Anna Lerch

During my master I have studied Protestant Theology in Zürich and did an ecumenical exchange program in Jerusalem (Theologisches Studienjahr Jerusalem). In Jerusalem I had the chance to take classes in Jewish and Islamic studies and I got in touch with contextual Palestinian Theology. I am currently a vicar in the Reformed church Stäfa-Hombrechtikon, which is part of the Reformed church canton Zürich. In August I will be ordained as Verbi Divini Ministra at the Grossmünster Zürich, Switzerland.

Switzerland has four recognized national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The history of the Swiss reformation was with Zwingli and Bullinger (German), Calvin and Farel (French), Gallicius and Chiampell (Romansh) et al. multilingual from the start. The Protestant Church in Switzerland (PCS) represents roughly 2 million Protestants and is associated with 24 Reformed cantonal churches and the Protestant Methodist church in Switzerland. So, my questions – living and working in Switzerland – are: How can this (maybe forgotten) inward diversity be made fruitful for a welcoming and integrating church culture? And how can outward facing diversity, ecumenism and cosmopolitanism be fostered in a more complex and connected world, with the thread of nationalism on its horizon?

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