Why Church Involvement?
“The church is a foundation of bringing communities together…We need them to help get out the message about AIDS.”
– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, M.D.
Teaching the Church about AIDS, December 7, 2011, The Baltimore Sun
So why do you involve churches? For 3 reasons:
1) Because for far too long, the Church has looked at HIV/AIDS and stigmatized groups of people associate with the virus. The Church has said, “This is a virus of those people,” thus, creating stigma. It is time for the Church to apologize for the roll is has played in stigmatizing people and to get engaged in the issue.
2) The unified Church is the answer. The Church is the largest social network in the world. There are over 1800 in the Baltimore area. If the Church is awakened, equipped, and engaged through service and partnerships with community organizations, medical community, and the government, we believe that the Church can be a driving force in eradicating the stigma and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS through education. John 17: 21,23 says, “I pray that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
3) We are called Biblically Mandated:
What does the Church Partnership Process look like?
Churches wanting to join this movement, should contact us at email@example.com to learn more. The typical pathway to church engagement is:
1. Pastoral Leadership Commitment demonstrated by discussions with HopeSprings leadership and participation in the Journey course
2. Raising of church awareness/sensitivity through an educational event facilitated by HopeSprings, but promoted by the senior pastor; or a sermon series taught by the senior pastor
3. Identification of a church liaison(s) who will serve as the primary contact between HopeSprings and your church
4. Identification of a church focus area within the ministry; such as sponsorship of testing at a local agency once/month, mentoring of teen mothers in one of our programs, facilitation of a Bible Study on site at one of our partner agencies, delivering meals to those infected by HIV, etc.
5. Hosting of Journey courses on site for interested members of your congregation
6. Serving together to transform your hearts and the hearts of those you touch through your efforts.
Is My Church an HIV competent church?
Click HIV-Competent Churches to find out how to become an HIV competent church.