Thursday, August 27, 2020


      This is the seventh of our 

          Summer Series

      We are exploring how to


           by living out 

   The Sermon On The Mount 


Dear All of Us,

It's a lot easier 

to burn a barn than

to build a barn.

I found that out

back in my 

Kentucky Days: 

     seminary, farm, 


much younger and stronger.

I saw a barn burn.

Another time,

I helped build a barn.

One Sunday evening at the seminary,

just as the sun had set,

a neighbor's barn lite up the sky

as it burned to the ground.

All it took was an electrical short,

and in one short hour

it was a pile of smoldering ashes,

charred bits and pieces of wood.

Didn't take long or much.


Another time Jude,

some friends, and I

went to work to build 

a new barn on his farm.

We had to cut timber, 

haul it to the mill,

bring back boards and beams.

Then post holds were dug 

and cement poured,

beams hoisted 

to their patterned place,

loft floored, stalls and siding 

boarded up, tin roof in place,

doors hung.

Lots of work, long and hard.


Jesus tells us of the 

work and wonder,

the blessing, 

of construction,

of often redeeming destruction,

of building up, 

of making:

  "Happy are the 


    for they will be called

    children of God."
                     Matthew 5:9

Jesus assures 

we'll be happy,

we'll be "family",

as we go to work 

making peace,

and work it sure is.

It means 

the hard work 

of clearing away

the destruction 

wrought by wrong.

It means the hard work of 

righting those wrongs

that come from a 

scorched earth policy

across the terrain 

of society's landscape -

the devastation of 

its people and place -

belittlement, contempt, 

lies, misinformation, 

civil, financial, educational, 

health and housing inequities

rights denied, segregation into

haves and have nots,

ecological/environmental rape, 

personal brutality, theft, gossip, 

xenophobia, war, misogyny, 

cheating, persecution,

abuse, stealing -

demonically on and on -

denied peace to be restored.

Lots to do for 


It's relieving agony.

It's vanquishing dark, 

It's turning on the lights. 

It's glorious work.

It's our family business

as children of God. 

Peace is integrity, oneness, union.

It's the intimacy of shared being,

being in Being - 

         us and all existing in God.

Peace is people and peoples 

centered in The Center of all.

That closeness, 

that shared life and energy, 

that existential harmony,

that ecstatic and creative joy,

propels us into peacemaking.

Intimate with God Creative, 

one in the mutuality of that peace,

we are perforce

intimate with all Creation. 

We're busy making sure 

all get on the dance floor,

get swept up into our shared 

whirling dervish of divine delight.

No one, nothing sidelined.

Peacemaking is helping God

put the pieces together.

So we include the lonely 

in our family and social gatherings.

We make room and way for them.

No matter coloration of body,

tint of culture, religious toning, 

political persuasion,  

socio-economic status, 

gender orientation,

strengths and weaknesses, 

we welcome each and all 

to the company of

The Beloved Community.

We forgive the hurtful.

We do our best to redress

the wrongs we've wrought.

We include the difficult.

We partner to excise 

the cancer of racism and

nurture a lived unity in diversity.

We slow down to catch up with 

the stumbling.

We make sure 

those on the margins 

make it to the mainstream.

At peace, 

reconciled to God, 

to our True Selves,

to our neighbors,

we work to reconcile divisions, 

feuds, and contentions 

into refreshed unity.

We free up or bypass the 

self centered fixation

the stifled spirits,

the bureaucratic constriction 

of too many churches 

that are more

religious enterprises 

than real Church.

We welcome seekers 

into the experience

of shared support and service,

into a Holy Communion of Spirit.

Yes, peacemaking is hard work.

Wrapped in the peace

that is oneness with God,

we are powered for 


That only happens if we spend 

a lot of time in quiet prayer.

That gives God the chance 

to enfold and love us to Love,

to simplify and purify us,

infusing that very 


   that is peace.

Then we are ready 

to go to work,

to be makers of peace -

unifiers, reconcilers.

healers, forgivers.

   "Happy are the 


    for they will be called

    children of God"

          Peace be with you!

             John Frank


      It's a real treat to have 

         new folks joining in

           this past week.

    We celebrate the first time 

  that we have had participation 

            from Zambia.


         "frankly speaking"

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A variety of prompts and supports

for meditation are offered here. 

They are best used 

over a period of time,

a little at a time.

In a quiet time and place 

we calm to our center.

There we let The Spirit 

flow through us.

We breath in slowly and deeply:

and Soul Say:

         "God loves me."

Slowly and fully we breath out

and Soul Say

           "I love you, Oh God."

After a time of this, 

we read one of the prompts 

that follow here, slowly sensing

the core of what is shared.

Then we consider 

what light that sharing

might shine on our living, 

how can it en-spirit our spirit?

We see it in itself and 

we picture it lived out 

in our right now, right here.

We see how it can be 

real and practical

in the sweet and sour 

of our spiritual life.

We say yes to that. 

We ask The Spirit 

to empower that dynamic.

We might then journal,

or we might simply rest 

in The Spirit.

We breath in slowly and deeply

and Soul Say:

             "We are one."

Slowly and deeply we breath out

and Soul Say:

           "We are one." 

    What light do the prompts 

         that follow shine 
          on my living?

  How can they en-spirit my spirit?

- "The day the power of love 
    overrules the love of power, 
    the world will know peace."  

- " Let the peace of Christ 
     rule in your hearts, 
     since as members of one body 
     you were called to peace. 
     And be thankful."

- "We are not at peace with others 
    because we are not 
    at peace with ourselves. 
    and we are not at peace 
    with ourselves because 
    we are not at peace with God."
            Thomas Merton

"Peace is the tranquility of order"


- "Be the change you wish 
   to see in the world."

- "When historians pick up 
    their pens to write the story 
    of the 21st. century, 
    let them say that 
    it was your generation 
    who laid down
    the heavy burdens 
    of hate at last and that peace 
    finally triumphed over violence, 
    aggression and war. So I say to you, 
    walk with the wind, 
    brothers and sisters, 
    and let the spirit of peace 
    and the power of everlasting love 
    be your guide.
        The last public words of 
               John Lewis, 
     written days before his death
  and published the day of his funeral.

         The New York Times
                  Op Ed
            July 30, 2020

- " Peace I leave with you; 
    my peace I give you. 
    I do not give peace to you 
    as the world gives.
    Do not let your hearts be troubled 
    and do not be afraid."


           ( John 14:27 )

- "Fighting for peace
   is like screwing for virginity."

          George Carlin

- "Make every effort to live in peace 
   with everyone and to be holy;   
   without holiness no one will see God."

           Hebrews 12:14

- " But the fruit of the Spirit is 
     love, joy,  peace, forbearance,
     kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

             Galatians 5:22

- "Peace demands the most heroic labor, 
   and the most difficult sacrifice. 
   It demands greater heroism than war. 
   It demands greater fidelity to the truth 
   and a much more perfect 
   purity of conscience."

                Thomas Merton

- "It is my conviction that 
   there is no way to peace.
   - peace is the way."

        Thich Nhat  Hanh

- "Make sure that nobody pays back 
   wrong for wrong, 
   but always strive to do 
   what is good for each other 
   and for everyone else."

      I Thessalonians 5:15

- " Consider the blameless.
     observe the upright;
     a future awaits those 
     who seek peace."

              Psalm 37:37

- "Those who are free 
   of resentful thoughts 
   surely find peace."