SDA Kinship News

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


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FAMILY & FRIENDS

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.

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March 2021 eNews

 
 
WE HAVE SOMETHING NEW!!

Masks are now part of our lives. That’s why SDA Kinship has designed these reusable face masks to give all of us the comfort, quality, and peace of mind we need to go out and show our Kinship pride! Add our masks to your collection and enjoy!

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JOURNEY CHAPTER 24

 Life at Quest Learning Center
BY JErRY MCKAY

At 7:30 a.m., March 16, 1983, I boarded a bus bound for Reading, Pennsylvania. Six hours later, I was back at the Ottawa bus station!

Expecting problems with border security about my stay in the United States, Colin had prepared two letters. The first letter read:

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December 2020 eNews

        December 2020 eNews

MESSAGE FROM THE TREASURER

As we move into the holiday season at the end of this very difficult and stressful year, I am thankful. I am thankful for all of you who have been part of SDA Kinship's 40-year journey. So many members, friends and allies have been part of the Kinship community during these four decades. You have made it possible for Kinship to provide its message of acceptance and love to many, many people all over the world. 

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 22

 Adrift in Ottawa
BY JERRY MCKAY

At age 26, instead of entering a stable period of my life, I was moody, often distraught, and my behavior changed significantly. It didn’t help that I was unemployed, sleeping on a pull-out sofa in my mother’s small apartment, mourning the loss of a meaningful life in Japan, and facing an uncertain future. According to James 1:6, the person who doubts is like a wave on the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. While I was dealing with far more than doubt, in the fall of ’82, the text pretty well summed up my experience. When I wasn’t being tossed about, I felt adrift on a windless sea.  

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November 2020 eNews

        November 2020 eNews

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT  

October has quickly slipped away and November is upon us.  Here, in America, one of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I enjoy it because it’s one holiday when we count our blessings. Of course, as I think about it, it feels sacrilegious to celebrate Thanksgiving. I’ve come to think of Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. And it’s hard to think of Thanksgiving without realizing I was taught that it celebrates people who survived in a new land only to take that land away from the people who were here first, Native Americans. I don’t have the power to correct anything in our past. But what I do have the power to do is to live in a way that supports good in the world today. I believe my faith calls me to do that.

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ONLY IF WE UNDERSTAND...

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.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

These last several months in the United States where I live have been extremely stressful for everyone. Quarantining has brought out the best in some people and the worst in many. Incidents of domestic violence have increased significantly as most people have been asked to stay at home. And not only have millions of people lost their jobs, but the number of people who’ve died from COVID-19 in my country has surpassed 100,500.

If the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t hard enough, the most recent attacks against our Black siblings, including Tony McDade, a trans man in Florida, have just been heartbreaking. We must all do our part to stand against racism and hatred every time we see it. It’s way past time for it to end.

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CONNECT - SHARE - SUPPORT

Kinship Family & Friends wants to become experts and promoters of those three actions. 

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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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President's Holiday Message


President's Holiday Message

JOURNEY - CHAPTER 20

 A Week at Quest Learning Center
BY JERRY MCKAY

By the end of the first week of September 1982, I had decided to relocate to Pennsylvania for counseling. The first thing I had to do was to call Perry in Japan, because my decision would require his finding a teacher to replace me on short notice. At $3.00 per minute, our call was brief. Perry said that any inconvenience my decision might cause did not concern him. Rather, he was concerned for me. After sharing a few details about my visit with Colin, I thought I had put Perry’s reservations to rest. That was not the case. Two days later, Perry called back.

Perry feared that my life—in fact, my whole identity—would become organized around homosexuality instead of a bigger paradigm—my maleness within a Christian framework. He was concerned that by going to Reading, I would establish and reinforce my identity through a sexual framework by being with and talking to other homosexuals, day in and day out. I thought Perry’s concerns were legitimate, but my ship named “Identity” had already set sail.

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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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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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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

 

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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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Here in Maryland, January is leaving us with the coldest temperatures in a very long time. I feel for our members in the Midwest! I hope everyone in the Northern Hemisphere stays warm and safe. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy the beautiful weather.  We will feel warmer thinking of you. 

What I really love about SDA Kinship is that it’s always been a safe space for members to be who we are, regardless of where each of us is on our journey. Some members are in long-term relationships and some are married. Others feel that celibacy is right for them, and still others are dating. All of us want to be on a path that works best for our lives.

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CHURCH RELATIONS

Between 3,000 and 4,000 members of the LGBTIQ community participated in the annual Creating Change Conference in Detroit, January 23-27.  I was glad to be a part of the Spiritual Care Team and meet hundreds of participants in the Many Paths spiritual space including a number of Seventh-day Adventists who were attending the conference.  Along with a number of plenary sessions, there were hundreds of workshops available, making it a challenge to figure out which ones to attend. 

I had the privilege of being the guest lecturer for a class on Religion and Gender at La Sierra University.  I shared the story of my journey and had a conversation with the students regarding their questions about our community.

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