World Aids Day at St. George’s, Dec. 1, 1992

“AIDS: A Community Commitment” is the theme selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the fifth annual World AIDS Day, December 1, 1992. This year’s theme focuses attention on the men, women, and children throughout the world who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Activities will highlight the role communities play in controlling the epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS. On December 1, WHO, governments, and nongovernmental and community organizations throughout the world will hold special events designed to increase knowledge and understanding about AIDS and to encourage compassion for persons infected with HIV.

The Free Lance-Star provided this editorial on Dec. 1, 1992:

Sydnor recounts how it took place at St. George’s:

“I had become acquainted with Susan Vaughan of HIV/AIDS Support Services when I had ministered to our parishioner. So when they proposed participating in the World AIDS Day Candlelight March, I invited them to assemble here in our nave, go march, and return for closing prayer and reception.

Afterward, at a candlelight walk downtown, a man confronted participants and called them “fruitcakes.” It was that kind of attitude that had led Sydnor to host the event at St. George’s.

“At the closing I invited all present to join us in worship on Sunday.

During the vigil, Sydnor said, he told the crowd that all in attendance were welcome to worship at St. George’s. “And ‘all’ meant ‘all,’” Sydnor said. He wanted the doors shut to no one

“At the reception several persons thanked me and said it was the first time they as a gay person had been invited to church. There was good press coverage of the march and my participation. Later that week when I got to Williamsburg for the LARC Conference and called home to see how things were, Maureen said, “We are fine but the police are here; someone threw a well- aimed brick through the upstairs window where I was ironing and another though the kitchen door where Christina was doing homework.” I had no proof, but always suspected it was a homophobic response to my hosting the AIDS march.”

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