Wednesday, July 20, 2022





  This foreword is a postscript.

  The past three days and nights 

  of penning this posting 

  have been painful.

  Reading it will be too.

  This is not cozy comfy.

  It's condemnation of 

  faux, fraud church. 

  It's call to clear, 

  clean church.

  Countries, currencies, 

  cultures, crumble.

  Truth based societies collapse.

                We need

         Jesus Christ Shared

             Real Church

      This is a challenge to be 

           as Jesus invites,

     not nominally, partially, but 

                  ALL IN

  The church in its present manner

      is way too often not at all

                  ALL IN

            We need to be.

That will take spiritual guts and grit 


    The challenge in Revelations

  isn't just a some sometime one.


            HERE AND NOW

 "So because you are lukewarm, 

  and neither hot nor cold, 

  I will spit you out of my mouth...

  He who has an ear, let him hear 

  what the Spirit says to the churches." 

         (Revelation 3:16 7 22)


Dear All of Us,

It's Sunday morning.

I'm slowed soulful mellow.

I'm not going to church.

Just can't work up the

accommodation needed

for another episode of

   Sunday Morning

      Show Time

cutesy, content laden 

children's sermons that

completely bypasses the kids 

and aim to entertain adults,

trys at entertaining with

performance music 

and snappy media,

routine ruined ritual,


  slick sales talk 



pastor's persuasion 


preference sermons,

  too many times 

  what's the point 


sharing of the peace

that's neither a sharing 

nor about peace,

a gathering that doesn't unite,

a crowd not a community,

a less than persuaded presence,

a spiritually shallow hour of 

too much more of less,

fluffy glad handing at the door.

        Sunday Morning

          Show Time

I just want to be truly together 

in a genuine community of love, 

imperfect for sure, but sweaty real,

sincerely share, deeply pray, 

truly hear The Word

enliven everyday living,

feed on some for real soul food,

warmly fellowship, commit to care 

within and beyond.

Where do I go?

Like lots of others, 

not to church this Sunday.

Hey, I'd better be careful here or

headquarters may put a hold on 

my humble church pension.

As now a retired pastor  

on the other side of the alter

I get why so many don't go.

We crave, we long for substance

and get show and tell that

not at all shows and tells to soul. 

        Suday Morning

          Show Time

is a picture not so perfect

of what passes for church.

Way too many "churches" aren't.

Of course there are some churches 

that really and actually are

beautifully real church. 

Just not too many 

where many/most of us are.

In this chaotic, crisis time 

that's a crying shame.

We spiritually starved are



   REAL and TRUE









We would embrace 

the real deal.

Instead, scandalously often

we are delt churchy jokers. 

I'm not giving up,

but I can't stomach 

religious junk food,

served up in faux church.

Neither have to be fancy,

       just real.

  So Here's A 

   Real Dea

 For Instance.

It was pure gift 

from heaven for me

to serve a small, poor, rural 

southern, black church.

They took me in and to heart,

white and all.

Those folks didn't have much, 

but did they ever have each other 

and did they ever know 

that Jesus had them. 

Sure, they'd squabble and mess up,

sometimes big time.

Even more surely, though,

they had each other's backs

and a heart for each other.

They were really giving a go

at living 


life together,

at really living Jesus Christ

"the way, the truth and the life." 

They made sure that

members short on cash 

had food on the table,

that the kids were covered

when parent(s) had to work,

that the disabled and elderly 

were in the mix and cared for.

When we prayed the place rocked.

When we sang the place rolled.

We had lots of dinners together.

The food was plentiful 

and so southern good.

There were games and music,

sometimes even dancing.

We mixed and met!

We made a lot of noise 

at funerals.

We celebrated long and real 

on Sundays.

It took lots of time and 

meant lots of good.

Somehow, we covered rents 

when folks were out of work.

The rectory didn't have 

a lock on the door, 

but it did have a large screen TV

and lots of food in the kitchen.

The teens would often 

be right at home there 

when we'd get home.

We had a little cemetery.

No charge for a plot 

and the men and boys 

dug the graves and 

tended the grounds,

no money involved.

The teens did study mentoring 

for the little kids on Saturdays

in our small rectory.

There's lots more, but I trust 

we all get the good there 

and that can be in our here.

So, what do we do, 

where do we go?

Well, to our knees and  

The Holy Spirit.

In The Holy Spirit

we check out 

what's around, 

real and open 

in our area

or online.

I have found 

a touch of community 

in two weekly small group 

Zoom gatherings here in DC: 

a Bible Study and 

an Evening Prayer.

Were it not for COVID

I would be inviting 

a small group to gather

in our home,

taking Jesus, each other, 

and the needs of others

to heart and practice.


I can't do that just now.

Perhaps you can.

In any case,

please let me share 

a new, fresh help and blessing

as we try to sort ourselves out 

and find a way forward.

It takes time, lots of it,

to slowly and expansively 

pray through with others

"Do I Stay Christian"

  Brian Mc Claren,


   St. Martin's 

Publishing Group.

Brian is bright, perceptive,

informed, clear and candid.

He is a retired college professor

and pastor, a church life consultant, 

and spiritual writer.

He sees straight.

He talks straight.

He nails the peril and 

shines the promise.

He maps a way clear and clean.

If you need to move off 

dead and deadening center,


let Brian be your moving man.

He offers ten sections showing 

the miss and mess of Christianity.

It details and documents

reasons to check out.

He then does exactly the same

the other way round, 

ten sections showing 

the good and real 

of Christianity/church.

It details and documents

reason to stay and recommit.

For those who do stay,

he then offers wonderful,

if challenging, ways to do so,

to refresh, re-presence, reform.

The way forward 

is not travel along 

Leisure Lane.

It takes lots

to tackle together,

to take to heart,

to transition 

to truly being and 

living together

The Body of Christ


For those of us stranded 

in a church nowhere

because of COVID

or because of faux church,

please consider an online connection

with a real and robust community 

and excellent pastor.

There are many.

One I can personally vouch for:

(Just Google)

    St. Paul's Lutheran Church

             Lititz, PA     

Pastor Rob Myallis

Church at 717-626-4709

Excellent pastor and parish.

(This coming Sunday.

       July 24th.

 they are not online)


Look, all this is raw rough.

Society is imploding.

Churches are too.

We need Real!

Too many (frankly most) 

"churches" aren't.

They are local franchises 

of denominational corporations.

I know this is hard on you.

Know that it is hard on me.

We'd better face up to it

while we can.

We'd better give more than

two hoots for the sakes of 

children, youth, young adults, 

and as Brian McClaren says,

"...the doubters, the disappointed, 

and the disillusioned", indeed the


It's not over unless we quit.

It's a good and holy thing 

            to be   


for shared right and real.

  Jesus did and we can

      in and with him

      and each other.

        Let's do it!


       John Frank


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   Tough go this week.

   Thanks for going

    the distance!

    Looking forward

    to being together

    and giving it 

    another go

    next week.