This might be of interest to some readers:

Dear Professors, Colleagues, and Group Leaders, We are currently taking sign ups for the MARCH 6-14, 2009 FAM. TRIP! And this year we are offering a SPECIAL optional Extension to Israel! We are happy to have Dr. Mark Wilson accompany the Fam. Trip group next year, to share his vast knowledge of the country, its culture and history. The March familiarization trip is for professors who are bringing or would like to bring a group to Turkey and want to come to experience some of the sights on their own before making a group tour. This trip has very limited space because of the special price.  The professor price of $1,195 is land, airfare & tax inclusive, based on double occupancy, with airfare from New York, JFK. The cost of a single room is $1,490 per person. Please ask for our spouse rate. Participants of this trip are responsible for their own transport to and from JFK. If you are interested in signing up for this trip please contact me for further details. As usual, we will be organizing yet another memorable event, open to all Christians, at the ancient city of Ephesus.  We would like to invite all of you to join our Famous Ephesus Meeting May 2009! www.ephesusmeeting.com , you can watch our introductory movie here. Ephesus Meeting 2009 is a spiritual journey to the Biblical Sites and the Early Churches in Turkey. We have many wonderful University, College, Seminary and Church groups join this event. The event is an unforgettable experience of fascinating speakers, wonderful music, and a spiritual ambiance in an ancient land…. We are also excited about our NEW website. Please click here, www.turkeystudyabroad.com, to view our special group programs of Cultural Exploration and Education, Art Programs, Archaeology Programs, Culinary Programs and Ancient Medicine Programs. We hope to meet you AT OUR BOOTH in Providence, RI November 19-21, at ETS (booth #406), and in Boston, MA November 22-24, at SBL, (booth #117).  We will also be offering an additional meeting, with a slide show presentation, on The Seven Churches, and the Footsteps of St. Paul in Asia Minor.  ETS additional meeting, date and time will be announced and the SBL additional meeting is Sunday, November 23 from 4:00- 6:30 pm…. Ephesus Meeting www.ephesusmeeting.com
Tutku Tours www.tutkutours.com


Haaretz has an interesting article on the historical archive of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Some excerpts:

Tucked away in Jerusalem’s Old City, between the entrance to the David Street market and the Armenian Quarter is one of Jerusalem’s unsung treasures – a small room chock full of books, letters and documents in the historic Christ Church complex. Many of the documents are hand-written in the flowery style of the 19th century or earlier, written by Europeans, particularly the British, who lived and worked here. Coming to the documents’ hopeful rescue is a recently initiated project that applies a combination of cutting edge technology and devotion to history to set them on their way toward digitalization as a means of preserving the stories they tell for future generations…. To explain what the library is all about, Arentsen’s supervisor and Christ Church’s new rector, Rev. David Pileggi pulls out one of the thousands of glass slides the library also owns. He holds it up, illuminating it in the afternoon Jerusalem sunlight streaming though the windows from the Christ Church courtyard. This one depicts nurses standing next to the beds of patients on a ward of the first hospital in Jerusalem, founded by the missionaries. “Life is complicated,” Pileggi says, using the slide to segue into what is obviously a pet subject of his–dispelling the notion that nineteenth-century European Christians “were only interested in converting Jews to hasten Jesus’ second coming.” Pileggi, an affable and talkative Floridian who has lived in Israel for 28 years broaches an issue that raises hackles in Jewish and Israeli society. He concedes the hospital’s missionary purpose, but seems intent on getting across that it was “mixed with a deep sympathy for the Jews that came from reading the Bible. When you read the Bible and immerse yourself in its culture, as they did in places like England, Holland, and parts of Germany, you begin to identify with the main characters. That’s certainly part of what these people were doing…. The precious documents found in the rare holdings closet put the Conrad Schick Library on a list of over 50 priceless collections whose preservation and digitalization is the goal of the Historical Libraries and Archives Survey, a project under the wing of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. Along with the Conrad Schick Library, the survey aims to preserve and digitize collections throughout Jerusalem – from the Afeefi family’s 43 Arabic manuscripts on astronomy and other science kept in their Jerusalem home to the library in the ancient Syriac Orthodox St Mark’s church with at least 300 manuscripts, the Al Aqsa Mosque repository with about 1,000 manuscripts and hundreds of ancient Korans, and the collection of the Admor of Karlin with more than 800 manuscripts, some centuries old. Dr. Merav Mack, 35, a Cambridge University-educated medieval scholar and a fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, is a consultant on the project along with colleague Peter Jacobsen. “We think the project is important because the city’s written treasures are of such enormous educational and cultural value to our global heritage.”

HT: Joe Lauer