By Juliet Dellow, final year ministry student
The Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, just outside of Geneva, is part of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and is a place where students of all denominations from around the world, can study courses in Ecumenical studies. The focus is on the challenges for churches in today’s world and the modern ecumenical movement.
I spent a very interesting five days there in October as part of an ordinands’ trip. There were 15 ordinands from nine different UK colleges. Our focus was on developing a greater understanding of global ecumenism. We had a speakers from different countries and denominations including Lutheran, Romanian Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican. We learned more about the WCC and the work it has done for many years on a range of areas. On the final day we toured the WCC in Geneva.
I came away with a much deeper understanding of global ecumenism. Being able to look at areas I have studied in college, such as mission, from a global perspective greatly enhanced my understanding. Exploring how denominations can hold such different theologies in some areas yet find ways to work together was powerful. As clergy and lay people we will inevitably end up working with others from a range of denominations. While some of these relationships will be easy, others may be more challenging. Spending time at Bossey has helped me appreciate the huge amount of work put in to helping people working together and the resources and support there is to help make this happen.