Through the Lastinger Summer Fellowship program, I went to the Holy Land in June 2017. While there, I nurtured and strengthened my relationship with Jesus Christ. Throughout the journey, I reflected on my role as the Dean of Spiritual Life and Chaplain at Episcopal. This spiritual pilgrimage is already influencing my roles as chaplain and teacher and will continue to bear fruit on our campus and beyond.
Spending nearly two weeks in Israel was life changing. When I went to Galilee, I put my feet in the River Jordan, imagining the scenes where John the Baptist baptized people, recalling Jesus’ own baptism, and reflecting on my own baptismal vows. At the sea of Galilee, I read and reread the stories of Jesus on the boat with his disciples and the numerous Gospel stories which occurred on its shores. In Jerusalem, I read and reflected on so many Old and New Testament stories as I gazed upon the sites where the scripture first unfolded. I went to the Western Wall to pray for friends and family, placing my written petitions in the wall with thousands of other prayers to God. I retraced the steps of Jesus on his final days. I know I will never experience Holy Week in the same way again.
This fellowship prepared and equipped me to lead a pilgrimage of Episcopal students and families to Israel in June 2018. Katie Black and I are excited to join Rev. Adam Greene in leading others on this exciting journey to the Holy Land next summer.