According to THE AGE today, ACCESS Ministries, the state funded parachurch ministry who publish “RELIGION in LIFE” and run 96% of “Special Religious Instruction” classes in Victorian Schools, is struggling to pay its bills, however, Evonne Paddison, its CEO, is about to head off on a luxury visit to the Holy Land, and a side trip up the Nile to Luxor itself!

Details of the trip has been published here:

Canon Dr Evonne Paddison (CEO) and Bishop Stephen Hale (Chairman) from ACCESS ministries are leading a “top class tour”.   Along with Dawn Penney, who holds the title of General Manager of People & Culture (????), will be travelling, via Emirates Airlines, and staying mainly in 5 star hotels, you know, to really experience what it was like for Jesus.

Starting in Jordan the tour involves a visit to lost city of Petra, looking out from Mt Nebo, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, floating on the Dead Sea, experiencing Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

ACCESS will visit Tabgha, where the miracle of the Multiplication took place, and visit Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ ministries, where they will go to Mt. Beatitudes, where they will relive the Sermon on the Mount and visit the Baptismal site in the Jordan River at Yardenit.

This tour is also popular with US Republicans, who were recently caught drinking and swimming naked in the same place that Jesus is said to have walked on the water.

After staying in luxury resorts in this conflict torn region, the group will head off to enjoy the Pyramids of Cairo and a 3 night luxury Nile Cruise to Aswan, Luxor and Abu Simbel.

At this point I’m not sure what ACCESS Ministries would have to do to make anyone raise an eyebrow.   Whatever they are doing, they seem to have endless get out of jail free cards, and they seem to be able to Jedi mind trick their way out of just about anything.

I guess it is a good time to be the leader of a struggling ParaChurch organization funded by the commonwealth.

Here is a link to the brochure jordan_israel_brochure the trip costs $11,280 for a single person, or $18,360 per couple, the trip is organized by the Corporate Travel Management office located in Toorak.