BERKELEY - Pacific School of Religion (PSR) will mark World AIDS Day, December 1, by offering free HIV testing and a chapel service on its campus at 1798 Scenic Avenue in Berkeley.
HIV testing will take place in Holbrook Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the chapel service will be at 11:10 a.m. The events are co-sponsored by PSR's Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS), and New Spirit Community Church of Berkeley.
This is one of the few times a Christian seminary has offered free, voluntary HIV testing. PSR's president, Bill McKinney, and dean, Mary Ann Tolbert, will be among those who will be tested. Results will be disclosed to those tested shortly after the tests, and pastoral counseling will be available.
"We want to send a clear message to people with HIV/AIDS that they have a prominent place of welcome in the member churches of our seminary, including the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, and the Metropolitan Community Churches," said Rev. Jim Mitulski. Mitulski, who is HIV-positive, is pastor of New Spirit Community Church and is an alumnus and board member of PSR.
A multidenominational Christian seminary in Berkeley, California, Pacific School of Religion has been preparing bold leaders for historic and emerging faith communities since 1866. PSR's graduates are known for innovative ministries of compassion and justice around the world - in urban and rural parishes, on city streets and college campuses, and in the arts, public policy, and other fields. PSR is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), an interfaith consortium of seminaries and institutes in the Bay Area. For more about PSR, visit www.psr.edu.
Founded in 2000, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at PSR is the first seminary-based center for the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in the nation. The Center works to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion and sexuality through education, research, community building, and advocacy. For more information about CLGS, visit www.clgs.org.
World AIDS Day was established by the World Health Organization on December 1, 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infections.
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