GATHER WITH CHRISTIAN HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS AND TMC FACULTY, STUDENTS, AND ALUMNI
Practice & Presence helps health care practitioners imagine and engage their vocations with clarity, faith, and joy
2:30pm, Friday, October 6th – 7:30pm, Saturday, October 7th, 2023
When Jesus healed, he reversed disorder and decay, liberated people from hostile powers, and restored them to relationship in community. Modern health care tends to focus only on the first of these, seeking to reverse disorder through technical fixes. How might those who inhabit modern health care look towards Jesus’ pattern of healing, and to Christian theology more broadly, to enrich and renew their work?
Join us as we explore together why theology matters for health care, and together look to Jesus to renew our vocations to healing.
REGISTRATION OPENS LATE SPRING 2023
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we were delighted to host Practice & Presence once again in 2022. Please note, this conference is designed to be an in-person gathering, and as such virtual attendance is not offered.
The one exception is that the first plenary session featuring at 3pm on Friday, October 6th, 2023 will have a hybrid offering via our virtual TMC Seminar Series. Registration for the 2023-2024 TMC Seminar Series will be available in summer 2023.
Early Registration: For those who register by Friday, September 2, 2022
Trainee or Clergy: $200
Regular Registration: For those who register between September 3-18, 2022
Trainee or Clergy: $225
Registration closes Sunday, September 18, 2022
|Friday, Sept. 23, 3:00pm||The Art of Living as Creatures |
– Brian Volck, MD, MFA, in conversation with Martha Carlough, MD, MPH
|Friday, Sept. 23, 6:15pm||This Sacred Life: Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World |
– Norman Wirzba, PhD, MAR in conversation with Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
|Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:45am||Shalom: A Theological Vision for Health and Healing|
– Patrick T. Smith, PhD, MA, MDiv in conversation with Brett McCarty, ThD
|Saturday, Sept. 24, 6:15pm||What Does It Mean to Be Healed?|
– Sarah Jean Barton, BCP, MS, OTR/L, ThD in conversation with Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
Sarah Jean Barton focuses her scholarly work in theological ethics, with special attention to disability, liturgy, and pastoral care. Her research engages qualitative and participatory methodologies to partner with under-represented populations in theological scholarship, particularly people with intellectual disabilities. Barton has a joint faculty appointment with Duke University School of Medicine in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, where she works in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division. She is an occupational therapist with a current board-certification in pediatrics. Barton presents, lectures, and publishes across multiple disciplinary contexts, including Christian ethics and theology, disability studies, inclusive education, and occupational therapy. Her first book, Becoming the Baptized Body: Disability and the Practice of Christian Community, was published by Baylor University Press in August 2022.
Patrick T. Smith is the Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics; at Duke Divinity School. Smith is also the director of the bioethics program for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine and associate professor in population health sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Duke University Medical School. He has served as a member of the board of directors and the executive committee for the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. His current research and writing are in the areas of moral philosophy, bioethics, theological ethics, end-of-life care, and religious social ethics. Professor Smith was named a 2016-17 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology, was the recipient of the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics, and in 2022 received the Edmund Pellegrino Medalist Award in health care ethics.
Professor Smith served as a lecturer at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He served as core faculty for the Master of Bioethics program offered through Harvard’s Center for Bioethics. He also was a principal faculty member for the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality, an interfaculty initiative across Harvard University that aims to be a research catalyst for an integrated model of spirituality, public health, and patient care in dialogue with spiritual communities. Professor Smith also worked professionally for eight years as the ethics coordinator for Angela Hospice Care Center in Livonia, Mich. During some of that time he served on the Ethics Advisory Council for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and as a board member for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of Michigan.
He has served on the board of directors of organizations working for the common good and more equitable social arrangements such as YW Boston, which aims to empower women and eliminate racism. He also contributed thought leadership by serving on the board of a community development corporation that supports local communities through building affordable housing, engaging in advocacy work, and providing education on housing policies and practices.
Brian Volck is a pediatrician who received his undergraduate degree in English Literature and his MD from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of a poetry collection, Flesh Becomes Word, and a memoir, Attending Others: A Doctor’s Education in Bodies and Words.He co-authored of Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine with Joel Shuman. His essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in The Journal ofMoral Theology, The Christian Century, DoubleTake, Health Affairs, and IMAGE. His clinical work has taken him to the Navajo Nation, rural Honduras, inner city community health centers, and academic teaching hospitals. He teaches theology and medicine at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and is a Benedictine oblate at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert near Abiquiu, New Mexico. His website is www.BrianVolck.com.
Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In particular, his research is centered on a recovery of the doctrine of creation and a restatement of humanity in terms of its creaturely life. He is currently the director of a multi-year, Henry Luce-Foundation-funded projected entitled “Facing the Anthropocene.” In this project, housed at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, he is working with an international team of scholars to rethink several academic disciplines in light of challenges like climate change, food insecurity, biotechnology and genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, species extinction, and the built environment.
Professor Wirzba has published several books, including Agrarian Spirit: Cultivating Faith, Community, and the Land, The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age, Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight, Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World, Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating (in its 2nd Edition), and (with Fred Bahnson) Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation. He also has edited several books, including The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry.
Professor Wirzba serves as general editor for the book series Culture of the Land: A Series in the New Agrarianism, published by the University Press of Kentucky, and is co-founder and executive committee member of the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology.
2016 – Practice & Presence: A Gathering for Christians in Health Care
Practice & Presence Agenda 2016
2017 – Practice & Presence: A Gathering for Christians in Health Care
Practice & Presence Agenda and Workshops 2017
2018 – “I Was Sick and You Visited Me”: Learning Presence with Those Who Suffer
Practice & Presence Agenda 2018
Practice & Presence Workshops 2018
2019 – Faithful Health Care in an Anxious Age
Practice & Presence Agenda 2019
Practice & Presence Seminars 2019
2020 & 2021
Our 2020 and 2021 gatherings were cancelled due to COVID-19 travel and gathering restrictions.