I have tried my best to offer an honest written account of my years in Switzerland, but it’s possible that a few well-chosen photos might convey – in a different way – what living and working here has been like. It’s a deeply visual experience, as you can imagine. And now, toward the end of my time here, I find myself wishing that I had taken my camera everywhere. Pictured above is my office, scene of many thoughtful conversations, plus some hard thinking and praying.
The monthly men’s hike began as something I thought I’d like to do – to enjoy my time in Switzerland – and then it grew into meaningful relationships with the men of the International Protestant Church. The hike pictured above was actually a long day of snowshoeing. Who knew that sunscreen would turn out to be as important as a water bottle?
Grosser Mythen is more of a climb than a hike – 1400 meters in fact – and many Swiss can tell you exactly how many times in their lives they’ve made it to the top. As you can see (above), I was quite happy about having reached the summit. Someone up there saw my cap and said, “Go Blue!” which of course made my day complete.
An unexpected thrill for me was finding myself at the geographical center of the Reformation during the 500th anniversary celebration. I traveled to Wittenberg and saw Martin Luther’s famous Castle Church, but in Zurich I was able to visit the not-quite-as-famous, but much more beautiful Grossmünster where Ulrich Zwingli was pastor. Pictured above is the Reformation Day walking tour from my church sitting under Zwingli’s pulpit and listening to a fine lecture about Zwingli’s role in the Reformation. Among other things I learned: Zwingli completed his translation of the Bible into German about five years before Luther completed his, not that the Swiss are at all competitive with the Germans.
Rather than the usual photos of raclette, fondue, and other Swiss favorites, pictured above is my birthday meal this year at Brasserie Lipp … pumpkin soup or Kürbissuppe. And by the way, that’s bottled water, which unfortunately was not changed into wine.
And of course ministry was what brought me to this wonderful church.
Last but not least, thank you to staff members who treated me to a Christmas/Retirement gift which is fitting for a soon-to-be full-time grandpa.