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Frank Knutson

March 13, 1934 – November 18, 2023

Kyle Knutson, Frank Knutson’s son in Dallas area, where Frank has been living with his family, called this morning to say Frank journeyed on just after midnight last night.

           ~~  Linda Hamilton


I don’t know if this is true for everyone but in the early days of my Order experience, we were told “We are colleagues.  We are not friends.”  Well, I am here to confess to you all, I have friends and I don’t know who I would be without them.  David Rebstock and Sandra Rafos were friends and I miss them already.  Frank Knutson and I were many things to each other over many years and he taught me how to forgive.  I am always grateful when Jim waxes eloquent as he did for us here because I can feel deeply his words.  Journey on.

          ~~  Joan Knutson


My-Oh-My – Celebrating the Blue-Shirt Marathon. …. David Rebstock, Elaine Telford, Anne Duffy, Sandra Rafos, Frank Knutson – all jogging across the finish line in one month. …. Not that I’m trying to catch up, but the pull toward the great beyond seems to have my name on it too. Remembering their engagement drives me to a place of deep gratitude for these awesome colleagues and friends. I am thankful for their families, for their lives, and for the life changing impact of their work on the countless number of people whom they encountered along the way. We are shielded from the knowledge of how many lives were changed by the Mystery through our work together, but we do share the experience of being part of an evolving movement of care – with enduring ripples across the years. Praying for Peace,

          ~~  Sherwood Shanklin


Thank you David, Elaine, Sandra, Ann, and Frank for your energies, imaginations, decisions, and presence in the resurgence of human spirit during our moments on Earth and on behalf of future times.  Joining in the singing,

           ~~  Leah Early


Sitting in the very first collegium in 1971, at the Cleveland Religious House, we new interns introduced ourselves to each other. Frank, who was then known as Bob, began to talk about his Cincinnati background.


Frank had been part of a cadre, with numerous achievements, including recruiting RS-1 and the Parish leadership Colloquy. Like Frank, many of this group were members of the Friendship United Methodist Church. That cadre and it’s pastor, Mark Dove, reinvigorated Sunday School classes and created a unique catechism for their youth based on RS-1.


Frank had been the director of a science center located in the repurposed Cincinnati Union Railroad Station. After several years it became apparent that the project was not economically viable, and it was time for Frank to move on. The moment was right for Frank and his family to make a vocational decision to live in a family religious order.


Frank brought with him a practical approach, logically based, on how to get things done. He was both a great handyman and a practical visionary who understood how to make spiritual events happen. It was Frank who inkinded and operated a used but still working A. B. Dick Press that was located in the Religious House basement. That was the tool that allowed the House to produce brochures and manuals that supported the work of Cleveland region colleagues.


Frank took to heart the call to be comprehensive and created the unique and most extensive Odyssey manual written at that time. When challenged about why it was necessary to be so fastidious, Frank answered that he wanted to create a tool in which a person who had never heard of the Order or The Odyssey could immediately facilitate the event. Frank even included meal menus and a shopping list. Later at the Anchorage Religious House, Frank used not only the comprehensive Odyssey manual, but went on to teach Anchorage house members how to write and produce brochures and manuals that would continue to support local colleagues.


Frank’s passion was about the Word, which when he first was addressed by it and had his life changed, wanted to share it with everybody. It was the same Spirit many years later that led Frank to engage with the work of the Living Archives. Frank’s domain was as the curator of some 40,000 images and photographs.

          ~~  Ed Feldmanis


Dear Ed, Thank you for this remarkable narrative of a fellow traveller. It is such a joy to read of the life of a man whose gave his life deep  meaning and purpose. I remember being gifted by Frank ( then Bob) one time when I was in Anchorage. He drove me around the city avoiding running into a wandering Moose. Best thoughts, With love,

          ~~  Isobel Bishop


As a Community, our ICA and Order work has always been very “word” based. We lived in a time before media and the digital world grew up to surround everyone, us included.  Franks willingness to spend hours organizing and scanning photographs meant that we could link our “word based” documents and experience and wisdom with photographs that illuminated those words.  He played a critical role in getting us pointed in the right direction. Blessings on his given life.

          ~~  Ruth Gilbert


I, too, so deeply appreciated Frank’s work with the photos. I’m very visual as a default and most of my memories are visual far more than the content of what we were doing. Every day I would look forward to the daily photos and loved feeling the relatedness they reminded me of.

          ~~   Seth T. Longacre


I knew Frank “Most Holy One” Knutson. We worked with others on collecting and presenting the archives of the ICA. While “tongue in cheek” was an operating principle of his constant humility he was very clear about the emerging task of the archive team. Here is an email from Frank May 24, 2023:


 Some reflections on our conversation yesterday about the Archives. We talked about where the weight of the archives needed to be for the story of How it All Came AboutIf I were to put weight on our story, it would look like this; 50% Christian Faith and Life Community (CF&LC), 25% Order Ecumenical (O:E), 12.5% each, Ecumenical Institute (EI) & Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).


 CF&LC began with the audacious objective to Renew the Church of Jesus Christ as Mission to the World. (Period). If they had stoped there and set out they would have failed. So the task was broken down to three stratagies—Contextual Re-Education,  Structural Re-Formulation & Spiritual Re-Motivation. Genius. Now the task was doable—create structures, programs and methods to accomplish renewal. From these three strategies came; RS!, Imaginal Education, crucial methods, gridding, story/song/symbol, basis for the Academy, start of the Order—the basis for all that followed. The list goes on.


We reached far back into history to the ancient church and religious orders gleaning strengths and weaknesses, adapting and updating to 20th century understandings those elements that provided historical contnuity. Brought down from the ‘heavens’ the primary  symbols of the church—God, Jesus, Holy Sprit, humanizing and grounding them in everyday life. Probably our greatest gift. We are experiencing the last throws of the old time religion grounded in the second story universe—Mega churches, C.I.N.O. (Christians In Name Only), Evangelical movements, etc.


 The creation of our Commonness; rituals, songs, symbols, methods, structures, Religious Houses, is the basis for our successes This is the story to be told. The creation of HDPs, TMs, Social Process, NRMs, etc. are all secondary to the story of what it takes to create the programs necessary to the times.


 The two weeks in July 2023 would be well spent in writing the compelling story of How it All Came About.     Frank

          ~~  Paul Noah