Madison Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Paterson, N.J., has committed itself to reaching out to people affected by HIV/AIDS. They highlighted this focus by holding a special service of prayer and healing in early December for people who are dealing in one way or another with HIV/AIDS.
The congregation sang songs, shared stories, and pledged to maintain a ministry to those suffering from the disease. “It was a powerful service, especially with the testimonies that other pastors shared,” said Rev. John Algera, pastor of Madison Avenue.
The service included a Christian Reformed World Relief Committee PowerPoint presentation about its recently launched Embrace AIDS campaign—a $3 million, two-year effort to raise support for people around the world who are dealing with the disease.
As part of the service, the church issued this statement: “When we claim as a church that ‘We Have AIDS,’ we become connected to a suffering world. It indicates that we are committed to our brothers and sisters struggling with the disease around the world. It means we will uphold persons living with HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS-affected communities in our prayers, and where it is in our power, we will respond to their need in compassion and action.”
Its HIV/AIDS outreach is only part of Madison Avenue’s work in the city. It also sponsors Crossroad Ministries, a group that works with people of low income who are in need of better education or are dealing with health-care issues and other challenges.