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A Bit About Me

Exploring

Being a curious wander with a questioning mind from birth, my eyes seek always what lays hidden, yet important. I’m always asking questions with an acute observation to the mysteries of life.


When it comes to my posts, I am opinionated, but I try to make them well-researched and thought-out opinions. I don’t mince words, I tell it like I see it, although I always seek to be gentle with my words. I have no problem voicing my thoughts — even if they are at times controversial. Hopefully you will find them insightful and maybe provocative.

I typically have a lot of thoughts about culture, life and theology. And I take lots of photos. I seek to see things differently, to see between the line (yes, "line" singular). I was once asked to provide a few words that best described me. This is what I wrote:

Being a curious wander with a questioning mind from birth, my eyes seek always what lays hidden, yet important. I’m always asking questions with an acute observation to the mysteries of life.

What I seek to do with my writing, and even my photography, is to encourage us to question what we are told is absolute and to seek to observe and grapple with what might lie in those gray, in-between zones.

To do so, we must recognize that assumptions are culturally conditioned. I know for me, sometimes that’s quite hard to do. I must strive extra-hard to move beyond my own context to see contextually, that is, the true context of what I am observing, if I am ever going to be able to observe the truth to be discovered in the gray zones.

These days I am “officially retired,” but I still write, review books and exhibit (and sometimes sell) my photographic images. My passion is to help people speculatively explore what it means to be a person of faith. One avenue is my website & Facebook pages. I am particularly interested in how we might do ministry in the future given the current state of Christianity and the environment.

In the past…

My ministry has taken many roads. I have been a Presbyterian Minister (USA) working frequently with churches in crisis, merging churches, and alternative communities. I also served as a YMCA Chaplain, simultaneously serving as youth director, and downtown branch director. This led to several years where I ministered to disadvantaged youth and young male and female prostitutes, among others.

Through such ministry I learned much about myself, both strengths and weaknesses. One skill that came from this sort of work was that of being able to work toward diffusing crisis situations. Sometimes they were large-scale (like during the student protests of the 60s), conflicts between neighborhoods (Austin, Cleveland), and sometimes simply between people.

While not normally considered “the ministry” – although I saw it as one – I worked as a Faculty-Administrator (Intuitional Advancement, University of Akon) and on the facility of Marylhurst University (Portland, OR) where I taught in the Cultural Studies Department [Celtic Studies (including Celtic Christianity), Urban Anthropology. During my time in Portland, I was the publisher/senior editor of Brigit’s Feast: Journal of Celtic Thought, History & Folklore.

I have continued to teach, preach and speak on Celtic Christianity, as well as provide spiritual direction from a Celtic Christian perspective. Celtic Christianity greatly informed both my speculative theology as well as my approach to the world in general.

My other former “hat” was that of working as an urban consultant in Cleveland, specializing in neighborhood behaviors, future visioning, conceptual visioning, and the role of the church in the city. My work in the urban setting led to numerous opportunities to speak and write. I was the Feature Writer for Urban Dialect and a guest editorial writer for Crain’s (Cleveland) Online.

I grew up in Baltimore (along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay). I have lived in Boston, Huntington (WV), Akron, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Cleveland and Austin. And now, once again in Cleveland.

Lastly, but not at all, least important, I am a father, husband, grandfather and great grandfather.

All of this colors what I observe and comment on.

Thank you for reading my bio.

Frank
Sheffield Lake, Ohio
02/06/2022



Some quotes that influence my thinking and my life…

"Reality is a magical place. If you are not in awe of it, you can be sure you've lost touch with it. And touching it is only the beginning to actually grasping it." — G.K. Chesterton, "Everlasting Man"

"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." — Walker Evans, Photographer

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh..." — Jack Kerouac, "On The Road"

"While we live, let's live." Oh, wait. I said that …

We all have dreams of what our career future or our family future will look like. Rarely does the future end up fulfilling our dreams. Not that that's bad. It's not. For each dream leads to another, the next dream will as sure as the sun rises, come along. In time, we will look back at those years gone by and say, "What a life I have had! I wouldn't want it any other way."

* I am available for preaching and speaking engagements. I love to conduct workshops on Brewing Theology, Celtic Christianity & Urban Culture. *

Intro Bio