"Many families in Uganda permanently live on the edge of survival. The fragile economy of the country has been further damaged by AIDS. Approximately 10,000 new cases of AIDS are being reported a month in Uganda. One out of every 10 adults in the country is HIV infected ... Earlier this year a five-day conference on `Women and AIDS' was held in Bishop Tucker Theological College, Mukono, Uganda, which brought together women in leadership roles from all over Uganda to discuss the particular problems women face in relation to AIDS and HIV. The conference was co-ordinated by the Church Human Services AIDS Program (CHUSA). This report is edited from the conference and an article be the Revd. Mabel Katanweire."
The Advent 1996 issue of the International Anglican Family Network "tells of just a few of the projects, linked with churches, which are trying to alleviate the suffering and halt the spread of the disease. In this terrible situation there are signs of hope." Article includes reports from 12 different countries.
Two thousand people attended a conference in Kabale, Uganda, only 12 miles from the Rwandan border. Eighty Church leaders "spent four days sharing resources and information on successful health, development, AIDS and women's programmes from the Kabale area, which could be replicated in Rwanda. One of the conference keynote speakers, a Tutsi from Burundi, told how his family had been killed during the genocide. "Father Severin's emotional testimony prompted an outpouring of tears and embraces as Hutu and Tutsi delegates moved around the cathedral during an exchange of the kiss of peace." The conference was sponsored by a number of American Episcopalians and other organizations including the Stones Network Inc. and World Vision International.
"As late as the 1988 Lambeth Conference, bishops from Africa were denying that there was a disease called AIDS". The situation has changed now and the Cape Town joint meeting passed a resolution "that calls for a universal response to AIDS". Several African churches, including those of Uganda and Tanzania have developed AIDS education and prevention programs.
Archbishop of Carey, the Most Rev. George Carey, and his wife Eileen, visited the London Lighthouse and CARA, an church run AIDS charity. Dr. Carey said that "AIDS is one of the most important issues facing the Anglican Church worldwide today."
A description of the week long visit to the Church of the Province of Uganda by the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Primate of the Episcopal Church. The visit began 28 May 2003 and was timed to include the celebration of the Feast of the Martyrs of Uganda on 3 June. At an address to the Uganda Joint Christian Council "Griswold talked about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and how `the effect was to teach us in the U.S. that we are vulnerable -- a lesson hard to bear. In that moment we joined the world community where suffering and violent death are a daily reality'. In a subsequent letter to the primates of the Anglican Communion, he said that `this is a moment in which the U.S. might ask about our relations with the rest of the world, examining our politics in light of world suffering. The fundamental message', Griswold said, `is one of reconciliation. How can we as a nation seek to be an instrument of reconciliation'." Griswold visited a project supported by Episcopal Relief and Development and observed some of the many projects begun by the Ugandan Church's Planning, Development and Rehabilitation office. He heard from bishops in the north who have suffered most from the depredation of the Lord's Resistance Army and of the almost one million people internally displace and living in camps. AIDS is also a great problem and the continuing challenge of tribalism.
Sermon by the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, at the 10th anniversary service, held at the Guards Chapel, Westminster, to celebrate the life of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. "At a time when people are suspicious of rhetoric, the monarchy communicates by symbol and simple speech and the Princess brought her own gifts to this work. She was still only 26 when she shook the hand of a patient at the opening of the Middlesex Hospital's AIDS ward, the first in the UK. It is hard now to credit the degree of fear and prejudice which surrounded AIDS in the eighties. Those familiar with the field have no doubt that the Princess played a significant part in overcoming a harmful and even cruel taboo is a gesture which was not choreographed but sprang from a deep identification with those who were vulnerable and on the margin". "Her work in the very last year of her life for the victims of landmines also caught the popular imagination internationally and certainly accelerated the adoption of the Ottawa Convention, banning the use of weapon which disproportionately kills and maims women and children. She proved the eloquence of embrace and touch which of course have been used by royal healers through the centuries. And as she said 'the biggest disease today is not leprosy or TB but the feeling of being unwanted'." "Let this service mark the point at which we let her rest in peace and dwell on her memory with thanksgiving and compassion while we pray in the words of St. Paul for all those who serve our country as members of the Royal Family and most especially for the sons who were so precious to her".