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stw// Holy Land Trip

January 31 - February 7, 2017  |  8 Days, 7 Nights
with optional 3-DAY EXTENSION February 8 - 10, 2017

Join Pastor Mike Howerton and Pastor Scott Dudley from Bellevue Presbyterian, for a joint OCC & BelPres Holy Land experience that will take on a different focus than typical Holy Land tour-style trips, but will include some sight-seeing.

Throughout the trip we’ll meet with and hear the stories of Israelis and Palestinians who believe that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is at work in bringing an end to the conflict and is reconciling the people of the Holy Land to each other and to himself. These perspectives will help us grasp a greater narrative than what we’ve received through media and other polarized, one-sided accounts.

We’ll hear about ways that American Christians can be a positive force for peace in the Holy Land, as well as here in our own city, state and nation. Those who maintain faith and hope in one of the world’s most difficult conflict zones will help us understand how to bear witness back home to the Jesus way of reconciliation -- from our daily relationships to systemic racial and economic injustice.

Additionally, we’ll have different opportunities to serve and support the Church in the Holy Land and its mission to proclaim the Good News of Jesus that offers peace, justice, and healing for all the nations. 

Facilitated by professional conflict resolution specialists and religious leaders, this inspirational Serve the World trip explores the Biblical themes of reconciliation and social justice. Share in fellowship with local Christians, meditate on mountaintop outlooks, and build relationships with local families from the country’s diverse Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities, in a tour that tackles the difficult questions of how Christ calls us to respond in a broken world.

Joining Pastor Mike & Pastor Scott will be Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon. She is a pastor, writer, and academic who cares deeply about God’s heart for the poor and the oppressed. She is the author of Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (IVP, 2009), Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action (IVP, 2012) and co-author of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014). Mae earned her doctorate in American History with the minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine. She has worked as a consultant to the Middle East for Compassion International and as Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach for World Vision.

REGISTRATION OPENING SOON!  DOWNLOAD PDF of TRIP INFO
Email  for questions.
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TRIP COSTS & MORE INFO
MAIN TRIP: JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 7, 2017

Included:
- 7 Nights lodging at the Legacy Hotel (Jerusalem), Grand Park Hotel (Bethlehem), and Kibbutz Ginosaur (Galilee) or similar accommodations (double occupancy)
- 2 Full-time MEJDI-trained guides (1 Israeli & 1 Palestinian) for 3 days
- 1 Full-time MEJDI-trained guide for 5 days
- Private bus and driver for 8 days, including one group transfer from and one group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv)
- Breakfast every day  with 15 Additional meals, as indicated on itinerary
- All speaker honorariums, sites, and entrance fees 
- Dedicated customer service representative in USA and Jerusalem
- Customary tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff 
- Custom tour webpage and online payment collection, including credit card processing fees

NOT Included:
- Airfare
- Travel Medical or Cancellation Insurance STRONGLY RECOMMENDED 
- Additional meals, snacks, water bottles
- Single Supplement ($366)

LAND-ONLY COST: $2069 through $2338
*
Price depends on # of particpants - final price available 90 days prior to trip

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: FEBRUARY 8 - 10, 2017
Included:
- 3 Nights lodging at Kibbutz Ginosaur (Galilee), Kibbutz Ein Gedi (Dead Sea), and Gilgal Hotel (Tel Aviv) or similar accommodations (double occupancy)
- 1 Full-time MEJDI-trained guide for 3 days
- Private bus and driver for 3 days, including one group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport 
- Breakfast every day  with 6 Additional meals, as indicated on itinerary
- All speakers, sites, and entrance fees 
- Dedicated customer service representative in USA and Jerusalem
- Customary tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff 

NOT Included:
- Airfare
- Travel Medical or Cancellation Insurance STRONGLY RECOMMENDED 
- Additional meals, snacks, water bottles
- Single Supplement ($133)

LAND-ONLY COST: $798 through $918
*
Price depends on # of particpants - final price available 90 days prior to trip

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TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1 – Tuesday, January 31:  Arrival
Arrive at Ben Gurion airport and transfer to Jerusalem for check-in and a welcome dinner with Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon and MEJDI Tour Guides. Hotel: Jerusalem [D]

Day 2 – Wednesday, February 1: Jerusalem in Conflict
Begin the morning with an overview of Jerusalem’s religious history from the Temple Mount. Then, take a full day alternative tour of the Old City’s Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holy sites with two guides, one Palestinian and one Jewish. Visits include the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter; touring the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and discussing the many conflicts over the site. The afternoon will be spent traversing the Mount of Olives where Jesus had his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and will include sites such as Dominus Falvit (where Jesus wept) and the Garden of Gethsemane. Hotel: Jerusalem [B, L, D]

Day 3 – Thursday, February 2: Jerusalem, Israeli Narrative
With a Jewish and Palestinian guide, explore Jerusalem’s political history from an Israeli perspective. Pay a sobering visit to Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum. Then, take a walking tour of Ein Kerem to learn different narratives about Zionism and Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Following lunch, meet with some Jewish Israeli leaders to learn about their perspective of the current realities affecting communities in the Holy Land. This could include Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi who teaches on conflict resolution. Have dinner and a informative lecture with Colonel Daniel Tirza, the Israeli officer who designed the route of the separation barrier. Finally, enjoy an optional trip after dinner to see the bustling nightlife of Ben Yehuda Street in West Jerusalem. Hotel: Jerusalem [B, L, D]

Day 4 – Friday, February 3: Hebron
Start the day with a devotional at the Garden Tomb led by Pastor Mike. Then, cross back into the West Bank and travel to Hebron, to tour the Old City of and the Cave of the Patriarchs. The Ibrahimi Mosque and Synagogue is the burial site of the Patriarch Abraham. Have a light lunch in the city and shop among the souk (local market) in Hebron. Visit a Jewish settlement prior to Shabbat and have a discussion with Israeli settlers. Meet with Defense for Children International (DCI) to learn about the realities affecting Palestinian children who have been affected by military detention. In the evening, enjoy a special dinner with Israeli and Palestinian guest speakers from a reconciliation peacebuilding organization, a program focused on learning the narrative of the “other”. Hotel: Bethlehem [B, L, D]

Day 5 – Saturday, February 4: Bethlehem, Palestinian Christian Perspective
Begin the day in Bethlehem with a tour of the Church of the Nativity. Walk the Separation Wall and visit Aida Refugee Camp. Head to the Tent of Nations for lunch, a home cooked meal prepared by the Nasser Family and to learn more about their ministry and engagement in peacemaking. Afternoon meet with Sami Awad of Holy Land Trust in the Old City of Bethlehem to further discuss realities and challenges of holistic peace in the land. Savor fresh local cuisine at a Bedouin Tent Restaurant for dinner. Hotel: Bethlehem [B, L, D]

Day  6 – Sunday, February 5: Worship in Aboud and Visiting the West Bank
This morning worship with the Palestinian Christian community in Aboud; attend Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox services. Spend time with Father Ibrahim at the Catholic Church for a briefing. Lunch with Abuna Immanuel at the Orthodox Church in Aboud. Afternoon visit to the Palestinian community of Budrus to meet with the village Council and learn about their realities with the building of the separation fence. Return to Bethlehem for dinner at the hotel.
Hotel: Bethlehem [B, L, D]

Day 7 – Monday, February 6: Compassion & Peace
Spend the morning at Joy School for children with disabilities in Beit Sahour. Drive to the Jordan Valley for lunch and afternoon with Echo Peace. Meet and hear from Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers committed to environmental justice as a means of pursuing reconciliation and a lasting solution to the violence and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Drive to Tiberius and overnight stay in a Jewish kibbutz.
Hotel: Kibbutz in Tiberius (Ginnosaur) [B, L, D]

Day 8 – Tuesday, February 7: Sea of Galilee and Tiberius
Spend the day in reflection and community among the Holy Sites around the Sea of Galilee. Explore Capernaum, home of Peter and site of Jesus’ ministry, the Primacy of St. Peter in Tabgha and enjoy a hilltop prayer in the gardens at the Mount of Beatitudes. Take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water and called for Peter to do the same. Enjoy a late and leisurely lunch as a celebratory departure meal.

Departures to the Airport (Flights must depart no earlier than 11:00 pm, Tuesday, February 7)
or Extension Group stays at Kibbutz in Tiberius one more night. [B, L, D]

Optional 3-Day Extension

Day 9 – Wednesday, February 8: Nazareth & Jericho
Begin the day in Nazareth to see the place where Jesus was born. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and other holy sites in the city such as Mary’s Well, which the Greek Orthodox church believes to be the site of the annunciation. Then, travel through the Jordan Valley to the historic sites of Jericho, the Oldest City in the world. Dinner in Jericho.
Hotel on the Dead Sea [B, L, D]

Day 10 – Thursday, February 9: Dead Sea & Masada
Start the morning early with a visit to the historic Jewish site of Masada. Visit and lunch at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a local cave. Have a leisurely afternoon floating on the Dead Sea. Drive toward Tel Aviv for a final evening on the Mediterranean Sea. Hotel on the Mediterranean (Netanya or Tel Aviv) [B, L, D]

Day 11 – Friday, February 10: Caesarea Maritima
Spend the day on the Mediterranean Sea and visit the incredible town of Caesarea Maritima and Herod’s fortress the site of where Paul was sent to Rome for trial (Acts 25). Lunch on your own. An afternoon tour of the historic harbor town of Jaffa and a final group dinner in Jaffa or Tel Aviv (depending on departure times).  
Evening departures to the Airport in Tel Aviv [B, L, D]

B: Breakfast included  |  L: Lunch included  |  D: Dinner included