KINSHIP COMMUNITY

 

Kinship organizes members into regions with the hope that people in each region will be able to connect locally and plan events throughout the year. Many of these regions have private Facebook and WhatsApp groups to provide more ways of communicating.

Around the WORLD
Africa
Social Media Groups:  Facebook  WhatsApp
Africa Regional Contact
spacerAfrican Leadership Team  email icon 35  
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events

Kenya
spacerRena Otieno  email icon 35
spacerSDA Kinship Kenya Website

Lesotho
spacer(Open)  email icon 35

Uganda
spacerJackson  email icon 35

South Africa  WhatsApp
spacerMark  email icon 35

Zimbabwe
spacerColbert  email icon 35

Asia
China
 (Includes Mainland China and Macao)
spacerPeter Reynolds  email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 Kinship Taiwan
Taiwan
spacerBraden email icon 35
 
Philippines
spacer(Open) email icon 35
 
Manila Chapter
spacer(Open) email icon 35
 
Indonesia
spacerVictor email icon 35
 
Malaysia/Singapore
spacerAdam email icon 35
 
South Korea
spacerKC email icon 35
Australia / New Zealand
Social Media Groups:  Facebook  WhatsApp
Australia/New Zealand 
Leadership Team email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
Melbourne Chapter email icon 35
Coming  Events
There are no up-coming events

Perth Chapter email icon 35

Kinship Australia Quuensland Chapter
Queensland Chapter email icon 35

Sydney Chapter email icon 35

Victoria Chapter email icon 35
Brazil
Brasil CoordintorSocial Media Groupsfb icon WhatsApp instagram
Coordinator
spacerItamar Matos (Ita) email icon 35  Facebookspacer
spacerLocation:  Brasília - DF 
spacerPhone:  +55 61 3034-7946 (Casa)
spacerspacerspacer  +55 61 9292-5773 (Cel) 
spacerSkype:  fellowdfbr
Coming Events


Communications Coordinator
spacer(Open)  email icon 35

Brasil Family Friends

Family & Friends Coordinators
spacerEva Marinotti  & Margarete Lirio  email icon 35

Brasil Women

Women's Coordinators
spacerKenia Pacifico & Natalia Caballero  email icon 35

 Youth Coordinator
spacerItamar Matos (Ita) email icon 35 

North Brazil Chapter 
  (AC, AP, AM, PA, RO, RR, TO)
spacer(Open)
 email icon 35

Brasil Northeast
Northeast Brazil Chapter 
  (BA, SE, AL, PE, PB, RN, CE, PI, MA)
spacerDado Dellono & Norton Cardoso
 email icon 35

Brasil MidwestMidwest Brazil Chapter 
  (DF, GO, MS, MT)
spacerAnderson Amorim & Walter Almeida email icon 35


Paraná Chapter 
spacer(Open)  email icon 35

Brasil Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro Chapter 
spacerGabriel Tardin, Victor Cunha  email icon 35
spacer& Bruno Pimentel 

Brasil Sao PauloSão Paulo Chapter 
spacerThiago Oliverttos & Felipe Maciel email icon 35 

 South Brazil Chapter 
   (PR, RS, SC)
spacer(Open) email icon 35

 Southeast Brazil Chapter 
   (SP, RJ, ES, MG)
spacer(Open email icon 35

Canada
Canada Eaestern
Eastern Canada  
(Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
spacerJerry McKay 
email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Canada Western
Western Canada  
(British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan)
spacerDebbie Hawthorn-Toop  email icon 35
  
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events

Canada Western Alberta
Alberta Chapter
spacerKen Clarke & Debbie Hawthorn-Toop email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
Vancouver BC Chapter
spacer(Open email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events

Caribbean
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
Cuba
spacerAugust P email icon 35
 
Jamaica
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Peurto Rico
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Central America
Central America Leadership Team email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 Belize email icon 35
 
Costa Rico
spacerAlvaro Acosta email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  Costa Rica 

spacerPhone:  +506-8902-0617 (Cel)
 
El Salvador
spacerJosué Hernandez email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  El Salvador 
spacerPhone:  +503-7737-8105 (Cel)
 
Guatemala
spacerSergio Bonilla email icon 35
 
Honduras email icon 35
 
Nicaragua email icon 35
 
Panama
spacerAlvaro Acosta email icon 35  fb icon
spacerPhone:  +50686570428
 
Europe
Kinship Europe
Social Media Groups: Facebook WhatsApp
European Coordinator
spacerRuud Kieboom  email icon 35
Coming  Events
There are no up-coming events
European Youth Coordinator
spacer(Open) email icon 35  

kinshipfrance en

France 
WhatsApp instagram
spacerClinger de Almeida  email icon 35
Coming  Events
 
Kinship GermanyGermany WhatsApp
spacerTanja Koppers  email icon 35 
Coming  Events

Kinxhip Nederland Region Coordinator
Nederland
spacerRuud Kieboom  email icon 35
 
England 
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook WhatsApp
spacerLeadership Team email icon 35  

London Chapter
spacerAdrian  email icon 35
 
Manchester Chapter
spacerOrnette  email icon 35  

Spain
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook
spacerVictorio  email icon 35
♥ Bienvenido a SDA Kinship en España. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International es una organización de apoyo dedicada a lo espiritual, emocional, social y el bienestar físico de los adventistas actuales y anteriores del séptimo día que son lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y transexuales (LGBT). Creemos que todos somos creados a imagen de Dios y que nadie debe ser maltratado o discriminado a causa de sus diferencias de orientación sexual. Kinship es una organización de voluntarios que defiende los derechos humanos de todas las personas.◊
♥ Bienvenido a SDA Kinship en España. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International es una organización de apoyo dedicada a lo espiritual, emocional, social y el bienestar físico de los adventistas actuales y anteriores del séptimo día que son lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y transexuales (LGBT). Creemos que todos somos creados a imagen de Dios y que nadie debe ser maltratado o discriminado a causa de sus diferencias de orientación sexual. Kinship es una organización de voluntarios que defiende los derechos humanos de todas las personas.◊
♥ Benvingut a SDA Kinship a Espanya. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International és una organització de suport dedicada a l'espiritual, emocional, social i el benestar físic dels adventistes actuals i anteriors del setè dia que són lesbianes, gais, bisexuals i transsexuals (LGBT). Creiem que tots som creats a imatge de Déu i que ningú ha de ser maltractat o discriminat a causa de les seves diferències d'orientació sexual. Kinship és una organització de voluntaris que defensa els drets humans de totes les persones.◊
♥ Benvido á SDA Kinship en España. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship Internationall é unha organización dedicada á defensa, emocional, benestar físico e social espiritual dos adventistas actuais e antigos do sétimo día que son gays, lesbianas, bisexuais e transexuais (LGBT). Cremos que todos son creados á imaxe de Deus e que ninguén debe ser maltratados ou discriminados por mor das súas diferenzas de orientación sexual. O kinship é unha organización voluntaria que defende os dereitos humanos de todas as perso◊
♥ Ongi etorri SDA Espainian Kinship. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International. da, espirituala, emozionala, soziala eta fisikoa Adventistas egungo ohia eta Zazpigarren eguneko diren lesbiana, gay, bisexual eta transexualen (LGBT) ongizateari eskainitako Sustapen erakunde bat. Guztiak ez daudela, Jainkoaren irudi eta inork ez tratu txarrak izan behar da edo diskriminatuta bere orientazio sexuala desberdintasunak sortu dela uste dugu. Kinship boluntario erakundea dela defendatzen du pertsona guztien giza eskubideak da.◊
Mexico
Social Media Groups: fb icon WhatsApp
spacerCoordinator:
spacerMemo Guillermo Prior email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events

South America
Latin America Coordinator
 
  Social Media Groups:  instagram  
spacerAugust P. email icon 35  fb icon 
spacerLocation: Caracas
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
KinYouth Coordinator Español
spacerAugust P. email icon 35  fb icon 
spacerLocation: Caracas   
 
kinship argentina en
Argentina
 
  Social Media Groups:  fb icon
spacerDario Franscovia and Claudio Mattias  email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  San Vicente, Misiones 
spacerPhone:  +54 9 3755 241075 (Darío)
spacerspacerspacer +54 9 3755 391866 (Claudio)
 
Bolivia
spacerJulio Leyva email icon 35
spacerLocation:  Lima, Perú
spacerPhone:  +51 999-676-122 (Cel)
 
Chile
   Social Media Groups:  fb icon
spacerJosué Delgado & Eva Reyes Zúñiga  email icon 35  
spacerLocation: Santiago
spacerPhone:  +56-931941160 (Josué)  +56-986300805 (Eva)
 
Kinship Colombia

Colombia
   
Social Media Groups:  fb icon instagram
spacerJohny Ochoa email icon 35  fb icon
spacer
Location:  Bogotá 
spacerPhone: +57 300 5288170 (Cel)
Coming Events
Bogotá Chapter
   Coming Soon! email icon 35

Medellín Chapter
   Coming Soon! email icon 35

Cartagena Chapter
   Coming Soon! email icon 35
 
Ecuador
spacerAugust P. email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  Caracas 
 
Paraguay
spacerAugust P. email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  Caracas 
 
Peru
spacerJulio Leyva email icon 35
spacerLocation:  Lima, Perú
spacerPhone:  +51 999-676-122 (Cel)

 
Uruguay
spacerDario Franscovia and Claudio Mattias email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  San Vicente, Misiones 
spacerPhone: +54 9376-414-5918(Cel)

 
Venezuela
spacerAugust P. email icon 35  fb icon
spacerLocation:  Caracas 
 
 


Is there another group you would like to see within the Kinship community? 

Let us know, help us find a leader, or you can volunteer to get the group started.

United States - REGIONS
Region 1
US Region1
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, & Vermont
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook 
      Region Coordinator:
         David Thaxton, Angel Rivera email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Massachusetts
Boston Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
New York
US Region1 NYCNew York City Chapter  WhatsApp
spacerJoshua email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Region 2
US Region 2
D.C., Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, & West Virginia
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook  WhatsApp
     Region Coordinator:
spacer  Yolanda Elliott email icon 35  
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
US Region 2 MarylandDC
Maryland & Washington, DC
Maryland-DC Chapter
spacerYolanda Elliott email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
 
North Carolina
Asheville Chapter
spacer(Open) email icon 35
 
Region 3
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, & Tennessee
   Social Media Groups: Facebook   
      Region Coordinator:
spacer   Andrew Rester email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Florida
   Social Media Groups: Facebook
Central Florida Chapter
spacerErick & Steven email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
Greater Miami Chapter
spacerRoberto email icon 35
 
US Region 3 SouthwestFloridaChapter
Southwest Florida Chapter
spacerJuan email icon 35
 
Georgia
Atlanta Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Tennessee
Chattanooga Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Region 4
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,  Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, & Wisconsin
   Social Media Groups: Facebook      
      Region Coordinator:
spacer   (Open
email icon 35
 Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Missouri
St. Louis Chapter
spacerEdgar Umana email icon 35
 
Michigan
Michigan Chapter
spacerTami Doty email icon 35
 
Andrews University Chapter
spacerJuanita email icon 35
 
Region 5
US Region 5
Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana,Oklahoma, & Texas
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook   
      Region Coordinator
spacer   Floyd Poenitz email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Texas
Region 5 North Texas Chapter
North Texas Chapter 
    
Social Media GroupsFacebook  WhatsApp Logo 2 
spacerFloyd Poenitz email icon 35 
spacer(Floyd lives in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth)
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
Region 6
• Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota,  South Dakota, Utah, & Wyoming
   Social Media Groups:   
spacerRegion 
Coordinator:
spacer   (Open
email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Colorado
Boulder/Denver Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Nebraska
Lincoln Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
New Mexico
Albuquerque Chapter
spacer(Openemail icon 35
 
Region 7
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, & Washington
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook   
      Region 
Coordinator:
spacer   (Open
email icon 35
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Washington
Seattle Chapter
spacerChristina email icon 35
 
US Region Chapter 7 walla walla valley
Walla Walla Valley Chapter
spacerTerry email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events

Oregon
US Region Chapter 7 Portland
Portland Chapter
spacerGrant, & Tara email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
 
 
Region 8
Northern California, Hawaii, & Nevada
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook
      Region Coordinator:
spacer   Obed Vazquez-Ortiz email icon 35  
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Northern California
Sacramento Chapter
spacerNorma email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
 US Region San Francisco Chapter
San Francisco Chapter
spacerPeter email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
Region 9
Arizona & Southern California
   Social Media Groups:  Facebook
   Region Coordinator:
spacer(Openemail icon 35  
 
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
US Region 9 inlandempire
Inland Empire Chapter
spacerGabriel & Chase email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
Los Angeles Chapter
spacer(Open)email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events


US Region 9 Palm Springs
Palm Springs Chapter
spacerJoc Anderson email icon 35
Chapter Events
There are no up-coming events
 
 





More ways to CONNECT
Español

SDA Kinship International es una organización de apoyo voluntario que aboga por los derechos humanos de cada individuo. Creemos que toda persona es creada a la imagen de Dios y que nadie debe ser maltratado o discriminado por su orientación sexual. SDA Kinship International es una organización de apoyo voluntario que aboga por los derechos humanos de cada individuo. Creemos que toda persona es creada a la imagen de Dios y que nadie debe ser maltratado o discriminado por su orientación sexual. A través de la educación, el apoyo, y la reconciliación, Kinship International, Inc. facilita y promueve la comprensión y aceptación de los Adventistas GLTB entre ellos mismos y dentro de la comunidad mundial de la Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día. http://www.sdakinship.org

Social Media Groups:  fb icon

    Coordinator:
    August P. email icon 35 
Próximos eventos
There are no up-coming events

Family and Friends
US Family Friends Coordinators
Social Media Groupsfb icon
    Coordinators:
    John and Carolyn Wilt email icon 35  
Coming Events
There are no up-coming events
 
Discovering a relative is LGBTIQ+ can be emotional, difficult, and complex. While walking, or having walked this path before, members of SDA Kinship’s family community have used their experience and knowledge to develop strong, safe paths of communication between themselves and their LGBTIQ+ family members, even when disagreements linger. 
 
They are available and happy to share their stories and experiences.
 
If someone in your family is LQBTIQ+ and you are currently struggling with how to best love your LQBTIQ+ family member and reconcile that with your Seventh-day Adventist or Christian beliefs, or if you have already made progress on that journey, SDA Kinship’s Family Community welcomes you and wants to support you on your journey.
 
Join Kinship as a Family Member or Friend/Straight Ally here!

 
A FEW USEFUL RESOURCES
FAMILY & FRIENDS BLOG POSTS
FAMILY & FRIENDS MONTHLY ROUNDTABLE ZOOM DISCUSSION

wiltsOur monthly roundtable discussions are beginning to connect and, hopefully, provide a beneficial and personal time to meet and share around the Kinship world. Each discussion has increased in attendance and participation, thanks to all of you all who have joined us.

Last Sunday our roundtable was enriched with Pastor Kris and Debbie Widmer’s thoughts and comments regarding “The Fiddler on the Roof” movie/musical and its very meaningful songs and dialogue about adjusting to life-impacting changes. There was excellent participation and comments from many of those who joined the table. If you didn’t join us, you missed Pastor Kris’ modification of the meaningful closing song - somehow Walla Walla,  Loma Linda, La Sierra, and other traditional Adventist locations were woven into the song. It was a great closure to a good discussion regarding traditions, change, and family. 

We look forward to more Family & Friends folks providing other ideas, songs, poems, etc. to help us all discuss and enrich our outreach to LGBTQ+ families. The roundtables are scheduled for the 3rd Sunday of each month, starting at 9:30 AM Pacific Time Zone, lasting a maximum of 90 minutes. This roundtable is open to all Kinship members so we can have meaningful ideas and thoughts for all folks to consider and discuss.

It has been exciting and refreshing to have members from across the United States, Europe, Latin and South America, and Africa join and participate. You are welcome to stay “invisible”  (just use a number or nickname), and if you prefer to stay silent you are welcome to text (chat) thoughts, comments, or questions directly to Carolyn and John and we will weave them into the discussion without sharing their sources. 

We look forward to connecting with all interested members and friends on October 18. Join the roundtable and help Kinship support families in their LGBTQ+ journeys.

Blessings to all,

John & Carolyn Wilt, Coordinators
SDA Kinship Family & Friends
family-friends@sdakinship.org

GREETINGS FROM DISCOVERY BAY...

wilts

Greetings from Discovery Bay in Washington state! We are sitting in our timeshare gazing at the smooth waters of the Puget Sound. It’s warmer than usual but at least the air is smoke free. We left California last week in dense smoke and fires. 

We are miles from our files and folders of information to weave into this monthly sharing, so it will be a bit shorter and less complex than our previous writings. 

Carolyn and I deeply appreciate all of you members that are joining our monthly Zoom discussions. It’s been heartwarming to greet folks from around the world: Brazil, Europe, Africa, and across our United States. Your participation, comments, and sharing are valuable and very meaningful to others. Please stay connected and urge others to join, too. 

We fully desire for these Zoom discussions to grow and deepen in meaningful subjects, presenters, and members. 

If you have a subject you would like discussed, please email us the subject and your desires. 

If one of you has a great video, information, or material to share, connect with us and share your desires.  

If you have someone that would like to share pertinent information, again connect us so we can weave it into our discussions. 

You don’t have to lead the discussion—we are comfortable facilitating—but you are certainly welcome to share your thoughts and feelings as others do, too. 

We are working on a “surprise” topic for our September 20 discussion. Hopefully, we’ll have more on that soon as we iron out details.

It’s exciting to see all the new members joining Kinship, and we urge them to share about Kinship’s Family & Friends (F&F) connections, too: all moms and dads, siblings, grandparents, and aunts and uncles are welcome. 

F&F has several goals and focuses. The major one is to help all family members to understand themselves, their feelings and emotions, then to understand each other and their feelings and emotions, then to grow loving bridges of communication and acceptance with all willing family members.

Carolyn and I enjoy visiting museums; and often we see complex, beautiful, colorful wall coverings woven with many different colored and textured fibers. These macramés cleverly and uniquely share scenes of history or nature. All LGBTQ+ families deserve their own family macramé; and as each member starts caring and sharing, they will discover new threads of new colors, new scenes of being family; and over time they will create their own unique and meaningful family life wall covering. 

Please join and support Kinship F&F and start your new wall covering of your family.

Blessings to all,

John & Carolyn Wilt, Coordinators
Kinship Family & Friends

ONLY IF WE UNDERSTAND...

wilts

Recently I read an article sharing the successful accomplishments a primatologist had made over her lifelong desire and goal to help chimpanzees survive and expand. Early in her career, we had the joy of spending a couple of days with her as she shared with college students and later in two public conferences.

We were impressed with her energy and eagerness to make major changes in Africa; but Jane Goodall was young, uneducated, and just beginning her lifelong journey. 

This article focused on a belief she discovered and successfully used to accomplish those major changes. Her belief was and is:

Only if we understand will we care,

Only if we care will we help,

Only if we help shall all be saved!

As I absorbed those thoughts, I truly recognized the growth in her success model from our early meetings and that the three-line message summarized her 60 years of helping people worldwide successfully understand, care, and help. Those are Carolyn’s and my goals also for Kinship Family & Friends (F&F).  

Our Kinship Family & Friends group can work together to help each other, and help new members understand the many factors and factions in our family's LGBT+ world. When we are successful in sharing various ways of understanding, our enriched Family and Friends members can then create and will grow different ways of caring. As we deepen various caring outreaches, we will discover families and friends who have been helped to understand, care, and help themselves and, hopefully, other families.  

To “understand” or “understanding” are two complex and powerful words which can be challenging to accept. Webster’s dictionary defines “understand” as to perceive the meaning; to take as meant; interpret; to take as fact; to have a sympathetic rapport with; to be informed, believe! And “understanding” adds “the power to think and learn, intelligence; a specific interpretation; a mutual agreement especially one that settles differences.

To “care” or “be caring” also have complex and emotional meanings. Again Webster states that “care” includes close attention to need; a liking or regard (for); custody, protection; a responsibility.Caring” includes to feel concern; to feel love or a liking (for); to look after or provide (for); to wish or want.

Let’s take a look at “help” or “helpful.” To “help” meanings are to make things easier or better; to aid, to assist; to serve or wait; to give aid; to be useful, and “helpful” is giving help - being useful. (I originally included “helping” but the dictionary tells me that means “a portion of food served to one person”!) 😊  😊

We hope in our various F&F communications with each other and together in Zoom discussions we can use these three key focuses to understand, care, and help. As we explore “understandings” we need to include topical areas of how we learned, how our brains accept or question information and situations, and how we can update or alter beliefs and understandings.

As we explore care and caring we need to include our emotions and feelings; again, a major function of our brains’ learnings and knowledge. We are very complex beings functionally, emotionally, and personally; and the verified variations among us hopefully are open for discussion and acceptance

And, finally, our acts of helpfulness will be variable and changeable for the many different needs and situations our families and friends encounter as we reach out in different cultures, different languages, and variable faith acceptances and resistances. 

Although Jane Goodall’s focus was much less complicated and narrower than our Kinship F&F LGBT+ challenges, her three-sentence road map is very accurate, meaningful, and legitimate for us to follow also.  

Help Family & Friends create and implement successful understandings, meaningful and worthwhile carings, and valuable and timely ways to help and be helpful.

Remember our motto: “Jesus never looked the other way—and neither should we!”

Please join our monthly Zoom group discussions. You can also always contact us directly for specific questions, discussions, and ideas at family-friends@sdakinship.org. Help us make Family & Friends meaningful and successful.

Our virtual hugs and blessings to all Kinship members. Together we can understand, care, and be helpful.

ZOOM CONNECTIONS

wiltsWe humans enjoy connecting. We connect with family members on special occasions. Many of us enjoyed the weekly connections with friends at Sabbath services when they were allowed, and we look forward to returning to those times again.

Connecting allows us to catch up on each other’s lives—travels, special occasions, celebrations—or give support to others during stressful times. We get to share new information, maybe new places to visit, learn new information, or give support that someone else needs. That’s how we can enrich someone else’s life and, in turn, have our own lives enriched and improved. Connecting in person is valuable because you can sense each other’s joys and challenges and give hugs and personal responses. In-person, connections are great.   

Being separated by distance and time can make connecting more difficult. Remember the days you waited for a letter to arrive in the mail, a handwritten piece of life from a dear family member or friend? Then the telephone became popular and available and you didn’t have to stop at a payphone to call someone. I remember our first home phone was a party line with three neighbors; we all knew each other’s business!

Then the internet arrived, and we suddenly were connecting quickly across the state, country, or overseas with hand-held mobile phones. Connecting and communicating became easy and available.

Recently a virus appeared and quickly changed our standard ways of connecting and sharing. Suddenly we couldn’t be together, we couldn’t give hugs, we couldn’t see each other in person, and a new tool arrived to help us connect: ZOOM gatherings!

Carolyn and I are beginning to use ZOOM to connect with our SDA Kinship Family and Friends. We strongly desire to create a monthly ZOOM conference where all family members, friends, and Kinship members can gather, meet, share, and discuss valuable topics. Each conference will last at least one hour but no longer than 90 minutes.  

Our June conference had two Kinship allies from Europe, a pastor and a college professor. We had a retired General Conference attorney, several mothers, several Kinship leaders, and a gay female ex-pastor who is writing a book about her life and its challenges. 

We desire to address all topics and questions that anyone and everyone gives us. We are thinking about taking a topic and preparing a video pre-conference so everyone can watch it and develop their thoughts, comments, and questions for discussion at the live ZOOM session.

If you desire to be “unseen” you can be and are very welcome. We have several purposes. There is considerable useful and accurate information to share regarding LGBT+ families, faith, relationships, needs, and desires. With certain topics, we desire to have specialists in those areas be part of the taped presentation as well as part of the live discussions. 

Carolyn and I are not experts in many areas, but we are good facilitators to help us safely and successfully explore many sensitive areas. Our goal is to create a strong, broad group of family and friends to support our Kinship members and their families. We strongly desire to create a safe “family room discussion atmosphere” where new families experiencing the LGBT+ life phases have a comfortable place to share and receive genuine and valuable information, suggestions, and support.

Please feel free to share any ideas, topics, and questions you would like to discuss.

CONNECTING :)

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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?? How do you feel when a scheduled gathering is canceled or you can’t attend?

Recently many of us have experienced those feelings with our COVID-19 challenges of “stay at home” or “follow the social distancing” recommendations. Yes, the virus has caused immediate and very close difficulties for many of us. We can’t visit dear family members suddenly isolated in a hospital room for non-virus health issues. Or maybe you’ve lost a family member to a non-virus disease or other health issues, and you can’t even be with them or support your family members.

Being “disconnected” can be painful and emotionally impactive. Our feelings can run deep through separation and rejection. Many of us are feeling the results of separation and loss which we have no control over.

Today’s emotional challenges may be a real glimpse into the same emotional feelings and challenges LGBT+ families encounter often. As mentioned above, we human beings enjoy connecting with each other. We naturally experience many energizing responses inside ourselves—in our thoughts, emotions, and responses. We can feel happy and excited to be connected.

But if we are confused about a relationship—if we don’t fully understand a family member’s desires, beliefs, and behaviors—our connections can become bruised and even broken. Those uplifting feelings, those happy warm emotions turn cool—even cold. We can feel lost, and the misunderstood family member can feel rejected and helpless!

Both sides may wonder what to do, how to safely connect and grow rather than sever a desired family relationship and lose potential healing connections. Although each family is made up of individuals with unique genes and learnings, if we desire to learn and understand how each of us does feel and think, we can connect with other people and other families and be open to their experiences, growth, and acceptance.

Today Kinship LGBT+ members have created strong bridges of communication with each other around the world. And our Kinship Family & Friends members need to see the value in connecting with each other and helping ourselves understand many complicated and, possibly different, ideas and thoughts that can and will benefit ourselves and our families.

The positive art of connecting is flexible and variable; but together moms and dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins can connect, share, and learn from each other. Working together, we can recover our intimate family connections and see our families bloom into healthy families.

Our Family & Friends ZOOM call on Sunday, June 14 is our start to meet new family members, our start to learn how to communicate and share safely, our start to help ourselves and our families grow into supportive, accepting, and loving people.

We look forward to CONNECTING on SUNDAY, JUNE 14. Save the date on your calendars! More details will follow for your safe connection and beneficial participation.

CONNECT - SHARE - SUPPORT

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Kinship Family & Friends wants to become experts and promoters of those three actions. 
Carolyn and John strongly believe that by CONNECTING all interested Family & Friends members we can enrich and enlarge our support and participation in Kinship's goals to make life better for all of its members and their willing family members. Imagine doubling or tripling active involvement of LGBTQ+ family members within their own families, with other families, and with other Kinship members. 

Once we are connected and know each other better, we can establish different lines of communication so we can SHARE family life situations and solutions with each other. Carolyn and John have over 25 years of experience and involvement with their gay son and his life. In addition, they have also connected and become friends and supporters of more gay and lesbian friends, transgender friends, and a few other LGBTQ+ folks. Imagine the personal knowledge and support we have collectively between all Kinship Family & Friends members! 

As we become familiar and comfortable sharing personal experiences, excellent articles and studies, valuable books, TV programs, and movies, we can help other families. We know a couple of pastors that have quietly asked their congregations, "How many of you have an LGBTQ+ family member, maybe not a son or daughter, but a niece or nephew, grandchild, cousin, brother, or sister?" Answers range between 40-45%, and that's just folks who know. How many silent families also exist in our congregations? Carolyn and John are comfortable that at least 50% of our congregation and faith friends probably have one or more LGBTQ+ family members; and we all know the stresses, confusions, emotions, and loneliness that can occur. 

This leads us to the third action to SUPPORT those families as we all walk along through our own family journey. None of us are experts with all the correct medical, psychological, or theological professional answers—if they even exist—but we all are parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and grandparents. We do have real-life experiences with successes and mistakes.

So by connecting, sharing, and supporting, we can develop useful bridges of communication and understandings. Together we can make new friends, learn new ideas and information, and help more families grow loving, understanding, and accepting. 

Please feel free to comment and add to this concept. How would you like to connect? What useful ideas and suggestions popped into your mind as you read this? 

LET'S START CONNECTING!

LET'S BE TENACIOUS!


wiltsToday'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.

So what? We can overcome it! God has given each of us the ability to be tenacious, to be strong and accepting of our temporary "new" world.

One day our gay son Aric discovered a tree near our lakeside cabin in the California High Sierras. This 80-feet tall pine tree stood boldly upright on a 20-foot tall granite ledge. It only had two roots to feed it and hold it upright. One root grew toward the mountain into rich soil and rocks. The second root snaked its way back and forth, over and down the face of the ledge. It was over 30 feet long, almost 2 feet in diameter, and at its far end it dropped straight down about 5 feet into its rich soil.

Aric came back to the cabin and said, "Mom and Dad, I've got something neat to show you." And he drove us back over to "the tree." We walked up and studied "the tree." He and I climbed up the ledge and found the back good root, then we came back to the front and examined the bold exploring root. Wow, it had worked hard to find food for its tree!

Aric said, "Mom and Dad, this is my tenacious tree. It reflects my life and our family life!"

He was correct. As I've studied the word tenacious, I found that it fit our family's needs. And today it also fits our Kinship Family & Friends' needs.

Tenacious can mean "holding firmly" like that root held its tree firmly to the ground and granite ledge. As Kinship members and family and friends members, we can also purposely hold firmly to each other, to support each other, to even be roots of emotional and loving support to each other and keep ourselves and our families upright and firm.

Tenacious can also mean being stubborn and persistent. Again, I'm sure that tenacious root was stubborn and persistent when the strong winds tried to blow it's tree over, tried to end it's life; but the root wouldn't let go—it hung on! Sometimes when the winds of hate and misunderstanding try and blow us over, insult our members and bruise our families, we can also support each other and not let go either.

Another tenacious definition reflects on being strongly cohesive or adhesive. Through tenacity, we can stick together and support each other. Don't give up and let anyone or anything pry you away from your family and friends. Sadly, we still have many folks that honestly don't understand. They still believe what they've been incorrectly taught, and only our loving tenacity can start to change their feelings and beliefs.

Finally, tenacity is also being retentive: the ability to retain or remember. So as you think about your own lives, your own families, your own life experiences, search out the positive and fun memories, recall and share those tenacious memories. They are great tools and emotional triggers to make a moment or maybe a day brighter and survivable.

Thanks, Aric, for finding your tenacious tree. Your thoughts and feelings about it were right on. Today our family memorial plaque for Aric still sits below that tenacious root. If you ever visit the June Lake Loop, off of highway 395 in Mono County, let us know and we'll tell you how to find the tenacious tree.

Blessings to all, and happy tenacity!

FEELINGS & EMOTIONS

 

familyFeelings are the world’s universal language. Do you have feelings? Do you know where they come from? Or what caused them? Do they impact your life? Are they important to you and your life? YES should have been your answer for every question. Our feelings are us. They reflect where we are emotionally at the time we felt them.

And if you think a moment about feelings, have you noticed that everyone has them no matter who they are or where they are? People around the world laugh in the same way. They giggle or explode with laughter when something funny occurs in their sight or mind or hearing. We also cry and feel bad when something sad happens in our lives.

Each of us, as a person, is impacted daily by our feelings. Our feelings are also alive and well in our relationships with others and their relationship with us. Our partners, our families, our friends, and our enemies all generate feelings when we interact, some great, some just good, some sad, and some really create anger and hate. That’s us. That’s our feelings. And to live better lives, have better relationships and better family communication, we need to understand where feelings come from. We need to understand what they mean to each of us.  

Our feelings are us. Just like my brain is me. I am my brain. My feelings are me. I am my feelings. Some folks don’t agree when we share those statements on a marriage encounter weekend. But over 40 years and several hundred weekends we have personally watched thousands of husbands and wives discover their feelings, learn to share and accept each other’s feelings, and often see their acceptances of each other. Their understandings of each other become acceptable and even desired as they personally learned how to find feelings, share feelings safely, build safe communication bridges between each other, and bond together in loving support. 

Marriage encounter basically focuses on husbands and wives, but we urge them to share their new communication tools with their children, and we’ve had many share how successful their family communications became. Carolyn and I believe very strongly and emotionally that these tools will be very useful for our Kinship members and their families.   We want to teach and share about feelings, emotions, and personalities, creating safe bridges of communication within a family, with the goal of helping all family members understand and connect with all their willing family members. Our family communication workshop is almost ready for use.

Let’s stop a few minutes and chat about feelings. What are feelings? Our Adventist theologist taught they were right and wrong, correctable good ones and devil-imposed bad ones. Our pastors had a difficult time accepting the real fact that “feelings are an instantaneous reaction to a person, place, or situation.” They are not right or wrong! They are how our brains react to various stimulus. 

Feelings and their companion emotions are a new, vibrant topic being discovered in all relationships. Imagine a world without feelings! There would be no glue to bind humans together; life would be colorless and isolated. It was an honor to spend time with our Kenya Kinship members at Kampmeeting last summer. We laughed and cried over the same topics, over the same successes and challenges. Sharing feelings was a common communication tool that worked smoothly and successfully. We laughed and hugged throughout the Kampmeeting as they shared their journeys. Feelings are the same worldwide; languages are not. 

Let’s learn about our feelings. Some of us must search for them. Others have them handy and visible. Let’s become comfortable finding them and sharing them. We can all grow stronger, visible, and successful in our desire and goal to enrich families, especially new families, as they find our Kinship path and join our journey.

Look forward to hearing from anyone with their feelings, thoughts, suggestions, and comments.        

KINSHIP FAMILY & FRIENDS DESIRES


wiltsCarolyn and I felt honored and humbled when we were invited to become coordinators of the Kinship Family & Friends activities. We have been loving and supporting members along with our gay son Aric for many years. Unfortunately, he lived in New York City so we didn’t physically attend together.

Over the years of enjoyable participation, we have always felt warmly welcomed but often, after attending a Kampmeeting, we drove away wondering if we had helped the members in any way ... oh we shared great stories ... we laughed and cried over challenging moments ... we all had fun BUT...

.... what about the families that weren’t there ... what about the friends who weren’t sure they should attend too ... what about the moms and dads ... brothers and sisters ... aunts and uncles ... grandparents ... how do we reach out to them and help them want to accept ... attend ... and embrace the Kinship journey and their family members?

The Board asked us to create “our” program for Board review and acceptance. We did and they accepted. Let us briefly share our desires which will turn into goals as we formalize each area. Carolyn and I feel strongly about helping “ families” gain knowledge and understanding of the “LGBTIQ universe” ... (that’s John’s term) ... but he sees our human world as a large, complex, dynamic universe .... with many different swirling bodies made up of different ingredients .. beliefs ... opinions ... and feelings ... and focusing on the need to create and activate understanding and acceptance of our Kinship universe.

Also, we believe strongly about helping families build and maintain healthy family relationships. As we help family members understand and accept ... hopefully, we can help all members accept and absorb all feelings of life and love from all family members. We understand the challenges that can occur ... but we also have some excellent tools for finding and sharing feelings that can yield wonderful results. Feelings are the strongest internal ingredient each one of us has ... but finding them ... learning to share them effectively ... and accepting them is a gift that each one of us can do if we want to. Another goal is to help Kinship members and supporters learn those tools.

John, the scientist, also believes we need to create, assemble, and provide an accurate, trustable resource library of information ... programs ... interviews ... and other communications that all members can access for their specific needs. This “library” will also be available to any person or family reaching into Kinship for understanding and support. We feel strongly that concerned, confused, and even scared and depressed family members need a comfortable, safe, understanding, and available place to enter and explore. We have visited our present collection of information but, personally, believe it could become more interactive ... more personable for our own SDA universe ... even more, effective to every visitor.

As this activity matures and grows ... we dream of 1,000s of safe family rooms across the country where “new” families can come ... relax ... ask questions ... gain knowledge and support ... and hopefully, create strong bonds of understanding and love with their family member ... Of course, we also want to reach out and reconnect with Kinship families already knowledgeable and supporting ... because their family rooms may start to bring this dream true. 

Also please feel comfortable and free to offer new dreams ... ideas ... comments ... suggestions ... Carolyn and I are only the coordinators of this part of Kinship ... we do need your support too. Thanks for letting us be part of your Kinship movement ... Kinship is important ... sacred ... meaningful ... and appropriate.

Kinship Seniors

The “Golden Years” can be challenging. You may find yourself free from the daily grind of work and parenting, but you’re likely also dealing with increased financial pressure, health problems, and social disconnection. LGBTIQ seniors often find these challenges magnified.

Kinship Seniors aims to provide mutual support by providing information and lively discussions in a welcoming environment. Many LGBTIQ seniors grew up in a time when homosexuality was a crime and considered a mental illness. Sometimes LGBTIQ seniors deal with people in terms of their finances, medical care, or housing, and continue those old practices of keeping a part of yourself private for safety’s sake.

Kinship Seniors on Facebook provides a safe place to connect and share. Kinship Kampmeeting will also provide opportunities to provide social connections and focused presentations that will provide helpful support.

Social Media Groupsfb icon

      Kinship Seniors Coordinator:
      Andrew Dykstra  email icon 35  

Men

KinMen provides a safe place for men to support each other, and share life experiences.

Social Media Groups:  fb icon

    Coordinator:
    (Open) email icon 35 

Transgender / Intersex

These groups provide a safe place for transgender and intersex members to support each other and share life experiences.

Social Media Groups:  fb icon

    Transgender Coordinator:
    Randi  email icon 35  

    Intersex Coordinator:
    Carolyn  email icon 35  

Women

KinWomen provides a safe place for women to support each other, and share life experiences.

Social Media Groups
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    Director of Women's Interests:
    Debbie Hawthorn-Toop email icon 35  

Youth

Director of Youth Inrterests

Social Media Groupsfb icon

      Director of Youth Interests:
      Nathan Hilton  email icon 35  

Kinship's collegiate/young adult group welcomes those who are under the age of 30, LGBTIQ+, or a friend or ally as members of the worldwide community of SDA Kinship International.

Join an ever-expanding community that walks together, with pride, in love and acceptance just as they are and just as God created them to be. Faith, spirituality, religious identity, sexual orientation, and gender identity all come together in this inclusive family whether you are "in" or "out of the closet" or discovering more about yourself.

You are unique, you are valued, and you are cherished!

 



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Featured programs

Kinship Seniors aims to provide mutual support by providing information and lively discussions.

More info

Kinship's collegiate/young adult group provides a safe community for those under the age of 30.

More info

KinWomen provides a safe place for women to support each other, and share life experiences.

More info

Kinship's trans community includes members who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming,  gender fluid, or intersex.

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Discovering that a relative is LGBTIQ can be difficult for families, who often feel alone.

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Seeking to improve the relationship between the LGBTIQ community and the Adventist Church.

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