16 June 2021, Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland: On 16 June, a ceremony sees 4 master students graduate from the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey. Finalizing a yearlong period of intense study, the students have defended their theses, and are now been sent on their way to a life enriched by the experience of studies at Bossey. Gathering first for a moment of thanksgiving prayer in the institute’s medieval chapel, the students are congratulated by teaching staff members.

Living with and experiencing people with different ideas and cultures was most rewarding for me at Bossey,” said Rev. Sang Hoon Han, a missionary from Burundi. I realized that there were people with different perspectives beyond my imagination, and I wish to become a more humble and inclusive person.”

Han is heading home resolving to introduce and teach Burundi churches and Christians about the ecumenical movement and spirit. Moreover, I want to help them to be more tolerant and inclusive of their conversations with people of other faiths,” said Han.

Bossey graduate Zhao Meiqing, from China, defined the 2020-21 graduating class as the COVID generation,” citing a year full of uncertainties, constant changes and adaptations.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the faculty at Bossey, not only are we a group of no less diversity, we have also made the best of the time, living out ecumenism together!” said Meiqing. Bossey, as the ecumenical laboratory, is the place where chemistry would happen through our encountering, sharing and learning together. Walls that separate us are broken down as we appreciate the diversity among us with understanding and patience.”

But graduation is not the destination of their journey together, Meiqing added. As we are now heading back to where we are from, we joyfully bring with us the burden of embodying the spirit of unity gifted to us and carrying the movement forward through the love of Christ, to be ambassadors of reconciliation and unity in our respective contexts!”

Another graduate, Rev. Evans Nyamadzawo, described Bossey as a full package of ecumenism” in all aspects.

Unity in diversity is expressed in all forms: in classes, prayer life, and daily life,” said Nyamadzawo. It was amazing how we interacted in and outside the classes despite our differences in race, regions, countries, languages, and churches.”

Nyamadzawo’s vision is to be an ambassador of ecumenism in Zimbabwe and beyond. I would like to promote ecumenism in all circles I am part of,” said Nyamadzawo.

Bossey graduates: engage “with your heart and not your head alone” (WCC press release of 18 June 2021)