Holy Land Pilgrimage APA
In mid-February 2019, the APA sponsored a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was great to be a part of this trip personally, along with my wife Mary and a total of 20 of our own people. It was very special to me, as I visited there some 43 years ago at the ripe age of 33. The Holy Sites obviously do not change, but the new archeological findings do create a sense that there is always more to discover in this ancient land. Our tour guide, Yair Mazur of AMI Tours, was excellent and knows the land as well as the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. Our Pilgrimage spiritual guides were Bishop Chad Jones and Father John Klein, both experienced in drawing on the historical and making it relational to our Christian lives today. We were privileged to celebrate Mass at many of the Holy Sites in ancient parishes built by our Christian ancestors. Many of these places are maintained by the Franciscan Order of the Roman Catholic Church and they were kind enough to allow us to celebrate, read and sing in the Holy Places. To me one of the most moving experiences was doing the Stations of the Cross in the streets where Jesus walked on his way to Calvary. We took turns carrying the Cross, as the streets we traversed were filled with busy commerce along the way. We stopped at each designation of the Stations and were able to speak over the noise of the crowds and sing the Stabat Mater.
Although a physically demanding trip with quite a bit of walking, everyone did well. We had three 80-year-olds and two others who used a walker on occasion and still we managed to see all of the Sites we had set out to visit. In addition to Bp. Chad and Fr. Klein, we were privileged to have other APA clergy on the trip including, Fathers James Johnson, Paul Rivard, and Deacon Louis Linn. On the Sunday when we were in Jerusalem, we concelebrated the Mass in the Chapel in Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, from where Jesus made His triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. The Franciscans provided a complete set of red chasubles for each of us to use. That was very kind of them.
I encourage all to make this life changing trip to the Holy Land if ever possible. I left with the words of the song in my mind, “I walked today where Jesus walked and felt him close to me.”
In Memorium—Canon R. Larry Emerson
Father Larry passed from this life to the life Expectant on Friday, March 29, 2019. Father Larry was bi-vocational for many years serving as Vicar of All Soul’s Anglican Church, Asheboro, North Carolina, and also as a law enforcement officer with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department. He was retired from both. We remember him primarily as the driving force in building All Soul’s Church from temporary quarters to the lovely facility built by the membership on Old Cox Road, Asheboro, North Carolina. Canon Emerson retired from his role as Vicar and later was appointed Vicar Emeritus. He and his wife Lindsay remained as active members of the Mission. God Rest His Soul.