Monday, August 30, 2010

We're gonna need a bigger boat!

Every now and again I get a wild hair. My last wild hair of major significance to was provide HIV Testing at General Assembly last year in Indianapolis. I have to say the whole thing came off pretty good! If you were in Indianapolis you may have even made it to our small AIDS Healing Service on Sunday morning.

Recently I had another wild hair. I was having a meal with Patti Case and Kaye Edwards in Oklahoma City while attending the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As Patti and Kaye pecked at their food (is there ANY wonder how they stay looking so good?) and I inhaled mine I managed to wonder aloud between bites who we might find to preach at this years AIDS Healing Service. A few names were tossed around the table and Kaye said, "What about Bill Lee"? I have to admit, Dr. Lee had been first on my list but I dared not speak it aloud. "Could I get that lucky?" I asked aloud and Patti deadpanned, "Why don't you ask him, he's sitting right behind you".

Now if you know Patti at all you know she loves to have a little fun every now and again so I turned around half expecting to see an empty chair and there sat Dr. Lee.
Ever so gracious, ever so kind, Dr. Lee agreed. I thanked him profusely and returned to my table thinking..... "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"

Last year my minister, Rebecca Zelensky was gracious enough with her time to preach for me in Indianapolis. She did a fantastic job and the whole service was moving and brought tears to my eyes. Our service was small, we had a room near the main entry to the Convention Center and around 40 people in attendance.

This year I have Dr. Bill Lee, Past Moderator of the Christian Church (DOC) and one of my favorite voices within the wider church.... we're gonna need a bigger boat for this fish!

After many weeks of wishing and hoping and praying I heard on Friday that the General Assembly planning team has agreed to allow us use of Plenary Hall on the Sunday morning of Assembly in Nashville!

Pray for us as we begin planning this service!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yea for an 'A'

Disciples HIV-AIDS Ministry of Indiana, now under contract with the Indiana State Department of Health, scored 46 out of 50 points on our recent review, the first of our contract. This 'A' grade, following an inspection and visit my ISDH staff in July, notes that Disciples HIV-AIDS Ministry "significantly exceeds standards" as laid down by the state contract, which began in January of 2010.

Congratulations to all of our volunteers, friends, and especially our advocates who work so hard to make this ministry viable

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The photo that brought AIDS home

This is from LIFE magazine online:

A Picture That Changed the Face of AIDS
In November, 1990, LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man, David Kirby -- his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world -- surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby's passing (above), taken by a journalism grad student named Therese Frare, became the one photograph most identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that, by then, had seen as many as 12 million people infected. Now, 20 years after her photograph helped transform public perception of the disease, LIFE spoke with Frare about that picture; the international controversy it sparked when United Colors of Benetton used it in a 1992 ad; and the never-before-published photographs she took before and after David Kirby's death -- photos that reveal the untold story behind one of the 20th century's most heart-breaking, indelible images.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A great week

It's been an amazing week. Just this week I received an invitation to speak at the Church of the Covenant in Lynchburg, Virginia. What a treat it will be to spend a few days with Kaye and David Edwards. If I had been fortunate enough to have people such as these in my life when I was younger......

Great events this week:

A Mexican court upheld Mexico City's gay marriage law as constitutional!

A federal judge overturned Proposition 8, a California law preventing same sex marriage!

Elena Kagan was confirmed as the 112th Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court! She's only the 4th woman to serve but she's also the second woman appointed in as many years!


The National Institute for health is spending 5.5 million dollars to fund research on an HIV prevention gel!

This is one of those weeks I'm really proud to be me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A long hot summer

We had a great time in Oklahoma City. I kid you not, it was so hot on Saturday that I got a sunburn through my shirt.

Had some amazing things happen in OKC. Dr. Bill Lee, former Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) agreed to preach at the AIDS Healing Service in Nashville! We have been invited to Lexington to Transylvania University for Black HIV-AIDS day in February and have an open invitation from Jarvis College in Hawkins Texas to have an HIV focus project.

Additionally, we have almost completed our work adapting Popular Opinion Leader. This new intervention (as yet unnamed) will consist of five classes of 1 to 1.5 hours each. Our new intervention utilizes two theories, Diffusion of Innovation and Preparation for Bias, to help us begin conversations about health in human sexuality. I hope to have it available on the DHM website by early October.