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Virtually retrace our Savior's steps on the Jesus Journey

Virtually retrace our Savior's steps on the Jesus Journey

Missions and Outreach

Rev. David Juliano was chatting recently with another pastoral friend about the regret both felt at the havoc the pandemic caused with, well, just about everything in the Church.

They had a pandemic hangover.

"I really thought it would be over by now," he said.

There was one area both agreed had been hit the worst, though.

"The pandemic had restricted travel so much," Rev. Juliano said. "But it was particularly those trips to the Holy Land that were hit the hardest. We just couldn't do those, and they are vital to so many people."

Rev. David Juliano

What to do?

Rev. Juliano, Lead Pastor at First Sebring UMC, thought that perhaps a virtual experience through an app might work, but the ones he found with different mission themes didn't have one for the Holy Land.

Maybe they could hire a company to create such an app?

"I quickly found out that was cost-prohibitive," he said.

Rev. Juliano doesn't give up easily, though.

"Necessity is the mother of invention," he said. "We've got a pretty cool website, and I wondered if we could create a virtual Holy Land tour there? I talked with some of our guys, and it was, yeah, we can do this."

They are doing it.

Behold: The Jesus Journey: A Virtual Lenten Pilgrimage.

It's a 120-mile walk spread over 40 days that traces Jesus' final trip from Capernaum to Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa, and the empty tomb. It works out to three miles per day at any pace the participant can handle.

Although that's how the trek is divided, there's no set time to finish.

"Go at your own pace," Rev. Juliano said.

It's divided into six stages, based on Gospel accounts. Each stage includes maps, lessons, historical facts, prayer, and a chance for meditation as we ponder the boundless gift of grace Jesus gave to humankind.

"Don't feel overwhelmed by the distance. Remember, the believer's path is paved with grace," Rev. Juliano said.

"We invite you to make this Lenten pilgrimage however you are able: walk, run, or ride a bike. The important thing is that you make the journey, not the means that carries you."

Those who could find this too physically challenging can still participate. Just spend an hour a day in meditation on the lesson. One hour of study is worth 3.5 miles.

"We're encouraging people not to walk alone," he said. "This is better with someone or in a group. It generates discussion."

Click here for more information and to register. Passwords to access the first stage information will be sent on Feb. 25 for those who sign up.

Registration is free, and completion medallions are available for $10.


Joe Henderson is News Content Editor for

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