Today—our second Sunday in the Galilee—was planned as a less intense day.
We began by making a short visit to Capernaum which we had not been able to visit the previous Sunday. The landscaping has continued apace since I was last here in June 2013, although I am not entirely sure that the end result has been a wonderful outcome. In any case, most people had eyes only for the ruins and—of course—the modern church that hovers just above the Venerated House, believed by many to be the home of St Peter. The ruins give us some idea of what to expect in Area T at Bethsaida, while the new church is a model of structures that sit above (rather than 0n) the ruins. May favourite location at Capernaum remains the monumental synagogue that towers above the humble stone houses of the ancient town.
From Capernaum we headed to Haifa so that we could worship with the Anglican community at St Luke’s Church. We made good time, arriving just before 10.00am for a 10.30 service! I assisted with the service: reading the Gospel, offering the Great Thanksgiving Prayer (we used one from the Australian Prayer Book), and serving Holy Communion. Afterwards we were offered generous Arab hospitality in the church hall:
After leaving the church we went to the top of the hill to enjoy the panoramic vista over the Haifa harbour, including the beautiful Bahai Gardens:
From there we went to Dado beach, via a local schwarma shop and the train station at Nof HaKarmel (where we collected another Bethsaida volunteer). The day was hot, but the beach was a fabulous place for people to encounter the Mediterranean Sea:
Finally, we went to Mt Tabor. After taking taxis to the top of the mountain we enjoyed both the monumental church and the spectacular views.
Impressive as the buildings and views may be, I most enjoy the gardens and their abandoned structures: