Greetings St. John’s,
I am Rosalie Simmons, mother of Adelle Simmons.
It has been a tremendous blessing for me to accompany her and St. John’s Church group on their journey to the Holy Land.
Each of the 3-day experiences has exceeded the previous.
Today we visited the Jordan River to renew baptism vows on the shore. Here we were able to see an unusual overflow of the river due to yesterday’s rain.
Andrew used a small bouquet of leaves dipped in the Jordan to sprinkle everyone during the ceremony.
Following the baptism, he anointed everyone with oil as he prayed for individual healings.
Standing at the edge of the river, listening, to its flow and seeing the sun shine upon the water brought a higher level of meaning and spirituality to the two experiences.
We sang “We Will Gather at the River,” and this brought joy beyond measure in that it was literally true.
Although the entire day was meaningful, the second most impressive was the climb up the Mount of Beatitudes.
There we heard the scripture reading from Matthew 5:1-16 where Rev. Andrew reminded us to be salt and light for the world and share the good news (Gospel of Jesus Christ).
Here we shared the Holy Eucharist as we have done each day of the pilgrimage. We sang “This Little Light of Mine” on Mt. Eremos.
Andrew demonstrated how Jesus’ voice could be heard by the multitudes by standing at the entrance of a cave atop the mountain and spoke to us as we stood at the foot of the mountain. We were able to hear him clearly without him raising his voice above a regular sermon level.
The visit to Capernaum to see the ancient Synagogue and St. Peter’s House was extremely interesting.
The boat ride on the Sea of Galilee was absolutely awesome as we listened to the scripture of Jesus walking on water and of Him calming the storm.
Today’s experience was one that I will never forget, and it is already having a tremendous impact upon my life.
It is my hope that everyone could have this life-changing experience which brings the understanding of scripture to another level.