MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Welcome to August! Similar to the past months, July seems to have flown by quickly.
A new month always has the possibility to be a new chapter and an opportunity to create a new start and a new focus. For SDA Kinship, that means spreading the word that we exist. For members, that means taking the best care of yourself that you can—to be the healthiest you that you can be. That could mean dealing with uncomfortable scenarios: coming out to someone, reconciling areas of your life that appear to be incongruent (sexuality and spirituality), deciding what the next step is for your life (continuing your education, finding a job, ending a bad relationship, or just living a healthier or more holistic daily routine). Remember that progress can only be made by taking that first step and then continuing to take steps. Not taking action equals no change and definitely no progress.
I can feel a definite shift in much of society that allows us to be more open and more authentic in our daily lives. I even see some hope in the Adventist community—the willingness to peek under the rug to examine the dust that we have swept under there for so many years. With progress comes pushback; and yes, we see a lot of that in all areas. But in order to continue moving forward, we must focus on looking forward and not dwelling on the negative pushback. We have learned so much from those who came before us, and keeping our focus is important.
SDA Kinship will continue to build community. We can’t easily advertise in official church publications, so word of mouth is the best advertising. Openly telling others about Kinship is the strongest and most effective method. With over 4,500 members in over 100 countries, that is pretty impressive. If we not only tell others about Kinship but invite them to be a part of this global movement by asking them to join our voices by signing up to be a member at sdakinship.org/join, we can easily double, triple, or quadruple our voice in a matter of days. When I connect with a new member on Facebook, I often see that we already have a dozen or more friends in common and I wonder why none of them have asked that person to be a part of the community. We operate on a member-based model, so we have the opportunity to be in contact with members with things like this eNews letter to be able to share what is happening in the organization. I encourage you to invite your parents, your favorite aunt/uncle or cousin to be supportive and join SDA Kinship. If you have LGBTQIA+ friends who have an Adventist connection, definitely encourage them to join us. If you have non-rainbow current/former Adventist friends, ask them to be supportive and join us. This is the point in history where we need as many voices as possible who are on board with us, to stand with us and make a difference.
We have some great resources now that will help with the educational aspect of getting answers to Bible and science questions. There is no reason for anyone sincerely looking for answers to not be able to find them. The UnClobber book project is still underway; and you can send as many free copies of this excellent book to as many friends, family, and church leaders as you want to. This can be done anonymously, or you can include your name. The link is: sdakinship.org/unclobber. The Bible and LGBTQ Adventists by Alicia Johnston is now available for shipping and provides an in-depth look at being an LGBTQ Adventist and how church folks can affirm us and hold on to their conservative stance of Christianity. You can order this book now at: aliciajohnston.com/lgbtqadventists.
Kinship has several initiatives to train pastors and church leaders to help them understand more fully what it means to be LGBTQ and to provide them the training to know why God does not call His “rainbow children” an abomination. The Kinship leader in Kenya will soon provide four days of extensive training to 150 Kenyan Adventist pastors so they can train and share with other pastors an affirming LGBTQ theology. We are excited about this new model and hope to implement it in other areas as well.
Another focus for the upcoming months is to speak out against and to expose the damage that so-called “change or conversion ministries” are doing to not only the queer person they are trying to “repair” but also to the families with whom they are setting false expectations. When it comes to such ministries, it is a no-win situation. It is only a lose-lose scenario; we must be able to speak out against these charlatans selling snake oil.
We continue with the stimulating and thought-provoking podcast, IMAGO GEI, and telling our stories with Kinship Connects. Please engage with our social media platforms (@sdakinship) and invite others to follow and interact with us there.
If any of the projects listed above resonate with you, please consider supporting them financially if you can't take part personally. 100% of the funds SDA Kinship receives goes to the mission of Kinship; and if you are in the U.S., your donations are tax-deductible. Those in Europe are invited to donate to your local Kinship treasury to fund projects there.
As August begins, we continue to look for members who want to volunteer their time to help with Kinship board roles, with projects, and with other needs in running the daily tasks of the organization.
You are appreciated and loved unconditionally!
Thanks for being a part of this important movement,
Floyd Poenitz, President
@KinshipPrez (on Twitter)
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