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Honor World AIDS Day at Wesley Church

By Lavender November 18, 2010

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Service of Remembrance and Recommitment Features Music and Speakers

World AIDS Day is December 1. With action, compassion, and much-needed education and public awareness, people across the globe will commemorate the millions who already have lost their lives to this terrible disease.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, of the more than 33 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world, more than 6,000 are Minnesotans.

You can honor the day in many ways throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health’s World AIDS Day Calendar at http://is.gd/gS52d lists a number of volunteer opportunities and memorial services.

If you haven’t made any plans yet, I hope you’ll consider spending the evening with some very good friends and me. On December 1, at Wesley Church in Downtown Minneapolis, a group of us led by my friend, Reverend Greg Renstrom, will host a Service of Remembrance and Recommitment for World AIDS Day. The event begins with a social hour of food and fellowship at 5:30 PM, then transitions to an evening of incredible music and speakers at 7:30 PM.

Special musical guests include Steven C. Anderson and Paul Metsa, plus OVation, the eight-person ensemble of One Voice Mixed Chorus.

Speakers and presenters from across the community include Minnesota AIDS Project Executive Director Lorraine Teel, along with Doug Melroe, Gary Mezzone, myself, and others.

The service is the gift of Renstrom, the new minister of historic Wesley Church on the edge of Downtown Minneapolis. A graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul, and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, he has served congregations throughout Minnesota and Michigan.

Renstrom graciously agreed to leave retirement to breathe new life into 119-year old Wesley Church—for the mere salary of $1. He considers it his gift in gratitude for the “family and friends who have so graciously and generously blessed my life.”

Beyond the World AIDS Day service, Renstrom and the new family at Wesley are building a spiritual community whose purpose is to “offer hope and encouragement to all people.”

Regardless of where and how you choose to acknowledge World AIDS Day, I hope you’ll spend some part of it with your community. When you realize that every 24 hours, one Minnesotan is diagnosed with HIV, it quickly becomes clear that the risks are too high and the cost to society too great not to do so.

Service of Remembrance and Recommitment for World AIDS Day
Dec. 1
Social Hour: 5:30 PM
Program: 7:30 PM
Wesley Church
101 E. Grant St., Mpls.

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