When was the last time you embarked on a spiritual pilgrimage? Sometimes such journeys involve physical trips back to our childhood homes. Other times they are figurative excursions through challenging circumstances in life. Then there are travels to historic sites that are central to our faith. During 2020 I will lead two of the latter kinds of spiritual pilgrimages via Educational Opportunities, an organization that has been facilitating United Methodist groups on such journeys for many years now.
Our first full day in Israel will begin with a journey by bus to The Yardent Baptismal Site at the Jordan River followed by stops at Capernaum, the Mt. of Beatitudes and Caesarea Philippi.During the next days we will visit several other historic sites including the Sea of Galilee, Beit Shean, Nazareth, Megiddo and Caesarea.In addition, we will spend four days in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, including Bethlehem, Qumran, Masada, the Dead Sea and En Gedi. The pilgrimage promises to be an awesome and inspirational experience.The 2020 pilgrimage is open to clergy and laity.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 here.
Every ten years the people in the village of Oberammergau, Germany present a world class Passion Play depicting the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 500,000 visitors are expected to view the play in 2020, 250,000 of whom will be international.Our pilgrimage will include Italy, Austria and Germany.We will begin in Rome . . . continue to Assissi . . . include Milan, Tyrolean Village, Innsbruck and Salzburg . . . and conclude with The Passion Play in Oberammagau. For details click here.
My most recent spiritual pilgrimage to Israel was in January 2018. This will be my first spiritual pilgrimage to Oberammergau. I am looking forward to making these journeys in 2020. If you are interested in participating in either of these experiences, please contact Executive Director of Ordained Ministry Rev. Ron Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-226-7969.
As always it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference