In a press release sent out this week, Trinity United Methodist Church, a Reconciling Ministries congregation who welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities into the full life of the church, has announced a new memorial to the HIV/AIDS crisis, and just in time for this year's World AIDS Day on December 1.

This memorial will be dedicated on Sunday, November 5, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City.  They report:

"AIDS is no longer the certain killer it once was.  But it has killed 35 million people, and it goes on killing.  Fewer friends and family succumb to the HIV virus, but still In 2016, 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

To remember these still suffering and those victims in our community who have died over the years, Trinity United Methodist Church will dedicate an AIDS memorial in the garden outside the church.

The service of remembrance, healing and hope will be Sunday, November 5, at the church, 620 E. Armour Blvd., at 10:30 a.m.  Anyone who has lost a family member or friend is welcome to attend. It will not be a traditional Sunday morning service. A special offering will be taken with a portion going to the AIDS Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

The AIDS epidemic ignited mass fear and entire segments of people were shunned or condemned. Persons living with AIDS often lost jobs and housing, were denied health care and were even disowned by their families and faith communities.  Trinity members and supporters stepped forward and became family to those infected.  Some took professional risks to extend medical care and social services. The congregation provided financial support to AIDS organizations at home and abroad.

The memorial serves as a call for future congregations by doing justice regardless of religious and societal biases and prejudices."

In their press release, they say, "As far as we know there is no other AIDS memorial in the region."

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