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Message from the President

Message from the President
I want to start off by thanking everyone who came to Kampmeeting, held in beautiful San Diego, California this year. The theme was “Celebrating Our Journey”—and celebrate we did! We told stories, remembered those we’ve lost, and shared life’s pains. We laughed, we cried, we embraced, and we danced. Above all, we saw that each person’s journey is unique, full of its own blessings and struggles. The Kampmeeting presenters and topics this year highlighted the diversity of the Kinship family. All members were taken into consideration, and we had helpful conversations about gender, exploring how gender is shaped by society, what it means to be gender fluid and more. We also highlighted bisexuality and the unique experiences of the “B” members in the LGBTQ+ community. I was delighted by the terrific job that the three coordinators did! They made sure everything ran smoothly and helped everyone stay engaged during the sessions. They went above and beyond to help all of the attendees feel comfortable and welcome. Thank you, Dr. Reg, Ronoldo, and Kristina! We tried out several new things this...
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KINSHIP WELCOMES NEW FAMILY & FRIENDS COORDINATORS

KINSHIP WELCOMES NEW FAMILY & FRIENDS COORDINATORS
At Kinship’s 38th annual Kampmeeting, John and Carolyn Wilt were introduced as the new Family and Friends Coordinators. John and Carolyn are practicing Seventh-day Adventists, having been married for 57 years. They have three children, including a gay son, the late Aric Wilt, who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 49.  Having discovered that their son was gay, the Wilts, as is the case with many Christian families, were faced with a lack of resources on how to deal with the subject of sexuality as it intersects with their faith, their personal feelings, and their relationship with Aric. They were introduced to Kinship by Carol Grady in the early 90’s. Grady is the author of the book ‘My son, beloved stranger’ where she shares her experience of having a gay son. In this book, Grady shares the struggles of being part of a minister's family as they learned to cope with and understand their youngest son's homosexuality. The Wilts have since attended many Kampmeetings (Kinship’s annual conference) where they made many connections with other families and Kinship members. It...
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SEVENTH-GAY ADVENTISTS TRANSLATED TO MANDARIN

SEVENTH-GAY ADVENTISTS TRANSLATED TO MANDARIN
On a Sabbath evening in June, Rey Lee hosted a screening of the film Seventh-Gay Adventists (SGA) at Mu-En Church in Shanghai, China. Seventh-Gay Adventists, produced by Stephen Eyer and Daneen Akers, explores the stories of LGBTIQ Seventh-day Adventists. Rey who lives in Shanghai, China, had previously met the Akers when he traveled to California, United States in 2016. While in California, the Akers happened to be hosting a screening of another film at the Glendale City Adventist Church. It is then Rey, who teaches English in China, offered to translate SGA into Mandarin. The process took eight months to complete. Rey describes Shanghai as being both highly developed, yet “socially conservative,” this includes the Adventist church he attends. In spite of this, he shared that he was excited to show the film to the fellowship group that he leads. “Some people in my fellowship also invited their friends to our church. Because screening films on Sabbath is not so common in a conservative church like ours, they all felt excited.” One word Rey used to describe the attendees’ experience...
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Outspoken Film Series Features LGBTIQ Adventists

Outspoken Film Series Features LGBTIQ Adventists
The “ Outspoken ” film series is a collection of short documentary profiles featuring LGBTQ Adventists (most current but some no longer identifying as Adventist) and Adventist parents of LGBTQ children. These short films are being released online the first Friday night of the month in 2017, and the first six have gotten an incredible response. We felt like it was the right time to have short profiles available easily through social media to help share these stories more widely. The “ Outspoken ” short film released in July, features Camilo Nazar ( http://www.watchfirefilms.com/outspoken ), a senior film student at Pacific Union College who also was the president of their unofficial GSA last year and is the new president for the IAGC ( Intercollegiate Adventist GSA Coalition ). He’s passionate about better media and film representation for queer people of color like himself, and he also makes a powerful argument for why these campus GSAs need to be official. The “ Outspoken ” before that ( http://www.watchfirefilms.com/outspoken-widmers ) featured Pastor Kris and Debbie Widmer talking about their journey once their...
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Just Love

Just Love
As I was writing this I was reflecting on Cher's song ‘Believe.’ Sometimes it's hard to believe in the love the song talks about.  We see people in the highest power in government say very hurtful things to our Trans and non-binary brothers and sisters, especially to the 15,000 plus transgender people who are currently serving in the U.S. military and the 134,000 plus who are veterans.   As someone who is navigating what their gender identity is, my heart goes out to each one of you. I send you all a big Canadian hug. As a summer intern at Oakridge  Adventist Church in Vancouver,  British Columbia I have started a summer Sabbath school ministry called On Top Of The World . Our theme is to Love Others Well, Love Yourself Well, Love God Well.  A few words of advice if you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirited or part of the plus community: • Love yourself well, love others well, and Love God well. • Embracing who God created you to be is the most beautiful thing...
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ADVICE FROM A FORMER ADVENTIST PASTOR

ADVICE FROM A FORMER ADVENTIST PASTOR
Last April I went from a closeted Adventist pastor to an out bisexual Adventist ex-pastor in the most intense way possible. I certainly didn't have any concept that my coming out video would be viewed 50,000 times in the first month, or that it would be picked up on national news. I don't think I was ready for the intensity of the situation, the people who would turn to me in gratitude, confusion, and anger, and the weight of knowing the suffering of closet LGBTIQ people in the Adventist church. One thing I was ready for is being completely and totally out. Doing the whole thing in one fell swoop was the best thing for me personally. I was ready to be able to be honest about who I am, speak my convictions, and do work I believe in. The stress of living in dishonesty was greater than I had realized. The relief of settling into a life of integrity was more powerful and life-giving than I could have guessed. No matter your walk in life, I encourage you to...
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ON BECOMING A PEBBLE: THE NAME GOD GAVE SIMON

ON BECOMING A PEBBLE: THE NAME GOD GAVE SIMON
By Catherine Taylor As far as I can tell, it happened only six times in the Bible. For God to personally name a mortal is a rare and significant event. In the Hebrew culture, names of children were usually indicative of either the time in history when they were born or wishes for the development of their character. Later, the use of family names became more common. When God chose to give a particular name to someone, it seems to have been a response to a specific event or issue in his life as well as an object lesson for the rest of us. Adam or  adama  means  red earth . What does it say to you that the first human name created on this planet is a descriptor of the soil from which mortals were formed? Abraham means  father of many , a millennia-large promise to a barren couple and a reminder to the rest of us that nothing is impossible with God’s grace. Jacob’s name literally means  follower . It became proverbial for one who is deceptive. Fleeing...
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BUDAPEST AND BEYOND

BUDAPEST AND BEYOND
By Dave Ferguson Recently, the church held a world congress in Budapest for Children’s Women’s and Family Ministries.  The topic of homosexuality was only covered in the Family Ministries break-out sessions.  The keynote speaker for this was Eckerhardt Mueller from the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference.  He had previously presented his views at the conference on homosexuality at Andrews University in 2009 and is said to be the main author of the recent Transgender position paper.  While no one from Kinship was invited to this congress, we were able to get information from an ally who was in attendance.  As one would expect from the person making the presentation, this was not a meeting that provided much hope for our community.  One would wonder if the location was chosen because of the very fundamental approach to Scripture from that area of Europe.  None-the-less there appeared to be a number of positive conversations with various world leaders around the tables at meal-times.  A couple of questions were presented to one group and later shared with all those attending the...
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