Convening in the Networking Zone venue of the assembly on 5 September, they heard reflections from Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, director of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey and WCC acting general secretary; Rev. Claudia Haslebacher, Council Member responsible for Ecumenical and International Relations the Protestant Church in Switzerland; Rev. Merlyn Hyde Riley, general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union; and Bossey professors and alumni.
The event was hosted by the Protestant Church in Switzerland
Rev. Merlyn Hyde Riley, greeted her fellow Bossey alumni. “I was at Bossey only 10 years ago and found it to have been a most impactful and life-transforming experience, and therefore readily said ‘yes' to the opportunity to greet you all,” she said. “I do not believe we can ever quantify or measure the contribution of Bossey--not just to ecumenism but to the world, for the graduates serve in various spaces not confined to the church.”
She also thanked the Bossey alumni for bringing perspectives and making contributions informed by their ecumenical formation at Bossey.
“Let us take our ambassadorial and advocacy role as ‘Bosseyites’ seriously so that this gift of Bossey will be around for generations to come, and many more people will be transformed through its impact,” said Riley.“Perhaps we need to become more deliberate and intentional about how we continue to relate to Bossey.”
Alumni express deep personal perspectives
Bossey alumni who attended the gathering at the assembly are sharing their personal perspectives in a series of blog reflections that are being published on the WCC website.
As Priya Ranjan Acharya (Nanu) said, “We took advantage to relive our life at Bossey by talking and sharing our experiences.”
Acharya, who reflected about the gathering, added: “I am still discovering all the opportunities that Bossey offers me.”
Rev. Margarithe Veen said it was amazing to see so many students from recent years. “Most of them participated in the 11th assembly in one way or the other,” she said.
The Networking Zone became a new opportunity for innovation, reflected Fr Andria Saria. “Among the graduates was one who graduated from Bossey in the 1970s,” he said. “As the graduates shared their feelings with each other, they collectively noted that Bossey is the heart of ecumenism.”
Manda Andrian described the reunion as “a precious moment,” adding: “Every one of us has a different role and responsibility in our community but we have common ground for a better world.”
As they posed for a group photo, many commented on how the portrait shows the diversity and the unmatchable Bossey experience.
“A portrait that shows all our various backgrounds, denominations, personal stories with joys, wounds, and pilgrimages of deepening faith for openness to a transformative spirituality to be one in Christ’s love that moves all of us,” said Veen.
Read the blog series by Bossey students and alumni:
"Bossey is branded unity of love", by Fr Andria Saria
"Bossey reunion at the WCC 11th Assembly", by Rev. Margarithe Veen
"Discovering opportunities at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute", by Priya Ranjan Acharya (Nanu)