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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: hiv/aids

December 1, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 7: World HIV AIDS Awareness Day

by Paul Olson

On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS calls us to get on the fast track to end AIDS.

Girls who live with a disability and who have been made vulnerable face more violence in schools than do girls who are not living with a disability. The same is true for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Misperceptions and false information about HIV/AIDS increases the stigma on those who have it and changes the nature of everyday interactions at school. Children affected by HIV and AIDS, orphans and children from families affected by HIV and AIDS are at higher risk ...

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November 28, 2015

Observe World AIDS Day - December 1

World AIDS Day logoDecember 1 is World AIDS Day. Here are ways to plan observances for the day

Download the World AIDS Day packet by the Presbyterian AIDS Network

Study Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action - a report and study guide

Order The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS - a free video

Find ideas for World AIDS Day from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

Get Wrapped! (learn about the Wrap Project)

Check out other resources from the PC(USA) International AIDS Ministries

Learn more at UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day, December 1 ...

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November 30, 2012

World AIDS Day - for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS - for us all

AIDS RibbonOur partners in the Presbyterian AIDS Network of PHEWA remind us of the importance of World AIDS Day:

December 1, 2012 marks World AIDS Day (WAD), a day of awareness and action in the struggle to eradicate HIV and AIDS. World AIDS Day brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity. The day is an opportunity to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and to encourage progress in HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, and care. Between years 2011-2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of "Getting ...

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October 15, 2012

The MDGs and World Poverty Day

End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign logoA one-day social media action for

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

#EndPoverty – 17 October, 2012

At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike committed themselves - at the highest political level - to a set of eight time-bound targets to help fight extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. These targets came to be known as the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.

Over the last decade, millions have overcome extreme poverty and attained better access to health care and education. Despite the significant progress, challenges remain. With just 3 years left till the MDG deadline, we have ...

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September 26, 2011

The Witness of the Church in Madagascar

Forgiveness means liberation.

Forgiveness means restitution and repairing.

Forgiveness means reconciliation.

The Rev. Hubert Rakotoarivony, International Peacemaker from Madagascar, reflected on the importance of forgiveness as he spoke to a group of 18 people from 9 congregations.

Hubert Rakotoarivony speaking to groupHubert, along with Dan Turk, PC(USA) mission co-worker in Madagascar, addressed the witness of the church in Madagascar.

Hubert spoke of the work toward peacemaking and reconciliation of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). This begins with an awareness that peace is not just the absence of war or conflict. Peace is active. Peace involves social justice, equity, dignity, non-discrimination ...

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September 16, 2011

Learn about Madagascar in New York

In the New York City area? Consider learning about the church at work in Madagascar.

Madagascar: The Witness of the Church
 A Brown Bag Lunch
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
September 26, 2011
Presbytery of New York City
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1600

The Rev. Hubert Rakotoarivony and Dan Turk will speak to the current situation in Madagascar and efforts of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM) to respond.  An island of incredible beauty, Madagascar currently experiences growing poverty, environmental exploitation, and an increase in sex trafficking during a time of political crisis.  In this setting, the ...

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September 6, 2011

Children's Books at Huguenot Memorial Church

I have always liked books; I was an English major in college. Children's books have held a special appeal to me. Books written for children can be amazing: in words and images they may carry profound truth. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program makes good use of children's books. Intergenerational conferences often included a time of bed-time stories in which staff read books of peace and justice.

Why this focus on children's books?

Picture of children's booksOn Friday, September 2, I visited Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian) in Pelham, New York. We were planning a seminar for the church at the Presbyterian Ministry ...

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July 26, 2011

Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church

cover of resolutionThe 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted the resolution, “Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action” in exercise of its responsibility to help the whole church address matters of “social righteousness.” The resolution identifies issues impacting people living with HIV and AIDS such as poverty, gender inequality and cultural and traditional practices, both in the United States and globally. It recommends to the PC(USA) a response of compassionate action and prophetic witness. In 2008, the World Council of Churches started promoting HIV-competent churches, which called for churches to ...

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June 9, 2011

UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS: Day 1

More than 3000 people have come together at the United Nations in New York for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. The meeting, which runs from 8-10 June, provides an opportunity to take stock of the progress and challenges of the last 30 years and shape the future AIDS response.

Photographers Bo Li and Hygeia Rubio from the UN Department of Public Information have created a gallery of images from Day 1 of the event.

Here are two other ways to follow the meeting:

View portions of the meeting on the United Nations Webcast.

Use the hashtag ...

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June 6, 2011

High level meeting on AIDS happening this week

AIDS ribbonThe 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS is taking place in New York starting on June 8 and ending on June 10.

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the world will come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response.

View portions of the meeting on the United Nations Webcast.

Use the hashtag #AIDS2011 to follow the meeting on Twitter.

Learn about the work of Presbyterian International AIDS Ministries.

Join the Presbyterian AIDS Network.

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April 14, 2011

Skyping the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

This evening brought a milestone on my technological journey. I had Skyped before . . . in fact there were several Skype conversations today alone. But at about 8:20 Eastern time, as had been carefully prearranged, my Skype came to...

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February 25, 2011

Books key to the battle against HIV and AIDS in Africa

Books key to the battle against HIV and AIDS in Africa. From the World Council of Churches: Three decades into the AIDS pandemic it has become clear that churches, non-governmental agencies and governments need to redouble their efforts to combat...

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January 12, 2011

Responding to HIV/AIDS: some resources

Getting to Zero: UNAIDS 2011-2015 Strategy UNAIDS Today Presbyterian International AIDS Ministries Presbyterian AIDS Network

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December 10, 2010

UNAIDS calls for zero discrimination on Human Rights Day

UNAIDS urges countries to improve legal and social environments to protect human rights in the context of the HIV epidemic and reiterates its call for global freedom of movement for people living with HIV

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December 6, 2010

Praying for change in Myanmar

From the World Council of Churches “We believe in change and ask that you continue to pray for us.” This was the message an international team of church representatives heard again and again, as they visited people and churches in...

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November 27, 2010

See 'The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS'

“The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS” is a new DVD/video by the Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN). In the United States, the face of HIV and AIDS has changed dramatically in the 30 years since the start of the pandemic. Communities are...

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November 11, 2010

World AIDS Day Webinar

World AIDS Day Webinar December 1 1:00 - 2:00 EST Space is limited Reserve your Webinar seat now The event is co-sponsored by International AIDS Ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN). This webinar will focus...

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November 8, 2010

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Teaching for Action

The Committee on Teaching about the United Nations invites you to register for their 2011 Conference. The event, Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Teaching for Action will be held on Friday, January 14, 2011 in the North Lawn Conference Building...

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September 26, 2010

Women’s justice is key church role, African leader says

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Women’s justice is key church role, African leader says. International Peacemaker "The Rev. Probe Augustin Mukendi Kabongo is a pastor and executive secretary of Tshibashi Presbytery of the Presbyterian Community in the...

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July 16, 2010

International AIDS Conference

In partnership with the International AIDS Society, the Kaiser Family Foundation is the official webcaster of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), providing worldwide, online access to the daily developments that take place at the conference in Vienna, Austria,...

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June 9, 2010

Stop violence against women - worldwide!

From our colleagues in the Presbyterian Washington Office Support the International Violence Against Women Act The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) has been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill, which was also introduced in...

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May 14, 2010

Living the Believers’ Calling – respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic

Here's a way congregations can celebrate 30 years of peacemaking: Choose a Sunday near World AIDS Day (December 1) to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Have a special intergenerational church school class that encourages the whole church to learn more and...

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March 17, 2010

Stop Violence Against Women

From the Presbyterian Washington Office: Ask your Senators and Representative to cosponsor the International Violence Against Women Act. The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) has been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill, which was...

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December 14, 2009

Not finished with your shopping?

Still looking for a gift for that someone special? Consider a gift that works for peace. Support the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. There are several options. Give to: Peacemaking Offering - provide basic support for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's ministry Conference...

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December 6, 2009

Advent devotion - December 6, 2009

Scripture: Luke 1:68–79 When I was young, I saw only a few Christian churches. Today, the number has increased dramatically. When I consider the aim of Christ’s coming and the purpose of the church, I imagine a world where people...

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November 27, 2009

Updated resources on global AIDS epidemic

December 1 is World AIDS Day. The Presbyterian International AIDS Ministries Office provides worship resources and ideas to observe the day. In advance of World AIDS Day the Kaiser Family Foundation has updated a number of key fact sheets and...

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November 6, 2009

Study resource on Africa

Resolution on Africa: A Guide for Study and Reflection [PDF] is now available for download. Based on "Resolution on Africa" approved by the 215th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the study is intended for adults of all ages....

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October 9, 2009

Wide awake in Seattle

Lamiel Phiri's itinerary included a visit to the Presbytery of Seattle. While there, he visited with members of Wedgewood Presbyterian Church. Lamiel works with Christian Care Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organization of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, involves humanitarian and development...

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October 9, 2009

Pray for peace October 11

This week, Spiritual Nurture for Peacemakers includes a prayer of confession for use on Presbyterian AIDS Awareness Sunday, a prayer for those affected by natural disaster, and a prayer for International Peacemakers and those who hear them. The prayers may...

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October 8, 2009

Prayer for Presbyterian AIDS Awareness Sunday

This Sunday, October 11, raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic — observe Presbyterian AIDS Awareness Sunday. Among the many resources available to plan for this event is the It's a Matter of Faith packet. Order or...

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September 25, 2009

AIDS Awareness Sunday

On October 11, raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic - observe Presbyterian AIDS Awareness Sunday. Among the many resources available to plan for this event is the It's a Matter of Faith packet. Order or download...

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March 8, 2009

HIV/AIDS and peacemaking

"Where there is sickness and where there is suffering, there can be no peace." So the Rev. Kondwani Gondwe of the Matiki Presbyterian Church in Malawi reminded a group of Presbyterians on a travel/study seminar last March. The Biblical understanding...

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May 4, 2008

Siyaya Tour

Siyaya is coming to the U.S. this summer. And we will share the details as we have them. We don't have a full schedule yet -- although we are looking for that and hope to have it soon. We have...

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April 12, 2008

Reauthorize PEPFAR

Written by Jean Schneider As we were traveling through clinics in South Africa, I remember seeing posters referencing PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This initiative has been a major source of funding for HIV prevention and...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: Simple Gifts

We broke into small groups. With a translator and a Home Based Care worker, we visited two homes. Each of the Home Based Care patients we visited on received a cross from Pittsburgh. Some of the nurses in the intensive...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: She Is Granny

Written by Joy Gaska …Her contagious smile reveling teeth neglected, thinning extremities speaking days gone hungry, weather worn skin with wrinkles that marked an age unknown and a compassion that echoed and told a story far more potent and poetic...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: Special Delivery

Written with Kyle Kittrell. Even in this day of instant electronic communication, there is a thrill when something lands in our mailbox or when the UPS truck stops by our door. Some of us will return to our home with...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: Among the Maize Stalks

Jean Schneider, Guest Author It’s this amazing thing about Malawi. You trundle over dirt roads through tire ruts and truck-sized gullies with maize leaves crowding in the window. You arrive at an old mission statement and there you find a...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: “Love is our moto.”

The people of the Kaphuta Presbyterian Church proclaim, “Love is our moto.” “Moto” means fire in the Tumbuka language. Our sisters and brothers greeted us with song on March 3. They sang us into their spacious sanctuary. A bell tower...

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March 11, 2008

Malawi: “The Bible is a book for us.”

“We don’t need to lose people to AIDS.” Dr. Andy Gaston’s voice cracked slightly as he spoke during a PowerPoint presentation on the Livingstonia Synod AIDS Program (LISAP). He pointed to a picture of a friend and colleague who had...

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March 8, 2008

Malawi: Peacemaking and HIV/AIDS

“I wondered, what does peacemaking have to do with HIV/AIDS,” said the Rev. Kondwani Gondwe at the English language service on Sunday, March 2 at the Matiki Presbyterian Church. He took off the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program pin that he had...

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March 7, 2008

Malawi: The Pandemic Has United the People

On Saturday, March 1, the Rev. Lecton Kaluah, Secretary General of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), and Kafumbi Njewa, administrator for the CCAP General Assembly, joined us after breakfast. The CCAP traces its history back to the efforts...

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February 29, 2008

Malawi: The Arrival

We reached the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg around 9:00 AM. After checking in, we made our way to the gate for our South Africa Airways flight to Lilongwe, Malawi. For many in the group, this is their first...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: Connecting Pain

Joy Gaska, Guest Author A question I struggled with last night was: "How has your pain connected with the pain you have witnessed". As I reflect on that question what I struggle with is the world that I was born...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: Possibilities for Ministry

How can we support the sisters and brothers in Christ, the programs, and the churches that we have met? How can we encourage Presbyterians individually and collectively to engage in ministries that respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic? These are questions...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: That I Will Be Able to Continue This Work

For seven months, the Rev. Buhle Mpofu has served as the HIV and AIDS Coordinator for the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (UPCSA). The church has identified addressing HIV and AIDS one of its three mission priorities. The HIV...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: That They Will Have Strength

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa (EPCSA), formerly known as the Tsonga Presbyterian Church, resulted from work of the Swiss Mission in South Africa that began in the Northern Transvaal in 1875. Today the Rev. Esther Maringa serves as...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: Joining Hands against Hunger in Lesotho

Cindy Easterday, Guest Author Kopano ke Matla Toant’song ea Bofuma Lesotho (Unity Is Strength in the Fight against Poverty) is the Joining Hands against Hunger network in Lesotho. Initiated in 2002 through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, KKM is one of...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: He Did Not Like to Let Go

He liked to be high. And he did not like to let go. We visited a community-based orphanage for 15 children. JL Zwane Presbyterian Church supports the orphanage which is run by one woman and her daughter with help from...

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February 29, 2008

South Africa: JL Zwane Presbyterian Church and Centre

Our visit to the Guguletu Township on Tuesday, February 26, was coordinated by the JL Zwane Presbyterian Church and Centre. The Rev. Edwin Louw, Associate Pastor, Ms. Yvonne Daki, and Mama Nomazizi provided an introducation to the hope-filled, hope-instilling ministries...

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February 26, 2008

South Africa: What AIDS Can’t Do

On a wall in the Sothemba AIDS Action office, one can read a sign that says: What AIDS Can’t Do AIDS cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot take away peace. It cannot destroy...

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February 26, 2008

South Africa: Live Life with Hope

“The judge slid his glasses down his nose and looked over the tops at me.” We stood in silence in the offices of Sothemba (We Will Hope) AIDS Action as Jacque Pondo, an HIV/AIDS counselor with the organization, reflected on...

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February 26, 2008

South Africa: Monday’s Visits

On Monday, February 25, we learned about ministries responding to HIV/AIDS related to BADISA, a joint ministry of the Dutch Reformed Church (synods of the Western Cape and Southern Cape) and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (Cape Synod)....

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February 25, 2008

South Africa: A Witness to the Light

By Joy Gaska, guest author Today was our first day venturing out into the community to assess the current HIV/AIDS situation in Cape Town. We met with local Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) who readily welcomed us and shared with us...

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February 25, 2008

South Africa: The Arrival

This was originally written on February 23 but was only posted on February 25. “Yeah, we’re in Johannesburg! A whole new continent." (Pause) “Well, an old continent—At least a different continent than the one we started on.” - Jean Schneider...

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February 20, 2008

We Can't Be Silent

Dr Ezra Chitando knows the reality of HIV/AIDS. He has lost many friends and relatives to the disease. Now he works to change the future by training clergy throughout Africa about the role of the church with HIV and AIDS,...

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February 15, 2008

Don't Spray While You Are Wearing the Clothes

On February 22, thirteen Presbyterians will begin a travel study seminar to South Africa and Malawi. We will increase our awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and how our church partners are responding. Final purchases are being made and final plans...

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