Dear Jim - We are all back safely and singing the praises of our pilgrimage to Iona. Your leadership in planning and guiding our trip was most professional, yet warm and personal. Over the course of the pilgrimage you became one of our group. I would just like to confirm again, your confidence that this could happen was a big factor in hanging on long enough to attract the pilgrims to make this a rich experience. I found you with a recommendation and I am excited to sing your praises to others.
With much appreciation,
Rev. Lloyd Griffith, Parish Associate
FPC New Bern, NC
About 10 years ago I had the joy and pleasure of taking a church group from Northport, NY on a tour of Scotland, led by Scotus Tours and the Rev. Jim Wallace, a professional tour director with great knowledge and a graceful spirit. I now look forward to taking a group from Columbia, SC on a similar tour in 2017.
Rev. Dr. Tim Hoyt Duncan
Shandon Presbyterian Church, SC
Our experience with Scotus Tours was incredible. Jim was an incredible tour guide and his knowledge and experience with the entire country is top rate. Jim created the perfect tour for our group, not an easy task since we had a unique mixture of Millenials, Gen X'ers and Boomers. His hospitality allowed everyone to travel at a healthy pace, while his foresight gave us wonderful opportunities to visit cherished locations at ideal times. I ardently recommend traveling to Scotland using Scotus Tours. Trust the logistics to Jim and enjoy!
Rev. Jacob Bolton
Touring with Jim was a transformational experience for our church group. We reconnected with our spiritual heritage, forged new relationships and enjoyed many highlights of the rich feast that is Scotland's landscape and culture. Jim is professional, pastoral and tremendously kind, with a fine Scottish brogue and a witty sense of humor to boot! I highly recommend Jim and Scotus Tours. You won't be disappointed.
Rev. Jeff Lehn
First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, IN
Rev. Wallace planned and led an absolutely wonderful trip for our group from First Presbyterian Church. Jim was gracious and enjoyable to work with, managed the details of the trip with ease, communicated frequently and helpfully before arriving, and led a very memorable tour once in Scotland. The trip was enjoyed by our entire group! Having led a number of trips to Scotland, I will only use Jim and Scotus Tours in the future!
Rev. Dr. Michael Waschevski,
Fort Worth, TX
We journeyed to Scotland to explore our Presbyterian roots as we celebrated our 150th anniversary as a church. We got so much more than just a history lesson! We learned about the spirituality of Iona. We stood in cathedrals where the preaching of the Scottish Reformers stirred deep passions. We journeyed to the highlands and even took in the snowy peak of Ben Nevis. We experienced the beauty of the lochs of Scotland where, try as we might, we could not spot Nessie. Our bus was met by friendly sheepdogs eager to heed the sharp whistles of their master and herd their charges - the sheep look much less excited! We followed the trails of martyrs and prayed on the windswept beach at St Andrews. We took pictures on the famous bridge at the Old Course. Our meals were wonderful. We slept in hotels with character. The shopping on the Royal Mile was delightful. The views from the castle at Edinburgh amazing. And, of course, we learned so much about our heritage as Presbyterians. We soon realized that 150 years makes us just a youngster of a church compared to our Scottish forebears.
Jim was an engaging host who was never at a loss for a story to bring our travels to life. And he taught us a fair share of some wonderful Scottish terms. We highly recommend a trip with Jim Wallace and Scotus Tours of Scotland.
Rev. David R. Smith, Pastor
First Presbyterian Church of Marietta, Ohio
Looking back on our recent trip to Scotland, I can't think of a way to adequately thank you for the superb job you did in planning, leading and looking after all of us on our pilgrimage. Every detail was carefully planned, and all of us got to gain a deeper knowledge of our Presbyterian and Reformation roots. As a Church of Scotland pastor, your unique understanding of the Scottish church as well as of the land that gave it birth was a blessing from which we all benefitted. Whether it be our visit to the Abbey at Iona or noon services in St Giles Cathedral, the climb up the Wallace Monument or the visit to the Scottish Parliament, we saw more than the casual visitor would see. Thank you too for providing Historic Scotland guides who gave us in depth understanding of particular sites of Reformation and Scottish history. From the service of welcome to times of reflection about the day, this was a different kind of experience, and everyone felt a part of it. I have returned to America with a renewed appreciation for the history of Scotland, the roots of Presbyterianism deep in the soil of the Scottish earth, and the warmth and hospitality of yourself and everyone whom we met. Thank you for all you did to make this a memorable experience in our historic Presbyterian homeland.
Rev. Dr. Jon Walton
First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York
Some Comments from our Groups
If you want a fantastic history and view of Scotland then go with Scotus Tours. We did and experienced a truly magnificent trip of a lifetime! Jim Wallace, our very organized, friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, went out of his way to make our trip wonderful.
Mike & Kathie,
…a wonderful introduction to Scotland and its sacred heritage…from engaging conversation over meals to opportunities for a variety of worship experiences. Jim and his team made everything from preparation to farewell back to The States thoughtfully convenient, deeply enjoyable, and suitably educational. Comments upon return from my group members included: “This is the best trip I have ever experienced!” to “Can we return year after next?”
Thanks again for everything!
Rev. Lenore Turner Scales,
Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Youth,
Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Huntersville, NC
The tour was perfectly paced, relaxed, and personal. You were organized, welcoming, and added a nice personal touch…….I look forward to organizing another group in the future.
Rev. Phil Brown,
St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, GA
…the wonderful people of Scotland were warm and welcoming to the 25 people who traveled with St. Luke’s on a pilgrimage exploring the roots of Presbyterianism. These adults engaged with some of the oldest churches from the protestant reformation, stood in the “thin place” of Iona Abbey, and wandered through castles of prominence and power.
After looking for Nessie at Loch Ness and seeing some amazing sheep dogs with their master, we headed to the land of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. We ventured to the eastern coast, walked along the beaches at St. Andrews, and worshiped in one of the churches that started the Reformation in Scotland. Our last few days were spent around Edinburgh experiencing the deep history of Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, and the home of John Knox.
Each morning on the bus, as we headed for the day’s adventure, group members offered devotions that brought depth to the amazing places we visited. From the picturesque seaside cliffs of the Western Islands, to the towering snowcapped mountains of the highlands, to the sheep-scattered hills of the midlands, to the steeple-scattered city landscapes of the lowlands, God’s good creation was on display. …Scotland became a metaphor for us to remember that, though things change around us, our faith and the faith of the Saints who have come before us endures. We connected with the saints and with each other on our final night as we shared communion around one table in the heart of Edinburgh.
Our group developed close bonds with our history and each other. Our leader-pastor in Scotland, Rev. James Wallace - “Jim” - shared his country with open arms, a great sense of humor, and a clear understanding that were are all in the journey of faith together
Newsletter Article from St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, GA: