Moving Forward: Let Them Know You Exist and You Belong
This month, two events affecting Adventist members of the LGBTIQ community fell on the same day. October 11 was National Coming Out Day, and it was also the beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Annual Council—the governing body of the world church between General Conference SThis month, two events affecting Adventist members of the LGBTIQ community fell on the same day. October 11 was National Coming Out Day, and it was also the beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Annual Council—the governing body of the world church between General Conference Sessions.
This past summer, the General Conference set up five committees to deal with various issues of “non-compliance” within the church. The committees, approved by the Annual Council on Sunday, October 14, 2018, can now officially begin their work.
While many Kinship members might find the work of several of the committees interesting, we encourage you to pay close attention to one of them: The Doctrines, Policies, Statements, and Guidelines Regarding Homosexuality Committee.
As this will directly affect us as LGBTIQ Adventists, we must let our voices be heard! Can you imagine the impact if Kinship members around the world sent their story to each of the members of the committee? These committee members need to hear personally from LGBTIQ people about their experience with God and the church.
Our SDA Kinship story started more than 40 years ago, and our history with the church is as diverse as the colors in our logo.
Despite important accomplishments like winning the lawsuit against the church in 1987 and organizing dedicated Kinship Sabbath School classes and meetings at Adventist churches, we still get letters like this from Elvin, a suicide survivor who left his Adventist family home after emotional abuse because of his sexuality: “I miss going to church, I miss the choir, I miss waking up on Sabbath morning to go to church, but most of all I miss my God. I wish I could find a church here that would accept me despite my sexuality, a church where I belong.”
Stories like Elvin’s highlight how actions by this committee on homosexuality may have a lasting impact on the lives of many in the Adventist LGBTIQ community and their families.
Your story as an LGBTIQ current or former Seventh-day Adventist is important; let them know that you exist and you belong. Please look at the instructions and email list below, and don’t pass up this opportunity to let your voice be heard!
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
TELL YOUR STORY
We encourage you to write and share your story by email to all the committee members. The suggested length is only 3 or 4 paragraphs to increase the likelihood that it will be read. If you would like to share more details about your journey, summarize the most important and relevant parts and attach a longer version for them to read.
We recommend that you include:
- Your experience during your early years in an Adventist home;
- Your experience, if any, in an Adventist school or college;
- Your experience in coming to understand that you are LGBTIQ;
- Why you are still an Adventist or why you left the church.
Please send a copy of the email to each member of the committee, but send them separately, addressing each member personally (e.g., Dear Elder Stele), so that it doesn’t get sorted as spam by the server. We would like to collect as many stories as we can, so we ask that you also send it in a separate email to
COMMITTEE MEMBER CONTACT INFO
Artur A. Stele, chair
Elias Brazil de Souza, secretary,
Lisa M. Beardsley-Hardy,
Gary T. Blanchard,
Peter N. Landless,
Ekkehardt F.R. Mueller,
Gerson P. Santos,
Lori T. Yingling,
Legal Advisor: Thomas E. Wetmore,