A Blessing for World AIDS Day
Saturday, December 1, 2018 (Tomorrow) marks 30 years since the commemoration of World AIDS Day. Houses of worship, especially those part of my denomination - the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the original LGBTQIA+ Church - will host recognition ceremonies of this special milestone. But, not mine.
Sorry, I am a brand new minister, and keeping up with the needs and demands of this community that I love so much - heading into Advent, Christmas, and the New Year has been a bit much. So, we missed this one. Forgive me/us. We will recognize those that we have lost in service on Sunday, but the day itself - we honor in our hearts.
One element of this day that strikes me as vitally important is how far we have come in the fight against this disease. What a blessing to live in an era where the death and stigma of this diagnosis are waning in the developed world. I can remember vividly the first person whom I knew who contracted HIV and died from AIDS, but even more vital to me are the numerous friends in my life who are living beautiful lives, while, also being Positive.
Thank God and science for PrEP and education, and for the numerous campaigners and allies within our community that made progress against this disease possible. I am not naive. I understand that we live in an age of disparity. And, I am most sad to observe the impacts of this disease on our brothers, sisters, and others in the developing world. Yet, I hold out hope that progress will catch-up, and that the great efforts and sacrifices of our day will forever turn the course of this disease in a permanent and opposite direction.
Until then, MCC of the Rockies and our Denver community will celebrate life the way that it was meant to be lived. Free from the stigmas of old, and looking boldly into the future by choosing to LOVE those who identify as "Poz", and continuing to embrace the education, as well as sexual and health ethics, and advocacy that will one day see the end of this disease to completion.
Go in peace, friends! And know that you are not alone.