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Global AIDS Fund kicks off Season of Hope Dec. 1

For Immediate Release
October 21, 2013

United Methodist Global AIDS Fund offers Bible study, worship service for 15th anniversary that lands on Advent Sunday.

The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) Committee asks local congregations to observe the 15th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, by raising awareness of the HIV & AIDS crisis and committing to Just Save One child from contracting the disease. This year, Dec. 1 lands on the first Sunday of Advent.

According to UNAIDS, every day 1,000 children are born with HIV. "Even a small gift can make a big difference," said Linda Bales Todd, UMGAF Committee co-chair. "For example, it costs less than $10 to prevent transmission of HIV from a mother to a child; and just $1 provides needed nutrients for an AIDS orphan."

UMGAF has developed resources to help churches observe World AIDS Day, including a First Sunday of Advent suggested order of worship, a four-week Advent Bible study and 40 Days of Prayers & Actions to Just Save One.

AIDS-free world

UMGAF developed the resources in cooperation with the General Boards of Church & Society (GBCS) and Global Ministries (GBGM). The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and GBCS are offering the resources for download from their websites.

The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund is working toward an AIDS-free world by providing a tangible response to the worldwide HIV & AIDS crisis. Thirty-four million persons around the globe are infected, including 3.4 million children.

UMGAF supports education, prevention, and care programs for people living with HIV & AIDS around the world. The fund supports more than 200 HIV & AIDS church-oriented and Christ-centered ministries in 35 countries, including the United States.

New resources

The new resources are available on the UMGAF under "Educate." They include:

- A World AIDS Day Advent Study, "A Season of Hope" includes articles for each week, such as "The Shocking Christmas Story & AIDS Prevention," accompanied by biblical references, questions for discussion and prayers. The study also includes resource material such as "Myths & Facts about HIV & AIDS" and a glossary of terms.

- A first Sunday of Advent suggested order of service, adapted from Bering United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.

- 40 Days of Prayer & Actions. The booklet contains daily prayers and reflections from people around the world addressing this pandemic disease. The daily actions consist of simple, but meaningful steps people can take to make a difference in combating this disease, or are stimulating facts about the pandemic.

- Stories of persons living with and affected by HIV & AIDS. These will be posted on the UMCOR and GBCS websites and shared through social media.

- Links to HIV & AIDS resources. These will point to other sources, including those specifically targeted at World AIDS Day itself.

United Methodist Advance project

The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund is an Advance Special Project #982345 of The United Methodist Church. It was created in 2004 by the denomination's highest-policy setting body, General Conference.

To make a monetary contribution to UMGAF, give online at www.givetomission.org, through your local church offering with UMCOR Advance #982345 in the memo line or mail a check made payable to UMCOR Advance #982345 to: United Methodist Committee on Relief, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.

More information about UMGAF is online at www.umglobalaidsfund.com.

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Contact: Rebecca Yount, Consultant
United Methodist Global AIDS Fund
rlconsult1@gmail.com
918-289-1274