Our second video from Stanley Hauerwas, connecting us to the theme of Slow Church, is called “Practicing Presence.” In this video we are challenged to learn what it means to allow ourselves to be friends with time. Hauerwas talks about our constant urge to do something for people who are suffering. This, according to him, allows us to show our caring without being present. Practicing presence means that we have to be able to let go of our desire to solve everyone’s problems. Instead we have to be able to sit with people who are suffering, knowing that we cannot relieve their suffering. As our society’s medical techniques have become more advanced, we have tended to practice presence less.
The video featured here was made to support the Memory Bridge. Memory Bridge is an organization and movement designed to help people with Alzheimer’s connect and remain connected to their various communities. In addition those involved in Memory Bridge learn much from people living with Alzheimer’s.
Questions about Practicing Presence
What does it mean to become a “Friend with Time?” Do the ways in which we organize our life as a church community help or hinder us from practicing presence for each other? How might the church, and specifically St. Philip’s find new ways of practicing presence in the broader community in which we are placed? What areas do you think we need to find ways to practice presence?
As with the first video, you can add your voices to the conversation by visiting the St. Philip’s Facebook page.