The Holy Land in Breathtaking IMAX 3D

A visit to the Holy Land is a feast for all the senses. We will see, hear, taste, smell, and feel the land (physically and spiritually), and our engagement with the Scriptures will be enriched as a result.

While our group will experience the land from the ground, our perspective can be enhanced by views from the air. A new film project is underway that appears to be breaking through the ceiling of all previous Holy Land cinematography. The video below is a taste of the work, which is scheduled to be completed and released in 2013. We will see almost every location in the flyover video.

Enjoy! This will take your breath away.

Getting excited? Shalom!


How to Learn Some Hebrew

Hebrew is one of the official languages of Israel, along with Arabic. In Israel, almost everyone you meet speaks English, so it isn’t necessary to speak the local lingo to get around. Our tour guide is also a fluent English speaker and will be the one that gets us around during the days in the Holy Land. But while knowing a little Hebrew isn’t a necessity, it might be fun to try some!

There is an online language program available through the McKinney Public Library that is free to library cardholders. It’s called Mango Languages, and you can access it by going to the main library page, click on “Databases” in the right-hand menu, and then choose “Mango Languages” from the list. If you have an account with the McKinney Library, you will be able to create a login and choose from the many available languages for study, including both Hebrew and Arabic.

I have begun the Hebrew tutorial, and it’s fun for learning some conversational basics. The program includes the audio of the words and phrases it teaches you, as well as the way it is written in Hebrew and a phonetic-type transliteration (into our alphabet, since the Hebrew alphabet is different from ours). It does not teach the Hebrew alphabet itself, however, leaving us to figure it out as we go. This can be done more or less quickly, depending on your learning style.

If you give it a try and find you like it, but need a little help with learning the consonants and vowels, let me know and I’ll try to assist. Or if enough are interested, we can maybe work it into one of our group learning sessions. Shalom!

Get Ready…. Start Now!

Getting ready for a trip abroad can be exciting…what to pack?  how many shoes?  what else should I bring?  what do I need to know?

The first thing – ensure the passport is updated and all registration information is turned in.

Then, on to the fun stuff!

Exercise!  What?  I thought this was a fun trip.  It is a fun, educational, and spiritual journey.  However, if we are going to walk in the path and footsteps of Jesus, we need to be walking!  Much of the trip will be on and off a bus and some of the exciting things to see will be on a walk.

How to get ready?  Start walking.  Find your favorite park, neighborhood, mall, or for some the high school track.  Your goal should be to walk about 1/2 mile with some slight hills easily.  We have 4 months to prepare, I know you can do it.  You will see me walking the children to school each day!  I’ll look for you.

Don’t worry, I’ll post more information with answers to the questions in the first sentence.

Welcome to FUMC in the Holy!

Shalom, and Welcome!

On January 16, 2012, First United Methodist Church will embark on an amazing journey to the Holy Land: “Christian Friends Following in the Path of Jesus.” It’s more than a trip, though. It’s a spiritual journey, too.

In fact, our travel to the Holy Land is only the final “field trip” on a journey of learning, discipleship growth, and Christian community. We will study, pray, and prepare together in the weeks leading up to our departure. This site is dedicated to supporting that journey on many levels.

If you would like to know more about the trip itself, click on the Travel tab. If you need to contact one of the leaders, use the Contact form. For more about using this site, read the next post, How To Use This Site. (Easy, isn’t it?)

Grace and Peace! Enjoy the journey!

How to Use This Site

This website is built on a blog platform, which means it is easy for us to share information in a dynamic way and to interact with one another in discussion.

When you point your browser to, you will see a list of posts, or articles, with the most recent one at the top. It will have a title, date, and author. The front page will display the most recent 10 posts. If you want to read something published before then, see the Archive menu on the sidebar to the right.

What sets a blog post apart from an ordinary article is the Comment section that you find at the bottom. A blog post is an article that invites participation, feedback, and comments from those in the community of readers.

If you would like to join the discussion, look for a section titled “Leave a Comment” at the bottom of the post.  Type in your name, email address, and your comment.  Click “Post Comment” when you are done.  (If your comment does not appear immediately, don’t worry – it may have to be reviewed just to prevent spam and the like.)

It can be burdensome to visit the site routinely just to see if there are any new posts or other updates.  The blog provides a simple way to be notified by email when there is activity.  You can check the box anytime you leave a comment on any page, or look for the place to “Subscribe via Email” in the right hand column and click “Sign me up!” Either way, you should only need to enter your email once and you’ll be subscribed.

Finally, for those who prefer news readers – you probably didn’t need these instructions at all, but you should find links to subscribe to the RSS feed as well. Click on the orange button peeking out of the menu bar at the top, and you’ll be prompted to subscribe using the reader of your choice.