By moving their congregation a scant one-third of a mile closer to Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Mars Hill Church is better able to target "AIDS victims" with charity work and the word of Christ, says spokesman Justin Dean. He was responding to my questions—which I posted earlier and posed to him by phone—asking what their pastor meant in a morning announcement when he said that "being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill.”
"Our desire is to work with organizations and individuals who are trying to make a difference for those living with, or who are at risk of HIV/AIDS," says Dean, who was ostensibly speaking about Seattle's historically gay neighborhood but could easily have been referring to the billions of sexually active humans on the planet at risk for HIV. "We are currently at the beginning stages of volunteering with the Lifelong AIDS Alliance to build relationships and walk in love with those in the Capitol Hill area, and beyond, who are affected by these chronic conditions."
Dean says the large church—which bans gay members and is notoriously cultish—has started a new ministry to this effect.
"Their desire is for everyone to know Jesus, especially those whom they have met in their community who are suffering and hurting," says Dean, who added that by moving the congregation from its Belltown location to a downtown location negligibly closer to Capitol Hill that it would "allow us to work closer with Life Long [AIDS Alliance] and other organizations in the area." He added that those volunteers are still in training, but they hope to offer "many food and donation drives for HIV/AIDS victims."
I've got a call into Lifelong checking on their arrangement with a group that bans gay members.
UPDATE at 5:00 p.m.: Lifelong says that, while they've spoken to Mars Hill, the church hasn't filled out volunteer forms and has "no relationship" with the charity.