Reformation Tour: Geneva, our final stop

BY VICTORIA CURTIS

After 1,400 miles and 12 days, we are saying farewell to our Tour of the Reformation. Thanks to our awesome guide Vincent and our skilled driver Ian, our tour was everything we expected and more. From Germany to France and finally to Switzerland, Vincent kept us informed, entertained, and on time!

But the heart of the trip was the fellowship we experienced on a ‘pilgrimage with God’s people’ as Rick put it. Our fellow travelers were full of curiosity, varied interests and knowledge to share, compassion for one another and above all, fun and laughter. In traveling the places of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, we ventured through a wide range of landscapes. From Medieval fortresses and 16th century churches we learned about the people who made it possible for us to worship the way we do today. Without condition, indulgences, and relics we can accept God’s grace.

International Monument to the Reformation (Tricia Veseley)

It seemed fitting that we finished in Geneva visiting the International Museum of the Reformation, International Monument to the Reformation (featuring stone reliefs of Calvin, Knox, Farrell, and Beze), and St. Peter’s Cathedral (top photo) where Calvin preached. In contrast to the numerous monuments and statues of Luther, the Reformation monument in Geneva is one of the only statues of Calvin who did not want things to deflect one’s focus on God’s word. The museum captured the essence on what these “disrupters” (as fellow traveler Mike Beal labeled these reformers) accomplished.

St. Peter’s Cathedral (Tricia Veseley)

United Nations (Tricia Veseley)

To cap off our travels our last tour was of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva where I was struck by the artwork on the wall preceding entry into the room where the U.N. Council for Disarmament meets. “Thou mastering me God, giver of breath and bread…. I feel thy finger and find thee. The Geneva U.N. focuses on humanitarian issues, much like Luther and Calvin made feeding the hungry and caring for the sick part of the Reformation.

It was a remarkable tour, learning from the places we visited and our fellow travelers who epitomized Vincent’s quote from Spinoza, “If you smile at life, life will smile at you.” Thanks, Tricia Veseley, for organizing our adventure and gathering together an awesome group!


Victoria “Vikki” Curtis is a vestry member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.