Imagine! Imagine sailing on the waters of the Sea of Galilee, looking out across those same waters from the Mt. of Beatitudes. Imagine walking the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, and visiting Bethlehem. Imagine meeting your siblings, brothers, and sisters in the faith, hearing their stories, and seeing for yourself their amazing witness and work as followers of Jesus Christ. You can make it real!
On behalf of the Oregon Synod, I would like to invite you to join us at the 2023 Synod Holy Land Accompaniment Pilgrimage. We will be traveling there not merely as tourists seeing sites,but as pilgrims engaging with the people. Yes, we will experience “ancient stones” as we walk with Palestinian guides among the sites connected with stories from the Hebrew Scriptures, the life of Jesus, and the history of the early church. But we will also encounter “living stones” as we meet with Christians, including our fellow Lutherans of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, living out their faith today in the lands of the Bible. The biblical narrative will come alive in fresh ways, and so will the living witness of people of faith working for peace and justice, putting in practice the love of Christ.
I encourage you to join us on this pilgrimage. You will be blessed! And you will be changed! (Nick Doversberger, host for this pilgrimage, has served as an ELCA pastor in Oregon for over 35 years. He is an experienced teacher of the Bible and, since 1970, has traveled numerous times to the Holy Land, once as part of a summer-long sabbatical. He is well-grounded in biblical history, culture, languages, and faith.)
Trip departs on November 1, 2023, and returns on November 11, 2023
Departure Airport: Portland, OR (PDX)
$3,890.00 per person based on double occupancy - book now as space is limited!
Single room supplement - $890.00
Land only (if booking your own flights) - $2,740.00 (airfare credit $1,150.00)
Optional post-trip extension to Jordan (November 11-14, 2023) - $790.00
$300.00 deposit per person with registration to secure space
$1,000.00 of the total amount is due on or before May 20, 2023
Balance due on or before August 20, 2023
Registering online? Click the "BOOK NOW" button and fill out the online form; you can pay by check or with a credit card (4% platform fee applies)
Registering by mail? Please download and complete the registration form (both the personal information page and the terms and conditions page signed at the bottom) with a copy of your passport and a deposit of $300.00 per person made payable to Elias Tours and mail to: 4941 Chalden Ln NE, Marietta, GA 30066
Flight information will be available 3 months before the return date. Please continue to check the itinerary on the website for updated flight information.
* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com or (406) 261-7791
What is included in the tour
- Airfare from Portland International Airport - Other cities available
- 8 nights in 4-star hotels (Double Occupancy)
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Entrance fee to all sites
- All ground transportation in a private tour bus
What is NOT included in the tour
- All Personal Expenses
- Passport fees
- Transportation to and from US airports
- Gratuities for guide and driver
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is required and not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through Travelex Insurance Services. For questions, quotes, or to purchase travel insurance, visit Travelex Insurance or call (800) 228-9792 and use the code 26-0057 for Elias Tours.
Day 1(Nov 01 - WED): Departure from Portland to Tel Aviv (TLV)
Day 2 (Nov 02 – THU): Arrival – Bethlehem
We arrive at Ben Gurion airport and depart to Bethlehem to our hotel. Check – in. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3 (Nov 03 – FRI): Wadi Qelt – Baptismal Site – Jericho – Bethlehem - Shepherd’s Field
This morning we depart Bethlehem and travel into the Judean wilderness, where Jesus fasted for 40 days. Upon reaching Wadi Qelt, we enjoy a view of St. George’s Monastery. Along the ancient road to Jericho, we pass by Herod’s Winter Palace and visit Bet Arabah, where John baptized Jesus. From there, we drive to the city of Jericho where we see the excavations at Tel Jericho (included), the old town of Joshua, in the shadow of the Mount of Temptation. In the afternoon we visit the Church of the Nativity, birth place of our Savior. End our day with a visit Shepherd’s Fields, where the angels announced the birth of Jesus. Return to hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4 (Nov 04 – SAT): Augusta Victoria Hospital – LWF – Mt. of Olives – Mt. Zion – Tent of Nations
We start our day at Augusta Victoria Hospital to witness the work of the Lutheran World Federation. After a panoramic view from the top of Mount of Olives, we visit the Church of the Ascension, the Church of the Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, passing by St. Mary Magdalene Church leading to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the afternoon, we visit Mt Zion to include the Upper room, King David Tomb and St peter in Galicantu, where Caiaphas house stood. End the day with a visit Tent of Nations. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 5 (Nov 05 – SUN): Sunday worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Masada – Qumran – Dead Sea
We start our day with worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. We will then drive to Masada where fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Continue to Qumran (included) and visit the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally found and the buildings that formed the public canter of the Essenes. Then we will proceed to the Dead Sea where we can enjoy a dip in the relaxing and healing waters of the Dead Sea. Return to Bethlehem. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (Nov 06 – MON): Via Dolorosa – Saint Ann’s & Pool of Bethesda - Meet with Bishop Azar (ELCJHL)
After breakfast, we walk the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We then visit the Jewish Quarter and go to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. We then ascend to Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock, a possible location of the Holy of Holies. We then visit St. Anne’s church and the nearby Pools of Bethesda. Our last visit today will be in the Garden Tomb, a peaceful spot where we can remember Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. We see Calvary and the empty Tomb. Celebrate communion service at the Garden reaching the climax of Pilgrimage at the empty Tomb. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 7 (Nov 07 – TUE): Lutheran School – Yad Vashem – Jaffa – Caesarea – Tiberias
After breakfast, we start our day with the visit of Lutheran School in Beit Sahour. Continue to Yad Vashem Holocaust memorials. Then depart to the ancient town of Jaffa where Peter had his vision on the roof top of the house of Simon the Tanner telling him that all God’s creation is clean and worthy to receive salvation through Jesus. Continue along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where the Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct. Drive to Tiberias. Check in. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 (Nov 08 – WED): Cana – Nazareth – Mt Carmel - Megiddo
After breakfast, we travel to Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle. On to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. End our day with visit Mount Carmel – Muhraqa where the encounter between Elijah the prophet and prophets of Baal took place. Back to our hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 9 (Nov 09 – THU): Sea of Galilee – Mt. Tabor
After breakfast, we will drive to the Sea of Galilee where we will visit the sites, where the message of our faith was given. We will take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Our next stop is Capernaum, now in ruins but once a thriving town where Peter lived and where much of the public ministry of Christ took place. See the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Christ confirmed Peter as Head of the Church. We continue to Mount of Beatitudes, where Christ taught the Beatitudes to His Disciples. Perhaps enjoy a delicious St Peter fish lunch. This afternoon we visit the place of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish. Continue to Magdala. End our day with Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. Here we will have time to reflect on Christ’s human and divine natures. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 (Nov 10 – FRI): Caesarea Philippi – Golan Heights – Mt. Arbel - Valley of Doves - Sea of Galilee
We start our day with a visit to Caesarea Philippi, at the source of the river Jordan, where Peter confessed that Jesus is the Messiah. We then return to the Sea of Galilee via the Golan Heights, with a stop overlooking the Road to Damascus. This afternoon visit Mt Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee, here right Infront of us spread the geographical map of Jesus Galilean ministry. Hike along part of the Jesus Trail near Mt. Arbel leading into the Valley of the Doves the ancient passage way that lead from Nazareth to Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 11 (Nov 11 – SAT): Departure from Tel Aviv to the US
OPTIONAL POST-TOUR EXCURSION TO JORDAN
Day 11: Jordan – Mt. Nebo – Petra
After breakfast, we depart to cross the border to Jordan. We visit Mt. Nebo, the place where prophet Mousa (Moses) gazed over the Promised Land before he died. We visit an old monastery and enjoy a view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and parts of the Holy Land. Then we continue to drive towards Petra for a traditional Bedouin Dinner & overnight.
Day 12: Full day Petra – Amman
After breakfast, we visit the Site of Petra, the 2,000-year-old Nabatean city featured in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. We walk through the narrow passageway up to the treasury, a massive royal tomb carved out of solid rock. In the afternoon we transfer to Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Amman – Jerash - Visit the Luthrean Church in Amman (ELCJHL)
After breakfast at the hotel, we visit Jerash, north of the capital Amman. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, it’s known for the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman settlement of Gerasa (one of the cities of Decapolis). These include the 2nd-century Hadrian’s Arch, the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis, and the huge Forum’s oval colonnade. We then return to Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Arrive USA
We enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then check out and transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.
NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to various factors and at your Tour Leaders’ and Guide’s discretion.