Trip Information Meeting – July 29, 5:30 pm, Room C200

July 29 at 5:30 pm in Room C200 at First UMC McKinney, Information meeting for the Holy Land Trip – January 18-27, 2013.  We will give you information about this trip and answer all your questions as we are able.

Why this trip to this place at this time?

Motivated by the transforming power of Jesus Christ and a desire to enjoy a deeper relationship and understanding of Christ this trip will provide an opportunity like no other. It is a spiritual pilgrimage to follow the route of Jesus and the disciples. We will travel on the major highways that are the same route as ancient roads. We will walk in the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. We will sail on a wooden boat on the Sea of Galilee, walk the Via Dolorosa and end at Calvary and the Empty Tomb.

Even more than seeing the sites!  We will meet and worship with Christians living in the Holy Land and support missions in the Palestinian controlled land.

Dr. John Harman will accompany this trip and teach pre-trip study classes in the fall. Tina Ripperger,, is the group leader and is able to answer questions about the trip.

More information, including a downloadable brochure, can be found in the document box to the lower right of this blog.


See the Scrolls: A Field Trip!

When we visited the Holy Land in January we stopped near the Dead Sea at a site called Qumran. In several of the caves around Qumran, the first Dead Sea Scrolls were recovered. The first of these discoveries was in 1947, and it ushered in a new era in many fields, including biblical studies. The Dead Sea Scrolls are widely considered to be one of the most significant archaeological finds of all time.

In Fort Worth, a special exhibit is underway featuring scroll fragments owned locally by Southwestern Seminary, a rare fragment from a Genesis scroll on public display for the first time, two fragments on loan from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, facsimiles of other major scrolls, and related artifacts connected to the early archaeology of Qumran. The exhibition is called Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures, and we are organizing a field trip from First UMC to go.

The Holy Land travel group from 2012 invites you to join us on Sunday, September 9, 2012. We will leave from First UMC in McKinney at 1:00 p.m. and travel to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, or you can meet us there by 2:30. The exhibit is open until 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. We will purchase a block of tickets at a group rate ($25 for adults), so to get that rate you will need to let us know you are coming. Email the Adult Discipleship office and tell us your name, email address, a contact phone number, and how many are coming. Seniors (62+), children, and students (with ID) save a little more (active military are free with ID), so tell us if you fit any of those categories. We’ll send you instructions on getting payment to the church. The deadline to reserve with the group and to make payment will be Friday, August 31 at noon.

Check out the excellent website and related resources at, and stay tuned to this blog over the next several weeks for some discussion and some recommended reading and resources to inform and prepare you for the experience.