Messages from your Kinship Leaders
Vol 9 No 12 December 2015
Changes to Kinship eNews
Message from the President
"Generosity—our ability to offer the best of who we are and what we have for the benefit of one another—is perhaps our most valuable human attribute. In fact, it may be the singular quality we possess that has the capacity to transform the world.” —Generous Life (Increasing Your Joy through Giving JumpStart)
As we move into the holiday season, we receive more and more invitations to give to very worthy causes. SDA Kinship invited members and supporters to give to Kinship on Giving Tuesday, December 2. And, very soon, folks will be looking for opportunities to give a Christmas or end-of-year offering or donation to the organizations that serve and support you during the year. I would very much appreciate it if you would consider SDA Kinship as you contemplate where your gifts and contributions go this December.
The statement I quoted really touches my heart because it says what I believe generosity is: “offering the best of who we are and what we have for the benefit of one another.” I think most people look at giving as something they have to do or are expected to do instead something they want to do. But if we look at giving as an opportunity to make a change in this world, it can be something to get excited about.
Your gifts need not be huge to make a difference: we all have different means, and so some of us can give more than others. But if each of our members were to give just $50 this December, SDA Kinship would have enough funding to support our Building Safe Places—for Everyone program for all of 2016, pay for the printing and postage for the Connection for the year, and provide affordable Kampmeeting rates and scholarships for our members who are students, retired, or laid-off to attend US Kampmeeting or the European Kinship Meetings. These are just a few ways in which your donations can help this community. As it is right now, we don’t have the funds we need to pay for several Building Safe Places workshops planned to educate church employees in Europe and the United states in 2016. If we had consistent donations throughout the year, we could maintain a balanced budget and begin moving SDA Kinship forward in a more consistent way.
During our Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 board meetings we worked very hard on updating the strategic plan for Kinship, something that was long overdue. Although we worked for many hours on two separate weekends, we still were unable to finish this important work. We felt as though we were spinning our wheels a bit and not quite able to find the path that would enable Kinship to make the kind of difference in the world that we wish to make. So much has changed since Kinship members started meeting in 1976; our community is different now and so are our needs.
And so we’ve made the decision to hire an organizational consultant to help us walk through the processes we need to follow to get Kinship where it should be today. After an exhaustive search, we’ve selected a consultant who is a great fit for Kinship, and the board voted to work with her for a year. Because our donations are not as abundant as the needs of Kinship are, three key Kinship leaders have donated the entire amount we need to start working with our consultant in January so that we can get on track and make an even deeper difference in this world! I am so very grateful for the love and dedication and generosity of these individuals who believe so strongly in this community and our work; they’ve made our progress possible, and we don’t have to dip into the resources that are already allocated to member services, education, and communication.
It would be wonderful if we didn’t have to choose between serving members and making strategic progress as an organization. If each of our members were to give just $50 this month, we could raise $137,000, and get a tremendous start on a most fantastic 2016! But, more importantly, if each of us committed to donating just $20 each month or $240 throughout the year, our generosity really could be the attribute that helped to transform our world.
Plan to give to Kinship this month: click here to set up an online donation before the year is over!
Yolanda Elliott, President
SDA Kinship International
Family and Friends
Kris and Debbie Widmer, Family & Friends Coordinators
Love… No Conditions
As Christmas comes once again, I am reminded that at the core, at the very heart of Christmas is love, no conditions. It comes through loud and clear in the most memorized words of Scripture…”For God so loved the world that He gave…”
The world refers to people, not to the physical planet itself. The world is us, sinful and lost human beings. Jesus Christ came to a world that did not know or understand Him to give up His very life because of His great love for His creation.
Why did Jesus die? To show us that He is absolutely trustworthy. Only He could be a light in the darkness of misunderstanding that Satan has created. The world lost sight of God’s true character. Only Jesus could reveal that character to us. Only then could we be free to choose whom to trust. He has absolute power, and yet He doesn’t use that power to force His way. Instead, we are free to choose. He respects the individuality and intelligence of those He created. (Taken from Could It Be This Simple? By Timothy Jennings, MD.)
And yet, His reception was not what one would expect. Some accepted Him and caught a glimpse of the greatest of all…Love. Others laughed at Him, tried to control Him, rejected Him, humiliated Him, called Him a demon, denied Him, betrayed Him, crucified Him, and yet…He loved and still loves. He is looking for those who will take up the cause of love regardless of the reception and response they receive.
That is a high calling for those of us who follow Him, who have chosen to trust, have experienced His love, and been transformed by it into people of love—love with no conditions, love without force or coercion. I am thankful for the Christ of Christmas that, once again, reminds me of His love. He reminds me that I am free to choose. May each and every one of you feel the warmth of His love and then be transformed into love personified this season.
From Family and Friends,
May Love Reign
Kris and Debbie Widmer
Family and Friends Coordinators
Church Relations Report
Dave Ferguson, Director of Church Relations
From Your Director of Communications
Jonathan Cook, Director of Communications
Links to bookmarks:
Rebby Kern, Director of Youth Interests
More information about KinYouth at: http://www.sdakinship.org/regions-groups/groups/youth-of-kinship.html.
Debbie Hawthorn-Toop, Director of Women's Interests
November is the month that the USA celebrates Thanksgiving and is also the start of the holiday season. Many do not have families to celebrate with during this time due to many different circumstances. I invite you to keep your eyes and ears open and, if possible, invite someone to spend some time with you during this tough but also wonderful season. It does not have to be Christmas Day but just sometime during the holidays.
I am continuing to work on the details for our Women & Children First weekend. The dates are July 22-25, 2016. The contract is signed! The registration is up on the Kinship Website at https://www.sdakinship.org/women-children-first.html. The number of attendees is limited this year so if you are planning on attending please register early. Women & Children First Weekend is open to all female Kinship members, including our wonderful allies.
Catherine Taylor, Editor
Building Safe Places—for Everyone
Safe Places Team: Ruud Kieboom, Frieder Schmid, Ingrid Schmid, Floyd Pönitz, and Catherine Taylor
Kinship Kampmeeting 2016
Kristina Burgos, Kampmeeting Coordinator
July 26-31, 2016 Save the Dates!
Kampmeeting Klub for Kampmeeting 2016 in Baltimore is now up on the SDA Kinship website at https://www.sdakinship.org/events/sda-kinship-kampmeeting.html. Don't forget to sign up by December 25!
Rehoboth Mini-Kampmeeting 2016
Mark your calendars now for Rehoboth Beach mini-Kampmeeting in 2016! The dates for our Rehoboth Beach weekend will fall on April 28-May 1, 2016. It will be a week later next year, so we’re counting on the weather to be perfect! Make sure you start planning for it now!
European Kinship Meeting
September 2016 - We will be meeting at a beautiful seminar hotel in the Odenwald area, south of Darmstadt. Dr. Arlene Taylor will be one of our featured speakers. She will present the most recent research on the brain and sex, gender, and orientation.
Contact Ingrid Schmid for additional information
For Other Kinship Europe News…
If you are a European Kinship member and would like to subscribe to the Kinship Europe email newsletter, please login at https://www.sdakinship.org/loginform.html, click on My Profile, then click on Edit Profile, select the Mailing Lists tab, check Subscribe for the European Newsletter, then click on Update.
Living Eden's Gifts
Without generous, caring persons like you, Kinship could not exist. Kinship operates solely on contributions from its members and friends. Help us reach out to more LGBTI Adventists by making a tax-deductible donation to Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International.
Make your gift online today at https://sdakinship.org/component/jdonation/?view=donation&campaign_id=1&Itemid=350.
Remember to follow SDA Kinship on Twitter and Facebook!
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
PO Box 244, Orinda, California USA 94563
Visit us on the web at sdakinship.org