Well, the Port William Membership is not meant to suggest that everybody in the community is consciously a part of the membership. But the term in my work derives from a statement by one of the characters, Burley Coulters in which he improves a little, I think, on St. Paul. He says, we're members of each other, all of us, everything. The difference is not in who is and who isn't. The difference is between the people who know they're members and the ones who don't.I sat rapt with attention as I listened to the remaining forty minutes with Wendell Berry. I admit it, I had heard his name, but had never read anything by him as far I knew. Shortly into the interview I wanted to run out and get everything he has ever written.
This interview is worth a listen, or read through the transcript. It can be found here:
Wendell Berry: "A Place in Time: Twenty Stories Of The Port William Membership"
Wendell spoke of a reality, broken yet rich with hope. Preachers could learn a lot, I believe from the way he speaks about life.