SDA Kinship News

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

These last several months in the United States where I live have been extremely stressful for everyone. Quarantining has brought out the best in some people and the worst in many. Incidents of domestic violence have increased significantly as most people have been asked to stay at home. And not only have millions of people lost their jobs, but the number of people who’ve died from COVID-19 in my country has surpassed 100,500.

If the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t hard enough, the most recent attacks against our Black siblings, including Tony McDade, a trans man in Florida, have just been heartbreaking. We must all do our part to stand against racism and hatred every time we see it. It’s way past time for it to end.

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CONNECTING :)

Mankind enjoys connecting with each other. How many of you look forward to seeing and connecting with your own families for celebrations, special gatherings, or just relaxing and having fun together??

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Many Americans are focused on the upcoming presidential election and local elections to be held in November. It seems that with the pandemic situation, many states are working towards holding fair elections. There are also some states that are purging folks from the voter rolls, closing many polling places, and making voting harder in order to influence the outcome of the elections.

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KINSHIP ELECTIONS 2020

 

We are still accepting nominations for the Board of Directors positions listed below. However, we are looking to close nominations by May 15, so you have only a few days to get your name in! Although we have some candidates already, we are still looking for additional members who are talented, creative, and passionate about supporting your SDA Kinship community. 

The following positions are open for election this year:

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EUROPEAN KINSHIP MEETING IS CANCELED


IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING EKM 2020

Unfortunately, the abbey where we planned to have our next meeting went bankrupt as a result of the Coronavirus crisis measures. This means that our reservation for the European Kinship Meeting is CANCELED.

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41st ANNUAL ONLINE KAMPMEETING

41st ANNUAL ONLINE KAMPMEETING

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 18, 2020. We will have an abbreviated Kinship Kampmeeting Sabbath program online via Zoom. Start time 12 pm EST/9 am GMT.

More details to follow. 

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NEW VIDEO LIBRARY

SDA Kinship wants to give you all the resources possible to help fill your time during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place.

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CHURCH RELATIONS UPDATE

While it may not seem like it, we’re living in historic times.

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CONNECT - SHARE - SUPPORT

Kinship Family & Friends wants to become experts and promoters of those three actions. 

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KINSHIP LATINOAMÉRICA


SDA Kinship Latinoamérica te invita a participar de nuestra reunión de Recepción de Sábado vía ZOOM. Este viernes 08 de mayo a las 7:00 PM (Hora de Perú y Colombia).

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REGION 2 - MARYLAND/DC AREA CHAPTER 


Region 2 continues to meet virtually via Zoom for First Sabbath lunch.
 
On the first Sabbath of every month, we meet at noon after attending New Hope via live stream. It's a great way to stay connected to each other.
 
Also, Kumar Dixit will be our speaker at our next vespers on May 15, and you will not want to miss it. We are all disappointed that we're not at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for our annual Spring retreat where Kumar and his wife, Rej, were to be our guests for the weekend. We plan to have them join us when we are once again able to return to the beach for our mini-Kampmeeting.

Region Coordinator:
  Yolanda Elliott  

 

Message from the President


Important information about Kinship Kampmeeting 2020...

VOLUNTEER WITH THE COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Are you stuck at home and have free time on your hands? The Kinship Communications Team is asking for volunteers to help us organize our resources, and plan for the future. We are looking for volunteers to:
  • Review and describe our list of resources
  • Review and Caption videos from previous Kampmeetings
  • Join our Social Media Team to curate and schedule content for future postings
  • Join the Publishing Team to curate and create content for the Connection magazine
  • Help translate content into other languages
  • Review areas of the Kinship website and provide feedback

Send an email to communications@sdakinship.org if you would like to volunteer!

KINSHIP ELECTION 2020

We are still planning to have our 2020 election of directors. However, because we won't be meeting in person for Kampmeeting, our schedule for elections (online) will be changed somewhat. Stay tuned for exact dates!
The following positions are open for election this year:

  • Vice-president
  • Treasurer
  • Director of Youth Interests (under age 30)
  • Director of Communications

If you have any interest in running for one of these positions, or if you know of another Kinship member who does, please send an email to nominations@sdakinship.org. Vice President Floyd Poenitz says: "Make a difference for LGBTQ+ Adventists who are coming to grips with what it means to wrestle with understanding faith and gender and orientation constructs by being part of the Kinship leadership."

If you want to know the Position Description for any or all of the above, please go to https://www.sdakinship.org/kinshipneedsyou.

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LET'S BE TENACIOUS

Today's world is a bit chaotic! A few weeks ago our political world was filled with various discussions, opinions, needs, and desires and gatherings. Our physical world was moving out of wintertime and looking forward to springtime with less snow, tornadoes, and rain, and more wildflowers and wonderful sunsets. Suitcases and hiking backpacks were coming out of their closets getting ready for fun trips, looking forward to cruises, vacations, school proms and graduations, and spring break.

Then suddenly our world changed! Our plans were dampened and some were washed away. The virus arrived and, with it, major changes to our plans, our lives, and our immediate futures.

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CHURCH RELATIONS UPDATE

When Seventh-day Adventist Kinship was founded more than 40 years ago, we could never have imagined the progress recently realized by the LGBTQI community. We are still seeing advances in cultural, legal, and personal acceptance in most societies.

Sadly and ironically, religious prejudice and intolerance is one of the last barriers we have to overcome. We are happy to report that the Kinship Advisory Council, made up of friends and allies throughout North America, is working to increase the awareness of Adventist members and congregations about the dignity and equality owed to all members of the LBGTQI community and their families. The Advisory includes pastors, professors, administrators, and lay members and is committed to making equality in the Adventist Church a reality. It has now been meeting annually for the last twenty years. The most recent meeting has sent recommendations to the Kinship Board for ways to engage the denomination in the coming year, along with a report of how members of the Advisory have been involved in supporting Kinship during the past year. Members of the Advisory were given a copy of the book, Unclobber, by Colby Martin.

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STAY HOME - STAY SAFE!

We are all experiencing a new way of life. We are hoping it is temporary, but we don't know exactly when this will end. In the meantime, please do all you can to help globally. Even if there are few or no reported cases where you live, please follow the safety guidelines that are being given. Limit your in-person contact with others and do self-quarantine as much as possible. Wash hands often and eat as healthfully as you can to prevent any illnesses that might be around during this season. Together we can come out of this crisis much stronger.

During this time, find new ways of keeping busy and helping others. Check on friends and loved ones and see if there is anything that is needed. Go to the Kinship website and check out our resources. There are tons of good videos and articles to read and share with friends, family, and pastors. Although the General Conference in Indianapolis has been postponed, we want to do some aggressive outreach programs to Adventist pastors and educators to invite them to learn more about SDA Kinship and our community of current and former Seventh-day Adventists who identify as LGBTQIA+.

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REHOBOTH MINI-KAMPMEETING

Unfortunately, it is necessary for us to postpone our Rehoboth mini-kampmeeting until perhaps the early fall, or possibly even next Spring. However, we are still planning to meet virtually for an abbreviated version of our retreat.

Stay tuned for more information. As we did for Region 2 vespers on Friday evening, let's all stay connected via Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, or whatever works best.

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Message from the President


As February comes to a close and March has arrived, it’s time for our scheduled Kinship Board of Directors' meeting. All officers, directors and leadership staff come together to discuss what Kinship has been doing since the last board meeting, make plans for future events and programs, discuss ways to keep our members more engaged and connected, and find ways to meet the needs of our members. We also discuss the finances of the organization and ways to fund the programs and events we have planned for 2020. 

It can be a daunting task as we come together and go through the prepared agenda. Historically, we’ve traveled to meet face to face. That, in itself, is a costly endeavor. And although it is by far the most effective way to go through our agenda and for various committees to meet together, it’s not always possible for many of our board members to do. If most of our board are unable to travel since everyone’s schedules need to align, we move to have a virtual board meeting. And that is how this upcoming board meeting will happen. 

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Message from the President


We just had a special election to fill the seat of recently deceased Congressman Elijah Cummings here in my county in Maryland.  I took my one Democratic resident and myself up to the local elementary school to vote.  It is such an important thing for all of us to do so that we all have a say as to how our county, our state, or our country is run.  If we don’t vote, I don’t think it’s our right to complain.  The only way things get changed is if we are willing to step up to help make the changes we want to see. 

That’s also the way I feel about Kinship.  It’s easy to comment on the things we don’t like about Kinship; but I feel that if we don’t like something about the way Kinship is going or being run, then we have a right to step up to help make the changes we want to see.  One way to do that is to run for an open position during our elections in July each year.  Another way is to lead a project or make suggestions for great projects you’d like to see Kinship undertake.  Maybe volunteer in your local group, region, or chapter.  If you have certain skill sets that you would be willing to share, donate some of your time to Kinship.  If you have the ability, donate towards a project or Kampmeeting scholarships or to our general fund to help Kinship continue to grow.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Many people deal with depression that can be amplified at this time of year because of the holidays. Some people find this is their least favorite time of the year because of loneliness, anxiety, grief, medical issues, big family or social events, and other kinds of stress.

When we have partners, siblings, or other family and friends to lean on, it can be a little bit easier to handle things like these or the pressures of the season. But what about those who have been disowned by their families and churches and have nowhere to turn nor anyone to turn to?

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


In July, SDA Kinship held its 40th annual Kinship Kampmeeting. It’s always a fantastic time to meet new folks, visit with those we see just this one time a year, and if we are lucky, reconnect with those who’ve not attended in many years too. I started thinking about what it is that keeps folks coming back each year and staying active in Kinship. What makes our members drift away or even leave under less than favorable circumstances?  

I came into Kinship at a time when I was coming to terms with my sexuality and my spirituality. I accepted my orientation as well as the fact that I was loved by God just as I am. And I have stayed active in this community ever since.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

In two weeks, we will gather near Portland, Oregon, for SDA Kinship’s 40th annual Kampmeeting! It is absolutely fantastic that Kinship has survived and grown into this amazing community of members from all around the world! And it started with just a few folks who wanted to connect with other gay and lesbian members from a Seventh-day Adventist background. Today we are many folks connecting with other LGBTIQ folks who are current or former Seventh-day Adventists or allies.

My very first Kampmeeting that I attended in 1995 was in Oregon. I remember vividly flying over all those beautiful evergreens as the plane approached Portland’s airport, feeling both excited and nervous to be flying somewhere I’d never been before and didn’t know a soul. John Wieland and Sherri Babcock picked me up from the airport. They were great people to send to help make a new member feel comfortable.

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Surf, Sand, and Sea… and Kinship!

by Ellen Henderson

Every spring, something very special happens on the Eastern Seaboard. Members of Region 2 (and friends) gather at a small beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, for some much-needed time of relaxation and fellowship.

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KINSHIP COLOMBIA


Colombia is a country located on the corner of South America, bathed by two oceans and crossed by a beautiful mountain range, full of valleys and deserts. This diversity can also be observed in our Kinship family that has flourished in three cities: Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. This year we will be starting the groups of Barranquilla and Bucaramanga, cities with a high Adventist presence in our country.

Kinship today has grown in fronts such as spirituality, healthy recreation, and healthy lifestyles, as well as support in the work of our members, all supported by some fronts of the Colombian state, which has provided spaces and resources for it.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


This past week has been a particularly difficult one for Kinship members in the United States and Kenya.

In the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system. It has only just moved on to the U.S. Senate, yet the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the North American Division have already cosigned a statement condemning it.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

I’ve just returned home from our annual Kinship Region 2 mini-Kampmeeting. Each year around this time, our region descends on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


If there was ever any question about racism in the Seventh-day Adventist church, one only has to look at the most recent Visitor, the magazine for Seventh-day Adventists in my union. The cover story is about Lucy Byard, a Black woman who converted to Adventism at the age of 25 in 1902.  She was one of only five Black women who pioneered the Adventist work in New York City. As an avid musician and cook, she entertained many great African-American Adventist pioneers, according to Dr. Benjamin Baker.

But in her mid-60s, Byard developed liver cancer. As she and her husband James considered which hospital to admit her to, they decided to go to the Washington Sanitarium in Takoma Park, Maryland, and they were approved ahead of time. When they arrived, though, they were turned away because they were Black. Before this, the hospital had allowed a few Black patients to be admitted, but only if they could be treated in the hospital basement by off-duty staff. The Byards were then sent to the Freedman’s Hospital, now Howard University Hospital, which served Black people. The hospital later said they didn’t realize the Byards were Black when they agreed to accept them.

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ADVENTIST SOCIOLOGIST SHARES HIS RESEARCH


Ron Lawson’s study of Adventism began in North America; and he spent a year driving 28,000 miles around the United States and Canada, interviewing pastors, teachers, administrators, leading laypersons, and students as he traveled. His itinerary included attending the General Conference session in New Orleans where he saw that the church was globalizing, and this caused him to broaden the scope of his research to include other divisions around the world. During his travels, he conducted over 4,000 interviews in 60 countries.

Until recently only academic sociologists have had access to most of his writing on the sociology of religion. Now you, too, can read them at RonaldLawson.net

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

I imagine many of you watched the Oscars the other night. Some viewers were interested in what the stars wore while others hoped that their favorite movie won Best Picture or their favorite artist won Best Actor. There are so many categories at these award shows that there’s something for everyone to root for.

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