Diocese of Eastern America and New York
A Group of Scouts from SGPA Performed a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
From July 25 to August 9, a group of scouts from St. George Pathfinders of America (SGPA) performed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The group was headed by the spiritual counselor of SGPA Chapter "Tsarskoe Selo," Archpriest Serge Lukianov, along with SGPA’s Head Scoutmaster Alexei T. Zacharin, Director of the Eastern American Division Scoutmaster Tatiana Zacharin-Geringer, and "Tsarskoe Selo" Chapter Director Scoutmaster Nicholas Pokrovsky, and about 50 children and parents.
The pilgrims flew from New York City to Tel Aviv, and speedily made their way to the Holy City – Jerusalem. There, the group first visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where they venerated the principle holy sites of Christendom – Golgotha (the place of the Savior’s Crucifixion), the Stone of Anointing (where Christ’s followers prepared His Body for burial) and, of course, the Sepulcher itself, Christ’s Tomb, from which He rose from the dead. A meeting was then held with His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, who gave the pilgrims his blessing to carry out their pilgrimage to Palestine’s holy sites. The group spent just under two weeks in the Holy Land.
Upon completion of the pilgrimage, the group visited Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. The pilgrims prayed in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which for over 1,000 years served as the largest Orthodox cathedral in the world.
The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem website has an article in Russian concerning the pilgrimage here.
The Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia provided assistance for this pilgrimage.