One thousand two hundred Global Anglican Future Conference pilgrims visited the Mount of Olives on Monday, June 23.
Traveling on close to 30 tour buses, the pilgrims worshipped, prayed together, and had their picture against the backdrop Jerusalem’s Old City. The Rev. David Pileggi, rector of Christ Church, Jerusalem, reminded pilgrims that it was on the Mount of Olives, which separates Jerusalem from the desert, that Jesus wept over the city. Pilgrims took time to pray for their own cities, provinces, dioceses, congregations, and families.
Pilgrims also walked down the valley slope to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus wrestled with God’s will and was arrested the night before his crucifixion.
The Rev. Martin Foord, from Perth, Australia, said of the experience: “It has revolutionised my reading of scripture. I can’t read the Bible the same way again. I can now visualise Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.”
His compatriot, the Rev. Gary Nelson, concurs: “I got this sense of history, being in the very place where real events happened. I got a feel for the distances. It has helped me visualise portions of scripture. You can understand how news (2,000 years ago) spread so quickly.”