Covenant Shores Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and residents Bob Weber, 92, and Clark Hoffman, 91, recently traveled to Israel. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

Covenant Shores Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and residents Bob Weber, 92, and Clark Hoffman, 91, recently traveled to Israel. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

Mercer Islanders make pilgrimage to Israel

Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and two Covenant Shores residents over 90 years old made the trip.

  • Friday, April 12, 2019 8:26am
  • Life

Representatives from Covenant Shores and the three Covenant Retirement Communities (CRC) in California traveled to Israel on a pilot pilgrimage from Feb. 24-March 8. The group of 41 residents and campus chaperones (three nurses and two activities directors) included CRC president Terri Cunliffe from Chicago.

The purpose of the trip was to explore the possibility of offering similar opportunities for senior adults who live in the other 11 campuses nationwide.

Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos of Covenant Shores was the designated chaplain for the 13-day tour. Other representatives from Mercer Island were 92-year-old retired bank president Bob Weber and 91-year-old retired surgeon Clark Hoffman.

“Bob and Clark were the oldest members of the trip,” Asimakoupoulos said. “Our Palestinian Christian guide wanted his picture taken with both men because he’d never had anyone that old in a tour group before.”

According to Asimakoupoulos, who performed baptisms in the Jordan River and served communion at the site of David’s defeat of Goliath, the trip was not scaled back to accommodate for the older population.

“I was amazed at our group’s ability to keep up with the rigorous demands of the daily regimen,” Asimakoupoulos said. “The fact that both Bob and Clark play tennis regularly served them well.”

In addition to the sites of Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the itinerary included visits to archaeological tels at Meggido, Samaria, Masada and Jericho.

A highlight of the trip for Asimakoupoulos was visiting the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem that was founded by Horatio Spafford in 1881 to model peaceful coexistence among Christians, Jews and Muslims, he said. Spafford is best known for his timeless hymn “It is Well with My Soul” written following a tragedy at sea that claimed the lives of his four young daughters.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece originally had a headline and photo captions incorrectly identifying the country visited by the Islanders. Asimakoupoulos and his group visited Israel.

Covenant Shores Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and residents Bob Weber and Clark Hoffman recently traveled to Israel with a group of representatives from the retirement communities. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

Covenant Shores Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and residents Bob Weber and Clark Hoffman recently traveled to Israel with a group of representatives from the retirement communities. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

Seattle Seahawks gear can be found all over the world, including in Israel. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

Seattle Seahawks gear can be found all over the world, including in Israel. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos

[flipp]

More in Life

Award-winning play ‘The Good Adoptee’ coming to Mercer Island

The autobiographical drama was penned by acclaimed playwright Suzanne Bachner.

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Hendrickson
                                A recent Eagle Scout Court of Honor recognized Elliott Hendrickson of Mercer Island, Alexander Raffetto of Bellevue and Andrew Sugamele of Mercer Island.
Three Eastside scouts honored at Court of Honor ceremony

Elliott Hendrickson, Alexander Raffetto, and Andrew Sugamele were presented with Eagle Scout honors.

Prescription for a 2020 Vision | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in matters of faith.

Dora Gyarmati. Photo by Nityia Photography
Embrace the struggle for a complete picture | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and general wellbeing.

Mercer Island Pipe Organ Foundation continues to preserve music

19 years later volunteers are still going strong.

Going public with your love | Column on Faith

A monthly column dealing in matters of faith.

From left: students Riley Retinger, Abby Smith, Mimmi Hubbard and Sadie Rabinowitz. Photo by Calah Webb
‘It’s one of my favorite places to be’: School of Rock Issaquah gears up for January shows

In January, students will be paying homage to the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Chris Cornell and others.

Hanukkah at Mercerdale Park

The public Menorah lighting will take place on Dec. 22.

Eat this not that this holiday season | Health

A monthly health column from a local naturopathic health care provider.

Holiday Lights at Mercerdale Park is a Mercer Island tradition. Courtesy photo
A community tradition carries on

Holiday Lights at Mercerdale Park and Firehouse Munch Dec. 6.

Turkeys Nonni, Noelle, November and Nora at Rooster Haus Rescue in Fall City. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Turkey rescue

The bird’s not on the Thanksgiving menu at this Fall City sanctuary.