SDA Kinship News

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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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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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 19

 
A Wedding and a Vacation

BY JERRY MCKAY

On August 10, 1982, barely a week after my first weekend visit with Colin Cook, my sister and I loaded up a rented Capri station wagon and set out for Alberta where I would be a member of the wedding of a college friend. The difference between this trip and others Marilyn and I had taken together before was that she now knew about my orientation. I told her the night I returned from my first visit with Colin. Her knowing about my orientation was significant, but it didn’t mean much. Without access to my experience, how could she know what I was going through? Often during this trip, I was lost in self-reflection about my past, present, and future, all through the lens of reparative therapy.

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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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Journey - Chapter 18

 

DISCLAIMER: The material in this chapter deals with sensitive issues with respect to the author's experience when he was in counseling with Mr. Cook. Some may find this section upsetting. At the same time, the author would like to stress that these events were in 1982 and that a lot of time has passed since then. The author has a long history with Mr. Cook. Over the last couple of years, he has been in contact with Mr. Cook about these incidents. This, however, is for a later chapter.

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FEELINGS & EMOTIONS

Caring words from John & Carolyn Wilt - Family & Friends Coordinators

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JOIN SDA KINSHIP AT LONG BEACH PRIDE PARADE!

LONG BEACH PRIDE IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIDE EVENTS IN THE COUNTRY.

We know that there are many people with a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) connection who are part of the LGBT+ community, are LGBT+ affirming, and support equality on all facets of life.

Our goal is to be very visible to our Adventist communities. We want to demonstrate to all that the Adventist community is diverse and that we support each other regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We are hopeful this will be the largest public demonstration of love, acceptance, and affirmation of all LGBT+ people with an Adventist connection. We encourage all attendees to wear or display Pride symbols/flags and clothing that proudly links you to an Adventist community like an Adventist university, church, or linked organization like disaster relief groups, veggie foods—whatever screams.

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GIVE OUT DAY

This Year, We’d Like to Do This

1
East-Central Africa Division (Kenya and Uganda, specifically) are open to receiving education on HIV/AIDS and learning about what it means to be an LGBTQ Adventist. Funds are needed to organize these meetings with the local pastors and Seventh-day Adventist conference officials to provide these resources.
2
An easily accessible online self-study program designed for pastors, teachers, and church leaders to help them understand what it means to be LGBTQ and to create a safe environment for those who identify as such. This program would contain several modules, including stories, videos, presentations, etc. to cover the various aspects of being an LGBTQIA Adventist.

But, Not Without Your Help

So, we’re calling on you to step up, dig deep, and pitch in whatever you can to help us share our journeys and reach out to those who need to be educated on what it truly means to be LGBTIQ and Adventist, and those who need to know they are not alone.

Can we count on you? Please consider supporting our continued efforts on April 19 by making a donation at sdakinship.org/give

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Journey - Chapter 17

First Visit with Colin 
BY JERRY MCKAY

Once I named my experience—acknowledged my homosexual orientation—a predictable side effect emerged. I found myself wanting to meet others with a similar experience. The only way I knew of doing that was through an ad on the back page of The Japan Times.

Among the ads for apartments, language teachers, and cheap flights to the U.S., was the bi-weekly one-sentence notice for a gathering of gay men. The ad I had purposely ignored over the years was now my portal to meeting people like myself. I called from the language school, but only when it was deserted. The conversation was short. All I needed was the time and location of the gathering.  

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Design Work on New SDA Kinship Logo Starts

 

In October of 2017, SDA Kinship initiated the process to create a new logo. This is part of a greater SDA Kinship brand enhancement effort as work towards increasing appeal to current constituents, and expanding the organization’s reach, membership, and visibility continues.

The world and the way people interact with brands has changed a lot since the existing logo was created more than a decade ago. “With the current proliferation of social media in mind, my goal is that we match or even exceed current trends on the world wide web,” Clinton Sorzano, Kinship’s Director of Communications, confirmed.

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Kinship Kampmeeting 2018

Kinship Kampmeeting 2018 is July 11-14 and our Women & Children First Retreat is July 6-11 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States!

Kampmeeting takes place at the Homewood Suites at BWI and our Women & Children First Retreat takes place July 6-11 at a place near downtown Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

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European Kinship Meeting

September 6-10 in Vienna

SDA Kinship’s annual European Kinship Meeting (EKM) takes place September 6-10 in Vienna, Austria, a city famous for its cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses, cozy wine taverns, and the very special Viennese charm.

The location for EKM is Don Bosco Haus, a Center of Continuing Education that has comfortable places to sleep, food for vegetarians and meat eaters, a very nice meeting room for our gatherings, and very calm surroundings.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

When I think about what you might want to hear about each month, I think about the events Kinship leaders have organized, the updated website, the projects that are important for our mission and the amazing things happening in Africa and elsewhere around the world where Kinship members are making a difference for our community. I also want to share things that offer support and encouragement.

What’s on my mind at this moment is our annual Kinship elections. Each year, we search for members who feel a desire or call to contribute to Kinship by running for one of the open positions.

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Out Spoken

Join SDA Kinship

You can join Kinship’s Online Community today!

Membership is free and all your information is kept confidential.

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Support the Mission of SDA Kinship

COLOMBIA

COLOMBIA XXI Pride Parade


Representatives from SDA Kinship Columbia joined thousands who marched in the XXI Pride Parade in Bogota, Colombia last summer.The theme for the day was "EstadoLaico,Seres Libres" (Secular State, Free Humanity,) with organizers calling for a greater separation of church and state.

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ADVICE COLUMN

Question:
I badly want a lover, but despite repeated attempts, I can't seem to make a special relationship work for long. Why do LGBT relationships appear to often meet with early death?

Answer:
Many LGBT relationships do last, often for a lifetime. Those couples who endure often maintain a low profile, even in relation to the gay community. Because we seldom see or hear from them, we mistakenly assume they do not exist.

Of course, many of our relationships end more quickly. But I would remind you that the heterosexual record is not especially to be envied. One in three marriages terminates in divorce. Many heterosexual couples break engagements and "steady" arrangements. My point is simply that we should not be more critical of gay relationships than a factual comparison with heterosexuals warrants.

Gay couples separate for the same reasons that heterosexual couples break up. Perhaps the choice of a partner was inappropriate in the first place. One or both people may have been too immature or insecure to maintain the level of mutual responsibility and commitment that a relationship requires.

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Church Relations

The annual LGBT TaskForce Creating Change Conference was held in Washington, DC from January 24 to 28. It is the largest gathering of our community in the United States each year.

Approximately 4,000 were in attendance, including both members of the LGBT community and many allies from dozens of organizations. For the second year, a Spiritual Care time had a room available for those who wanted to have a chance to visit. The team, including Church Relations Director, Dave Ferguson, was available throughout the conference. The definition of spiritual care included both traditional religious groups, nativist groups, non-Abrahamic faiths, and those no longer professing a religious affiliation.

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DON’T GIVE UP

ABSTINENCE WITH SUPPORT —Dr. Richard Hamilton

Personal behavior occurring day after day usually fills a need. Being finite, our life on earth requires planning the use of our energy wisely. An underlying theme is the development of our love for God and all that He represents.

This includes love for ourselves socially, physically, and spiritually. Achieving and maintaining a strong relationship to this highly personal goal is a lifelong investment. God's infinite wisdom and love has given each of us access to the open road of life. Each day we make decisions about our lives and develop a wise expression of our love towards Him. Substance abuse in any form does not allow for optimal expression of love toward God.

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STAND UP - STAND PROUD

Leadership Team Host Live Facebook Chat

At the conclusion of their annual Spring Board Meeting, SDA Kinship’s leadership team hosted a Facebook Live chat with members.

In what ways does SDA Kinship plan to move from a support group for LGBT Adventists to create change in the denomination? I would like to know what efforts are being done to reach people in the closet in our churches? What is the theme of KM (Kampmeeting?)

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Journey - Chapter 16

The Day After 
by Jerry McKay

After years of suppressing relationship longings, fearing and over-analyzing every thought and feeling, my world seemed different the day after reading the Ministry magazine interview; even the sunlight was different. Naming my experience instantly altered my perception of the world and divided it into before and after. While most prior themes remained and/or evolved, new themes emerged. Overnight, I became preoccupied with changing my orientation.

At the same time, I felt driven to seek out other LGBT people as a means of understanding myself. Not all new themes were pleasant. I would slowly learn what others—church members in particular—thought of "the homosexual"—of me. My circumstances notwithstanding, I was as naïve as any heterosexual about the broader experience of LGBT people. I had no idea what was ahead of me. I had just eaten from the reparative-therapy tree of knowledge of good and evil, so I would have to experience all the consequences for myself.

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Journey - Chapter 15

The Year of Before and After, Part II 
BY JERRY MCKAY

It was midnight when I finished reading the Ministry interview and headed home. The familiar residential streets of Tokyo seemed different that night. My trance-like walk home was broken once by a brief exchange with a passing policeman whom I knew. I remember this odd detail because his greeting jolted me back into the present. Although my head was filled with the hope of healing from homosexuality, when I saw him I was once again aware of how attractive I found him.

This left me feeling uneasy. Once home, hoping not to wake anyone, I slipped into bed and tried to sleep. That was impossible. It is said that just before you die your life passes before you. Mine passed before me many times that night. I replayed events from childhood and with male friendships in high school and college. I recounted my long “relationship” with Donna and my three prior years in Japan. I spent most of the night reassessing every event through a new lens—the cause and cure of homosexuality.

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