From the 10th to the 14th of June, I had the pleasure of spending time in Geneva with other candidates and some staff from New College. The trip was part of a rolling series of visits which include Rome and Jerusalem. I skipped the Rome trip last year as I was in Brussels. The trips are intended to be educational as well as fun and help set both the academic work and general Christian understanding in a broader world context.
Geneva, of course, was one of the wellsprings of the Protestant Reformation, famous largely, but not exclusively, as the place where Calvin taught and preached. But Geneva is also home to major world organisations: the UN, World Health Organisation, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR and many others. The group had the pleasure of visiting the World Council of Churches to get a flavour of the work they do and their vision for world Christianity.
We also took the chance to visit the cathedral, including the Sunday morning service, and we were able to worship with the Church of Scotland congregation in the Auditoire de Calvin which sits just to one side of the square occupied by the cathedral. Nikki and I also had the privilege of leading our evening devotions in the Auditoire on Friday evening. She’s written about it here and I still can’t quite get over how some silly ideas came together in the way they did. I’m still not convinced that Calvin would have entirely approved, but it was so very appropriate for the occasion.
Add to that some sight-seeing time, an excellent art gallery and some great company and it was an excellent long weekend. I’ll post some more reflections on specific parts of the trip in due course. My photo album from the trip can be found here.