Saturday, October 6, 2012 9:50 AM
The Wesley Theological Seminary Urban Learning Lab in Baltimore, in partnership with the Baltimore-Washington Conference and Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, hosted a two-day health symposium on October 19 and 20 aimed at eliminating community health disparities.
“I believe this partnership is the future of theological education, health care and the church," said Dr. Fred Smith, Director of Urban Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Dr. Smith and Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, Bishop Sundo Kim Chair in World Christianity and Professor of Theology, Culture and Mission at Wesley, began the event by delivering compelling sermons focused on empowering church leaders to become proactive in their response to the health issues that exist within their communities.
"One of the things we have to agree about is that HIV/AIDS in our community is real," said Carmie Washington-Flood from the State of Maryland Office of Faith-based Initiatives. "If you are in the community of God, you have to care about the Kingdom - that's God's people."
Flood and five other health care professionals from Baltimore spoke about the health disparities present in the Baltimore community and the ways in which their organizations can partner with local churches to promote change. The Rev. Dr. Michelle Chaney of Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Dr. Joan Kub of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Dr. Irance' Reddix of Wesley Theological Seminary, Dr. Kim Sydnor of Morgan State University, and Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center were featured panelists of the symposium.
"I feel empowered and I feel that the learning partnerships formed in the groups have enabled us to see how we can be change agents in the community," said Rodney Hudson, Pastor of Ames Memorial Church in Baltimore.
The information shared during the symposium provided a framework for important conversation and brainstorming among participants, and many expressed excitement at the prospect of implementing the resources and ideas gathered at the symposium into their ministries.
To learn more about the Heal the Sick initiative, click here.
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