Submitted by the Rev. Don Messer
Co-chair, Global AIDS Fund
On Dec. 2, Park Hill United Methodist Church hosted its third annual World AIDS Day service. Rev. Nathan Adams, pastor of Park Hill, was the keynote speaker, and Imani Latif of It Takes a Village
in Aurora, Colorado shared stories of the impact of AIDS in Denver. Other guest speakers included Rev. Lynn Miller Jackson of Scott United Methodist Church and Sharon Langfeldt of Christ United Methodist Church, both in Denver. Daryl Walker and the World AIDS Day Legacy Ensemble provided the music for the evening, and the liturgical dancers of Scott United Methodist Church also performed.
"Know Your Status" was the theme of Rev. Adam's address. He advocated for everyone getting tested for HIV so they know their status as either infected or not. Above all, he stressed that every person needs to know their status as a beloved child of God, and not let stigmatization be internalized. He called upon all of us to embrace one another as God's family.
Many people in the United States have the impression that AIDS is no longer a threat, but 37 million people are living with the disease worldwide. The good news is that 60% of those infected are getting treatment, but 40% will never get the life-saving medicine others receive.
Rev. Donald Messer, co-chair of the Global AIDS Fund, played a major role in organizing the event. He expressed "the injustice and discrepancy between the rich and the poor, in our country and around the world, causes me to tremble and speak out against the church's indifference."
For more information on this event and the Global Aids Fund, email Rev. Donald Messer at firstname.lastname@example.org