Pastor’s Blog

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Following the Footsteps of Paul: Rome

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

From Florence we journeyed by train to Rome. Many years ago I spent one night in Rome and promised myself that someday, God willing, I would come back and give it more time.

This city has spanned over 2700 years and for a thousand years it ruled a vast empire. Rome began as a small Latin village in 753BCE. Over time it became the dominant city in the region…

Following the Footsteps of Paul: Subject of Relics

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

In my last blog I talked about magic. I want to reflect for a moment upon the subject of relics. A relic is a bit of bone or cloth or any other substance that belonged to a saint. These materials, many have believed, hold within their essence some of the holiness of that saint and could…

Following the Footsteps of Paul: Cyprus

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

We stayed on the eastern side of the island of Cyprus very near to the place where Paul and Barnabas landed in Salamis, on their first missionary journey. They had with them a young man named Mark. Here is the patron saint after whom our church was named. We see him young, fresh and inexperienced in the passage from Acts 13:4-12. He may have had no idea, really, what he was getting into but reality would hit him very soon…

Following the Footsteps of Paul

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

Once we left Jerusalem and Israel, we began the second part of this Pilgrimage Journey – which is to follow the footsteps of the Apostle Paul.

The first place we came to was Cyprus. Paul’s companion, a Levite named Barnabas, came from Cyprus. We found here a beautiful Greek island with warm and friendly people…

Holy Land Pilgrimage: The Sabbath

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

The Sabbath and it’s Eve are very important times in the lives of Jewish families. We were astonished to see the streams of Orthodox and not-so-Orthodox Jews heading toward the Western Wall on a Friday late afternoon. Large groups of yeshiva boys and young men stream past, singing at the top of their lungs…

Holy Land Pilgrimage: Mount of Olives

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

We climbed up the Mt. of Olives today on the East side of Jerusalem. This was Jesus’ most oft used route into Jerusalem and it passed through Bethany, the village of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. On this road Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey with the crowds welcoming him, waving palm branches and crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”

Holy Land Pilgrimage: The Pool of Bethesda

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

There was a pool near what was known as the Sheep Gate in Jesus’ day. It was a part of a larger complex of cisterns which collected water for use in the Temple. Also there, were small pools which were used for medicinal purposes. Legend said that from time to time an angel would stir the waters…

Holy Land Pilgrimage: Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

Today we walked to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the church that holds within it both Mount Calvary and the Tomb of Christ. We arrived in time to catch the tail end of the Franciscan Procession. Every day at 5PM, they process throughout the church, chanting; with candles lit and incense rising. It is quite beautiful to hear as the male voices echo hauntingly around that cavernous church…

Holy Land Pilgrimage: Capernaum and the Golan Heights

by Rev. Craig Tanksley

On the northwestern corner of the Sea of Galilee are the remains of the village of Capernaum. This was Jesus’ home base for his ministry in Galilee, and there are many wonderful moments recorded in the gospels of His activity in and around this town. The White Synagogue was built on the foundation of what may have been the Synagogue in which Jesus taught (John 6)…