Christ Church’s Father Mead takes group on pilgrimage to Israel

Father Matthew Mead of Christ Church took a pilgrimage group to Israel in March of 2022. During the time in Israel, the group visited many sites of importance, such as Bethlehem and the Sea of Galilee. At some of the sites, the group participated in Mass, renewed baptismal vows and participated in other religious rites.

“It was surprising to them how much it brought to life the stories they know from the Bible,” Mead said.

In addition to the experiences he had with the group, Mead spent two weeks alone in Israel before the group arrived. This allowed him to scout locations and plan the trip, as well as see specific places in Israel he had been meaning to see before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mead has taken other pilgrimage groups to Israel in the past. He first got the idea when he was a priest in Somers. A parishioner there worked with the American Friends of the Episcopal Church and led pilgrimages.

“I hope that they come away from the trip with three things,” Mead said, “a deeper understanding of the land and people, a greater faith in the Bible and friendships.”

In order to communicate his experiences, Mead made YouTube shorts and a picture book for the church. He also plans to put together a presentation for Christ Church in the fall.

“Being able to take a pilgrimage group to Israel is truly an incredible experience,” Mead said.