Members of St. Paul's Eastern Shore Episcopal Church returned home safely from Israel over the weekend.

Rev. Thack Dyson and several church members were in Tel Aviv last week when Palestinian Hamas terrorists attacked Jews. They were traveling with Immanuel Tours, a company that offers tours of the Holy Land. The company moved the group to Northern Israel, to the Galilee region. That's where they stayed while they awaited flights out of the country.

Dyson said the group was already scheduled to visit Galilee, so they continued their pilgrimage until they could leave.

He and his wife landed in Pensacola late Friday night. Dyson performed morning prayer Saturday morning from home.

"We're grateful to be back and we thank everyone for their prayers and support," Dyson said. "We are very, very happy to be back home."

He spoke on adversity and told the congregation the people of Israel are experiencing adversity. He said the group was in range of missiles from Gaza when the rockets hit on October 7, but the tour company immediately took them out of danger. However, he said the group experienced an inconvenience as opposed to adversity.

He said one of the biggest inconveniences came when participants attempted to get flights out of Israel. Due to canceled flights, they had to wait for flights to other countries before being able to book flights to the United States.

The church's youth gathered for prayer for Jerusalem Sunday outside the church. They used pebbles to make a Star of David and placed candles around the star. A sign said, "Pray for peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love Thee.

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