrimage will be $2300 and includes round trip airfare from anywhere in the U.S. to Amman, Jordan. All are encouraged to participate. For more information, call Luma Haj at HCEF toll-free at 866-871-HCEF or visit our website at http://www.hcef.org/events/pilgrimage/index.cfm


(30)

*The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization 501 (c) 3, committed to improving the lives of Christians in the Holy Land through building bonds of solidarity with between Christians in the United States and Christians in the Holy Land. We have two goals: inform Americans about the Christians in the Holy Land and provide humanitarian assistance for the needy in the land where Jesus Christ was born, preached, died, and rose again. HCEF, 6935 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 214, Bethesda, MD 20815 (301) 951-9400, Toll Free (866) 871- HCEF (4233), www.hcef.org, Email: news@hcef.org