Each World Aids Day a few locals try and work out how best to serve our community.
The day has many parts but a significant part of the
story is the service that happens at DYMK.
Despite having over 200 churches in Bournemouth very few Christians will come
and get involved in the service.
I'm not really sure what they think happens but I am often asked whether the service will be
pro LGBT or whether the people involved are practicing homosexuals.
This is church language for trying to assert whether we will be encouraging people to be gay
and trying to find out whether the clergy involved have active gay sex lives.
Truth is the service is very similar to any you would find in your local church.
The emphasis is on creating a prayerful moment to remember those that have been lost locally to HIV/Aids,
a chance to pray for all those living HIV positive
and for those internationally involved in HIV/Aids research and its treatment.
None of the clergy talk about their sexuality
or anyone else's sexuality.
Being queer or not is not the point.
The point is it's World Aids Day and this is an overt act of Christian Worship,
same as those that happen week in week out in churches across the country.
This service just happens to be in a different space.
This years order of service looked like this:
Welcome from Canon John
Prayers from Revd Angie
Hymn - All Are Welcome
Scripture Reading - Psalm 147 by Police Commissioner
Hymn - The Lord's My Shepherd
Address from Bishop Martyn
Hymn- 10, 000 Reasons
Lighting of Candles
Scripture Reading - Psalm 23 by Kevin from Streetspace
Prayers from Canon John
Blessing from Bishop Martyn
Hymn - Build Your Kingdom Here
Refreshments & Cupcakes
Big love and thanks to Emma, Nick & Rhys for leading our sung worship
Here are some photos so you can see for yourself what it looks like:
Perhaps now you can see how utterly regular and church service like it is
you might consider being involved next year?
Or perhaps this has stirred you to think how you can serve your local community
on this important day.
HIV doesn't discriminate it affects people all over the world regardless of their colour, class, gender, sexuality or religion.