Our place in Geneva
Geneva and the ELCG
If you join our congregation for worship on a Sunday morning, you will find yourself surrounded by people from many different countries and cultures, and you might sing songs from Brazil, Japan, and Zimbabwe and hear a Bible reading in Hungarian, all in the same service. Geneva is a crossroads city, and that character has shaped the church from its very beginnings.
The Lutheran Church of Geneva was established in 1707 to serve German merchants living and working in the region. It was the first non-Calvinist church founded in the city after the Reformation and quickly grew in size. The present church building was inaugurated as a house of worship in 1766 and has now been a place of refuge and welcome for travelers and immigrants for more than 250 years.
The English-Speaking Congregation was founded in the 1950s when the United Nations and other international organizations opened offices in Geneva. Today our community is made up of members from more than 40 countries and a wide variety of Christian backgrounds. We share the church building with the German-Speaking Congregation of the ELCG, and other worshiping communities use the space regularly as well.
Lutheran and Ecumenical
Our congregation is both firmly rooted in the Lutheran tradition and committed to honoring, welcoming, and engaging with other expressions of faith. About half of our members come from Lutheran backgrounds and half come from other Christian traditions.
The congregation is a member of the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein (BELK), and through this membership, we are part of the Lutheran World Federation. We follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, which leads us—over the course of each year—in praying for all countries in the world.
We are represented, together with the German-Speaking Congregation, in the Plateforme interreligieuse de Genève (video in French, don’t hesitate to ask us about it – we were there for their 25th anniversary).
And we are also part of Témoigner ensemble à Genève (Witnessing Together in Geneva), a movement of local migrant churches.