Letter from the President
This New Year’s, I'm thankful for a Kinship Connection magazine showing up in my email inbox. It’s a wonderful escape from the world outside. It offers a time to reflect on our chosen family and the many blessings of Kinship friends around the world.
When I first joined SDA Kinship and before I became an active member, the Connection was my monthly lifeline to others who were like me. Most of them had grown up Adventist too, and they understood what it meant to be "different." That was many years ago now, but connecting with others who understand me is still a priority.
A lot has happened with SDA Kinship over the past 12 months. We have grown by leaps and bounds. I am adding new members daily to our community. Through our website and social media, folks are receiving news and resources faster than ever. We have a top-notch team of leaders and support staff, and we could always use your help, too!
For so long, SDA Kinship has been a safe place for LGBTQIA+ folks with an Adventist connection. Joining the Kinship community has been a transition point for many to move on and live their authentic lives.
My desire is that Kinship becomes a movement—one that not only provides resources for understanding the balance of orientation/gender and spirituality, but also welcomes all who are marginalized for these issues, from LGBTQIA+ people and parents to supportive allies. I want Kinship to be a place where folks can get the answers and support they need while interacting with others like them. Kinship can be an affirming place for everyone to be themselves and to grow and blossom on life's journey.
We have several exciting things in store for 2022. So please stay tuned! Read your emails, join the community Facebook and WhatsApp groups, and participate in the conversations (or start your own discussion on a topic that interests you). If you use any of the social media platforms, be sure to follow us and like posts and videos. Share them as much as you can. You are Kinship's greatest asset and only through you can our audience grow. Your clicks, likes, etc. are a big help.
On Twitter, follow me at @KinshipPrez. Check out our YouTube channel for the Kinship Connects podcast interviews that I'm doing. Our stories increase the commonality that we share. If you are out to your family, ask them to join SDA Kinship. We have other parents and family members who would love to interact with them. We have allies who are eager to stand up for us and speak out on our behalf.
For all of us, 2022 is going to be an exciting year. I encourage you to be safe and smart. Don't put yourself in harm's way. Whether it is with COVID-19 or taking the step to come out, do so wisely. Your physical health and mental health are of utmost importance. If you need to talk with someone, please reach out to us. We have folks available who can give you professional advice and listen to the challenges you are facing. You are not alone in your journey.
I have gotten to know many of you quite well over the years, but others I haven’t. In some cases, there is a language challenge; send me a message in whatever language anyway and I will do my best to respond. There are nearly 4,000 members in Kinship, and I would be very happy to hear from each and every one of you in 2022. The more I understand and know you, the better we can create a safe space for all of our members.
Lastly, our leaders and support staff are volunteers and don't get paid for the time they put into running Kinship. I want to thank each of them for their dedication. Whenever you see something that comes from Kinship, please know that donated time and effort was put into creating it for us. If you see someone from the Kinship team, tell them thanks and let them know you appreciate what they do.
Our programs, apps, etc. cost money. We are as frugal and conscientious as possible with the funds we raise, but we could do greater things if more members gave regularly. Even $5 per month would be a big help! That's equal to one Starbucks drink per month that could be donated to Kinship to help create more programming. (If you are frustrated with the Adventist Church and want to divert some of your offerings, Kinship would be happy to put it to good use. ☺)
Please stay tuned for announcements of new projects in 2022. Feel free to contact me any time to say hello and let me know what is on your mind. I wish you a very happy and healthy 2022!
Floyd Poenitz, President
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc.