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  • Our Tour of the Holy Land!

    To celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary over 2 years ago, we put a deposit down on an 11-day visit to Palestine. Shortly after, COVID happened, and it was delayed…twice!

    Well, we FINALLY made it to The Holy Land!

    We traveled with Dr. Karoline Lewis, New Testament professor at Luther Seminary, and 30 other “pilgrims” from various denominations and from across the U.S. We had a wonderful time, it was so interesting!

    The tour theme was: “Women in Jesus’ Life.” We were so surprised by some things, many places look nothing like we imagined, so many churches, cathedrals, synagogues, etc. are built over ancient excavations, and understandably, after 2000 years, the locations of many sacred sites are ambiguous at best. It could have taken place here…but there’s another location claiming to be the site as well! Despite this, it is awe-inspiring to be where Jesus once lived. We were part of a good tour group, saw many things that weren’t on our initial itinerary, stayed in nice hotels, ate lots of great foods, and had an amazing tour guide, Lama, a Palestinian who studied in the U.S. and Canada. She explained everything so well!

    Here are but a few photos of our time there:

    Day ONE: October 31, 2022:

    Waiting to begin our trip at O’Hare in Chicago.

    Flew Austrian Airlines to Vienna, then Tel Aviv. All went well, but it was a long and tiring trek.

    Day TWO: November 1, 2022:


    Our first stop was a resort on the west coast of the Dead Sea,

    We spent the first two nights, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 1 and 2, at the David Tower Dead Sea Resort & Spa.

    Day THREE: November 2, 2022:

    Crystallized salt along the coastline.

    I had to find out for myself, and yes, you DO float in the Dead Sea!

    Day FOUR: November 3, 2022:


    After two relaxing nights on the Dead Sea coast, we traveled north via the Jordan River Valley toward the Sea of Galilee. Our first stop was Masada, a fortress on a raised plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert where, according to Josephus (who heard this from a few women and children who survived it,) almost a thousand Jewish Zealots died by suicide as Roman troops attacked their fortress following the fall of Jerusalem in the early 70s CE. Cablecars carry visitors from the Visitor Center below to the fortress site on top.


    Our next stop was the Qumran, site of an Essene settlement and location of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found hidden in pottery in caves nearby.


    The excavations of this ancient city reveal a first century CE, 7,000 seat amphitheater, Roman baths, a market street, and the Fortress Mound, especially show us what the city was probably like during the Byzantine and Roman periods. It was destroyed by a severe earthquake in 749CE.

    Saw many sheets along the way!

    And we saw many CATS in Palestine as well! Some look like JOEY!!!


    We head north to the Sea of Galilee, and spent the next two nights at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Tiberius on the Sea’s west coast.

    Day FIVE: November 4, 2022:


    Got re-baptized (I know, I know, not really our thing) at a special site called “The Baptismal Site on the Jordan River,” where many, many people come to be baptized. Karoline, our leader, baptized all of us the Lutheran way, water on the forehead. It is a beautiful place along the river.


    Toured the recent excavations of Mary Magdalene’s fishing village hometown and the beautiful Duo in Altum Worship Center built near the Sea. Got a photo of all of the women who were a part of our tour!


    Traveled farther north along the west coast of the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum to Tagbha, the town where it’s believed Jesus fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes, and where Jesus appeared to the disciples for the fourth time after the crucifixion.

    Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes-

    This church contains elaborate mosaics indicating the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.

    Church of the Beatitudes-

    Thought to be the site where Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount.


    The Memorial Church of St. Peter-

    This church is built on what’s believed to be the remains of Peter’s home where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.

    Church of the Primacy of Peter-

    Built at the site thought to be where Jesus called on Peter to “feed my sheep.”

    Man in the Galilee Museum-

    Sailing on the Sea of Galilee-

    Took a boat out on the Sea of Galilee at dusk and celebrated the Eucharist.

    Day SIX: November 5, 2022:


    The Wedding Church


    Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation

    Mary is said to have been at the well when the angel Gabriel visited her to give her the good news that she would bear a child, Jesus.

    Basilica of the Annunciation

    The Church of Saint Joseph



    Ev. Lutheran Christmas Church

    Day SEVEN: November 6, 2022:


    Church of the Nativity

    Shepherds Field

    Day EIGHT: November 7, 2022:


    Walled Off Hotel: BanksyArt Gallery and Museum

    The Wall

    Dar Al-Kalima University

    Refugee Camp


    Mount of Olives

    The King’s Valley Trail


    This is a Canaanite Tomb from the late Bronze Age.

    Dominus Flevit Church

    This is a view of Old Jerusalem from the Dominus Fleet Church. In the center of this picture are the Golden Gates, which is expected to be opened only when Jesus comes again!

    The Garden of Gethsemane and The Church of All Nations

    Sunset over Jerusalem

    Day NINE: November 8, 2022:


    St. Stephen’s Gate

    The Western Wall

    Dome of the Rock


    Baths where Jesus healed the paralytic man.

    St. Anne’s Church

    Birthplace of Mary.

    Via Dolorosa

    The Stations of the Cross, the path of Jesus’ passion.

    Station I – Jesus is condemned to death

    Church of Ecce Homo, Ecco Homo Arch

    Station 2 – Jesus bears the Cross

    Church of the Flagellation and Chapel of the Condemnation

    Station 3 – Jesus falls the first time

    Polish Catholic Chapel

    Station 4 – Jesus meets his mother

    Armenian Catholic Church of our Lady of Sorrows

    Station 5 – Simon of Cyrene bears the Cross

    Chapel of Simon of Cyrene

    Station 6 – A woman wipes Jesus’ face

    Church of the Holy Face and Saint Veronica

    Station 7 – Jesus falls the second time

    Major Crossroad Junction and Franciscan Chapel

    Station 8 – The women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus

    Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Charalampus

    Station 9 – Jesus falls the third time

    Ethiopian Orthodox Monastery and Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Anthony.

    Entrance courtyard to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    As a result of the Status Quo, a ladder placed before 1757 remains in place to this day.

    Station 10 – Jesus is stripped of his garments

    Station 11 – Jesus is nailed to the cross

    Calvary (Golgotha)

    Station 12 – Jesus dies on the cross

    Station 13 – Jesus is taken down from the cross

    Stone of Anointing

    Station 14 – Jesus is placed in the sepulchre

    The Tomb

    Other chapels in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    Day TEN: November 9, 2022:


    Mary’s Spring

    Church of the Visitation and The Magnificat

    The Garden Tomb

    FINAL Dinner, The Root

    Day ELEVEN: November 10, 2022:

    Our Group

    Our Driver

    Our Tour Guide

    Our Tour Leader


    Boarded the bus at 2:15 am.


    Took off at 6:15am.


    Changed planes, took off at


    Landed at 2:45pm


    Drove home to Minneapolis!

  • Virginia Family Vacation!

    July 4-9, 2022

    Packed sooooo much fun into six days with Beth and KJ and Dan and Emily! Saw the Capitol Fourth fireworks from our hotel in DC, stayed at Alone Mill Schoolhouse near Lexington, an Airbnb that used to be the school where Carolyn’s mother attended and her grandmother taught. Held a memorial service at Culpeper National Cemetery for Carolyn’s mother, who died May 14, 2021. Good to see her sister, Theresa and her family there. Carolyn gave our family a tour of her hometown, Fredericksburg. Ended the week with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg…hadn’t been there for almost 40 years! A Great Time together!!!

  • Carolyn’s 50th High School Reunion!

    June 21-27, 2022

    Carolyn’s reunion was in Fredericksburg, VA on June 25th. We went early to visit Shenandoah National Park, friends in Pearisburg, and her cousin in Bowling Green, among other things! Drove there, beautiful scenery in the Appalachians!

  • Trip to San Francisco!

    May 6-12, 2022

    Flew to San Francisco to visit Beth and KJ and Pinto. Had a wonderful time. Dave got to take Pinto on many walks!

  • Christmas!

    December 24-5, 2021

    Celebrated the holiday with Dan and Emily at our place. Beth and KJ joined us on face time.

  • Thanksgiving Together!

    November 19-26, 2021

    So good to have Beth and KJ and Pinto come to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving this year!

  • To Yakima for the Ordination of a Deacon!

    August 14, 2021

    Kathy Sebree was ordained a Minister of Word and Service in the ELCA at Christ Lutheran in Yakima, WA. She is called to serve in the position I retired from in 2020. Congratulations, Deacon Kathy!

  • A visit from a couple of Lincolnites!

    July 12-15, 2021

    Good to have Doug and Barb come up for a visit!

  • Trip to SF!

    May 18-24, 2021

    Had a wonderful time visiting Beth and KJ and Pinto in their new home!

  • Superior Shores Getaway!

    October 11-13, 2020

    Thanks to our children for the trip to a resort on the North Shore, Superior Shores. It’s a beautiful time of year!!