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Called to Encounter

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Oct, 2019 01:05 PM

One of our Sarum College Ordinands has been on a very special trip to Geneva.

Jenny Nelson was part of a specially invited group of Ordinands who were invited to visit the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, which is the international centre for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches.

View Jenny's tweets on Twitter

Jenny explains:

"Every two years, the UK Bossey Network and Church of England, through Revd Canon Roger Spiller, invite all UK ordinands to apply for a trip to the Bossey Ecumenical Institute in Geneva. Having developed an interest in the ecumenism through the last 6 years I sent off an application.

"I was delighted and surprised to learn I would be joining the visit this Autumn, along with 18 other ordinands, including 2 from Sarum College.

"It has been humbling and a privilege, with the aim of the visit to provide a formative experience of global ecumenism, alongside those studying and living at Bossey and representing a wide variety of the world’s Christian traditions.

"Our teachers this week have included distinguished researchers specialising in ecumenical theology, missiology and social ethics. Most of all, it has been inspiring to live ecumenically this week, encounter the other, spending time together in community.

"It was moving to spend time with the whole community at ‘Petit Bossey’ one evening, including singing and improvising with a Jazz trio! Morning Prayer has included the Lord’s Prayer in 19 different languages.

"With prayer sitting at the heart of the ecumenical movement, it was humbling to collaborate on Morning Worship for the community, to compose and play the introductory music with Lynne, to read, and to include Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith’s hymn ‘Lord for the Years’.

"At the heart of the experience is God’s call into unity; unity of the Church, of the human community, of the whole of creation. The ecumenical message is that we are one, in Christ, who calls us to live in peace, to work together for justice and peace and unity in God’s world.

"Essentially, this is a pilgrimage of justice and peace. In a challenging world, many are on the move; we are called towards encounter, to listen, to be alongside, to learn from one another for a dialogue of mutual respect.

"This has been a gift of a week and I look forward to sharing and continuing the ecumenical learning journey."

Jenny shared this prayer from Bossey:

Lord, we pray for people who are moving in this world because of conflict in their own countries. We pray especially for Kurdish people in Syria and for a diplomatic resolution of this conflict. We pray also for people who are moving from their countries because of climate change, especially those who are moving from African countries, and crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. Finally, we pray for the people of a Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Let us take care of all these people, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

View Jenny's tweets on Twitter

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