A great calling

Gratitude for an amazing vocation
One of my laments over the years has been over the dreadful image of clergy in popular media. With some notable exceptions, ministers are portrayed as inept, shallow, out of touch with the world and basically irrelevant—like Chaplain Mulcahy in the old M*A*S*H television series. Clergy occasionally show up in novels, like John Updike’s Month of Sundays, for instance, but even Updike, who writes about serious theological and moral matters, has laypeople, not clergy, doing the heavy lifting.

So it was a delight to read during Lent three books which feature lively, somewhat eccentric and altogether human clergy: Marilynn Robinson’s Gilead, Tony Hendra’s Father Joe and Anne Lamott’s Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.


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