Information for Non-Members of Hope Lutheran and St. Margaret’s

We are not recruiting pilgrims from outside Hope Lutheran Church and St. Margaret’s, but will consider applications from non-members with these important understandings:

  1. In the unlikely event that we have so many Hope Lutheran and St. Margaret’s people that we’re stretching capacity, Hope and St. Margaret’s people have priority. As of this writing, this is very unlikely to be an issue.
  2. This is an unapologetically religious pilgrimage, and not a standard group tour. That makes a difference in a couple of important areas:
    • It’s important to participate in the educational offerings ahead of the pilgrimage, and in the spiritual and community life of the pilgrim group, including worship, and group discussion. On past pilgrimages, we’ve had some stand-offish people who didn’t want anything to do with us as a church group. That damages the cohesion of the group.
    • We don’t have a professional designated “tour coordinator” who manages things like getting bags where they’re supposed to be, etc. That’s been an issue with past St. Margaret’s tours/pilgrimages where people expected the parish (i.e., the priest or staff) to act in the roles that professional tour operators normally would, fetching bags, making arrangements for side trips, making dinner reservations, etc.
  3. CRITICAL: The stated costs assume departure from Los Angeles International Airport. There are other options (e.g., flying on different dates or from different home airports), but they add substantially to the cost. Pilgrims who don’t travel from Los Angeles International Airport on the same flights as the group itself need to take these issues into account:

Pilgrims who you do not fly on the same planes, same flights, same days and times as the group, originating in Los Angeles, cannot participate in the group flight rate. This is a United Airlines and general airline industry regulation concerning, and not within our control. Pilgrims may opt out of the group travel from Los Angeles according to the published schedule. However, doing so means making completely new flight arrangement, not adapting a group travel ticket, and those pilgrims will need to book their own flights (optionally with our travel agent’s assistance) and notify us as part of registration that they are not participating in the group air travel.

The group round trip group airfare cost to us is $1,165 per person. So to make alternate air travel plans pilgrims will need to find and purchase their own round trip airline tickets, and we’d deduct $1,165 from the final payment for the pilgrimage. Pilgrims must notify us if they do this, because we need to know not to purchase a group Economy fare ticket. Pilgrims who decline to notify us will forfeit the $1,165 credit.

There are two ways for pilgrims to accomplish separate air travel arrangements:

      1. Pilgrims can call Pinnacle Travel Services LLC at (888) 896-3636 or send email to at any time, and they will be happy to assist you. Identify yourself as part of the Hope Lutheran / St. Margaret’s Holy Land Pilgrimage, Oct. 8-19, 2017.
      2. Pilgrims can make their own travel arrangements, and do not have to go through our travel agent if they don’t want to.

Pilgrims who do not arrive in Tel Aviv with the group, will be completely responsible for arranging transportation to reconnect with the group in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. We will attempt to assist pilgrims, but do not guarantee satisfactory ground transportation.

Registrations and inquiries should be directed to the Rev. Lane Hensley at St. Margaret’s, and not to our travel agent.

Last updated: August 22, 2017 at 13:32 pm