From Nov. 11 to 20, I was privileged to be on my first pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel. My tour group, which included 33 people, was arranged by Priests of the Byzantine Rite from New Jersey.
Our group's guide was a Scriptural expert, a Catholic native of Jerusalem, who guided us each day by bus to the many holy Christian sites. It was breathtaking to actually be at the places I previously only had heard of: the birthplace of Christ, the site of the Annunciation, the Sea of Galilee, the Wailing Wall, the tomb of Christ and the site where Jesus ascended into heaven. We owe our support to the Franciscans who are responsible for maintaining many of these holy sites.
I encourage people who are now fearful of taking such a pilgrimage because of the recent skirmish at the Gaza Strip. Our group stayed at a beautiful hotel in Jerusalem during this unfortunate time. Only once on a Friday evening did we hear far-off explosions. However, we experienced no problems and our daily tours were never altered. As we departed from Tel Aviv, people were living very normally as we passed the beautiful parks along the Mediterranean.
I would hope that many people continue to visit and support these ancient places where the Christian faith began.
On behalf of the Shavertown United Methodist Church, we thank the golfers, hole sponsors, individual donors and all of the volunteers who made our sixth annual golf tournament a success.
Thanks to the generosity of the community and the hard work put in by our volunteers, we were able to have a very enjoyable day.
It is your kind donations that keep our tournament alive and provide the funding for our education department and missions. We ask all of you to support our donors and sponsors.
We thank you for your kind and generous support and hope it will continue next year.
Shavertown United Methodist Church
Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.
• Email: [email protected]
• Fax: 570-829-5537
• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1