Christianity has often centered on togetherness—the privilege of worshipping and fellowshipping with other believers. For LGBTQIA+ Adventists it isn't always easy to be genuine and true to one's self while feeling welcome in Adventist churches. Kinship Kampmeeting has been an annual highlight for SDA Kinship International for 43 years now. This is an event where all attendees can be themselves just as God sees them without feeling the need to pretend to be something they aren't.
Over the last few years—more than at any other time in human history—society has had to grapple with the complex subject of human sexuality. As individuals and institutions try to create a climate in which individuals have intrinsic value regardless of their sexual orientation, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International has sought to be a voice of inclusion, acceptance, and affirmation, especially for those who don't conform to the rigid proscriptions of the past.
We feel every month is Kinship Awareness Month, but during October we take extra steps to let others know we exist and what we are about. I feel that SDA Kinship truly is Adventism’s best-kept secret. And it is high time we came out of the closet and let everyone know God loves unconditionally and that LGBTQIA+ does not indicate brokenness. The church needs us more than we need the church to demonstrate this unconditional love from God.
Homosexuals Anonymous—the Toronto Chapter
BY JERRY MCKAY
I arrived back in Ottawa from Reading, Pennsylvania, the Easter weekend of 1985. The Saturday before I moved to Toronto, I attended church. I started attending this congregation as a child in the mid-1960s. This was the church I always returned to whenever I came home for a visit. Most of the pillars of the church were farmers. Small-town folk made up the rest of the congregation of some forty people. To say everyone knew me was not an exaggeration. That makes it easier to understand how, with no warning as to the subject, when I asked to make an announcement from the front of the church, I was given permission to do so without hesitation.
Omissions, Ambivalence, & Contradiction
BY JERRY MCKAY
On July 17, 1984, less than a year after the sexual incident with Colin and my sudden departure from Reading, I was standing on the curb at the airport in Philadelphia waiting for Colin to pick me up. The one-and-a-half-hour drive back to Reading, in combination with Colin’s ability to easily move into deep personal conversation, meant a rapid re-engagement of our relationship.
Pride Month is now officially over, and I hope everyone could acknowledge their journey and celebrate what God has created you to be. Whether that was attending or even taking part in a pride parade or event, or just being able to reflect on your personal journey in learning to understand yourself better. Whether you are part of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow community, a parent or loved one or an ally who loves unconditionally, it has been a journey to get to where you are at this moment. It is never easy to go against the flow of family and society, but you are not alone on this journey. We have a rich history of those who came before us to pave the way for the road we are traveling on. Together, we can work to widen and make the road more solid ahead of us.
Kampmeeting is under TWO weeks away. As we are planning to meet in person, the theme is "Together Again". The Kampmeeting team has worked hard to find diverse speakers and create an inspiring program. We are looking forward to seeing our members again, in person. Please visit the the Kampmeeting site at bit.ly/kampmeeting to get more information about speakers.
How often do you see news flashes, read articles, or are encouraged to reject Pride activities? Too often, those news flashes, articles, and personal encouragements flow from “Christian” sources. They may be news flashes on a church website; maybe an email or instant message from your faith, sharing negative comments regarding a Pride event; and, most blatantly, many groups of Christians physically gather and protest violently and loudly with their own flags and negative signs.
I was in Lexington, Kentucky, recently with Floyd Poenitz and several other Kinship members to create awareness about Kinship at the CALLED Convention for Adventist pastors in North America. On the whole, it was a positive experience with lots of wonderful interactions.
SDA Kinship Int., Inc. stands for freedom and peace for all people to live their lives without fear. There are many places in the world that are experiencing war and unrest, places where people cannot experience equality and freedom. SDA Kinship prays for and is concerned about members and LGBTQIA+ related issues around the world.
Date: December 12, 2021
Time: 7 PM EST (USA)
- 6 PM CT (USA)
- 4 PM PST (USA)