HAPPY MAY TO ALL KINSHIP FAMILIES & FRIENDS
Wow, it’s springtime already! Our wildflowers are springing up in the foothills, green grass is bursting out for our deer to enjoy, and the male turkeys are busy attracting some girlfriends.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT I DON’T KNOW?
That philosophical question burst out of my frustrated lips as I struggled with a complex differential equation in an advanced engineering mathematics course. My professor stared at me, and I figured I had just failed the course. Mathematics was not one of my strong subjects.
“Learning” is an interesting and complex process. All living creatures learn as they grow and mature. If you think about that process, it’s easy to recall watching your pets learn to find food, chase toys, or hide from you when you are looking for them. Also think about yourself or your children as you learned to walk, talk, play, read, and even think and make decisions.
So learning is really gathering information or experiences to make, hopefully, excellent decisions. Where are those decisions made? All decisions originate in our brain and transfer to the muscles, organs, and emotions to protect us and help us survive. Yes, some reactions appear to develop naturally through our genetics, but we develop and learn most of them as our brains and ourselves mature.
LOOKING BACK INTO 2020
Carolyn and I hope this finds you enjoying the Christmas and New Year’s holidays despite the virus. We pray you could connect in person or through digital media with your special family members. We also hope you all created some positive and beneficial memories as you traveled the unpredictable paths of 2020.
Many LGBTQ+ folks have celebrated their successful “coming out” to friends and their families. It’s probably a process and event they had thought about and worked on for many months and years. Hopefully, they had created a network of friends and other LGBTQ+ folks that helped them - even coached them - on the scary but desired event. Their understanding and supporting friends were valuable allies for that major and probably emotional time.
Yes, it was a “successful event” for the LGBTQ+ member. They wanted to do it, they needed to do it, and they had their personal courage and friends’ and allies’ support to fall back on to if it didn’t work out as desired.
Our monthly roundtable discussions are beginning to connect and, hopefully, provide a beneficial and personal time to meet and share around the Kinship world. Each discussion has increased in attendance and participation, thanks to all of you all who have joined us.
Last Sunday our roundtable was enriched with Pastor Kris and Debbie Widmer’s thoughts and comments regarding “The Fiddler on the Roof” movie/musical and its very meaningful songs and dialogue about adjusting to life-impacting changes. There was excellent participation and comments from many of those who joined the table. If you didn’t join us, you missed Pastor Kris’ modification of the meaningful closing song - somehow Walla Walla, Loma Linda, La Sierra, and other traditional Adventist locations were woven into the song. It was a great closure to a good discussion regarding traditions, change, and family.
Recently I read an article sharing the successful accomplishments a primatologist had made over her lifelong desire and goal to help chimpanzees survive and expand. Early in her career, we had the joy of spending a couple of days with her as she shared with college students and later in two public conferences.
We humans enjoy connecting. We connect with family members on special occasions. Many of us enjoyed the weekly connections with friends at Sabbath services when they were allowed, and we look forward to returning to those times again.
Connecting allows us to catch up on each other’s lives—travels, special occasions, celebrations—or give support to others during stressful times. We get to share new information, maybe new places to visit, learn new information, or give support that someone else needs. That’s how we can enrich someone else’s life and, in turn, have our own lives enriched and improved. Connecting in person is valuable because you can sense each other’s joys and challenges and give hugs and personal responses. In-person, connections are great.
Today's world is a bit chaotic! A few weeks ago our political world was filled with various discussions, opinions, needs, and desires and gatherings. Our physical world was moving out of wintertime and looking forward to springtime with less snow, tornadoes, and rain, and more wildflowers and wonderful sunsets. Suitcases and hiking backpacks were coming out of their closets getting ready for fun trips, looking forward to cruises, vacations, school proms and graduations, and spring break.
Then suddenly our world changed! Our plans were dampened and some were washed away. The virus arrived and, with it, major changes to our plans, our lives, and our immediate futures.
Reinder Bruinsma has been a Seventh-day Adventist conference president for the Netherlands and for Belgium, General Conference administrator, pastor, and author - among several other things. In what he loosely calls his "retirement" he continues to write, speak to Adventist leadership and laity conferences and, attend other meetings around the world.
On the weekend of April 20, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division (NAD) hosted a workshop that included a select group of church leaders and lay members. The purpose of the workshop was to “participate and preview a new resource (booklet) titled Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones: Adventist Edition.”