Bishop Cynthia Harvey and her husband Dean Harvey have returned from their travels with nearly 45 United Methodists from the Louisiana Conference as well as Texas and Alabama as they retraced the steps of the Apostle Paul’s fourth missionary journey through Italy, Greece and Turkey. The tour ended on Sept. 21.
The group sailed the Mediterranean Sea stopping at historic Corinth, Rhodes and Ephesus, all spots where Paul visited. Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie served as guest speaker for the group and Bishop Harvey led the travelers in worship throughout the journey.
In January of 2016, Bishop Harvey will lead another group from the Louisiana Conference to the Holy Land. This group will include new clergy ordinands, who are sponsored by the conference to join the tour.
Bishop Harvey recently penned this reflective on what it meant to her to travel to the Holy Land for the first time:
It was in the Spring of 1994 when Dean and I left our almost two-year-old with her grandparents and set out on our first solo trip (without the baby). We fretted about the journey. It was so far. Will we ever get to talk to Elizabeth? (Cell phone technology was still pretty pedestrian at the time) She will grow so much while we are gone. What if we miss one of her firsts? What if she doesn’t recognize us when we get home?
These were all legitimate concerns as we boarded our flight that would take us on a journey of a lifetime, although we were yet unaware of its impact. Next stop. . .Tel Aviv.
Yes, we missed our child, but what a gift. When you travel to this truly Holy Land, the Bible becomes three-dimensional. You begin to understand more fully the depth of the scriptures. You never read the Bible the same way again.
An added gift for me was the timing. We returned just days before Holy Week. I remember preaching on Maundy Thursday and being brought to tears – I had walked where Jesus and the disciples walked. I understood the intimacy of the Upper Room. I knew what was coming. I had been to the Garden of Gethsemane; I had been to Golgotha.
You have an opportunity to experience your journey of a lifetime in January 2016. I, along with several other pilgrims including members of the ordination class, invite you to join us January 19-28. You, too, can have the opportunity to become a character in the Biblical story as it unfolds before your very eyes.
For more information about the Holy Land trip, click here
or contact Kathryn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org