Reflection on encounters

chrisdornIt is impossible to describe all that I have experienced and done this past year within a brief paragraph or two. Suffice it to say that the internship programme has surpassed my expectations. I suppose if I were to single out what has been most meaningful to me, it would be the many opportunities for meeting and coming to know people here. Working and living in Geneva has afforded me almost daily an occasion to interact with others from a part of the world different from my own.

From the first few months as a guest at the John Knox International Center, where I lived with bright young people interning at the various United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, until very recently, when I sat down with a bishop from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Africa for a fascinating discussion about the state of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in his country, I’ve enjoyed a steady stream of rich encounters. Needless to say, these have broadened my horizons. I leave here with a greater awareness of the issues that peoples face elsewhere, as well as with a deeper appreciation of the many cultures and places they represent.

I leave Geneva also grateful for the privilege of serving WCRC with its small but competent staff. Its members, especially Douwe Visser (Theology, Mission and Ecumenism) and Kristine Greenaway (Communications), have sought to guide us interns into experiences intended to prepare us for ecumenical leadership. They have given me tasks suited to my gifts and skills. In allowing me wide scope for their use, they have helped me refine them further. Douwe, for whom I worked directly, was intentional from the beginning about introducing me to programmes and persons, keeping me informed about developments in WCRC and other ecumenical organizations. As a result, I have gained valuable knowledge about WCRC and the wider ecumenical movement.

I will carry fond memories home with me, looking at the same time for ways that I might assist in advancing the ecumenical movement in the future.

—Christopher Dorn