In January 2018, ACPE sponsored a new initiative focused on the professional well-being of our Certified Educators, a mission to Israel which was a unique opportunity to travel together. This was a voluntary trip that was open to members of ACPE and their spouses/partners/significant others.

The mission was a 10-day experience designed to foster community, offer opportunities for learning, to engage with one another, to experience the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as the modern state of Israel, and to have professional opportunities to engage with colleagues in Israel who are in the emerging field of spiritual care.

My Trip to Israel

By Adriana Cavina  |  February 12, 2018

A trip to Israel, the Holy Land of the three major monotheistic religions, is not like any other tourist tours; it is a sacred experience.

Defining what made the trip memorable is hard because it was a mixture of emotions, new intellectual discoveries, meeting a difficult and suffered co-habitation of a multi-faith and multi-cultural society, history and present passionately intermingled, my long-time wishes finally fulfilled to give life to Scriptural images, and a deep sense of touching holy ground everywhere. The possibility of sharing the experience with colleagues whom I had the privilege of having known for a long time and with whom I resonated in my mind and heart was a unique opportunity.

The particular memory that will stay with me forever is the emotion of entering with my feet in the Jordan River with armed soldiers on both the Israeli and the Jordan banks and yet being able to let the heart engage fully in the moment and allow the joy to surface of singing, praying and mutually blessing my new and old friends in a simple shared group ritual. Another image that is impressed in my mind is waking up on a rainy morning in my kibbutz cabin and gasp at the vision of the vast expanse of the Sea of Galilee in the misty distance. It was a moment suspended in time.

I have come home with a direct experience of the complexity of human life when war and peace, secular society and religious fervor, different cultures and beliefs passionately share the same ground. I am forever free of easy judgment of side-taking. I am humbled by the mysterious specialness and sacredness of a small trait of land along the shores of my beloved Mediterranean Sea.

The Rev. Adriana P. Cavina, D. Min. is an ACPE Certified Educator at St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling Center in Louisville, KY. She may be reached at

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