June 11 is TEN’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday. We ask that you take time this Sunday to commit some of your service time to HIV/AIDS Awareness. The following statement by Filomeno Fiel, our HIV/AIDS Ministry Coordinator, goes into more details regarding the focus of this year’s goals.
So, as you plan for HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday, please take into consideration our goal this year of creating “A Path to Self-Acceptance and a Healthier You.” Additionally, we ask that you consider a special offering for the Schubert/Shears Scholarship Fund which assist those living with HIV/AIDS who need assistance attending our annual conference.
Soon it will be time for the HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday for TEN. This year’s theme “Internalized Homophobia, HIV/AIDS, and the Church: A path to self-acceptance and a healthier you” and our theme scripture this year is Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. This year we ask you to self-reflect about full self-acceptance. Studies have shown that people with a negative view of themselves or not reconciled are highly likely to engage in risky behavior.
Here are some components of this theme, that can be used by your church, ministry or personally to make an impact:
• Acceptance of self – learn about it, understand it and teach others
· Body/ Image – remember we are fearfully and wonderfully made
· Gender and Sexual Identity – reconciling ourselves internally and spiritually is critical
• Acceptance of community
· Learn more about the LGBT+ community – learn about the full LGBTQQII community and
seek to understand those most not like you
· No shame/ shaming – we cannot learn about others in our community or hear their stories if
we enter into the discussion with shame or in a manner that shames the other
• Acceptance that you are God’s creation
· Reconciling Gender and Sexual Identity with Christianity – it’s imperative that we teach
the truth about what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality – not just in
our churches but in in our communities because the belief that God is against them has
led many in our community down very destructive paths
· Loving your own identity is a form of worship to God – If God made us in His image, knew us
in our Mother’s womb and knows the number of hairs on our head – who are we to judge
His creation – learning to love ourselves and see ourselves as His Divine Creation opens us
up to praise God for who we are!
The Schubert/Shears Scholarship Fund – we request that affiliate churches consider taking up a special offering for the Schubert Shears Scholarship Fund which assist those living with HIV and who have a financial need to attend the annual TEN Conference. Individuals can also donate directly to the fund. The majority of recipients live on approximately $800 per month, so the ability to receive scholarship funds to help with their costs is truly a blessing.
There is more information in the sections that follow regarding HIV/AIDS and a link to the Resource Kit found on our website. If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact TEN’s HIV/AIDS Ministry Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at(415)385-1871.