Dear Friends and Fellow Pilgrims
I am delighted to announce our upcoming pilgrimage – The Journeys of Paul and the Churches of the Revelation – A Pilgrimage through Greece and Turkey! April 28-May 12, 2020!
I conducted a similar pilgrimage a number of years ago, and was thrilled with the result. While pilgrimage to Israel makes the Gospels come alive, the Journeys of Paul and Churches of the Revelation fills in the blanks of the rest of the New Testament – from the Book of Acts, through the writings of Paul and John, all the way to the Book of the Revelation, and the Letters to the Seven Churches!
When we think of the very early church, we think of the Holy Land – but the Gospel soon spread throughout Asia Minor and into Europe and beyond, thanks to the mission work of Paul and his companions, as well as the Apostles John and Philip. Galatia, Cappadocia, Colossae, Ephesus, Troas, Macedonia, Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth, Athens itself – the Good News could not be stopped. And we’ll be tracing that pathway, as we follow the Footsteps of Paul – often the very roads he travelled! – and visit the Churches of the Revelation, the seven great centres of faith under the care of the Apostle John.
New to this journey, we will be visiting Cappadocia, a place of astonishing geological wonder, and home to many of the very earliest Christian communities, many of whom lived and worshipped in extensive cave cities. Known for its surreal beauty, it is a world famous location for Hot Air Balloon festivals and rides, which is an option for our group as well!
We begin our tour in Athens, travelling through Greece and into Turkey, ending our tour in Istanbul, which, under its previous name of Constantinople, was the centre of Christian power, art, architecture and influence for 1000 years. Along the way, we will be standing in the ancient streets, marketplaces and churches in Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica; we will visit the breathtaking monasteries suspended in the sky in Meteora; we will walk through ancient Troy; we will stand in awe in the arena in Ephesus, hearing the echoes of Paul; we will dip our feet in hot springs of Pamukkale, wade in the Dardanelles, and cruise the Bosphorus to the waters of the Black Sea. In Istanbul, gateway between Asia and Europe, we will fill our eyes with the incredible mosaics and frescoes of the Chora church, with the soaring tiles of the Blue Mosque, and with the immensity of the Hagia Sophia, the greatest building in Christendom for a millennium.
Less physically strenuous than our journeys in Israel and Jordan, we will nevertheless be seeing a lot on foot, and the ability to walk 6 km over the course of a couple of hours, climb up to 6 flights of stairs at a time, and be on your feet for 6 hours over the course of a day, is a good guide to what to expect, and a minimum physical requirement. Not many days will exceed these numbers.
Registration is limited to approximately 12 participants from PEI and 12-16 (max) from Toronto (and beyond); financial details are in the attached brochure. I hope you will be able to join us on what will be an unforgettable and spiritually enriching and enlightening journey!
Blessings, Rev. Douglas Rollwage