Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Holy Land Pilgrimage 2022

November 01, 2021

Dear Friends,

My husband Lee and I were in our early forties when first offered the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land. Our bishop at the time, North Alabamian Robert C. Morgan, extended the invitation to all of the persons he had ordained during his eight years as the episcopal leader in Kentucky. Though Lee and my lives were crazy busy with our respective ministries and young family, we said yes to journeying to Jesus’ homeland.

We expected that this trip would change how we read Scripture, taught and preached. But we did not anticipate that it would change our lives.

Yet this is exactly what happened as we walked in the land where Jesus walked . . . saw places he frequented  . . .  rode in a boat on the Sea of Galilee . . . and peered into what may have been the very tomb where the disciples took Jesus’ body after his crucifixion. This was more than a continuing education event, trip abroad or cross-cultural experience. It was a pilgrimage to the place where Jesus lived his life on this earth.

Since then, Lee and I have taken five additional pilgrimages to Israel. Each trip has resulted in our growing deeper in our faith and walks with Christ.

Our next Holy Land pilgrimage will be June 28 - July 7, 2022, and is open to clergy and laity in the North Alabama and Holston Conferences. We will be traveling with Educational Opportunities, an organization that has taken United Methodist groups on such journeys for many years now.

Note that the cost for clergy who have not previously been to the Holy Land is greatly reduced, thanks to generous scholarships from Educational Opportunities and the North Alabama Conference Board of Ministry. See logistical details at Educational Opportunities Tours / Tours · Holy Land Journey with the North Alabama United Methodist Conference and Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett 2022.

Also, two optional extensions are available:  1) Wonders of Petra and the Dead Sea which will include stops at Jerash, Petra, Madaba, Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea and 2) Oberammergau Passion Play which will start in Munich, continue to Salzburg and conclude in Innsbruck, Austria. The highlight for this extension will be The Passion Play presented by the people in the village of Oberammergau, Germany.

If interested in participating in this pilgrimage to Israel, you are invited to sign up at the above link. Also, if you have questions, feel free to contact Executive Director of Ordained Ministry Rev. Ron Schultz at or 205-226-7969.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to participate in the 2022 spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the North Alabama and Holston Conferences. It very well may change your life.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
Holston and North Alabama Conferences

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