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McDonough Presbyterian Church - Atlanta, Georgia

By Emily Martin, PAN Co-Moderator

McDonough Presbyterian Church is a friendly 775-member congregation about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Led by member Teressa Staten, a new member of the Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN), McDonough has held a number of AIDS awareness events leading up to World AIDS Day, which occurs on December 1 each year.

In 2006 the Global Missions Committee at McDonough planned a series of AIDS awareness events leading up to World AIDS Day. Dr. Frank Dimmock was invited to speak to a combined adult Sunday School class about his work with AIDS in Africa and his role as the PC(USA) regional health consultant for southern Africa.

During their weekly Wednesday night classes in November the youth explored the impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty on children in Africa through discussion, prayer and a board game provided by Joy Raatz, the HIV/AIDS Initiative Facilitator for the PC(USA) International Health Ministries Office.

To check out a table-sized version of the Africa Game (PDS# 7428004003), contact your Presbytery Resource Center. A floor-size model (16' X 20') is also available. Call (800) 728-7228, x5338 or contact Vennie Constant for information.

The youth also sold red “AIDS ribbon” pins and took up a special offering during worship to support the Presbyterian AIDS Action fund and McDonough Presbyterian Church’s own medical mission projects, which were highlighted in a minute for mission and a bulletin insert.

McDonough plans to hold most of its AIDS awareness activities for youth during the month of October. This provides them with an opportunity not only to participate in the PC(USA)’s designated AIDS Awareness Sunday (the second Sunday in October), but also to make connections with their congregation around World Communion Sunday and the Peacemaking Offering, of which the local portion of the offering can be used by a congregation or presbytery for HIV/AIDS ministries.

As part of raising awareness in their congregation and community, Teressa  and the Global Missions Committee are considering participating in Atlanta’s annual AIDS walk, hosting a display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, inviting an HIV+ guest speaker and having the youth introduce the congregation to the wrap project, started by home-based care volunteers in Malawi to raise money and identify volunteers in the community.  Learn more about the resources available through the International Health Ministries Office, including the wrap project.

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