Conference Committee

HIV Caring Ministries

Ministries of Faith in Action

HIV Caring Ministries is an approved conference advance special ministry. 

HIV Caring Ministries focuses on two goals:

  1. Bringing God’s love to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
  2. Providing education and awareness presentations on HIV/AIDS reaching both youth and adults. We are committed to collaborating with all United Methodist churches of the Desert Southwest Conference. Our goal is to provide resources and direction to show a compassionate response to women and men living with HIV/AIDS.

Our largest program, Strength for the Journey (SFTJ) celebrated our 29th anniversary this year. SFTJ is a four day retreat for men and women with HIV/AIDS and is held annually at Mingus Mountain Retreat Center. The Retreat gives campers the opportunity to focus on our own personal life journey and to explore ways in which they might enrich and strengthen themselves. Interest groups, open discussion, support groups, arts and crafts, and hikes are among the planned activities. Funding is consistently a challenge. We do not wish to turn anyone away for lack of financial resources.

Here are two testimonials from campers about their Strength for the Journey experience:

Danny – “The first year I came to SFTJ was 1998 and I’ve been coming ever since and SFTJ saved my life. For many years I couldn’t even mutter the words that I was HIV positive, but I knew that this camp was here and I could just come here and be myself every year. They loved me when I couldn’t love myself. I felt I was damaged. I would come here and they would love me and make me feel special.”

Nika – “I feel like a human being. Because everybody knows everybody’s problem around here. Where out in the city, you know, like, ‘Oh yea’ you know you gotta be careful because people don’t take things like we take them here at STFJ. I feel at home here…I do, I feel very comfortable.”


The HIV Caring Ministries is seeking scholarship funds to ensure that campers are not limited by finances to attend the retreat. If you’d like to sponsor a camper or give any amount towards the scholarship fund, please use the Online Donation Form (which accepts both credit and debit).

News & Events


Linda Girard

Linda Girard


Bill Butler

Bill Butler


Billie Fidlin

Billie Fidlin

Director of Justice & Outreach

Call the Desert Southwest Conference

Email Us

SFTJ Facebook 

HIV Caring Ministries Archives

Team Members

Gregory Wagner

Mary Bullis

Danny Murray


Strength for the Journey

Learn more about the Strength for the Journey retreat. 


Download a copy of the brochure for our upcoming Strength for the Journey retreat.

Aunt Rita's Foundation

Thank you, Aunt Rita’s! Transportation to and from Tuscon and Phoenix for this year’s retreat has been generously provided by the Aunt Rita’s Foundation.