This Friday coming is World Aids Day. I was reading on the blogosphere (Actually at Generations the young Anglicans page) a great note from our Primate Andrew Hutchison. He speaks in there about a multi-faith event he attended in anticipation of World Aids day. Here is some of what he wrote:
“…I headed for Kitchener, Ontario to take part in a multi-faith memorial service for victims of HIV/AIDS. It was held because of the approaching World Aids Day on Friday December 1st.The liturgy was a very moving service and it began by Bishop Bob Bennett talking about a recent visit to South Africa where he was called on to visit a group of children When he arrived to pray and offer a blessing he discovered that all 90 children were orphans because all of their parents and anyone else capable of looking after them had died from AIDS. There are also some remarkable commercials on television right now where people begin by saying it doesn’t matter, it is an insignificant disease or it doesn’t affect me in any way. The commercial walks the person through a series of vignettes where they realize HIV/AIDS does affect every person. The whole idea of raising awareness continues to be one of the most critical factors about the disease.”
He goes on to share some excerpts from some of the letters that he has written on the matter. The Primate is obviously moved and concerned about what is happening in Africa and what we can do to change that. He writes;
“We have seen the images of grandparents caring for their grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS. We have heard of the ongoing injustices against women, the young, and vulnerable people living in impoverished countries. We have read about the lack of anti-retroviral drugs to extend the lives of HIV-positive people in Africa. We have felt the frustration of inaction. We have read the statistics. Now it is time to speak to the world and to one another, in your communities, about the scale of this crisis.”
I am so moved by the stories that come back from Africa, weather listening to our bishops or Stephen Lewis who has worked hard on this issue, or simply reading the ongoing news of despair I cannot imagine the reality that Africans face. It seems so unjust that we have the drugs, we have the means and we have the people to make this different and we seem to be silent. We all can make a difference but it means speaking out. We need to let our decision makers know that we demand change in this area. Human life is too precious of a gift from the Creator to see us be silent as people suffer unnecessarily.
On Saturday December 9th Jane Cornett, our youth director is going to a great event to help raise funds for HIV/AIDS relief in Africa. The event is called UNDER AN AFRICAN SKY:
Songs and stories of hope and heroes. (Click this link for more details) The Event features Stephen Lewis, the African Children’s Choir and David Bradstreet. Jane is also interested in inviting others from the parish to go. If you want to go please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at the church office 519-735-4921. She will arrange for your tickets and for a car pool. This is one small way to make a difference. In this case, we not only support a very worthy cause, we can also raise our own sense of awareness about the need and how we can help, plus we allow ourselves to be entertained by a great group of people who sing a with a deep spiritual song in their hearts.
Let us heed the words of our Primate, let us heed the words of Stephen Lewis and let us heed the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu –
“In the battle against Apartheid we scored a tremendous victory in the face of considerable evil. The solidarity of people from around the world, including the UK strengthened us at some of our darkest moments. Now as we enter another battle – the battle against HIV/AIDS we need the same solidarity, the same passion, the same commitment and energy."
Let us all together strive to find dignity for every human life.