Eternal Circle of Love…Fran McKendree

The presence of the Holy was palpable as my soul brother Fran and I stood in the silence of the large empty room. Just a moment before we were encircled by a large crowd of young people who sang and prayed and quietly snaked their way out of the room. Words were not needed between us; we knew we had just experienced the Holy circle of love.

It was a chance meeting at a large youth gathering that turned into forty years of Spirit-filled collaboration. It was an imaginative programmatic conversation over a meal in a dining hall – “Wonder what it would be like…” Fran offered his gifts of music and song, I offered my gifts of spoken word and prayer, and the Holy synchronicity that created a seamless rhythm between us became decades of holy partnership.

Yet the connectivity that we experienced went way beyond “the stage”. We became bonded as soul brothers who spent hours musing, wondering and exploring faith, religion, politics, justice and the human psyche – it was an endless late night deep conversation. We were companions on the journey with a shared quest for holy transformation. And that shared passion became thousands of miles, hundreds of gigs, and connecting with the most amazing cadre of fellow companions in the circle of love.

And while I am incredibly sad for my soul brother’s passing, I feel blessed beyond measure for containers of transformation we shared and for thousands of people I got to witness as lives changed with Fran’s endless invitation to folks into the circle of love.

Sing with the angels soul brother, I look forward to the next gig😇!

“I was looking for answers in a moment of silence in the spell of a shooting star
Just me and the wonder the stillness at midnight weaving between near and far
I was thinking about you then you were there we danced to soulful guitar
There was a river of tears you cried that night, crying for the promises broken
Tender dreams unspoken
For all the ones who live just outside, outside the circle of love
All the ones who live just outside, outside the circle of love
Down in the ashes the fire grows cold and hindsight is so clear
Off in a distance you can see what you’ve learned
Where do you go from here
Intuition and pride get you through the day, over your shoulder comes a wave of fear
We watch the sea and the sun become one, what’s to become of you
How you gonna break through
How does it feel to be carried through, into the circle of love
How does it feel to be carried through, into the circle of love
Food for the soul, shoes for the feet, a coat for the driving rain
These things we need, not much more, maybe a place to unload some pain
When the storm blows over, you’re digging out be careful among the remains
Untangled within now the journey begins calling you to start
From a place of the heart
Calling you to take what’s inside, outside the circle of love
Calling you to take what’s inside, carry it outside this circle of love
Calling you to take what’s inside, carry it outside this circle of love” – Fran McKendree

12 thoughts on “Eternal Circle of Love…Fran McKendree”

  1. Michele Benner

    Thank you for sharing this… your memories, love and Fran’s insightful lirics.It fills me with gratitude for his presence and yours in my life and my children’s. Each of them…Paul, Shayna, Savannah and Bryan all contacted me with stories of the inspiration he had in their lives. We were all so blessed to have him. And you keep the kind of wholesome ministry alive by example that encourages me to continue to have hope. With utmost respect and gratitude, Michele Benner

    1. Mary Louise Allen

      I grieve your loss of Fran in this world but my soul sings with the knowledge that you will see him again. Peace to you my friend.

  2. Fran’s music continues to fill my soul along prairie roads road tripping from one little church to another here on the Prairie in southwest MN. He’s been part of my Worship-leading prep since we first met through you here in MN. Blessings on your memories and his journey.

  3. Debra Denise Gillespie Carter

    I feel truly blessed to have experienced his ministry of music and the light and love that he projected.

  4. Katie Longinotti

    So grateful your paths crossed those many years ago, and for the gift that was Fran.

  5. Duane & Linda Bordwell

    Fran was special. We listen to his music, which always speaks to us. The world has lost a very special person, but I am glad he is at peace. Peace to all. Linda

  6. Jim Benefield

    Fran, this morning as I reflect on the times we met, I remember our first passing on this journey at a prison ministry program in Alabama. Your presence and gift of music was such a gift on that weekend. I was fortunate that our paths crossed again at times and your spirit will always live within my heart. I’m sure that our next meeting will be beyond anything I can imagine. Peace, Jim

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