Psalm 119 – a plain Quaker version

Für Quäker – kurz und bündig

An Eye in the Sky
Dramatische Stimmung im Safiental. – Dramatic mood in the Safien Valley
"God -

let me be silent more clearly,

since I am not hearing well."

inspired by Psalm 119 “Happy are those whose way is perfect ”

(Own translation from a vocal ministry during Meeting for Worship at SYM retreat at Montmirail, Switzerland, February 12, 2017)


lass mich deutlicher schweigen,

denn ich höre nicht gut."

Frei nach Psalm 119: “Die Herrlichkeit des Wortes Gottes”

(Wortbeitrag während einer Quäkerandacht anlässlich der SYM Retraite in Montmirail am 12. Februar 2017)

Nearer to thee

For one week in October, I left the hermitage and enjoyed the hospitality of the Sunnehügel community in the former Capuchin friary in Schüpfheim, Switzerland. I was invited to experience, live in, and contribute to this intentional community. I spent many hours working in the vast garden, “praying with my practical hands”. As part of the community’s daily rhythm, there were times of work, times for quiet reflection, as well as prayer times. I experienced the impulses for the worship rather dry and sometimes fabricated.

One evening, everything changed. During the repetitive singing of Agios o Theos, an orthodox sounding hymn, the spirit reached out to the gathered group. Continue reading “Nearer to thee”

Näher zu dir

Letzte Woche habe ich im Sunnehügel, einer Gemeinschaft im ehemaligen Kapuzinerkloster, in Schüpfheim verbracht. Ich durfte, als Abwechslung von der Einsiedelei, die Gastfreundschaft dieser Gemeinschaft erleben, mit leben, und beitragen. Neben der Arbeit im Garten (“beten mit den Händen”) und den Zeiten die zum ruhigen Rückzug zur Verfügung standen, gab es auch Andachtszeiten. Die Impulse dazu erlebte ich als eher trocken und zum Teil gekünstelt.

Doch eines Abends ergab es sich ganz anders. Während einem sich wiederholenden Singen von Agios o Theos (Άγιος ο Θεός), einem orthodox anmutenden Lied, ergriff der Geist die versammelte Gemeinschaft. Continue reading “Näher zu dir”

Fast for Peace – Fasten für den Frieden

Prayer by Tenyoh (photo credit: Yoko Sugawara)
Prayer by Tenyoh (photo credit: Yoko Sugawara)

Die deutsche Übersetzung folgt weiter unten

Do you remember the rhetoric of “Shock and Awe”? The endless justifications of a war enterprise using the expression “the lesser evil”? The constant fear mongering with the legendary arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that is waiting to be deployed to destroy the free world?

Ten years ago, I entered into a Fast for Peace at Selkirk College. With the beginning of the war in Iraq, which was an event that I remember as staged for US television audience, I committed to fast. Continue reading “Fast for Peace – Fasten für den Frieden”

Prayer request – Fürbitte

Ich bitte für den neugewählten Papst Franziskus, dass er die Kraft hat der Radikalität/Verwurzelung seines Namenspatrons in Taten und Worten gerecht zu werden im neuen Amt und dass auch er einer Klara begegnen kann mit der er gemeinschaftlich und charismatisch die Nachfolge Jesu leben und das Amt als Bischof von Rom führen kann.


I pray for the newly elected Pope Francis: may he, in his new office, have the strength to live up to the radical ways/the rootedness of his namesake in words and deeds, and may he encounter a Clare with whom he may, in community and charismatically, live the following of Jesus and lead the ministry as Bishop of Rome.

Stained glass installation depicting the life of Francis of Assisi. Demindere Franciscus Museum in Sint-Truiden.
Stained glass installation depicting the life of Francis of Assisi. Demindere Franciscus Museum in Sint-Truiden.

Verdichten (+en)

Bergahorn, allein auf weiter Flur [in der Nähe des Kraftortes Heiligkreuz] - A solitary Great (or Sycamore) Maple tree [near Heiligkreuz, a place of strength].
Bergahorn, allein auf weiter Flur [in der Nähe des Kraftortes Heiligkreuz] – A solitary Great (or Sycamore) Maple tree [near Heiligkreuz, a place of strength in Switzerland].

Heute möchte ich ein Gebet mit dir teilen, das in poetischer Weise beschreibt woher einige meiner Gedanken stammen die die Grundlage sind für viele meiner Blogeinträge. Es gibt mir Kraft, diesen Weg weiter zu gehen.

lege Worte mir in den Mund,
die über das hinaus reichen, was erreichbar ist.
Die über das hinaus denken,
was denkbar ist.
Die sich mehr wünschen
und mehr vorstellen,
als ich mir wünschen und vorstellen kann. Continue reading “Verdichten (+en)”

Illumination: Attempted murder – or heated disagreement?

The eerie beauty of the flashing lights from emergency response vehicles.
The eerie beauty of the flashing lights from emergency response vehicles.

I have not met my neighbours, yet. But I have a variety of impressions from living side by side, separated by a wall that is not sound proof.
So far, I have heard only adult voices. There is no other indication that children are living right next door. People come and go. At times, the light is on in the dining room, whose windows are facing the windows of our dining room, six feet apart. Behind the curtains, outlines of human figures are visible. And these figures talk, discuss, and laugh. I consider the interactions animated, loud, passionate, Mediterranean.
In the flow of these voices, I can hear the door open and close, the conversations being carried out onto the street and slowly disappearing. Then it is silent, the light sometimes on, sometimes off.

Last night, there was one point where the mood of the voices turned from cheerful, convincing, passionate, to a much tenser mood. Continue reading “Illumination: Attempted murder – or heated disagreement?”

Daily Random Act of Kindness #4

It is the custom of the Simple Way community to start the day with a common prayer at eight. After arriving in Philadelphia very tired, I realized that I am travelling very lightly (on purpose) and thus have neither a watch nor an alarm clock with me. How am I going to meet the community on time with my internal clock influenced by time zone changes and the tiredness from traveling on a train overnight?

I eventually figured out the technical part. I can use my Swiss cell phone as a timekeeper and alarm clock. But what I experienced was so much nicer: Fifteen minutes before the set time, a sparrow landed on the air conditioning unit that is installed in the window right next to my bed. The little bird started to happily chirp away for a few minutes. This unspectacular bird song was waking me up gently.

What a contrast to the repeat sirens from emergency vehicles, mixed in with the low rumble of the elevated subway system, and the cacophony of neighbourhood sounds and voices that is an almost constant companion in the background.

I am grateful for the little bird. It came back again this morning, right on time, to remind me of the beginning of another beautiful day in an unfamiliar city. Let the prayers begin.

To learn more about Tenyoh’s art work, please visit:Empathetic Reflections of Human Nature through the Eyes of a Nurse