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A service held Friday is testament to the singularity of Central United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit. “People Who Care about People with AIDS” raised money for HIV/AIDS community. Central has partnered with other churches and HIV/AIDS agencies for two years to honor those who help victims. Central is one of the few United Methodist Churches in Michigan to openly accept gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered members.

At the service, the Rev. Rodney Reinhart of Nativity Episcopal Church in Bloomfield Township honored folks with Richard W. Kelch Foundation awards for their work in the HIV/AIDS community. Reinhart and his deceased lover, Kelch, established the first church service for the HIV/AIDS community 17 years ago.

Among those cited was Central’s senior pastor, the Rev. Ed Rowe, who has spoken out about Christians’ need to address the AIDS epidemic.

“It’s a problem we can’t pretend will go away,” Rowe tells News Hits. “Denial is one of our favorite approaches to issues, especially around sexuality. This service is helping to break down the barrier of denial and help us better minister to our people.” Donations to the Kelch Foundation: Call Reinhart at 734-459-7319.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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