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January 17-29, 2023

At the beginning of 2023, the Rev. Brenda Husson, along with Zack Thompson, will lead a pilgrimage of St. James’ parishioners to the Holy Land. This trip will be the fifth that the Rector has made with parishioners, and promises to deepen the faith of those traveling, enlarge their understanding of the issues that have roiled this land and its people for millennia, and allow them to walk in the footsteps of Jesus’ disciples.

View our itinerary

Travel Blog

Daily updates from the trip to the Holy Land. Check back here each day of the trip to hear from some of our pilgrims!

View a slideshow of photos from our tour guide’s past pilgrimages:

Reading List

Suggested Reading for the Holy Land Pilgrimage

Karen Armstrong | Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths

Venerated for millennia by three faiths, torn by irreconcilable conflict, conquered, rebuilt, and mourned for again and again, Jerusalem is a sacred city whose very sacredness has engendered terrible tragedy. In this fascinating volume, Karen Armstrong, author of the highly praised A History of God, traces the history of how Jews, Christians, and Muslims have all laid claim to Jerusalem as their holy place, and how three radically different concepts of holiness have shaped and scarred the city for thousands of years.

The Rev. Canon John Peterson | A Walk in Jerusalem: Stations of the Cross

In A Walk in Jerusalem, the Reverend Canon John L. Peterson brings new life to this centuries-old ritual known as the Stations of the Cross. Illustrated with a map, 14 black-and-white photographs, and 14 pen-and-ink drawings, this helpful guide provides the appropriate episode of the Passion story along with a meditation and brief liturgy that apply that story to today’s world. Designed for use on Good Friday or general devotions, A Walk in Jerusalem offers new insight into the Passion Narratives and encouragement to live as Christ taught.

Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan | The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem

Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, top Jesus scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus’s final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, by Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. See also their companion volume, The First Christmas.

Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan | The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Birth

This important book written by well-known biblical scholars Borg and Crossan explores the stories of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Borg and Crossan look at these stories in the context of the first century as they ask the question, “What did these stories mean in the first century and how are these stories to be understood today?” Reading The First Christmas and going to Bethlehem and understanding the geography of the hill country around Bethlehem and to Nazareth in the Galilee opens up a new understanding of the “truth of what the gospels actually say.”

Miko Peled | The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled: His beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re- examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel’s political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights and a hopeful, lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Sandy Toolan | The Lemon Tree

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in. This poignant encounter is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history. What began with a simple act of faith between two young people grew into a dialogue of four decades that represents the region’s hope for peace and self-determination. The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.

Bargil Pixner | With Jesus Through Galilee According to the Fifth Gospel

With the help of pictures and historical maps, the reader can follow the inner development of Jesus and his disciples and their role in society. Against the backdrop of the landscape of Galilee emerges the figure of Jesus the compassionate man.

Bargil Pixner | With Jesus in Jerusalem

A special endeavor of the author and his community is the attempt to redefine and renew the relationship between Christian and Jews, based on tolerance and on understanding founded on knowledge of the historical and spiritual background of Jesus’ time. They deliberately decided to have this book edited and published by an Israeli publisher. This reflects a new approach that allows Jews to see Jesus as a teacher and preacher, a son of their own people, and Christians to view the Jewish people in a new spirit of openness. Still, this book is a Christian interpretation of the life of Jesus. Who was responsible for Jesus’ death? Recent excavations and discoveries shed new light on contemporary groups such as Natzoreans, Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees and provide us with new understanding of the life around Jesus.

Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner | The Faith Club: A Muslim. A Christian, A Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding

When an American Muslim woman befriends two other mothers, one Jewish and one Christian, they decide to educate their children about their respective religions. None of them guessed their regular meetings would provide life-changing answers and form bonds that would forever alter their struggles with prejudice, fear, and anger. Personal, powerful, and compelling, The Faith Club forces readers to face the tough questions about their own religions.

George Mitchell | A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East

George Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011—working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—diplomacy did not prevail. Now, for the first time, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace.

Ben Ehrenreich | The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine

Over the past three years, Ben Ehrenreich has shared the laughter, fury and sorrow of people in cities and villages across the West Bank, young and old people, men and women. He has witnessed the extremes to which they are pushed, the daily deprivation and oppression that they face, the strategies they construct to survive it – stoicism, resignation, rebellion, humor, and a stubborn, defiant joy. In The Way to the Spring, he describes the cruel mechanics of the Israeli occupation and the endless absurdities and tragedies it engenders: the complex and humiliating machinery of the checkpoints, walls, courts and prisons; the steady, strangling loss of lands that have been passed down for generations; the constant ebb and flow of deadly violence.