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Our trip to Rome

In the academic year of 2023-24, students from the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey experienced a transformative and historic visit to Rome, graciously hosted by the Roman Catholic Church's Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity. This pilgrimage became a pivotal chapter in our lives, revealing abject insights into the significance of ecumenism as a catalyst for fostering unity among Christians.

The peak of ecumenics

In good weather, I was told, you might even be able to see Mont Blanc from up here. Here on the rising Jura mountains with its peaks behind you and Lake Geneva in front of you. But on a rainy day like this, you hardly had a chance to even glimpse the Alps on the other side of the lake. The day was to include other things than beautiful mountain landscapes, even as the 35 students from all over the world set out to climb new, ecumenical peaks. It was the Dies academicus of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, with the motto "Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and unity.”

A meeting place, a zone for exchange, and a second home: The Networking Zone from the perspective of the Protestant Church in Switzerland

Nomen est omen – the big white hall right next to the entrance really lived up to its name as a Networking Zone during the assembly. Here, there were times of colorful confusion, laughter, concentrated listening, and relaxed tranquility on the sidelines of a program that was filled to the brim. The Networking Zone was a source of strength for us at the Protestant Church in Switzerland, which was allowed to occupy a booth here as one of the host churches. This hall came to life only through the efforts of everyone at their booths: after getting their bearings, refueling with the best assembly coffee, some Ricola drops, and candies from the ACK, they were ready to keep going.

Reflections from a 1978/79 alumna on Bossey reunion at the WCC 11th Assembly

At the meeting for Bossey alumni, I represented the “oldest” alumna of the 1978/79 term, and it was good to see what a chance Bossey studies and encounters not only continue to give but increase for further ecumenical involvement and for carrying ecumenical messages. Today the studies at Bossey are well institutionalized and established at the University of Geneva. My own former classmates were not present as alumni: The Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck (USA) is again represented in the WCC central committee and was busy at that moment.

Bossey reunion at the 11th assembly

It was one of the first days of the 11th assembly when I met an old Bossey friend. We had not seen each other for 24 years, although it felt we met yesterday. We shared memories of our Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies in Bossey in 1998 and remembered the names of our friends. We spoke about Bossey as a life-changing experience for both of us.

Study trip to Rome testifies that ecumenical engagements can move forward

Our successful visit to Rome with various ecumenical deliberations itself testifies that ecumenical engagements can move forward despite the pandemic. The launch of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity document “Ecumenism in a Time of Pandemic: From Crisis to Opportunity,” followed by an ecumenical panel discussion, helped us to understand how different churches have approached the pandemic. 

Week of Prayer brings fruits of the Spirit despite COVID-19

Prayer is a powerful way to be united as Christians from all over the world. Every year my church community in Cuba joins the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with daily devotions and a special worship service, usually on Sundays. Being connected in the same prayerful spirit around a common text that turns into so many testimonies of faith is truly a gift of the Spirit and an ecumenical commitment.

Reflection from a Bossey graduate on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At the end of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, even though we could not be in Rome as we had hoped, my fellow students at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Bossey Ecumenical Institute and I were thrilled to be able to participate online with two services: the WCC’s Global Ecumenical Prayer and the Vatican’s Vespers for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul live from the Basilica of St Pauls Outside-the-Walls. Both services reflected on a reading from John 15 – from which was taken this year’s Week of Prayer theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.”

Children on the Move

"It is discouraging to see people flee because of war and persecution, and it is even more disheartening that children—the most vulnerable—are part of that terrible experience." Lidia Lebang shares her impressions from the World Children’s Day celebration held by the World Council of Churches and UNICEF at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva last week, and the differences big and small that Christians can make in the lives of individuals and of the community.