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A Day to Remember

1917 Clinic 25th Anniversary Logo
 
Recently I participated in a Memorial Service for persons who have died of HIV/AIDS who were patients at The 1917 Clinic at UAB in its 25 year history.  I was a Chaplain at this world-class, compassionate HIV/AIDS Clinic from 1994-2009.  I was asked to have the opening prayer and you can find it below.  Peace. 
 
25th Anniversary
Memorial Service
April 27, 2013

Creator of LIFE and God of LOVE,

We gather today to remember those we loved:

Our mothers and fathers, our partners and spouses, our sons and daughters, and our brothers and sisters who are no longer with us due to a virus called HIV.

We gather to remember our past:

What it was like in the 1990‘s at The 1917 Clinic, when we received an email almost daily with the subject line, “Angel Wings” announcing that another patient, another member of our human family, had died of HIV/AIDS and its complications.

We gather to remember what’s important:

That compassion, care, and hugs are still the best medicines that we prescribe and dispense.

That taking our medicine and seeing our doctor is our lifeline for the future.

We gather to remember lessons our patients taught us:

That all persons, red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in your sight.

That all persons, all of us, fall short of perfection and if it were not for your grace, your forgiveness, we would all be in trouble.

That judgment is simply not a part of our human job description.

And that all Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and all persons of faith and struggling faith, are called to love you with our whole heart, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves.

We gather to remember individuals who have made, and are making, a difference:

To give thanks for an amazing team of persons at the clinic, for our social workers and receptionists, our educators and data managers, our chaplains and interns, our researchers and phlebotomists, our patient volunteers and security guards, our counselors and environmental service workers, our nurses and nurse practitioners and physicians, and everyone who has contributed to this effort in this place, and throughout the world.

All of whom are known to You by first, middle, and last name.

And finally, we gather to look forward to the future with hope:

We pray for a world without HIV.

We pray for a day without stigma in our world . . .

whether it be for persons living with HIV, with mental illness, or those with a different color of skin of our own, or different accent, language, ethnicity, or religion, or for those with addictions, or discriminated against because of their age, or physical disabilities, or sexual orientation, or for any other reason under the sun.

And we pray for a day when everyone can say, “Peace be with you,” as we bless one another.

Amen.

4 Responses to “A Day to Remember”

  1. Sandra Langston says:

    Malcolm – Thank you for sharing your prayer for those of us who were unable to attend the service. What memories must have been stirred by the service. You are such an amazing connector for all of us who met through 1917 and we are so grateful to you.

  2. Malcolm says:

    Sandra,

    Thanks so much for who you are and what you have done for thousands of persons with HIV in Alabama. You have always been an encourager to me since I first met you in the mid-90s.

    Blessings and peace to you my friend,
    Malcolm

  3. May we have permission to share this on our website in full with a link back to this site? It’s really wonderful.
    Matthew Ellis
    National Episcopal AIDS Coalition

  4. Malcolm says:

    Dear Matthew,

    Of course you have permission.

    Blessings,
    Malcolm

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