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Lighten the Burden IV in Tampa, Florida

When: April 23, 2012, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: Hyde Park UMC in Tampa, Florida

The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee will sponsor the “Lighten the Burden IV” HIV/AIDS briefing.

The one-day briefing aims to heighten awareness of United Methodists about HIV/AIDS and highlight the ways faith-based organizations are addressing the issue. The event immediately precedes the United Methodist General Conference, a meeting of the denomination’s top policy-making body, which convenes April 24-May 4 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Bishop Ivan Abrahams, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, who will become the new General Secretary of the World Methodist Council in January. The World Methodist Council is made up of 77 member churches in 135 countries and represents 75 million people.
  • Bishop Yvette Flunder (invited), the presiding bishop and senior pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ, a thriving inner-city congregation that has experienced steady numerical and spiritual growth. Responding to the needs of the AIDS epidemic, Bishop Flunder and her staff opened Hazard-Ashley House and Walker House in Oakland and Restoration House in San Francisco through the Ark of Refuge, Inc., a non-profit agency which provides housing, direct services, education and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the U.S. and in three countries in Africa.
  • Rev. Lydia E. Muñoz, senior pastor of PlumbLine Fellowship at Narberth United Methodist Church in, Narberth, Pa., a new church start in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference. Rev. Muñoz has a passion for multicultural and multiethnic ministries and working with marginalized communities.

The cost of registration will be $10. Registration will be available online by mid- to late-January.