January 12, 2009
Lutheran Bishops to Get HIV Tests to Raise Awareness
The bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will take HIV tests at their upcoming spring conference March 5–10 in Itasca, Illinois, in order to raise awareness about screening for the disease, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“I believe ELCA bishops being tested will be a similar act of accompaniment and encouragement for ELCA members and global companions,” said the Rev. Mark Hanson, president of the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation.
Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers, chair of the bishops’ Ministry Among People in Poverty Committee, said, “Part of the message of doing this is to remind people of both the importance of being tested for HIV and AIDS and also the confidentiality that surrounds that whole process.”
Stumme-Diers continued: “That way, it’s more inviting for people to participate, and it ensures the health and welfare of society when those confidentialities are kept.”
The denomination is also developing an HIV/AIDS strategy, which will most likely be considered at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August.
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