SDA Kinship News

Message from the President



Message from the President


As February comes to a close and March has arrived, it’s time for our scheduled Kinship Board of Directors' meeting. All officers, directors and leadership staff come together to discuss what Kinship has been doing since the last board meeting, make plans for future events and programs, discuss ways to keep our members more engaged and connected, and find ways to meet the needs of our members. We also discuss the finances of the organization and ways to fund the programs and events we have planned for 2020. 

It can be a daunting task as we come together and go through the prepared agenda. Historically, we’ve traveled to meet face to face. That, in itself, is a costly endeavor. And although it is by far the most effective way to go through our agenda and for various committees to meet together, it’s not always possible for many of our board members to do. If most of our board are unable to travel since everyone’s schedules need to align, we move to have a virtual board meeting. And that is how this upcoming board meeting will happen. 

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EUROPEAN KINSHIP MEETING 2020

 

The registration form is now live for European Kinship Meeting (EKM) registration. Plan your vacation and attendance at EKM 2020 in Holland on August 27 - 31, 2020, by registering here: www.sdakinship.org/ekm.

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Message from the President


We just had a special election to fill the seat of recently deceased Congressman Elijah Cummings here in my county in Maryland.  I took my one Democratic resident and myself up to the local elementary school to vote.  It is such an important thing for all of us to do so that we all have a say as to how our county, our state, or our country is run.  If we don’t vote, I don’t think it’s our right to complain.  The only way things get changed is if we are willing to step up to help make the changes we want to see. 

That’s also the way I feel about Kinship.  It’s easy to comment on the things we don’t like about Kinship; but I feel that if we don’t like something about the way Kinship is going or being run, then we have a right to step up to help make the changes we want to see.  One way to do that is to run for an open position during our elections in July each year.  Another way is to lead a project or make suggestions for great projects you’d like to see Kinship undertake.  Maybe volunteer in your local group, region, or chapter.  If you have certain skill sets that you would be willing to share, donate some of your time to Kinship.  If you have the ability, donate towards a project or Kampmeeting scholarships or to our general fund to help Kinship continue to grow.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Many people deal with depression that can be amplified at this time of year because of the holidays. Some people find this is their least favorite time of the year because of loneliness, anxiety, grief, medical issues, big family or social events, and other kinds of stress.

When we have partners, siblings, or other family and friends to lean on, it can be a little bit easier to handle things like these or the pressures of the season. But what about those who have been disowned by their families and churches and have nowhere to turn nor anyone to turn to?

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KINSHIP WISDOM


By Helen Pearson

I was brought up at the heart of the Seventh-day Adventist community. My father was a paid and ordained minister for forty-four years. Working with equal commitment to the church, my mother was an unpaid pastor (eventually ordained as an elder). But my parents never tried to hide either their own imperfections or those of the church. They taught us to be “boundary dwellers” to look for truth everywhere —both inwards into the church and outwards into the wider and very real world.  They also taught us the core Adventist value of “present truth”—the idea that new truths are revealed to the people of God at different times in history. They taught us to look for and seek to discern that truth wherever and whenever we could find it. I believe I heard some of that “present truth” last weekend at European Kinship Meeting.

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FINDING MY SPIRITUAL HOME WITH KINSHIP


By James Appel

I've been trying to figure out why a straight, cis-gender male like me is finding my spiritual home with SDA Kinship, a Seventh-day Adventist LGBT+ community. Here's what I've figured out so far after having just come back from the European Kinship Meeting at Othona Retreat Center in the southern UK:

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EKM 2019 OTHONA CENTER, WEST DORSET ENGLAND

By Catherine Taylor

I am told, repeatedly, that each year I say “that was my favorite.”…So I won’t. But…

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SDA Kinship honors the memory of Ben Pickell, Jr.

Ben Pickell, Jr., passed away on November 11, 2019, in Palm Desert, California. Ben was one of the founding members of SDA Kinship Int., Inc.

Ben was a much-loved veteran of Kinship and appreciated beyond measure by all who have been touched by Kinship’s mission: To provide a safe spiritual and social community to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex current and former Seventh-day Adventists, their families, and those who support them.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


In July, SDA Kinship held its 40th annual Kinship Kampmeeting. It’s always a fantastic time to meet new folks, visit with those we see just this one time a year, and if we are lucky, reconnect with those who’ve not attended in many years too. I started thinking about what it is that keeps folks coming back each year and staying active in Kinship. What makes our members drift away or even leave under less than favorable circumstances?  

I came into Kinship at a time when I was coming to terms with my sexuality and my spirituality. I accepted my orientation as well as the fact that I was loved by God just as I am. And I have stayed active in this community ever since.

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Late-Night Talks




Ever had a good conversation that kept you up until midnight or 2:00 a.m.? A conversation that released your story from within your soul? There’s a certain magic that takes over late-night talks—you become braver. Walls crumble. Relationships form.  

I can generally count on experiencing several of these talks at Kampmeeting, or really, any time I get together with Kinship folks. Many of my friendships through Kinship are long distance. Kampmeeting is our opportunity to come together from D.C., California, New York, Canada, and even farther. So when we meet up, sleep is often forgone in favor of connection and long talks.

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SAVE THE DATE JULY 15-18, 2020 IN ORLANDO!

SAVE THE DATE JULY 15-18, 2020 IN ORLANDO!

My First Kinship Kampmeeting


By Eric Marquez

This year was my first Kinship Kampmeeting experience. As a student at La Sierra University, I felt it was a great opportunity to not only explore Portland and see a new place but to be able to learn and connect so much with people. Everyone that I met was extremely friendly and always had something nice to say. For everyone to take me under their wing meant a lot. Many of the people I got a chance to talk to during Kampmeeting were always so willing to talk about almost any topic and were very open and candid in talking about them. Something I did not expect was the generational differences that there are within the LGBT community, but I was very happy to learn more about it. So many times, I have read our histories in books and online, but to be able to hear it from people that actually went through it just hits you differently.

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SDA Kinship Kampmeeting 2019 in Review


By Cheryl Christopherson

This Kampmeeting was my second. My first was 28 years ago, ironically in Portland. Our venue this year was at the Red Lion Hotel on the River Jantzen Beach. It did not take long to find familiar faces and ones I had only seen online. The weekend theme, “Who Am I?”, resonated with me because the last 28 years were a personal journey for discovering the answer.

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John McLarty at Kampmeeting 2019


By Jacquie Hegarty

When Reggie asked me last spring if I would do the introduction for Pastor John McLarty at Kampmeeting this year, I was more than thrilled. I had known for many years who John McLarty is—a Seventh-day Adventist pastor who is a friend and ally of Kinship members. So I felt a connection to him, more than to any other of the scheduled speakers, even though I had never met him in person.

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FIRST ANNUAL KINSHIP KAMPMEETING HELD IN COLOMBIA


In April, SDA Kinship Colombia celebrated its FIRST annual Kampmeeting meeting in the region of Neusa in the center of Colombia, where we met with people from different areas of the country.

The landscape of the region contributed to the success of this first Kinship Kampmeeting in Colombia because the beautiful lagoon next to the mountains reminded us that we are a part of this beautiful diverse creation of God.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

In two weeks, we will gather near Portland, Oregon, for SDA Kinship’s 40th annual Kampmeeting! It is absolutely fantastic that Kinship has survived and grown into this amazing community of members from all around the world! And it started with just a few folks who wanted to connect with other gay and lesbian members from a Seventh-day Adventist background. Today we are many folks connecting with other LGBTIQ folks who are current or former Seventh-day Adventists or allies.

My very first Kampmeeting that I attended in 1995 was in Oregon. I remember vividly flying over all those beautiful evergreens as the plane approached Portland’s airport, feeling both excited and nervous to be flying somewhere I’d never been before and didn’t know a soul. John Wieland and Sherri Babcock picked me up from the airport. They were great people to send to help make a new member feel comfortable.

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Surf, Sand, and Sea… and Kinship!

by Ellen Henderson

Every spring, something very special happens on the Eastern Seaboard. Members of Region 2 (and friends) gather at a small beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, for some much-needed time of relaxation and fellowship.

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KINSHIP COLOMBIA


Colombia is a country located on the corner of South America, bathed by two oceans and crossed by a beautiful mountain range, full of valleys and deserts. This diversity can also be observed in our Kinship family that has flourished in three cities: Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. This year we will be starting the groups of Barranquilla and Bucaramanga, cities with a high Adventist presence in our country.

Kinship today has grown in fronts such as spirituality, healthy recreation, and healthy lifestyles, as well as support in the work of our members, all supported by some fronts of the Colombian state, which has provided spaces and resources for it.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


This past week has been a particularly difficult one for Kinship members in the United States and Kenya.

In the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system. It has only just moved on to the U.S. Senate, yet the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the North American Division have already cosigned a statement condemning it.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

I’ve just returned home from our annual Kinship Region 2 mini-Kampmeeting. Each year around this time, our region descends on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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Help Support Kampmeeting Scholarships for LGBTIQ Adventist Youth


April 18, Give Out Day, is a day of giving in the LGBTIQ community. SDA Kinship joins that effort and is looking for your help today for a special need: we ask for your support to bring some of our Adventist youth to this summer's 40th Annual Kampmeeting in Portland, Oregon (July 10-13).

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


If there was ever any question about racism in the Seventh-day Adventist church, one only has to look at the most recent Visitor, the magazine for Seventh-day Adventists in my union. The cover story is about Lucy Byard, a Black woman who converted to Adventism at the age of 25 in 1902.  She was one of only five Black women who pioneered the Adventist work in New York City. As an avid musician and cook, she entertained many great African-American Adventist pioneers, according to Dr. Benjamin Baker.

But in her mid-60s, Byard developed liver cancer. As she and her husband James considered which hospital to admit her to, they decided to go to the Washington Sanitarium in Takoma Park, Maryland, and they were approved ahead of time. When they arrived, though, they were turned away because they were Black. Before this, the hospital had allowed a few Black patients to be admitted, but only if they could be treated in the hospital basement by off-duty staff. The Byards were then sent to the Freedman’s Hospital, now Howard University Hospital, which served Black people. The hospital later said they didn’t realize the Byards were Black when they agreed to accept them.

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ADVENTIST SOCIOLOGIST SHARES HIS RESEARCH


Ron Lawson’s study of Adventism began in North America; and he spent a year driving 28,000 miles around the United States and Canada, interviewing pastors, teachers, administrators, leading laypersons, and students as he traveled. His itinerary included attending the General Conference session in New Orleans where he saw that the church was globalizing, and this caused him to broaden the scope of his research to include other divisions around the world. During his travels, he conducted over 4,000 interviews in 60 countries.

Until recently only academic sociologists have had access to most of his writing on the sociology of religion. Now you, too, can read them at RonaldLawson.net

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

I imagine many of you watched the Oscars the other night. Some viewers were interested in what the stars wore while others hoped that their favorite movie won Best Picture or their favorite artist won Best Actor. There are so many categories at these award shows that there’s something for everyone to root for.

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Summer Memories


By Ellen Henderson

Do you remember those yearly reports you had to do in school? “Write about what you did this summer.” Well, here’s mine: I got to spend time with my family this summer.

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A Miracle Called Colombia

Colombia is a South American country with a diversity of regions and beautiful landscapes. This diversity is also observed in its people, both in ethnic and sexual diversity.

Three years ago, we formed the Kinship group which was organized with a small group in Bogotá; today we already have two more groups in the city of Medellin and Cartagena, with a total of almost 50 members distributed throughout the territory.

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SDA Kinship’s Robert L. Ramsay publishes book

Life is unfolding like a dream for graduate student, Marc LaChance. In his final year at university, student housing pairs him with Howard Hildebrandt. Howard is built like a linebacker, Marc’s dream of what a real man should look like. He discovers that Howard shares his minority affectional orientation, and the two men become lovers.
Looking forward to graduation, they plan to escape Winnipeg’s cold, prairie winters by moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. They imagine their life on the Pacific coast: a house with an ocean view, winter weekends skiing Grouse Mountain, and summers sailing the Salish Sea.

At spring reading break, they make an exploratory trip to Vancouver. Marc obtains an interview with a suburban school district and is promised a teaching position in September. If Howard can land an engineering job on the coast, their dream will be realized.
Marc’s happiness is shattered when Howard tramples their dream into the prairie dust by accepting an engineering position in Winnipeg. His conservative religious upbringing tells him that men who love men will burn in hellfire forever. The guilt over his relationship with Marc is making him sick. He has no choice but to break it off.

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FEBRUARY 2019 RE: We understand. We share your frustration.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted in a special session of the General Conference (their top legislative body) to adopt the “Traditional Plan” which sought to strengthen enforcement of the denomination’s homosexuality prohibitions. It was passed by a vote of 438-384.  

This special session of the UMC, the second largest protestant denomination in the United States, was the resut of a 2018 report of a commission established by the Council of Bishops (COB) to review their Book of Discipline, a fundamental book that outlines the denomination's law, doctrine, and procedures.  

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HOW SDA KINSHIP MEMBERS INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER

SDA Kinship members interact with each other online via Facebook and WhatsApp. If you aren't already connected with one or more of the groups (main, men, women, youth, seniors, etc, etc), please send a note to info@sdakinship.org or send Floyd Poenitz a private Messenger note and ask to be added to these groups. If you use WhatsApp, let us know so you can participate there too.

If you speak Spanish or Portuguese, be sure to ask us to add you to the Kinship en Espanol or Kinship Brasil groups!

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