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Hi! My name is Lisa Degrenia
I am a Pastor, Teacher, and Traveler

In 2019, I took my first trip to the Holy Land. The trip was so much more than a trip. It was an encounter with God. That’s what I’m praying for you. An encounter. A life-shifting, heart-bursting, soul-drenching encounter.

What changed it for me was when I sought this more than knowledge. When my only desire was to awaken, to have eyes to see, ears to hear. It happened when being with God overshadowed seeing the sites.

Christians have a long history of sacred pilgrimage. We’ve set it aside because it feels scary and overwhelming. My goal is to encourage Christians to reclaim this powerful practice, and help them feel confident in their decision, by providing a clear, effective plan to prepare.


I was born in Tampa, Florida, one of a long line of native Floridians and teachers. I met my beloved Ed on a trip to NYC and we were married ten months later. We’re blessed with two grown daughters, two sons-in-love, two dogs, and a brilliant grandchild.

I first found God through music and thought I would be a high school choral director. God had other plans. I received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida and served as a church music director for six years. Around year 4 of the 6, I heard God calling me to become a pastor. The family refers to this event at the LCD- the life-changing decision. A few months later, Ed and I and our two small daughters left Florida for North Carolina.

In 2000, I received a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School and was ordained a United Methodist pastor in 2003. I currently serve as the senior pastor of Coronado Community United Methodist Church in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

When home from traveling, I enjoy photography, theatre, cooking, and writing. I’m indebted to the many wonderful mentors and teachers in my life, including my mother who first gave me a love for words and adventure.


Christian guides and journals to help you prepare spiritually and practically for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In time, there will be an online course or two to help you prepare.

Every few years, I lead a pilgrimage myself. When I do, I work with Educational Opportunities Tours for all my trip planning and coordination. I’m not a travel agent.

  • Spiritual Direction 89% 89%
  • Strategic Planning 95% 95%
  • Building Confidence 85% 85%
This is Why I do What I do
In February of 2020, I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which was my first time traveling outside the US. So, I felt a little overwhelmed and lost when I stood looking at the Sea of Galilee. Pastor Lisa walked over to me and said, “Brenda, look at the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water. Jesus may have stood on this exact spot where you stand now.” We stood in silence and prayed. Suddenly I felt personally connected to Jesus in this sacred site. As I visited other hallowed sites in the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus, I visualized walking in His physical footsteps wherever I went. After my return home, I visualized walking in the spiritual footsteps of Jesus. I greatly treasure the blessing of Pastor Lisa’s presence and words in helping make my purpose come alive.
Brenda Moore

I've known Rev. Degrenia for over 15 years and had the joy of co-hosting with her a trip to the Holy Land in 2022. I saw firsthand her passion to help others grow in their faith by the way she nurtures, prepares, and walks with them through this life changing pilgrimage. Her logistical and spiritual planning resources, guides, and journal made the trip easier and more meaningful for us all. While there, Lisa's biblical knowledge and understanding helped bring the scriptures alive. Her guide gave the biblical references and the biblical and sociological context to the places we visited. I look forward to traveling with Lisa again!
Rev. Bette-Jo Foster

The depths of my appreciation for Lisa and her work are bottomless. I traveled to the Holy Land with her in March 2022, and never have I felt better prepared, more taken care of, or more astounded at the amount of passionate work she poured into making us feel ready for the trip (and I have traveled a lot!). Abundant with confident, prayerful, and gracious guidance, Lisa is somebody you want leading your travel: logistically and spiritually.
Laura Ellis

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