Friday, March 1, 2013

Follow my blog posts from Israel

Traveling to Israel - or the Holy Land, as many pilgrims still call it - has been on my bucket list since I was a kid.

Thumbing through my illustrated Catholic Children’s Bible decades ago, I ooh-ed and aah-ed at pictures of David decking Goliath, farm animals congregating around the newborn babe in Bethlehem, and Jesus walking on water as his dazzled apostles looked on.

This was a land I needed to see with my own eyes.
Next week, I’ll be there.

I’m joining 46 members of Temple Beth El and Myers Park Baptist Church on what is believed to be the first interfaith trip to Israel involving Charlotte houses of worship. Leading the trip: Rabbi Judy Schindler and the Rev. Steve Shoemaker.

Our itinerary includes sacred sites: The Western Wall, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Mount Gilead, Bethlehem, Masada and the Via Dolorosa.

My plan, technology willing, is to blog every day. I’ll begin posting Monday or Tuesday and continue into the next week.

So check out 'Funk on Faith' at

It’s become a trend, at least locally: Neighborhood churches banding together during Lent to host joint services, complete with sermons and light food.

-- The Plaza-Midwood/Shamrock/Commonwealth churches are meeting Wednesdays at noon (through March 20) for worship and lunch at Plaza Presbyterian, 2304 The Plaza. Next week’s preacher: The Rev. Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran.

-- 'The Wednesday Worship' by churches in Elizabeth will continue at noon - with a $5 soup lunch at 12:25 p.m. - through March 27 at St. John’s Baptist, 300 Hawthorne Lane. Next week’s preacher: The Rev. David Docusen of Center City Church of Charlotte. Crisp will serve the soup and bread.

-- The churches of Park Road will have dinner, programs for adults, children and youth, and a brief worship service on the next two Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Next week’s speakers: The Revs. Jane Summey Mullennix, Avondale Presbyterian, and A.J. Thomas, St. Paul United Methodist. To RSVP and get locations, call 704-332-4171.

-- Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour will be in Charlotte Friday 3/08 to celebrate Mass (in English, Arabic and Aramaic) for the local Lebanese Catholic community. The service starts at 7 p.m. at St. Matthew Catholic, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

-- Gen Kelsang Jampa, a Buddhist monk and national spiritual director for the New Kadama Tradition, will speak about modern Buddhism, 2-4 p.m. March 17, 2-4 p.m., at the Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. 7th St..

-- Charlotte-born neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, who wrote about his near-death experience in the best-selling 'Proof of Heaven,' will speak at 7 p.m. March 22, 7 pm at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road.

-- Tim Funk