he Northern Illinois Conference HIV/AIDS Task Force is deeply grateful that Bishop Sally Dyck chose the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) as the recipient of the Bishop’s Appeal for 2017. Each congregation is asked to take a special offering or to do some type of special fundraising to help support the appeal.
In years past, the Bishop’s Appeal has raised $45,000 and greater for the causes selected. Bishop Dyck offers the Northern Illinois Conference an opportunity to make a significant difference in our world including the NIC by selecting the UMGAF. Twenty-five percent of the funds donated may be retained in the annual conference for local projects.
The World Health Organization, WHO, reports that 36.7 million people are infected with HIV. Nearly half of those who are infected are women. The UMGAF assists 287 projects in 44 countries. The goals of the UMGAF are: the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; the prevention of HIV in young people and high-risk populations; increased access to HIV counseling, testing, and treatment services; stigma reduction and psychosocial support to people living with HIV.
At the 1995 Annual Conference, the Rev. Todd Singley preached a powerful sermon. Rev. Singley, himself a person with AIDS, said, “As the church is feebly struggling to respond to the AIDS crisis, we have to acknowledge the complex issues, the misunderstandings, the apprehensions and fear that are realities surrounding the crisis we face together. I have hope for a cure for this disease, and I hold on to a hope for the healing of our church. AIDS presents to the church a crisis of faith; as great as it is, a crisis of health. I have hope that God is at work within the body of Christ, even now, that as we are touched with tenderness and Christ-like compassion for the sick and for the dying, may be transformed by love for the living.”
Twenty-two years later we continue to hold on to a hope for healing for our church and cure for those with HIV/AIDS.
UMGAF is seeking a total of $50,000 in support for 2017. Can we, the Northern Illinois Conference, step up to make sure the UMGAF is fully supported and funded through the Bishop’s Appeal? The NIC HIV/AIDS Task Force believes this is more than achievable when we all work together. Bishop Dyck gives us an opportunity to respond to this continuing global crisis. There are many ways to support the Bishop’s Appeal. There are many educational resources available on the NIC website, GBGM website, and many others.
According to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, over 43,000 people in Illinois are living with HIV/AIDS. The majority of those persons live within the boundaries of the Northern Illinois Conference. HIV/AIDS is both global and local. Your giving to the Bishop’s Appeal for the 2017 annual conference session helps both those who are far away and those who are close to home.
Please make sure to indicate UMGAF’s Advance Special number #982345 on your contributions whether made at the annual conference session or at another time.
Please act courageously, give generously, and love boldly that we can help put an end to a disease which continues to devastate families, communities, and countries. For more information and resources click here.
With hope for a cure,
NIC HIV/AIDS Task Force