Sunday, November 28, 2010; World AIDS Day is Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sharon L. Fuller, Guest Lectionary Liturgist
Founder, B.O.S.S. Ministries, Inc.
Worship Planning Notes
See the Audio Visual section for specific ways to celebrate the First Sunday of Advent coupled with World AIDS Day.
December 1 has been set aside to direct society’s focus on AIDS as a global epidemic. The first Sunday of Advent has been designated for the church to highlight the reality of suffering and death while offering life and hope. We must never forget to reflect on or anticipate the coming of Christ.
Each person has been commanded to love others as you love yourself. The concept “to love” is a command, not a suggestion. In our quest to adhere to the command, believers must remember to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love others as we love ourselves, especially those who suffer due to AIDS. God has performed awesome deeds that we did not deserve and could not anticipate. God is still at work and we should be, too. Let us anticipate performing awesome deeds for those who suffer with AIDS. Anticipate the coming of Christ as we love our brothers and sisters and offer life and hope.
Familiarize yourself and your congregation with the origin of World AIDS Day via the Worship and Arts ministry. Create the right atmosphere with the usage of banners, drumming, incense, and décor that depicts the theme of the First Sunday of Advent along with the theme of World AIDS Day. Think outside of the box and be sure to use the images and themes established for use in America and internationally as part of World AIDS Day. They can be found on the web.
Our task is simple: To facilitate an awareness of love, hope, and healing for those infected with HIV/AIDS and their families and friends, coupled with the recognition that this is the beginning of the Advent season.
1. Litany, Responsive Reading, or Invocation
The following are meant to be done sequentially.
(a) Litany. A Christian Affirmation for World AIDS. By Sharon Laverne Fuller
A Christian Affirmation for World AIDS Day Based on Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26; Mark 5:21-24, 37-40; and Luke 8:40-42, 49-56
If you have persons with HIV/AIDS or their family members or friends who are willing to participate in the litany as readers, without acknowledging anyone’s health status, ask them to participate. The pastor or worship and arts ministry leader should state: Some of today’s readers are persons suffering with HIV/AIDS or are family members and friends of persons suffering with HIV/AIDS.
In the account of today’s text, which is told by Jesus’ disciples Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we find hope and healing. Believers as private citizens must demonstrate public concern for persons infected with HIV/AIDS. We must be persistent in our efforts, which are a sign of our faith in Jesus. We must reveal a message of hope, healing, and love.
Am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper?
As in the account of today’s text told by Matthew, we must learn to aggressively approach Jesus on behalf of ailing individuals. Matthew revealed only a portion of the account to his audience. We must decipher what information is to be revealed and what should remain unknown to the masses. We must also push past the gossipers, criers, and those coming only to witness the event.
Privacy and discretion are essential ministry elements in serving the HIV/AIDS population and their families and friends. What is important to reveal? Life, hope, and love.
Am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Yes, I am!
As in the account told by Jesus’ disciple, Luke, we must understand that a multitude was indeed waiting for the presence of Jesus. Luke revealed the entire scenario to his audience. This account reveals the names and/or identities of all persons involved. Jesus, however, instructed the caregivers, parents, and witnesses not to tell anyone of the miracle that took place. It takes great wisdom to believe, respect, and understand the total ministry of Jesus.
We must learn to be sensitive to the worldwide AIDS pandemic. We pray for the wisdom to do as Christ would do in all circumstances for all people.
Am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Yes, I am!
We must learn to reach out with a loving touch to provide strength and to give inspiration to all to keep the faith and hold on. Touch someone’s life today and every day with life, love, and hope.
The significance of faith must be identified and shared. You and I must stand in agreement to bring hope to those affected with AIDS. We must learn to provide comfort when all hope appears to be lost.
Am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Yes, I am!
AIDS can leave victims isolated and defenseless. But the Church is a hospital for those in need. We are a place of refuge: safe for those feeling isolated, abandoned, and defenseless.
Lord, send hope. Lord, send healing. Lord, send a cure. Let it all begin with me. Am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Yes, I am!
(Softly begin instrumental music. Play the song “You Pulled Me Through.” See 1 (c).)
We will yield a three-fold report of faith, hope, and healing.
Let’s give an unprecedented response in solidarity. We will pull together. We will pull victims through this pandemic instead of pushing them away.
Yes, we can!, Yes, we will!
Help us to put feet to our collective prayers. Teach us how to employ the new commandment: to love one another as God loves us.
Are we our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Yes, we are! Amen.
Observe a moment of silence for all victims of HIV/AIDS (living or dead).
Light each of the Advent candles in silence.
Pour Libations (water and oil) after each saying:
For the expectancy of the coming of Christ
For our ancestors
For those living with HIV/AIDS
For those who died from the disease
For life, health, and strength
NOTE: The media team and/or the mime ministry should create a presentation to reflect the message of the lyrics of the song “You Pulled Me Through” as a clear message to your congregation that they are to connect with persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Applicable Scripture references should be displayed throughout the presentation. A live performance or a prerecorded clip can be rendered.
Music for Invocation
(c) You Pulled Me Through. By Diane Warren
2. Hymns and Congregational Songs
(a) He Touched Me. Text and Tune by William J. Gaither
(b) I Will Go, If My Father Holds My Hand (When the Pathway of Duty). Text and Tune by Charles Albert Tindley
(c) Precious Lord, Take My Hand. Text and Tune by Thomas A. Dorsey
(d) The Right Hand of God. Text by Patrick Prescod. Tune by Noel Dexter
(e) Throw Out the Life-Line. Text and Tune by Edward S. Ufford
3. Spirituals or Traditional Songs
(a) Come on in My Room. Negro Spiritual
(b) There Is a Balm in Gilead. Negro Spiritual
(c) It’s Alright. Negro Spiritual
(d) I Know the Lord Laid His Hands on Me. Traditional
4. Gospel Songs for Choirs, Ensembles, or Praise Teams
(a) As Your Word Says It Is. By Judith McAllister
(b) Healed. By Shirley Caesar and Michael E. Mathis
(c) Healing Medley: Healing Stream/We Wait on You. By Judith McAllister
(d) We Wait. By Nathan Strong
(e) Father I Stretch My Hands to Thee. By Javier Dykes
5. Liturgical Dance or Mime Group Music
(a) He’ll Take the Pain Away. By Kirk Franklin
(b) I Don’t Mind Waiting. By Juanita Bynum
(c) I Will Wait for You. By Jason Upton
(d) I Shall Live. By Jason Nelson
(e) Live. By Jason Nelson
(f) We Wait. By Wesley Tuttle
(g) We Will Wait on You. By David Frazier
(a) E Na Lima Hana/The Working Hands. By Marty Haugen
(b) Hands of Healing. By Marty Haugen
(c) Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand). By Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Arr. by Mac Huff. For SAA, piano
(d) Touch Somebody’s Life. By James Moore
(e) Touch the Earth Lightly. By Tony Alonso and Shirley Erena Murray
(f) We Will Lay Our Burden Down. By David Haas
(g) You Can Make Me Whole. By David Haas
(h) Your Gentle Touch. By Paul Inwood
7. Modern Songs
(a) Heal Me. Text and Tune by Terry MacAlmon
(b) I Will Restore. Text by Richard Johnson. Music by Richard Johnson. Arr. by William S. Moon.
(c) I Am Healed. By Ruth Latchinson-Nichols
(d) Survive. By John Kee
8. Songs for Children and Youth
(a) Balm in Gilead. By Shawn Brown
(b) Heal the World. By Michael Jackson
(c) I’ll Be There. By Hal Davis, Berry Gordy, Jr., Willie Hutch, and Bob West
(d) Kum Ba Yah. Text and Tune, (DESMOND), by Marvin V. Frey
(e) Know It’s Alright. By Jason Nelson
9. Song or Instrumental for the Offertory Period
(a) Healed. By J. B. Nelson
(b) Healer. By Tommy L. Jones
(c) Be Healed. By Kevin Bond
(d) We Will Wait on You. By David Frazier
10. Song or Instrumental for the Period of Prayer
(a) Come by Here. African American Spiritual
(b) Come By Here, My Lord. Text and Tune, (DESMOND), by Marvin V. Frey
(c) You Are Healed/Rise and Be Healed. By Angela Courte
11. Sermonic Selection
(a) Faith. By Andra Woods. Arr. by Thomas Whitfield
(b) Touch through Me. By Dottie Rambo
(c) I’m Healed. By John Kee
12. Invitational Song or Instrumental
(a) Let Me Touch You. By Kirk Franklin
(b) Healed. By Marquis Egerton
(c) Healed. By J. Nelson. Instrumental
13. Benediction Song or Instrumental
(a) Always Remember. Text and Tune by Andraé Crouch
(b) Reach Out and Touch. Text and Tune by Charles F. Brown
14. Audio Visual Aids
(a) Play on screen during your worship service or do a reenactment of the poem dedicated to those suffering with HIV/AIDS titled, “How Can We Live.”
(b) Crafts and Tapestry
Banners should be made to provide visual display of the symbols and colors of Advent and World AIDS Day. See The African American Lectionary Liturgical Colors Corner for assistance.
Let youth create arm bands to wear. Discuss Advent and World AIDS Day in Sunday School classes and during other periods of youth education. Encourage youth that each time they look upon the band, they are to pray a prayer of healing and restoration for those affected with HIV/AIDS.
(c) Create a newsletter. Include information on the season of Advent and the origin of World AIDS Day. Many people know little about one and/or the other.
(d) Get the Word Out Use Social Networking Sites
Prepare an eCommercial to promote the observance of Advent and World AIDS Day offered by your ministry. Post it on various networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc., to use for evangelism purposes.
Use Public Access Television
Produce a television show that provides an educational forum regarding Advent and World AIDS Day. This can be shown to a local viewing audience via the Public Access station in your area. Public Access television provides an avenue for the general public to express their opinions or message. Utilize this free service as an electronic forum to get your message to a diverse audience. This can truly be used as an evangelism tool to reach a wide and diverse audience.
15. Other Worship Recommendations
(a)Have the entire congregation wear red ribbons. Check out http://www.avert.org/world-aids-day.htm. The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round and particularly on World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment. The red ribbon started as a grassroots effort; as a result there is no one official AIDS ribbon manufacturer, and many people make their own. It’s easily done—just use some ordinary red ribbon and a pin!
What happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas? What if Christmas became a world-changing event again? See the website http://www.adventconspiracy.org/.
(c) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find the most current information pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the US and abroad, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/.
(d) Faith Alive: Christian Resources. Embrace Aids. Get free worship resource materials.