upper room daily devotions

Friday, December 01, 2006

aids quilt showing in seattle


The church that I serve, Woodland Park United Methodist Church, is blessed to host two blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt from December 1-10. The AIDS epidemic is not over despite gains made in medicine. In a nation that has become obsessed (and rightfully so) with the recent elections, the war in Iraq, and the president's visit to Jordan, World AIDS Day has not received a great deal of attention this year. We thought that it to be important to spend time this year remembering that too many people have died as a result of AIDS and that too many people live infected. We have covered the east wall of our sanctuary with blocks from the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the beginning of this year's Advent to remind us also that as we prepare for the coming of King of Kings the world is still in pain. At our brief service this evening we will pray prayers of lament and prayers of hope. Wherever people are this evening, we hope that prayers will be said for healing and for hope.

If you are someone living with HIV or AIDS, we want you to know that churches exist that welcome you and love you. Even today too many people living with HIV/AIDS are stigmatized; that is unfair and unloving.

As I sit and write this blog, two people from my church sit in an empty sanctuary, witnessing to the presence of the quilt and awaiting any who may show up to view it. Even if no one comes to see the quilt, we hope to have honored those who have fallen to this disease. The panels on the quilt blocks on our east wall contain loving comments and memorials to people from the Seattle area who have died. By placing it in our sanctuary we rememer that God's sanctuary is for all people and that one day we will all be reunited in God's love. While we hope that people come to view the quilt, light candles, and pray, mostly we are blessed to participate in the AIDS Quilt project by offering our space as a sacred place of sanctuary for the people represented on these panels.

2 comments:

RevErikaG said...

glad to hear you all had some of the quilt...especially knowing that the NAMES project has been in serious financial trouble in the past few years. Kudos to your congregation for offering memory and comfort, witness and hope by sharing the quilt. As someone who works in the AIDS community in SoCal, it is nice to know others are caring for PWAs!

rev katie m ladd said...

It's been a great witness in the sanctuary. We were grateful to have it. I did not know that the NAMES project had had financial difficulties...sorry to hear it.

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