Pastor's Notes‎ > ‎

October 2012

posted Dec 18, 2014, 3:09 PM by Henry McTague

Dearest Friends in Faith,

Having long wanted the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, I am finding that it is not easy to express my feelings on that experience.  Was it what I expected?  Yes, and no.  Did it have a spiritual impact on me?  Yes, and no.  If you sense some ambiguity here, well, you are exactly right.  And perhaps, that is the case for everyone who travels to the Middle East.  It is a place of contrasts – both of antiquity and modernity, of the spiritual and the commercial, and of various cultural and religious traditions.  Interestingly, our guides felt it important to impress upon us that it was a good place to visit, and that there was no violence or turmoil at the present time.  I suspect that is subject to change without much provocation, however, in all fairness, we did not experience or witness any moments of unrest or trouble during our visit to Israel, and our stop in Egypt was cancelled.

However, I do not want to give the impression that I regret this trip or that it was not worthwhile.  I loved seeing the geography of the land – the coastal plains, the Galilean mountains, and the desert on the far side of Bethlehem.  I breathed in the serenity of the Sea of Galilee, waded in the Jordan River, and stretched my arm over four rows of young Jewish girls to touch my fingers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem – and rode a donkey up the volcanic terrain of Santorini.  Sometime within the next several weeks, I will schedule a pot-luck supper and we will show you the pictures, and try to express more completely what this journey meant to us. 

My thanks and appreciation to everyone who “held down the fort” in my absence, and in particular to Sally Cedarholm, Rod MacKay and Katrina Rhodes who shoulder the bulk of the responsibility when I am gone. 

Wishing you every blessing,

Pastor Gail