Greetings Church Family,
Prior to advent of the current “stay at home” and travel restrictions we are all experiencing, Jo and I were able to experience the trip of a lifetime, visiting Israel at the end of February. I made reference to the trip in my sermon last week including some pictures taken of the Mount of Olives and Temple Mount.Our trip was a Clergy Familiarization trip with Dr. John DeLancy. Dr. DeLancey is a retired Covenant Pastor who has started a new ministry called Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours (BIMT). Part of the expectation for me as a pastor participating in the Clergy Familiarization Trip is that I will lead a future tour.
Dr. Delancey served two Covenant churches for over 26 years prior to starting BIMT. He has also lead over 72 Israel tours as well as tours to surrounding biblical areas. John has also been a part of a number of archeological experiences in Israel and is extremely knowledgeable about multiple archaeological Tels throughout the region. I encourage you to check out Dr. Delancey and the BIMT here. He has several teaching videos that are very informative as well as information on future trips.
By far the question I have been asked the most since returning is “What was your favorite highlight of the trip?” To which I pause and stumble because I can’t narrow that question to one thing. I will share that one of the things I was most looking forward to and that did not disappoint was to be in the Galilean region surrounding the Sea of Galilee. There is usually considerable debate about where certain biblical things happened in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem. However, Galilee was the center of Jesus 3 year ministry and there is no doubt that when we visited there, we were in areas in which so much of what we read in our gospels happened. Attached is a picture taken from the top of Mount Arbel of the Plains of Gennesaret and the Sea of Galilee. Both areas are referenced in the gospels where Jesus would have visited. This was his back yard so to speak.
When we as a church are once again able to meet again face to face, my wife Jo, and Todd and Kate Cogswell intend to host an evening event where we share more about our experiences and begin to plan and dream about a future trip. In the meantime, feel free to ask me about another favorite highlight. In the meantime, here is a 12 minute video tour of Israel put together by Dr. DeLancey. The sequence of our trip was very similar to this video. Enjoy!