In 2015 my friend, Tim Frakes, and I realized that we wanted to do a film project together, something that would help the church.  I had recently returned to parish ministry at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, California, and found that Bible study via the Internet is a good way to bring more people to the study of the scriptures.  Our weekly Mt. Olive bible study (on the coming weekend’s Gospel text) has many readers, including some who are not regular worshipers and many for whom this is their only scripture study.  The traditional texts of the “Stations of the Cross” provide a good structure for a Holy Week Bible study – they focus on the events of Jesus’ life from his betrayal through his crucifixion.

Tim and I now head to Jerusalem, Jordan and the West Bank next Monday, January 18, to produce this Bible Study series on the “Stations of the Cross” in Jerusalem.  While we are there we will also shoot video stories for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (the ELCJHL) and for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF)/Jerusalem.  This week I am finalizing my “Stations of the Cross” scripts (to which Tim is already adding art images) and Tim and I are finalizing the schedule for our time in the Holy Land.  We look to be very busy with all of the plans our hosts have for our time!  We return to the USA on Wednesday, January 27.

This is my fourth visit to Jerusalem and the ELCJHL and the first without a group and the first that is not churchwide or synod-sponsored.  A number of folks have contributed to our video Bible Study “Stations of the Cross” project – thank you!  We have raised enough funds to cover our airfare and some ground expenses.  LWF/Jerusalem (the Rev. Mark Brown) is providing our housing and the ELCJHL (Bishop Munib Younan) is helping with transportation.  Thus, we will be in good hands!

Tim is an award-winning video producer with his own company, Tim Frakes Productions.  We served on the ELCA churchwide staff together in the 1990’s and 2000’s and have kept in contact since that time.  You can find out more about Tim’s other projects here.  Tim is donating his time for this project, as am I.

I will try to blog here as often as I can, daily if possible.  Here is one of my favorite photos from a past visit – the view coming down the Mt. of Olives toward the Old City of Jerusalem


Still at it….


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