This year, as last, we are partnering with the NAMES Project to display the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The NAMES Project is the caretaker of the quilt; and their mission is to keep alive the stories of all those who have died from the HIV-AIDS epidemic. The quilt, too large to be displayed in one piece now, consists of blocks with 8 panels. Each panel is a remembrance of someone who died from AIDS. The panels are designed and decorated by family and friends and each is as unique as the person it gives witness to. Having the name of the loved one printed, is the only thing the panels have in common. The name reminds us that this person has a story, and was more than a number or statistic.
This year, the Church Council decided to name the display that we plan to be an annual event. It will now be The Michael Conway Annual Display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. While Michael wasn’t a member of our church, his mother, Jan Conway is vital to our ministries. Jan is our Administrative Assistant and volunteer Accompanist. In naming the display event, we wanted to honor Michael and Jan and their AIDS story. For too long, churches rejected and ignored people and families living with AIDS. And while medical advances have helped us understand and for the most part control this disease, people are still suffering and dying.
The dates for the display are June 3-9. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer for those who can serve as greeters of this event. If you want to give a special offering for the display, please put a note on your contribution. We hope our display of the Quilt will honor those whose names are printed on the panels, and witness to their stories and the love God has for all, no matter what.