You probably don’t like to admit it, but the fact of the matter is that you wonder where God is some days. Sometimes, you feel this way because the huge problems the world is experiencing seem to get worse instead of better. At other times, it’s because you’ve done something you know disappoints God. And then there are those moments when something painful happens that leaves you feeling powerless and absolutely alone. But here’s reality. God has not given up on the world. God still loves you. God is always with you. And faith is choosing to believe that this God is present and at work even as you wonder where God is.
You may be afraid, scared, scarred, overwhelmed, sick, trapped, addicted, depressed or any of dozens of other painful realities that are part of the human condition. But these things are not the last word about you because there is something far more potent – the joy of the Lord. This joy comes from experiencing God’s grace, living in the reality that Jesus loves you so much he died for you so that you can have the life God created you to live, and experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in your life. It does not always replace the painful reality in which you are living, but it does transcend it. It allows you to live beyond what others expect to be absolutely debilitating. And here’s the amazing thing. It’s God’s gift to you right now.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee has announced plans to host a series of educational webinars that will be made available at facebook.com/UMCglobalaidsfund and archived on their website. The webinar series will be held during the following months: October 2020, November 2020, February 2021, April 2021 and June 2021.
These webinars will serve to educate, support and advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS. The webinars will be free, no registration required and will be archived for later viewing.
The Rev. Don Messer, moderator of the first panel and a member of the Global AIDS Committee, says: “Humanity faces an unprecedented threat from three simultaneous pandemics: HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and racism. As forums of education and advocacy, these webinars will call Christians to join in God’s healing mission and ministry in the world. Suffering, hunger, and poverty increase globally as COVID-19 reveals racial disparities in health and medical services. UNAIDS estimates an additional half million people will die in sub-Saharan Africa in the next year because of the confluence of these three pandemics. Not just Zoom calls, these are calls to action.”
The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee – established by the 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church – has sought to strengthen the church’s compassionate response to those affected with HIV/AIDs by helping to stem the tide of the pandemic through education and advocacy.
Details of the webinar series are below:
- October 1, 2020, 1:00 p.m. CT – COVID-19 and HIV & AIDS
Theme: Explore how COVID-19 is impacting the global effort to reduce HIV infections and AIDS deaths. People locked down globally results in people with HIV not getting treatment, preventive medication or testing. People lack food, causing hunger & causing people to stop medications. UNAIDS has estimated that in sub-Sahara Africa an additional 500,000 people could die from AIDS in 2020-21.
- December 1, 2020, 1:00 p.m. CT: World AIDS Day Worship Service
Theme: World AIDS Day Service on Tuesday, December 1, will be available for anyone to access. This is sponsored by the Global AIDS Committee and its member agencies and the Center for Health and Hope.
- February 1, 2021, 1:00 p.m. CT – Racial Disparities, HIV & AIDS
Theme: The “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative is a multi-level effort throughout The United Methodist Church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice. Racial disparities are abundantly evident regarding HIV and AIDS and health care, HIV education, housing and populations most impacted by AIDS in the United States.
- April 1, 2021, 1:00 p.m. CT – PrEP, HIV & AIDS
Theme: Church leaders generally have been silent, or negative, about promoting PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) in combatting HIV. This forum will provide details about the medication globally, as well as a theological basis for Christians to encourage its usage.
- June 1, 2021, 1:00 p.m. CT – Organizing HIV & AIDS Retreats/Camps
Theme: Panelists will share their experiences organizing and attending retreats for people living with HIV or AIDS and their caregivers. These events can bring spiritual, emotional, social and psychological support to those living with the virus, as well as joy and affirmation.
About the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee
The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee (UMGAC) provides resources and training to annual conferences and local churches, engaging them in HIV and AIDS education and advocacy. This work reduces stigma and provides greater opportunity for welcoming all people into the church. The committee, chaired by Bishop Julius Trimble, is comprised of members from the Council of Bishops, Division on Ministries with Young People, General Board of Church and Society, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Communications and United Methodist Women.
Diane Degnan firstname.lastname@example.org
615.742.5406 (office) 615.483.1765 (cell)
Covid-19. Racism. A highly polarized nation. A deeply divided church. Children who go to bed hungry every night. An impending catastrophic hurricane. People living in the grips of addiction. Families struggling to survive financially. And this is just the short list of the painful realities with which you must deal. It can be overwhelming. Even to the point of wanting to just give up. But don’t. The sun will still rise. Someone will speak just the word you need to hear. A child will cause you to smile. You will make a difference in someone’s life. You will be touched by God’s grace in countless ways all day long. And most importantly, God is still God, Jesus is still Lord and the Holy Spirit is still at work. That’s a life changer.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (August 25, 2020) – 200,000 More Reasons and The Delta Project initiatives of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas, invite you to participate in an upcoming series of webinars aimed at helping individuals connect with their communities.
The webinars will take place on three consecutive Wednesdays in September, starting Sept. 9 from 12 – 1 p.m. via Zoom video conferencing platform.
There will be three different webinars in this series, each focusing on an important element of alleviating poverty in Arkansas:
- Understanding Poverty
- Understanding Literacy
- Ministry WITH Our Neighbors
Arkansas United Methodist Bishop Gary Mueller, along with Dr. Jay Barth, Chief Education Officer for the City of Little Rock, and the Rev. Shantell Hinton Hill, equity officer with the ALICE Project and the WinRock Foundation, will host the first webinar in the series on Understanding Poverty.
Future webinars will feature a diverse range of voices from non-profit and educational organizations, such as AR Kids Read, Project Transformation, Sheridan School District, Southwest Little Rock Ministry Partnership, Friends and Neighbors Network, and the Arkansas Department of Health.
“200,000 More Reasons is thrilled to present the Connecting with Our Community Webinar series,” said the Rev. Sam Meadors, Community Coordinator for The Delta Project. “We believe that giving churches the opportunity to learn about the realities of poverty and proven alleviation strategies from community partners will enhance our collective impact. Churches have found so many ways to be in ministry with their neighbors during this pandemic. We want to give them more tools and ideas to help them continue to serve in effective, innovative, and relational ministry.”
To register for the webinars, visit: https://arumc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YXN2dB8tS3KwW_s5yEXKGA.
The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church is one of the 54 annual conferences that make up the United Methodist Church in the United States. Founded in 2003, the Conference, as part of the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, is responsible for coordinating more than 600 United Methodist churches and over 300 clergy throughout Arkansas to fulfill its trajectory “to make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped and sent to transform lives, communities and the world.” The Conference also supports a number of United Methodist-affiliated ministries in the state of Arkansas. For more information, visit arumc.org.