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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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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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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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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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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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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