Submitted by Jan on Tue, 19/07/2016 – 10:03
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 11th after Pentecost, Proper 12
Year C (2015-2016)

This week’s ‘Bible message’ is a bit different. As you receive this, more than 18 000 people are meeting in Durban for the International AIDS Conference. The discussions and reports make it very clear that the epidemic is far from ‘over’ – in fact we are facing a completely new phase of the epidemic. One of the most concerning statistics is the dramatic shift of focus of new infections to adolescents and young women. In fact, the biggest cause of deaths in girls and women aged 14-25 in Africa is now AIDS related conditions. (Globally it is the 2nd largest cause of death.

In the two day interfaith preconference – “Faith on the Fast Track”- it has become clear that the church has become weary and apathetic towards the epidemic.

On Tuesday evening, 19th of July, people of faith will be meeting in the Emmanuel Cathedral in Durban to pray together about the epidemic and the role of faith communities. On this occasion we will be sharing a litany based on a recent faith leaders call to action. We would like to invite you to commit to this with us, and to share this in your faith communities when you meet together in the following weeks.

Litany:
Leader: Every person is precious. No one should be left behind.
All: As people of faith, we proclaim our respect for human dignity and the value of human life.

Leader: The next 5 years is a crucial time in the response to the HIV epidemic
All: As people of faith we commit to increase our efforts and not grow weary.

Leader: Stigma and discrimination continues to be a barrier to those seeking treatment, care and support
All: As people of faith we commit to speaking out against stigma against people living with HIV, within and outside our faith communities, particularly marginalized and key populations.

Leader: HIV services and medication are still not accessible to all.
All: As people of faith we commit to work with others to ensure that HIV services are available in all communities where we have a presence.

Leader: Discriminatory laws and policies still affect the lives of people living with HIV and make people in key populations particularly vulnerable to HIV.
All: As people of faith we will actively advocate for the elimination of discriminatory laws and policies affecting people living with HIV and ensuring safe service where these laws still exist.

Leader: Services and medicine for children are particularly deficient.
All: As people of faith we commit to work with others as a matter of urgency, to ensure that children living with HIV receive the testing and treatment that they need.

Leader: We cannot do this alone
All: As people of faith we commit to continue to pray and work together, until HIV is no longer a threat.

To think about: Please pray particularly for CABSA as we continue this challenging work

Author: van Rooyen L (Ms)
Language: English

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