Follow in the footsteps of Paul in Turkey with the Rev. Jeff Larsen.
Larsen, the senior pastor at Barrington Congregational Church -- "The White Church," is leading a 12-day trip to Turkey in October that will trace the route the Apostle Paul took to spread Christianity after the death of Jesus.
Larsen and his group will stay in Turkish hotels and eat Turkish food and see and hear the sights and sounds of the mostly Muslim country where Christians are a distinct minority.
“We hope this trip will take people out of the so-called Barrington bubble while giving them a better understanding of the origin of the Christian faith,” Larsen said.
Paul was part of the movement to separate Christianity from Judaism in the immediate decades after Jesus’s death on the cross, the pastor said. He was about the same age as Jesus but never met him.
Paul also is the author of many of the letters in the New Testament, such as the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the Colossians. Along with the four Gospels, his letters make up much of the New Testament.
“He spread the word out of the Holy Land,” Larsen said.
The group will spend three days in Istanbul, but the group also plans to visit locations such Cappadocio and its “special rock formations,” said Larsen.
“Christians dug into the rock to hide from the Romans and other persecutors,” he said. “It’s a unique place in the world geologically.”
Cost of the trip is around $3,500 for everything, including air fare, room and board. A guide who speaks the languages, Turkish and Kurdish, will help Larsen lead the excursion.
“We will be exposed to living as a minority,” Larsen said. “This type of dialogue will be crucial in the coming years.”
The church is sponsoring the Turkish trip, but “everyone is welcome,” said Larsen. “You don’t have to be a member of the congregation.”
Contact Larsen by email at jeff@BCCUCC.org if you want more information about the trip or want to sign up.