Approximately 11 percent of the global population is infected with HIV. In the United States, the infection rate is highest among communities of color, particularly black and Hispanic/Latino communities, and communities with chronic poverty, particularly in rural areas. Access to care in the United States continues to be limited, and in some areas, there is no appropriate care easily accessible. HIV continues to be a significant issue in our world and in our nation.
The NIV HIV/AIDS Task Force is sponsoring a Service of Remembrance and Celebration on Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m. at Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church, 3300 S. King Drive, Chicago. Come for light refreshments and fellowship starting at 6 p.m.
Our featured speaker is Bishop Julius C. Trimble, resident bishop of the Indiana Episcopal Area and chair of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.
Bishop Trimble brings passion and a deep commitment to this topic. Along with Bishop Trimble, the local neighborhood branch of the Chicago Children’s Chorus will be joining in for the service as well. Their director, Evan Bruno, is passionate about HIV/AIDS as well. One of the things Mr. Bruno has taught his choir are songs from South Africa used in that nation’s fight against the spread of HIV. The choir will be performing one of those songs in this service.
We will be receiving an offering that evening which will support the UM Global AIDS Fund as well as honoring those congregations who supported this ministry and mission through the 2017 Bishop’s Appeal.
At this past June’s annual conference, we raised over $70,000 for the UM Global AIDS Fund’s vital and important work. We were able to retain twenty-five percent of that offering for our ministries with HIV/AIDS here in Northern Illinois. This service will take a moment to thank each congregation which contributed to the Bishop’s Appeal this year. The NIC HIV/AIDS Task Force is deeply grateful for the amazing support received for this important ministry of our church.
“It’s truly exciting and humbling to see the support we received,” said the Rev. Daniel Diss, one of the task force members. “There is clearly a passion for this ministry in Northern Illinois. The Bishop’s Appeal raised funds which are jump-starting our ministry again after being fallow for a few years.”
At the event, the NIC HIV/AIDS Task Force will introduce the next phase in their ministry as a result of the offering. The Task Force will be offering small one-time grants to congregations to help fund their local work for HIV/AIDS prevention, education, testing, and counseling. More will be released about the grants at the event on December 1.
Join the NIC HIV/AIDS Task Force on Friday, December 1 to be a part of the “Service of Remembrance and Celebration” at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 1 at Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church in Chicago.