For today’s blog entry, I thought I would take you all through a typical Sunday in my life here in Geneva. I feel like it makes sense to start on a Sunday, since it’s technically the beginning of my work week (I have Fridays and Saturdays off).

I wake up around 8:00 am if I am not needed to assist at the 8:30 Morning Prayer (for example, if the Rector is away). I scroll my phone for a few minutes, then get up and get ready for my day.

I take the 8:57 bus on line 5 from Palexpo, the convention center that is near my apartment block. So, this means I need to leave my apartment building no later than 8:47, since it’s an 8 minute walk to the bus stop and I like to get there before the bus does. My walk to Palexpo is partially through my neighborhood park, which always brightens my mood in the morning.

Once on the bus, I do a few Duolingo lessons on my phone to ensure I keep my learning streak. For those of you unfamiliar, Duolingo is a popular iPhone app for language learning. When I found out I was coming to Geneva, I began to re-learn and remember my past French classes, in part through using Duolingo. My streak of days in a row where I’ve completed lessons is at 265 and counting!

The 5 bus stops at Gare Cornavin, Geneva’s main train station, which is where I get off at around 9:13. I pop into the station quickly to grab a croissant to go from Migros, the local supermarket chain, which I eat on my walk to work. Not ideal, but I do like to sleep in a little more on Sundays, so it’s a quick breakfast!

I walk down towards the lake for about 10 minutes until I reach the church. Normally, I’ll listen to a podcast or an audiobook while I walk– I’ve been really into audiobooks lately, especially with all the public transport I take.

I generally arrive at the church around 9:25, which gives me about 5 mins before our choir rehearsal starts at 9:30. I drop my backpack in my office, and grab whatever music Shauna, our Director of Music, has listed in her office.

Choir rehearsal is in the church from 9:30-10:15, after which point people start to arrive for the 10:30 service. We sing some of the same pieces here that we do at Saint Luke’s, and my heart is always warm when one of those crossovers happens. We also use the 1982 Hymnal for a lot of our hymns, so a lot of these are familiar and loved to me.

Choir in action!

However, we also sing a lot of music I haven’t sung before, and it’s really exciting to broaden my horizons with new pieces. We use a second hymnal, Ancient and Modern, which has a lot more contemporary hymns in it. I don’t tend to love contemporary worship music, but the ones in Ancient and Modern have been a delight to sing.

Between 10:15 and 10:30, I get robed at the back of the church, help our livestream technician with setting up the YouTube stream and checking the microphones, and any last minute tasks that need to be done.

Emmanuel’s Sanctuary (minus congregation!)

The service lasts about an hour and a half, normally ending around 12. Within the service, I sing with the choir, but also occasionally act as a reader, intercessor, welcomer, or give announcements at the end of the service. I’m really grateful I get to be a part of the service in so many different ways– it really helps me feel enmeshed in the community at Emmanuel.

After the service, there’s coffee hour, which is always a delight! I mingle and catch up with parishioners, or speak to newcomers and welcome them to Emmanuel. Even better, sometimes I get to play with some of the youngest members of the congregation!

As coffee hour winds up, I usually go to my office and do a bit of work– catching up on emails from the past few days, doing administrative work, or getting a head start on the materials needed for next Sunday’s service.

After an hour or two, I generally leave the church, finished with work for the day. What I do from 3pm onwards varies a lot, depending on the day! But normally, it involves some sort of exercise– either a session at my gym right across from the church, or a long walk by the lake if the weather is nice. Sometimes, I meet up with friends to sit out in the sun, or go get some food. Other times, I also have rehearsals for the show I’m in with GAOS, the musical theatre group in Geneva.

Summer days by the lake!

However, by the early evening, I try to be home to set myself up for the week ahead. Sundays are normally my cleaning day, so I like to get everything clean and in order around my flat, ready for the upcoming week. After I cook and eat dinner, evening activities on a Sunday can vary from having a Netflix Party with Sav, facetiming my family (and Marylin Bunroe!) or knocking some pages out of my current book. I’ve also just started taking French classes on Zoom via Lingoda, so tonight I have one at 8pm on “Living in Town”.

Mary on FaceTime!

Sundays are generally early nights for me, as I like to get as good a night sleep as possible when I have the chance! I’m in bed by 10, asleep by 11 normally, ready for the hectic week ahead!

I hope you enjoyed this more detailed look at my day– because six more are coming your way!

Thank you, as always, for your love and support on my journey xoxo

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.– Exodus 20:8

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