The meeting was held in our downtown library with its imposing facade that says clean and inviting. In the meeting hall a diverse panel of writers took turns making 10-minute presentations about the writing life. A group of established and would-be writers, ever on the lookout for ways to hone our craft, paid close attention.

The third speaker was an impressive specimen of a man: more than six feet tall, corpulent, dressed in a flowing robe, and wearing a skullcap. An Episcopal priest, he said he belonged to a monastic order whose members “live and work in the real world.” As he spoke, the two presentations preceding his became forgettable, outvoiced by his resonant tones and the stinging words he dropped on our ears right from the start.

“I have chosen to wash the feet of the homeless,” the priest said concerning his vocation. Disturbing stuff, I ... »
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