World AIDS Day is December 1

Dear Partners in Ministry,

I write to you as December is fast approaching. Each year on Dec. 1, people around the globe commemorate World AIDS Day. It is a time when we raise awareness about HIV and its effect on communities. We join to remember all who we have lost. Amid this somber memorial, we look to the future, to all that is still to be done and the hope of continued advances in policy, reducing stigma and discrimination, and in prevention and treatment. Please see a special message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.

In 2009 the ELCA Church Council adopted the ELCA’s Strategy on HIV and AIDS. As we prepare to enter the 10th year of the strategy, this World AIDS Day we remember that the ELCA is Called to Respond. Each congregation and individual throughout the ELCA is invited to participate.

Worship: Consider including pieces from the World AIDS Day worship resource for your Sunday liturgy on Dec. 2. Those resources can be located on the ELCA Worship Resources page. The ELCA is called to work toward ending stigma and discrimination. And in bringing the conversation about HIV into our congregations through worship, we can challenge the silence that remains and work toward being welcoming, affirming spaces for all.

Advocate: We are a public church that stands up and speaks out for a just world. You can participate in advocating for policies and programs that support prevention, testing, treatment and other important services for people living with HIV. As you prepare for World AIDS Day, make sure you sign up for advocacy action alerts to learn about what’s happening currently.

Give: You can support the ELCA’s work around HIV and AIDS or partner with other organizations in your community that are responding. You can learn more about the ELCA’s Strategy on HIV and AIDS and how to get involved at ELCA.org/HIV.

Let us know how your congregation is participating in the response to HIV. You can connect through social media or by emailing Megan.Neubauer@ELCA.org. You can also visit ELCA.org/HIV to find resources for World AIDS Day.

This World AIDS Day, consider how you and your congregation are Called to Respond with others throughout the ELCA and as part of the larger domestic and global response to HIV.

Peace,

Megan Neubauer

Program Associate, ELCA Strategy on HIV and AIDS