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As Pride month ended, I watched our SDA Kinship 2021 Virtual Pride Parade, and I felt a genuine sense of pride in being a member of our organization. From the very first moment I found Kinship, I knew I had found a community that embraced me and loved me just the way I am.

From the early days of Kinship to now, so much of what we do has changed. When I joined, most of our communications were through the Connection newsletter, telephone calls, emails, and KinNet, our web forums. Now we can stay much more connected with folks in our regions, our countries, and in other countries around the world. Thank goodness for the eNews, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, the website, and our many Facebook pages and groups! 

SDA Kinship today is first and foremost a community of people who come from a common background and support and advocate for each other. As an organization, and on behalf of our community, Kinship also speaks out when the Adventist church shares negative information about us. We very much appreciate our allies who support us, too: our family, friends, clergy, and educators. 

As I complete my last term as President of SDA Kinship International, I’m reflecting on the years I’ve had the privilege to serve in this community. I am so grateful for all the people I have served with and all the members I have met through the organization over the years. Although the business side of Kinship will be in very capable hands as I step down, I know that the community and mission of Kinship cannot keep growing and thriving without YOU. 

All organizations need fresh energy and ideas to remain healthy. That’s why it’s so important that each member search inside themselves and offer the talents and skills they possess to keep Kinship strong. It’s easy to stand back hoping someone else will step up into leadership roles; but if most of us think that, Kinship will struggle and our community will weaken. 

Many of those of us on the Board and BoardPlus have now been serving for many years. I’ve often heard it said during our elections that it seems to be the same people always running for leadership positions. It would be awesome if that weren’t true! Each board member and local coordinator who steps up each summer wants Kinship to keep growing, and many of us have stayed on because there weren’t other volunteers.

There are several key positions that need filling this July. Although the electronic ballots for elections have already gone out, the persons who you will elect to fill those positions need willing and active team members. Please look at the list and let us know if you are willing to serve in one of those teams, such as Church Relations, Member Services, and Women’s Interests. Volunteers are always welcome to join the Communications Team, as well. The work is so important and the relationships you make as you serve are priceless!

Know that, as I step down after over ten years, I will always support Kinship in any way I can from my region in the MidAtlantic states of the United States. With other members in this area, I will continue to serve our community. It has been an honor and a privilege, Kinship! Thank you for allowing me to serve. 

Always and in Kinship,

Yolanda Elliott, President
SDA Kinship International, Inc.

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