“CENTERS OF HOPE AND HEALING”
EACH ADVENTIST CHURCH A COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE
Regarding its wholistic approach to all dimensions of health –physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual; to help each individual establish a good relationship with God and with fellow-church and community members, and to enjoy good health according to His plan for all of us.
Our Churches: SUPPORT CENTERS FOR THE COMMUNITY
Providing support to those infected and affected by the HIV epidemic
This goal will be achieved through the organization of Support Groups in our churches.
• Definition of a SUPPORT GROUP:
• Is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others in the community (inside and outside the church)
• SUPPORT GROUPS AND MINISTRY
• Care teams: by their non-judgmental, compassionate presence they represent a loving God to persons who often feel they are somehow being “punished by God”.
• Through their caring attitudes they encourage empowerment, acceptance, hope, Care Team members form relationships and do things friends do.
“Go…, heal the sick, raise the spiritually dead, and cleanse the lepers and those who have HIV/AIDS, drive out the demons of fear, ignorance, and wrong attitudes. Freely you have received, freely give…” (Adapted from Matthew 10:8 – italics added)
CHURCH BASED HIV/AIDS SUPPORT GROUPS
ORGANIZATION OF SUPPORT GROUPS:
Whether you’re battling HIV or AIDS, or if you’re the family member or friend of someone who is hurting, many of the issues and questions are the same.
Why is this happening to me?
How can I possibly endure?
Where’s God in all of this?
How can I cope with this situation?
WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED?
People need Love, Encouragement ,and Hope. That’s why we need to create Support Groups. To provide a safe place where people can come when they need answers, validation, and most important, Hope!
We pray that these support groups will become
Centers of Hope and Healing!!!
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
NOTE: For more information on how to organize support groups in your church, please visit the page “Education and Presentations” on this same web-site, or contact us for additional details.
In the month of October 2003, the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized the “First International Seminar on Adventists in the Community”
Seventh-day Adventists need to be far more involved in the community-that’s the message coming from the conference on the subject held at the General Conference (GC) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 14-16.
The following are segments from the introductory presentations by the church leaders:
“We’re known for a very active program that serves the community-education, health, ADRA,” said GC president Jan Paulsen in his opening address to participants. “But it has to be more than this.” Individually, “we need to remind ourselves that we have to make a positive contribution to society.”
“While we are a spiritual community, we cannot afford to become preoccupied with the world to come, and lose interest in the world where we are currently placed,” Paulsen added. “On the cross Jesus confirmed the value He places on humanity. We must make sure our mission is large enough to embrace Christ’s care for suffering humanity. We are humanity; we are part of the world. This is where we live, this is where we work. God has placed us here for a purpose. We are expected by God to be instruments in His hands to reach into the community.”
This brand-new venture affirmed the vital importance of community involvement by Adventists. “The recent world survey showed that among all church activities, community involvement is the lowest rated-less than 30 percent of members being involved,” says Eugene Hsu, GC general vice president and chairman of the conference planning committee. “We need a paradigm shift-service is service, and the focus should be on the people. After all, the church is part of the community, and we should help people feel that our presence in the community makes a difference to their welfare.”