• Rick Warren, pastor at Saddleback Church, wrote an article on titled, “What your church can do to help eradicate HIV/AIDS.” It is an excellent article that highlights the HIV/Aids epidemic and ways that congregations can actually do something rather than talking. One of his most powerful sentences says, “The love of Christ compels us to reach out and care for people who are suffer alone. Considerer this: 40 million women, children, and men worldwide have HIV/AIDS with more than 1 million in the United States! That means, statistically, someone in your church has HIV/AIDS.”
    Pastor Warren lays out some practicle stepsCare for and comfort the sick
  • Handle testing and counseling
  • Unleash a volunteer labor force
  • Remove the stigma
  • Champion healthy lifestyles
  • Help with nutrition and medications

The burden of educating people, especially our African American women between 18 and 24 seems to be an overwhelming task. Informing and encouraging people especially men about testing seems to produce little fruit. Loving and supporting those who have HIV/AIDS and their families appears to have little effect on the social stigmas previously associated with HIV/AIDS. One of my challenges is that the church was a catalyst in developing some of the negative social stigmas. They began by calling it a gay white man’s disease. It then was the plague to wipe out the unrighteous. The church, especially the evangelical church, recently has been apathetic to HIV/AIDS because is now viewed as a black disease and not really their problem.

ABC News recently did an excellent job with a Primetime special ‘Out of Control: AIDS in Black America’. One of the points that Terry Moran discusses is the lack of the black church to use their considerable social and political clout bring the disease to the forefront and start their communities of faith to discuss the ways to mobilize rather than criticize and alienate those with HIV/AIDS. I am thankful for Rick Warren’s article and his personal investment to engage the Christian Community I am hoping that there are some African American Pastors with the courage and vision to also speak out and live out the call of Jesus to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Those with HIV/AIDS are our neighbors. It is time that the church starts to act like it.

Praying for a Cure

Be Adventurous !

Rev. William T Chaney Jr

Pastor West Baltimore UMC

5130 Greenwich Baltimore, MD 21229

(410) 945-8397

http://wtcreflects.blogspot.com

http://nugleadership.blogspot.com/

West Baltimore UMC: Transforming the 40 West Corridor by Being and Making Disciples for Christ

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