Don Messer Will Speak in Upper Room Chapel to Observe World AIDS Day

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 General News
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NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 12 The Rev. Dr. Donald Messer,author of "Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence - Christian Churches and theGlobal AIDS Crisis" and executive director of the Center for the Church andGlobal AIDS, will be the keynote speaker for a special worship service inobservance of World AIDS Day, Wednesday, November 28 at 8:30 a.m. in The UpperRoom Chapel, 1908 Grand Ave. A reception will follow the service.

Messer, a United Methodist theologian, author, and former college andseminary president, is widely known for his work in combating world hunger andHIV/AIDS. He has traveled to over 30 countries across the world as a speakerand workshop leader.

"Don Messer is one of the most significant Christian leaders in theEnglish speaking world when it comes to the subject of HIV/AIDS and thechurch. We are delighted to have him with us at GBOD and as our preacher forThe Upper Room Chapel service in anticipation of World AIDS Day Observance,December 1," said the Rev. Tom Albin, dean of Upper Room Chapel.

The purpose of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDSpandemic and the grim global statistics associated with the 46 million peopleinfected worldwide.

Messer's discovery of two copies of The Upper Room daily devotional guidein the waiting room of Maua Methodist Hospital (MMH) in Kenya, led to UpperRoom Ministries publishing of "Prayers for Encouragement: Hope for PersonsLiving with HIV & AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases."

Though the guides were over ten years old, people had repeatedly readthese torn pages seeking biblical counsel and strong spiritual advice. Thisreality inspired Don to contact the Upper Room about publishing a book forpersons seeking God's healing presence while living with stigma,discrimination and rejection from family and friends.

Persons participating in the worship service will receive a copy of"Prayers for Encouragement and Hope for Persons Suffering with HIV/AIDS,Tuberculosis and Other Diseases."

The 32-page book contains meditations, scriptures and prayers written bypersons who have HIV and people who minister with people with HIV/AIDS fromaround the world.

While a plethora of health and service organizations offer information andsupport regarding prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, resources from aChristian spirituality perspective are scarce.

Upper Room Ministries, a ministry of the General Board of Discipleship, inconjunction with the Center for the Church and Global AIDS compiled thebooklet for those suffering with AIDS and other life threatening diseases.

Upper Room Ministries is an ecumenical organization that producesresources for encouraging deeper spiritual formation, including "The UpperRoom daily devotional guide," five other magazines, and a line of books andprograms for youth and adults. More information about Upper Room resources canbe found online at For more information about Prayers forEncouragement contact, Dale Waymack at 877-899-2780, ext. 7236.

The General Board of Discipleship's mission is to support annualconference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changingdisciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, The General Board ofDiscipleship is located at 1908 Grand Avenue in Nashville, Tenn. For moreinformation, call the Media Relations Office toll free at (877) 899-2780, ext.7017.

SOURCE The General Board of Discipleship

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