This year's theme is "Internalized Homophobia, HIV/AIDS, and the Church: A path to self-acceptance and a healthier you"
The LGBT inclusive Christian organization, The Evangelical Network (TEN) has designated Sunday, June 12, 2016 as HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday.
TEN is an association of LGBT affirming evangelical ministries and individuals who are committed to helping LGBT people understand that you can be gay and Christian.
This year’s theme for TEN’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday is “Internalized Homophobia, HIV/AIDS, and the Church: A path to self-acceptance and a healthier you.”
HIV/AIDS Ministry Coordinator, Filomeno Fiel, says, “This year we ask you to self-reflect about full self-acceptance. Studies have shown that people with a negative view of themselves or not reconciled are highly likely to engage in risky behavior.”
Here are some components of this theme that can be used by your church, ministry or personally to make an impact:
• Acceptance of self - learn about it, understand it and teach others:
· Body/Image – remember we are fearfully and wonderfully made
· Gender and Sexual Identity – reconciling ourselves internally and spiritually is critical
• Acceptance of community:
· Learn more about the LGBT+ community – learn about the full LGBTQQII community and seek to understand those most not like you
· No shame/shaming – we cannot learn about others in our community or hear their stories if we enter into the discussion with shame or in a manner that shames the other
• Acceptance that you are God’s creation:
· Reconciling Gender and Sexual Identity with Christianity - it’s imperative that we teach the truth about what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality – not just in our churches but in in our communities because the belief that God is against them has led many in our community down very destructive paths
· Loving your own identity is a form of worship to God – If God made us in His image, knew us in our Mother’s womb and knows the number of hairs on our head – who are we to judge His creation – learning to love ourselves and see ourselves as His Divine Creation opens us up to praise God for who we are!
An HIV/AIDS Awareness Resource Kit is available on the TEN website and can help you in preparing for The Evangelical Network's HIV/AIDS Awareness Sunday, June 12, 2016.
For more information on TEN click HERE.