Wednesday, April 2, 2014

'What Makes a Healthy Community?' An Evening With Wendell Berry

Posted By on Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 6:05 AM

  • Guy Mendes
If you’re not familiar with Wendell Berry, I can tell you that probably no description I could write would be comprehensive. Among the descriptors would be novelist, environmental activist, farmer, poet and pioneer of sorts who is often described as a modern-day Thoreau. Mark Bittman says he’s the “soul of the real food movement” as well as advocate for small farms and conservation from his own farm in northern Kentucky where his family has lived for generations. For a sample of Berry's work, visit this GoodReads quotation page.

Wendell Berry will be in Nashville May 2 at Montgomery Bell Academy for a discussion with theology professor Norman Wirzba to answer the question, “What Makes a Healthy Community?” Proceeds from the event will benefit Siloam Family Health Center, a Christian charitable clinic for the uninsured located in Berry Hill.

Berry rarely leaves his Kentucky farm for public engagements, but agreed to be involved with this event along with his friend Wirzba thanks to Wirzba's connection to a Siloam board member, Dr. Keith Meador.

According to Siloam's director, Dr. Morgan Wills, the program dovetails nicely with Siloam's mission: "We hope the event will be a gift that not only supports the important work of our nonprofit health center, but fosters an equally important conversation about the intertwining roles of food, faith, and the steps we can take to form a more healthy community."

Wills also notes that Siloam recognizes the roles that lifestyle, relationships and community play in health, particularly for immigrants and refugees, who comprise about 85% of Siloam's patients.

Along with the discussion, there will be music by Andrew Peterson and a book signing and sale by Parnassus Books. The discussion will continue Saturday morning with Professor Wirzba’s presentation, “Food and Faith: A Matter of Health and Wholeness” at St. George’s Episcopal Church (free admission). MBA will also host a patron’s dinner with Wendell Berry and his wife before Friday's event; more information about the dinner and all of the other events is available here.

An Evening with Wendell Berry
Friday, May 2, 7 p.m.
Paschall Theater, Montgomery Bell Academy
4001 Harding Road
Tickets $75 per person; $100 per person for priority seating/”Hors d'oeuvres Hour” at 5:30 p.m.

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