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Families and Friends


wiltsWe’ve been re-reading an excellent book by  Loma Linda theology professor, Richard Rice, Believing, Behaving, Belonging: finding a new love for the church. Early in the second chapter, a section is titled “The Spirit Creates Community...the spirit not only works within us, but it also works among us, or between us. It gives spiritual life to the community and the individual.”

SDA Kinship is a worldwide community of many activities, goals, and purposes. Carolyn and I enjoy supporting the “Families & Friends” activities, goals, and purposes. Together, our families and friends can create and share many variations of “spirit.” That word has many meaningful definitions addressing life energy, personal disposition, enthusiastic loyalty, courage, resolutions, and tenacity. Also, Professor Rice weaves these various stages of spirit into three basic functions successful communities need to gather, grow, and function. 

The three functions are the title: Believing, Behaving, Belonging. Let’s inspect each function.

BELIEVING - Every family’s journey of understanding, learning, adjusting, and connecting with their “rainbow” family member is unique. Yes, it can be similar; but each of us has to reach our own emotional and personal decisions. We all start with our own level of spirit to learn and understand. Our Kinship Families & Friends website has many sources of information and personal articles reflecting on how our brains function, sexuality, human desires and needs for companionship, and other meaningful topics. The more each one of us can understand and shift our beliefs and feelings about complex normal sexuality variations, the easier we can accept and support our “rainbow” family member. Valid, honest research will support your spirit to BELIEVE.

BEHAVING - As I’ve matured through marriage, family, and professional employment, I’m often surprised and amazed at many of my “automatic” behaviors in various situations. Many years ago, I learned my feelings are not right or wrong; they are true sensations shared to me from my brain. My brain started forming during gestation and continued to complete its billions of connections into my early 20s. Along the way, my parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, professors, and pastors shaped how I should react and behave when certain feelings or emotions occurred. They were genuine in their advice; but I’ve learned many times they were naive about their suggestions and advice.    

My behaviors and reactions have been altered and reversed as I learned how to make better decisions. I accidentally discovered a profound statement as I stumbled through a difficult advanced mathematics college class. One morning I frustratedly asked the professor, “How do I know what I don’t know?” He jotted it on the whiteboard and left it there all semester. That thought continually pops up in my mind as I study, learn, and find spirit in new knowledge. But today, with all the fake news and distorted sources, I’ve added “How do I know what I know is correct ?” We encourage you to ask those same questions as you explore new personal behaviors and reactions.

BELONGING - Professor Rice also identifies a very important human need: companionship! Humankind was not created to live alone. We need to belong and be accepted into communities. As individuals and families, we need to be accepted, supported, and spirited by different communities for different needs. Kinship Families & Friends has created our worldwide, loving, accepting, and spirit-enriched community for parents, grandparents, brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, cousins, neighbors, and allies. Together we can provide family life energy, loyalty, courage, tenacity, and love to all rainbow families—healthy spirited companionships.  

Let’s modify Dr. Rice’s original statement. The rainbow spirit creates community…the rainbow spirit not only works within us, but it also works among us and between us. It gives rainbow spirit to the community and to the families and their members.


— John and Carolyn Wilt, Families and Friends Directors

Message from the President
Church Relations