More About Us

Jonathan’s Circle is a worldwide community of men exploring the deep connection of spiritual life and male sexual experience.

Because we a chartered non-profit organization, your gifts and donations to our work are tax-deductible. 

Our  brotherhood circles are small learning communities that convene for 4-12 months with a high degree of commitment and trust.  We also have online groups for discussion and connection.  Retreats, events, and courses allow men to experience Jonathan’s Circle for short, intensive periods.  They are especially helpful to men who live in areas where forming a brotherhood circle of men is impractical.  Meet-ups and one-day retreats are growing in popularity.   

These principles guide Jonathan’s Circle:

  • men can grow in self-understanding through intentional and honest interactions with other men

  • men need a way to explore uniquely masculine spiritual experience of which phallos is the supreme symbol and archetype

  • men grow in wholeness by affirming the fullness of bodily life and its union with spiritual life, regardless of the particular shape the spiritual life might assume

  • men experience freedom and joy through being able to share and reflect upon their spiritual and their sexual practices without fear, judgment, or shame

  • men can have close, intimate, and physical contact without fear that such contacts mean that a relationship must be sexualized.

Find a site map of this site on our home page.

Jonathan’s Circle is open to the ideas, experiences, values, and beliefs that men bring into it.  Jonathan’s Circle includes men with profound religious faith and those with little or none at all; those with a wide range of sexual experiences and those with very few; some in their sixth or seventh or eighth decades, and some who are close to the bottom line of participation, which is age 18, and many who are in between.  There are men with little formal education and those with a great deal.  Men here identify themselves as gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, curious, and in other ways.  Every man is a man:  we don’t have to prove ourselves.

Men in Jonathan’s Circle have in common a desire to explore the connection between a spiritual life and whatever sexual practices we engage in.  Norms for participating in any of Jonathan’s circles, whether online or in person, include a willingness to be honest with one’s feelings, a willingness to share and reflect on experiences, respect for others’ positions and personal beliefs, an appreciation for the breadth of men’s sexual experiences spanning a wide gamut of tastes and preferences.

Our Name

An archetypal story of the love of men for each other, the tale of Jonathan and David in the Bible weaves together themes of friendship, divine providence, and self-giving, as well as the darker strains of a father’s jealousy, father-son competition, and mental illness.  Jonathan’s love for David led the two of them to establish a covenant.  One of the most moving scenes in the story, perhaps in all of scripture, is Jonathan’s removing his armor piece by piece and giving it to David.  That image guides Jonathan’s Circle, where men permit and encourage their brothers to take off the armor that shields us from our deep emotional life and hides the Selves which are both strong and tender.

About Frank Dunn, Founder of Jonathan’s Circle

Frank Gasque Dunn has a background combining literature, theology, liturgy, leadership development, and four decades of group work as facilitator, designer, and trainer.  With the degree of Doctor of Ministry, and over forty years as priest, teacher, spiritual director, writer, and retreat leader, he currently is a “soul friend,” offering coaching, counseling, and consulting to individuals, groups, and organizations.  He serves as Executive Director of Jonathan’s Circle.  

Some of the influences that led Frank to form Jonathan’s Circle include his own experience in Jungian analysis; his biography as a gay man living through marriage, fatherhood, divorce, and remarriage; his dedication to a radically inclusive expression of Christianity that affirms the universality of the divine life shared with all humanity; and his own discovery of bodily life, especially sexual expression, as a viable path leading to personal wholeness and union with Creator and all creation. 

Frank has been with his partner, Joseph Casazza, since 2006.  They live in Washington and were married in the District of Columbia in 2011.  Their marriage was blessed by The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington.  

Our Board

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 L to R:  Bill MacKaye, Alice Baker O’Reilly,** David Townsend*, Mark Cobb,** Bill Briggs, Paree Roper

Pictured above are the members of Jonathan’s Circle’s board of directors at their October, 2016, meeting.   Officers are Paree Roper, chair; Bill MacKaye, treasurer. Not pictured:  Eric Palladini, whose term begins November 2017; Ed Blanton, who joined the board in October 2018; Frank Dunn, Executive Director. 

* A friend of Jonathan’s Circle, not a board member

**Served through summer, 2017

  informat  © Frank Dunn 2014