& the First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, Colorado
Invite you to join
A Living Stones Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
(JORDAN, ISRAEL & PALESTINE)
In the company of Dr. Carl Hofmann, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, CO we will walk in the steps of Jesus, visit places prominent in the Bible, give God plenty of time to work within our lives, and meet and be inspired by the “living stones” – faithful Christians who live and worship even today in the Holy Land.
First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, CO
June 1-15, 2015 —15 Days/ 14 nights
Day 1—Monday, June 1st: Tel Aviv
Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land begins today shortly after midnight. After arriving in Tel Aviv, we will transfer to Bethlehem for Dinner and overnight.
Day 2—Tuesday, June 2nd: Bethlehem & Beit Sahour
We will begin our day with a welcome by HCEF staff, who will teach us about HCEF’s programs in the Holy Land. Next, we will visitShepherd’s Field in Beit Sahour. This is where the angels appeared to announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. We will visit the Church of the Nativity (the birthplace of Jesus) as well as the Grotto of St. Jerome and the nearby Milk Grotto. After lunch we will visit Aida Refugee Camp and meet with some of the families who live there. Then we will visit a local handicraft workshop that was renovated by HCEF. After admiring the handmade crafts, we will learn more about the history of these crafts by visiting the Bethlehem Museum where we will also dine with HCEF staff. Overnight in Bethlehem
Day 3— Wednesday, June 3rd: Jerusalem
We begin the day very early to depart for Jerusalem and walk the Via Dolorosa(Way of Suffering) through the narrow alleys and bazaars of the Old City of Jerusalem, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Tomb of Christ. After that we will visit the Church of the Redeemer where we will have a service. Then, we will meet withthe Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His BeatitudeFuadTwal. After lunch, we will drive to the Mount of Olives to visit the churches of Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit. We will also visit the church of All Nations, located in the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed the night before his passion. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 4— Thursday, June 4th: Jerusalem
We will drive to Jerusalem to visit the Dome of the Rock, the Golden Gateand the Temple Mount. After lunch, we will visitMount Zion and the Upper Room, of the last supper, and then the Church of the Assumption (Tomb of Mary). We will also visit Mea Sharin, the Knesset, and the Israel Museum and then we will have a meeting with representatives of a Palestinian-Israeli organization devoted to peacebuilding and reconciliation. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 5— Friday, June 5th: Bethlehem & Hebron
After breakfast we will visit Bethlehem University and meet with some Palestinian students. Then we will make our way to Hebron and visit the Abraham Mosque where the patriarch and his family are buried. Then we will visit the Oak of Abraham where Abraham entertained angels. We will eat lunch and have free time in the Old City. Afterwards we will head back to Bethlehem and visit Mount Herodium. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem
Day 6— Saturday, June 6th: Dead Sea, Jericho, and Qumran
We will head to Jericho. In Jericho, where we remember Zacchaeus climbing the sycamore tree and the blind Bartimaeus wanting to see. We are also reminded of the temptations of Jesus, as we view the Monastery of Temptation on the summit of the Mount of Temptation. After lunch in Jericho we will visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered and then we will enjoy ourselves around the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem
Day 7— Sunday, June 7th: Jerusalem& Birzeit
After an early breakfast in Bethlehem, we will enjoy a worship service before boarding our bus. Today will be a free day in Jerusalem. We will have the opportunity to shop in the market, revisit religious sites, discover something new, or simply relax in the Old City. We will visit YadVashemMuseum, and then we will depart from Jerusalem and head to Birzeit where we meet the families hosting us for the evening Dinner and overnight with Host Families from Birzeit and Jifna
Day 8— Monday, June 8th: Birzeit and Ramallah
After enjoying breakfast with our host families we will visit Our Lady of Peace, the Latin Church in Birzeit where we will attend mass and meet the parish priest who will talk to us about the local Christian population. Then we will have lunch in HCEF’s Birzeit Senior Citizen Center, giving us the chance to meet with the elders of Birzeit and hear their stories. Then we will go to Ramallah and visit the Church of Our Lady of Peace, there and meet with our brothers and sisters. Afterwards we will drive north to Jenin where will have dinner and overnight.
Day 9— Tuesday, June 9th: Nablus, Jenin& Nazareth
In the morning we will meet with local Christians and the Parish Priest of Jenin. Then we will drive to Nablus to visit Jacob’s Well, where the Samaritan woman reminded Jesus that Jacob “gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it.” He told her He was the promised Messiah, and she and many residents of her village believed in him. (Jn 4:5-42). Then we will enjoy our free time in the old city and have our lunch there. After that we will visit the town of Sebastia where there is an ancient religious community still active there associated with John the Baptist. There, we’ll also visit ancient Roman tombs, a Hellenistic tower and theHerodion gate towers. Afterwards we will drive to Jenin where we will haveDinner and overnight.
Day 10— Wednesday, June 10th: I’billin, Haifa, Mount Tabor, Nazareth
we will depart Jenin early in the morning, to the village of I’billin to visit the Mar Elias School and meet a representative who shares with us the institution’s vision for interreligious understanding. Then, we continue to Haifawhere we visit Mount Carmel (Mar Elias)—the site of Elijah’s Cave and also the birthplace of the Catholic Carmelite order. We willcontinue to Mount Tabor, the site of Christ’s Transfiguration, where we will visit the beautiful church and have lunch.Afterwards we will reach Nazareth and, if time permits before check-in at our hotel, we visit the Church of Annunciation where Mary received the news from Gabriel that she would give birth to the Son of God. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
Day 11— Thursday, June 11th: Sea of Galilee
Today we will pass through the Valley of the Doves– “the Arbel Pass–to approach the Sea of Galilee as Jesus would have on his way from Nazareth. In Tabgha we will spend some quiet time along the water, imagining ourselves with Jesus. We will pray at the site of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes, and at the place along the shore where Jesus three times asked Peter—and on this day will ask us—“Do you love me?” Next, we will visit Capernaum, which Jesus considered home and where he healed so many and taught so much. Today, the remains of Capernaum include an ancient synagogue and the vestiges of Peter’s house. Then for lunch we will eat fish at the Monastery and afterwards, board a boat for a ride on the Sea of Galilee, stopping to rock on the waves, to feel the wind, and to sing of the one whom “even the wind and the sea obey.” Then we willgo to the Mount of Beatitudes for a time of prayer and meditation on the hillside.Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
Day 12— Friday, June 12th: Sheik Hussein border, Jerash, Amman
We will be picked up from our hotel in Nazareth transfer to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge, the northern Israel/Jordan border crossing. After border crossing procedures, we will be met by our private Jordanian guide and driver. After lunch we will visit the traditional baptismal site of Jesus, just east of the Jordan River. We drive to Jerash, city of the Decapolis. Located in the fertile heights of Gilead, Jerash is one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities left. We enjoy strolls down the stately colonnaded streets past the theater, the baths, the hill top temple and the triumphal arch.Dinner and overnight in Amman.
Day 13— Saturday, June 13th: Amman/ Madaba/ Nebo/ Bethany/ Petra
We drive to the holy city of Madaba, well known for its outstanding Byzantine mosaics. Then we will visit St. George’s Cathedral and see the 6th century mosaic floor depicting the earliest surviving map of the Holy Land. Next, we will drive to Mt. Nebo, the traditional burial site of Moses. After lunch we will visit the traditional baptismal site of Jesus, just east of the Jordan River.We learn about the significance of the Jordan, experience its waters, and renew our baptismal vows as disciples of the One in whose name we have been baptized. Then we drive to Petra.Dinner and Overnight in Petra.
Day 14—Sunday, June 14th: Petra& Amman
After breakfast we pass Wadi Musa. We continue on horseback to the Siq (canyon), and then on foot to Petra. Known as “Sela Edom” or red rock city, Petra was the capital of the Nabateans from the 3rd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. Petra’s most elegant monument, El Khazneh (The Treasury) comes dramatically into view as you emerge from the Siq. Beyond The Treasury an entire city is carved into the canyon walls. Other outstanding structures include The Monastery and Urn Tomb. Wander through the field of tombs and obelisks to Al Madhbah (The Altar). From this point you can view the whole of the stone city. Then we drive back to Amman where we will have a dinner in a tent restaurant there.Overnight in Amman.
Day 15—Monday, June 15th: Return Home
After an early morning check-out and transfer to the airport, we fly back home. However, our faith journey will continue in a new, invigorated way. Having visited the places sacred to our tradition, having met the descendents of the first disciples of Jesus and witnessed how the people of the Holy Land strive to build bridges of justice, peace and reconciliation –we will be enriched andour spiritual lives transformed.
• Worship Service can be arranged daily
• Itinerary subject to change without notice
• The Itinerary includes interaction with the locals
• The Itinerary can change according to your special requests; sites can be added or removed.
• The meeting with Patriarch can be changed based on HB Schedule.
Price Quote for all Land Arrangements
From: Boulder, CO
Duration: 15 Days/14 Nights
# of Persons
Prices noted above are inclusive of:
- Double-occupancy accommodation in:
Nazareth ~ Gardenia Hotel, OPR Tabar Hotel or similar (3-star hotel or Christian Guest House)
Bethlehem ~ HCEF Inn or similar (3-star hotel or Christian Guest House)
Homestay ~Family homes in the villages of Jifna & Birzeit
Jordan (Amman & Petra) ~3-Star Excellent Hotels
- All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner daily)
- Airport transfers
- Christian English-speaking tour guide
- Entrance fees to holy places
- Transportation in deluxe private motor coach
- Bridge exit tax
- Parking fees
- The day excursion to Petra
These prices exclude:
- Airfare (Quote will be provided as soon as it is available from the airline. Airfare is subject to change until ticketed.)
- Tips to driver(s), tour guide(s), restaurant & hotel staff
- Any service not mentioned in the program
- Offerings for churches
- Travel insurance
- Honoraria for meetings & speakers
- Drinks and items of a personal nature