Carolyn 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.