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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Para mí, los últimos meses han sido difíciles. Como cuidadora, escucho a mucha gente preguntando cuándo volveremos a la normalidad, ¡lo que podría llamarse normal! Y no estoy segura. Pero sería abrumador centrarse solo en lo que ha sido desafiante. Entonces, en cambio, pensé en compartir solo algunas de las cosas que me han traído algunos momentos increíbles de alegría desde la última vez que supieron de mí.
Recientemente leí un artículo que compartía los logros exitosos que una primatóloga había logrado sobre su deseo y meta de toda la vida de ayudar a los chimpancés a sobrevivir y expandirse. Al principio de su carrera, tuvimos la alegría de pasar un par de días con ella mientras compartía con estudiantes universitarios y luego en dos conferencias públicas. Quedamos impresionados con su energía y entusiasmo por hacer cambios importantes en África; pero Jane Goodall era joven, sin educación y recién comenzando su viaje de toda la vida.
¡El mundo de hoy es un poco caótico! Hace unas semanas nuestro mundo político estaba lleno de discusiones, opiniones, necesidades, deseos y reuniones. Nuestro mundo físico estaba saliendo del invierno y esperando la primavera con menos nieve, tornados y lluvia, y más flores silvestres y maravillosos atardeceres. Las maletas y las mochilas de senderismo salían de sus armarios preparándose para los viajes de diversión, esperando los cruceros, las vacaciones, los bailes de fin de curso y las graduaciones, y las vacaciones de primavera.
Entonces, de repente, nuestro mundo cambió. Nuestros planes se vieron empañados y algunos fueron arrastrados. El virus llegó y, con él, grandes cambios en nuestros planes, nuestras vidas y nuestro futuro inmediato.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.