A group of 22 IPC members and friends returned from a truly remarkable two-week journey to Israel on Sunday evening, May 28. Our fearless leader was Dr. Jeff Leonard, professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Samford University, specializing in the areas of Hebrew, Hebrew Bible, and the ancient Near East.
I know that if you ask anyone who was lucky enough to go on this trip, every single person will tell you that we learned so much from Jeff that we never knew before, and that we also experienced familiar bible stories in new and deeper ways because we were standing in the places where these stories took place. We stood in the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath, and picked up stones from the dry river bed where David chose his five smooth stones for battle. We looked out over the vast desert wilderness at Mitzpe Ramon, and understood in a more visceral way the despair of the people of Israel as they wandered in that forbidding, harsh, and dry wilderness for forty years. We took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and imagined Jesus, Peter, Andrew, James, and John fishing in those same waters, and Jesus stilling the sudden storm on that beautiful sea. We walked the Via Dolorosa, following the footsteps of Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane, to the arrest, to trial at the home of Caiphas, and then on to the Temple Mount and to the crucifixion on Golgotha and the borrowed tomb. And so much more!
I am quite sure each one of us came home with deepened faith. We are all so grateful for the opportunity to be in that sacred land and to learn from someone of deep Christian faith and amazing knowledge like Jeff Leonard.
You will have an opportunity to learn from Jeff this summer as well.
Our combined Adult Sunday School class will begin this Sunday, June 4, at 9 am in Highland Hall with Jeff Leonard teaching us about the complex and difficult Book of Job. I hope you will come to learn all he can teach us. I know you will not be disappointed! It was wonderful to be in Israel, and it is great to be home!
Israel Photo Book
Check out some of the highlights of the two-week journey. The group was able to experience familiar bible stories in new and deeper ways.