Lessons from the Hall of Men and Eighth Day Books in Kansas

Terry Mattingly, News Sentinel columnist

WICHITA, Kansas — The Hall of Men fits the name, with meetings offering beer, cigars, an open bar, some kind of “guy food” (think pizza) and lots of chatter around a giant wooden table.

But then there are the evening prayers, icons, Bible readings and lectures about authors whose portraits hang on the walls. The names include C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, W.H. Auden, Dorothy Sayers, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J.R.R. Tolkien and many others. Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan are there, as well.

This group has met twice a month for a dozen years, and most of the faithful are Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran, with plenty of evangelicals at special events. The authors honored are selected after an informal process that usually starts during fellowship before and after lectures, with men talking about books that have touched their lives.

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