Calendar makes Advent a time to remember AIDS struggle

By staff writers
5 Dec 2007

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, evangelical leaders Rick and Kay Warren and the Rev Gideon Byamugisha, the first African Anglican priest to openly say he is HIV-positive, are contributors to a new Advent Calendar focussing on the HIV-AIDS struggle.

The daily devotional calendar invites reflection and prayer from World AIDS Day, which was on 1 December, until 6 January 2008. It has already proved popular in the UK, and is reproduced on the website of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, among other places: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/6404

"Keep the Promise: Advent in a Time of AIDS" has been produced by the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and published by Augsburg Fortress Press. Print and electronic versions are now available.

Individuals and churches are encouraged to download copies available in English,French, Russian and Spanish and reproduce them for discussion groups or church communities as well as personal use. A limited number of printed copies in English can also be ordered.

Aside from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tutu, the Warrens and Byamugisha, other contributors are Musimbi Kanyoro, Sister Maria Cimperman and Erik Sawyer.

Kanyoro is director of the Population Programme at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Cimperman, a Catholic theologian who has written about the effects of HIV and AIDS, and Saywer, the co-founder of AIDS activist group ACT-UP New York.

"Keep the Promise: Advent in a Time of AIDS" has been produced by the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and published by Augsburg Fortress Press. Print and electronic versions are now available.

The calendar builds on the theme of "leadership" set for World AIDS Day in 2007 and 2008, under the campaign slogan, "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise". The 37 reflections demonstrate the leadership of and challenges from Christians around the world who are involved at all levels in responding to the HIV pandemic.

"They are prophets and pastors, leaders and lay people, women and men, HIV positive and HIV negative - all united in the conviction that by keeping personal and collective promises, we can reach the goal of universal access to treatment, care and prevention and work towards a future without AIDS," the EAA announced.

Individuals and churches are encouraged to download copies available in English,French, Russian and Spanish and reproduce them for discussion groups or church communities as well as personal use. A limited number of printed copies in English can also be ordered.

Single copies can be downloaded from www.e-alliance.ch/hivaids_adventcal.jsp. Digital online version is available at www.203zebras.com/digitaladventcalendar/calendar.php

Go to the calendar on Ekklesia: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/6404

Ecumenical News International material contributed to this report. Thanks go to them. www.eni.ch

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