Message from the President

Greetings Kinship Family!

I hope you are settling into the new year 2023, and things are going well. Your Kinship leaders have been busy so far this year already. You probably have read in my posts that Kinship’s Communications Team had a rocky ending to 2022 and an equally rocky beginning to 2023. It has been a challenge to get the website, mailings, and everything back in order.

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Families and Friends

ENJOY THE KINSHIP “SPIRIT”

We’ve been re-reading an excellent book by  Loma Linda theology professor, Richard Rice, Believing, Behaving, Belonging: finding a new love for the church. Early in the second chapter, a section is titled “The Spirit Creates Community...the spirit not only works within us, but it also works among us, or between us. It gives spiritual life to the community and the individual.”

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Church Relations

In the book Roughing It, Mark Twain shares an experience in which he and two friends found themselves lost in a blizzard at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. After crossing a swollen creek they wondered in which direction they should set out. One of the men maintained that his instinct was as sensitive as any compass, so they followed his lead.

After a half hour they came upon some fresh horse tracks, so they urged their horses to go faster, hoping to catch up with the travelers just ahead Then they came upon tracks newer and fresher and spurred their horses onward, thinking they were following a company of soldiers from a nearby fort. As they trotted along, and the tracks became fresher and more numerous, they began to think that the platoon of soldiers had become a regiment.

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You're Invited...

During the month of November we'd love to connect with you at one of these events:

November 5  – 2:00 pm US Eastern/ 8 pm Berlin Time
Gender 101: Your Gender is as Unique as Your Fingerprint

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Message from the President

Dear Kinship Friends, 

As the focus on Kinship Awareness Month comes to a close, let’s continue to promote and talk about SDA Kinship and look for opportunities to tell others about SDA Kinship every month. If you have any stories to share about how you spread the good news of Kinship with others during the month, I would love to hear about it.

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FAMILY AND FRIENDS

“Together Again” Kampmeeting

July 14-17, 2022
John & Carolyn Wilt, Directors-at-Large
Families & Friends Coordinators

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Welcome to August! Similar to the past months, July seems to have flown by quickly.

Kinship Kampmeeting 43 is now a pleasant memory. I am impressed at the great job the Kampmeeting team did in organizing this special event with inspirational speakers and pertinent topics. We had a variety of subjects presented, but the one that sticks out for me is the theme of “self-care.” Learning to flow with the punches and take care of ourselves so we can better take care of others is an important lesson in life. Just turning on the TV or opening any social media platform blasts us with a lot of confusing messages. It is a daily process of not letting them get under our skin. Together as a community, we can keep ourselves in a healthy space. If you want someone to talk with, pray with, or just to listen to you as you verbalize your concerns, the Kinship board is available to share with you. In particular, our chaplain, Kumar Dixit, would like the opportunity to know more about your spiritual and self-care needs. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Spectrum did a summary piece on Kampmeeting: Kinship Kampmeeting Returns in Person (spectrummagazine.org). We are hoping to make many of the Kampmeeting presentations available in the upcoming weeks and months. It was great to see old friends and to make new ones and build community in person again. 

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VICE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Hello all! (This includes those of us who are edging closer to the end of winter and those of us who are sweltering in the heat.)

Between Kampmeeting last month and our European Kinship Meeting (EKM) that will begin on the first day of next month, there have been and are great options to gather with a group. I am glad there are in-person options available for us. 

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Journey - Chapter 29

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.

Motivated by that sometimes-naïve Christian eagerness to “lay the truth out there” in personal witness, I announced I struggled with homosexuality, had attended Quest Learning Center hoping to remedy the problem, and that I was moving to Toronto to begin some kind of ministry.

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Journey - Chapter 28

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.

I stayed with Colin and Sharon at their home for the ten days I was in Reading. Staying in the house where the sexual violation had taken place didn’t trigger any significant negative reaction. That was probably because we had been working through that incident for months. Although Sharon was as warm and hospitable as ever, I felt odd interacting with her while knowing she knew nothing! My history with Colin made such glaring omissions commonplace; the negative or questionable aspects of changing one’s orientation were kept hidden from public scrutiny.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

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.

For Kinship, this has been a busy month. For me, this culminated in the CALLED conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Although Kinship was not allowed to have an official presence inside the convention, we had a wonderful location in the beautiful park just across the street, where we had a resource and info table set up near a busy crosswalk. This gave us the opportunity to have lots of positive conversations and to share with those pastors and families walking from their hotel to the convention center. We used a nearby Presbyterian church to have two evening presentations on being LGBTQ and Adventist and a panel discussion on how pastors can be more affirming. This conference really gave me hope that a change in attitudes is possible. 

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JOIN US FOR KAMPMEETING IN ORLANDO


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.

Registration is $200, and scholarships are still available. Saturday is Families and Friends day and registration for the day is FREELodging information and other details are available on the website.

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FAMILIES AND FRIENDS

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. 

It’s very disappointing to see folks who believe they are Christians behave this way. We remember and believe Jesus never condemned nor rejected anyone because of their differences from others. We are all different from each other, taller, shorter, different skin and hair colors, shaped differently, maybe born missing a body part, autistic. No one is a perfect copy of someone else.

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CHURCH RELATIONS

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.

I came away from the experience with the impression that most of the people we met support Kinship’s goals of making the church more inclusive and accepting of LBGTQ+ individuals, their families, and friends. We met a few people who voiced their opposition to the issue of homosexuality, based on a misunderstanding of Scripture, but most people affirmed Kinship’s ministry of inclusion.

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Message from the President

HOW'S IT GOING?

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CHURCH RELATIONS

WELCOME

“Welcome” has to be one of the warmest, most meaningful words in the English language. Combine it with “home” and you have a phrase that connotes memories of family, belonging, security, and safety.

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REMEMBER THE PEOPLE IN UKRAINE

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.

At the time of this writing, we are especially praying for the people of Ukraine; and we condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. I have contacted as many of our Kinship members in Ukraine as I could reach. Those who responded have asked us to please pray for them and their safety. They have either fled temporarily to neighboring countries or have gone to the western part of Ukraine to be safe. The invading Russians will not be kind to queer Ukrainians.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

WRITE YOUR OWN SCRIPT

Growing up, we are all given a script. We rarely realize it, but it is a part of our upbringing from our parents and our church “family.” Scripts give us security and a sense of direction. Mostly, life scripts are a good thing and keep us safe. They are necessary.

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FAMILIES AND FRIENDS

FROM PYRAMIDS TO WHEELS

Often we connect with families struggling with the sudden awareness that a family member is LGBTQIA+. This new awareness can be stressful and awkward for all the family members. Feelings and emotions can range in all directions, causing confusion and misunderstandings. It’s more common than many families realize until they suddenly are spinning in their own emotional tornado.

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FEBRUARY ENEWS

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