Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Church Tackling AIDS Question in Seminar

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Church Tackling AIDS Question in Seminar

Article excerpt

ORANGE PARK -- In an attempt to shed light on a modern disease,

Island View Baptist Church is holding an AIDS seminar tomorrow

evening.

Associate Pastor David Lohff said Island View isn't

uncomfortable taking on a ticklish topic as long it comforts

"hurting people."

He was making reference to anyone who has contracted AIDS, is

HIV-positive or has any other disease or problem.

"It's very timely that the church move in this direction,"

Lohff said about confronting an issue.

Tomorrow's program features several speakers from St. John's

Horizon House who have AIDS.

Lohff said he and the Rev. Jim Hoffman, the church pastor,

aren't shy about addressing tough issues because Jesus didn't

turn away from those "who are hurting."

"We're going to go where we're called to go," he said. "Jesus

went where people are hurting the most."

The seminar, with seating for 800, begins at 6:30 p.m. at the

church, 900 Park Ave. in Orange Park, organizers said.

Seminar spearhead Margaret Peele, a registered nurse and

congregation member, said Island View is trying to raise a

consciousness about AIDS.

"I don't think we should be ignorant and stay away from certain

issues," she said.

Peele said two or three people from Horizon House, an AIDS

facility for 36 who are terminal with the disease, will talk.

"They're trying to help people save their lives," said Sylvia

Ealum, an organizer.

Florida has the nation's largest percentage of cases of women

with AIDS, according to the Northeast Florida AIDS Network. And

Florida trails only California and New York in reported cases of

AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Accompanying the speakers will be Nancy Faibisy, the outreach

and education coordinator for Horizon House. She said her

clients are being sought out to speak more and more --

especially by church groups. …

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