Faith in Focus

Faith in Focus: Millbrook Baptist observes World AIDS Day

CorrespondentNovember 23, 2013 

The labyrinth behind Millbrook Baptist Church will be filled with candles Sunday. But more than just creating a beautiful and serene setting, the candles honor and remember the people who have lost their lives from HIV/AIDS. The church’s labyrinth is a winding and spiral path to the center of a stone area that represents the twists and turns of life. For the fifth year in a row, Millbrook Baptist Church will observe World AIDS Day on Sunday, Dec. 1, with “A Time to Remember” Candlelight Labyrinth Walk.

“The numbers of people who have died are still increasing, even though we don’t hear about the disease as much. We are really thankful that people are living longer,” said Carolyn McClendon, chairwoman of the labyrinth committee. “However, we want to remember the lives of incredible people in this community and across the world who have lost their lives. We want to honor those who have taught us so much about life and about death.”

World AIDS Day is observed Dec. 1 each year and is dedicated to raising awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. The labyrinth and garden will be open throughout the day for anyone who wishes to walk in silent meditation or sit and pray.

Beginning at 5 p.m. the names of those who have lost their battle with HIV/AIDS will be read continuously until 6 p.m., while Bobby Moody plays jazz music in the background. Worshipers are invited to walk the labyrinth or observe during the service. Attendees are invited to volunteer to read names or to bring names that they would like read. McClendon said that she collects names in a book throughout the year and also includes names included in the Name Project as part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

“It’s about remembering Mark and Brandon and Sonny. Each year when I read or hear the name of someone that I knew, I see their face,” McClendon said. “I think about all of the times that we laughed and cried together. This gives us a chance to remember our friends and family and grow from their experience. It is really important for all of us to remember and not forget.”

Attendees who walk the labyrinth for World AIDS Day will receive a red ribbon, which is the global symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. If you would like to participate in the reading of names or include a loved one’s name in the service, please contact Carolyn McClendon at or 919-881-2012.

N.C. Believers Community Thanksgiving event

The N.C. Believers Community invites members of the community to prepare love baskets for the Helping Hands Mission from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 623 Rock Quarry Road. Wear warm clothes and gloves. Bring packing tape, boxes and plastic grocery bags. Volunteers will be sorting cans, packing boxes and delivering baskets. Participants will also eat dinner together from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at TGI Fridays, 4209 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh.

The group will also gather for its annual 3.5-mile Thanksgiving Day hike around Lake Johnson in Raleigh at 2:30 p.m. in the Athens Drive Library parking lot. For more information on either event, call Charles at 919-413-3868.

Thanksgiving Day church service

Hope Lutheran Church in Wake Forest is holding its Thanksgiving Day worship service at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 28, at the church, 3525 Rogers Road, Wake Forest. The service will be focused on the theme of “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” and include many classic hymns celebrating the theme of thankfulness. Please bring non-perishable food items to donate to Tri-Area Ministry. A nursery is provided for children ages 4 and under. For more information, visit or call 919-554-8109.

Turkey Bowl flag football

Richland Creek Community Church is holding its sixth annual Turkey Bowl flag football tournament at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the church, 3229 Burlington Mills Road, Wake Forest. Students in sixth through 12th grades are invited to participate, with a separate tournament held for middle and high school students. Each team must have seven players and register online prior to the event. The fee is $35 per team, and each team must have at least one member who does not attend Richland Creek Community Church. For more information or to register, call 919-556-9292 or visit

Hanging of the Greens

The community is invited to the Hanging of the Greens service from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 1, at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, 718 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. For more information, visit or call 919-832-7112.

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