Brite Divinity School and several Tarrant County congregations and organizations have planned an ecumenical and interfaith World AIDS Day service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec.1 at the Robert Carr Chapel on the campus of Texas Christian University, 2855 S University Dr., Fort Worth.
The preacher for the service is the Rev. Dr. Irie Lynne Session, an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who has spent the last 30 years providing ministry and social services in Dallas. Along with two other womanist clergywomen, the Rev. Dr. Session is co-pastor for the Gathering, a new worshipping community in Dallas. She is also co-founder of POETIC, a non-profit providing evidence-based, trauma-informed services for youth with histories of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Previously, the Rev. Dr. Session served as the adolescent services director for Bryan’s House, a non-profit serving children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS.
According to UNAIDS, 19.5 million people accessed antiretroviral therapy in 2016, and 36.7 million people globally were living with HIV. Of that number, 1.8 million people became newly infected with HIV. Since the epidemic began, 76.1 million people have become infected with HIV and more than 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
World AIDS Day, which began on Dec. 1, 1988, is an annual global health campaign focused on raising awareness, honoring those living with HIV/AIDS, and remembering persons who were victims of this disease. This year the theme is Increasing “Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships,” and the hashtag is #WAD2017.
Local congregations, organizations, and institutions participating in the event include St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, Broadway Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, AIDS Outreach Center, RESULTS Fort Worth and Brite Divinity School.
— David Taffet