Concern for the wellbeing of persons living with HIV and AIDS emerged at Saint Peter’s Church in the 1980s. In response to the epidemic, the community founded and continues to support the Momentum Project.
The Momentum Project is now separately incorporated from Saint Peter’s Church and has grown substantially. The Project provides services at multiple venues throughout the City every day of the week. As it was in the early days, the centerpiece at each of these sites is a home cooked meal. The Program’s meal-centered hallmark emerged out of a guiding theological concept at Saint Peter’s Church, namely that God provides dignity to every child of God at the Altar Table at which God is host and all are guests. From that Altar Table to every table, God offers dignity.
In dynamic and effective partnerships with others, Saint Peter’s Church has provided direct services to persons living with HIV or AIDS every Tuesday since the early 1980s when the project was started. Saint Peter’s Church is the Momentum Project’s site for the lunch and dinner hours on Tuesdays.
An emerging need for the care of persons living with HIV and AIDS is preserving funding for vital services. Support is eroding in legislative bodies that control public funds, an unfortunate result, perhaps, of providing effective services: the need looks as though it is substantially diminished, if not present.
Saint Peter’s Church actively advocates for the preservation of public funding, critical to halting the spread of HIV and eliminating stigma. Persons with similar concern are encouraged to contact City council members, the mayor’s office, and state and congressional representatives. Request funding be maintained or restored for HIV and AIDS services, and measures be taken to reduce the conditions of poverty that contribute to the spread of HIV. Implore the need for effective and comprehensive HIV and AIDS education. Ignorance is a preventable leading cause of the spread of the disease.
HIV and AIDS is a critical concern for all of society and paramount to the mission of the church active in it.