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April eNews

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Kinship eNews
Messages from your Kinship Leaders
Vol 10 No 4                                                                                April 2016
Changes to Kinship eNews

Important notice: Kinship eNews is published on the public part of the Kinship website at This means that you will no longer need to log in to the members-only area of the website in order to read full articles or the full issue. The public eNews contains important reports and messages from your Kinship leadership. News and announcements from region coordinators and chapter leaders are now emailed directly only to members in those specific regions. If you do not receive email from your region coordinator or chapter leader, please let Member Services know at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein..


Message from the President
Family and Friends
Church Relations Report
From Your Director of Communications
KinYouth News
Kinship Women

Building Safe Places - for Everyone
Kinship Kampmeeting 2016
Rehoboth Mini-Kampmeeting 2016
Kinship Europe Meetings
Book and the Beach Mini-Kampmeeting

Living Eden's Gifts
Kinship Support
Helpful Hyperlinks


Message from the President

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Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. It’s also time for our first Kinship board meeting of the year. During board meeting next weekend, we will discuss as many issues and topics as we can fit into our time together. And, since summer is just around the corner, Kampmeeting is on our agenda.

If you’ve not registered for Kampmeeting yet, there is still time to do so. The earlier you register, the greater the discount! If you’ve missed previous announcements, Kampmeeting is being held at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (, extremely close to Baltimore-Washington International airport. There is a free shuttle from the airport to the conference center. Please don’t wait to register; guarantee your space! Once the early registration deadline is passed, the cost will increase, and we can’t hold additional rooms. I can’t wait to see you there! (

Finances are also going to be a huge part of our discussion during board meeting. While we must talk about money, we don’t always enjoy doing so. But it has been said that wherever we put our resources like our money, time, energy, and thoughts, that’s where our hearts are. We spend our money and our time and energy on what we love! And, I must admit it, I do love Kinship with all my heart. I love the people who make up Kinship and I love what Kinship means to so many. Because my heart is with Kinship, Kinship is where I choose to spend my energy, my time, and my money.

Last year, there were 97 donors who contributed any funds during the year. Those 97 donors kept Kinship afloat financially. That is 97 people out of over 2,675 members who paid for all of the projects, our communications such as the Connection and website, and subsidized our events, such as annual Kampmeeting. Our membership has increased to over 2,900 now, yet we still struggle to raise the funds we need to continue on with our projects and programs like the Safe Places program. This is a church ally education program that began in Europe and is now being offered in the United States. Yet, without funding, we won’t be able to offer it as frequently or as economically as we have been.

So I’d like to challenge you today. If you don’t already have a plan to give to Kinship, make one. Decide to send Kinship $5 per week, or $20 per month, for example. (

Next, decide to help. When elections are coming up, as they do every year ahead of Kampmeeting, decide to pitch in. See which offices are up for election or appointment, and offer to serve.

If you can’t offer Kinship your money or your time, Kinship can always use your love. Tell someone else about this organization! While we’ve been on the internet for more than 15 years and advertise, it’s still word of mouth that helps LGBTIQA Adventists and their families find us. 

Jesus said that where our treasure is, that’s where our hearts are. He also said that if we threw bread onto the waters, it would return to us. The blessing of giving to a community like Kinship is that we all receive!


Yolanda Elliott, President
SDA Kinship International
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Family and Friends

Debbie Widmer, Family & Friends Coordinator

That Was Easy

dwidmer smIt gets better! Those words have been used in numerous ways, especially appealing to LGBT youth to be encouraged as they face the challenges of coming of age as a queer person in a normative world. Don’t take your life. What seems hard now, will change. Give it some time. There are those who care about you and your life. It gets better.

We have found that this is also true for parents and families of LGBT folk. What seems so hard in that moment when a child comes out may, indeed, get better with time. When you feel like your chest will explode—it won’t. When you feel that the tears will never end—they do. Your constant desire to hide in your own closet when your child, sibling, or grandchild comes out of theirs—will decrease. It gets better!

A couple of years ago, Kris had been counseling a young woman who had just ended a very tumultuous relationship. She kept repeating the phrase: “But it’s so hard.” “It’s just so hard.” In a flash, an idea popped into his head. Change your focus. When it feels so hard, turn it around and say, “That was easy.” When you make it through the first event where you see him with someone else, say, “That was easy!” When someone asks you about him and you hold your head high instead of looking down at your toes, say, ”That was easy!” 

easybuttonIn a flash of inspiration, Kris suggested she buy one of the marketing gimmicks from Staples—the “Easy” button. It is a battery-powered gizmo that says that one phrase of affirmation. “That was easy!” She did, and also bought one for us. It sits by our front door, and has been the best gift ever.

It has helped us to keep our focus on the fact that it does get better, it does get easier. As we look back over our journey, we are amazed how far we have come. And every time we need that reminder, we just hit our Easy Button. Whenever we feel good about the changes that we have made, we hit the Easy Button. Our Easy Button is within an easy reach. We punch it often.

Paul reminds us that living on this earth with all of its difficulties can be easy. It all depends on how you view it and how you do it. After telling his readers that he had learned to be content in any situation he found himself in, he says these words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul knew the secret. We can know this secret, too. Push the button…it is easy when Christ gives us the strength.

Our hope and prayer and wish for you through difficult times is this: Hold on. Keep going.  You can make it. It will get better. When it seems hard now…push the button.  

Soon it will be telling the truth.      

“That was easy!”

Debbie Widmer
Family and Friends Coordinators


To contact the Family and Friends Coordinators, email at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein..


Church Relations Report
Dave Ferguson, Director of Church Relations

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Do you have ideas to share or want to dialogue about how we can interact with local churches, conferences, or the General Conference? Please share your ideas and questions on the Kinship Facebook page. Or you can send me your comments, questions, ideas, or suggestions at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein..


From Your Director of Communications
Jonathan Cook, Director of Communications

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How can the Communications team better serve you? Be sure to stay up-to-date with everything Kinship related. Follow us on our public Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram (see links below). When you find interesting articles or projects we should be aware of, please email me at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein.

Links to bookmarks:

Public Facebook Page -

Twitter -

Kinship Blog -

We Are Seventh-day Adventists: Every Story Matters -


KinYouth News
Rebby Kern, Director of Youth Interests

RebbyFinal150More information about KinYouth at: you can email Rebby at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein. or friend her on Facebook and join the KinYouth Facebook Group.

Kinship Women

Debbie Hawthorn-Toop, Director of Women's Interests

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As the weather warms up here in the “Great White North” I am looking forward to the summer. A time to get out and play after being cooped up indoors for many months. I am also working on finalizing the plans for our Women & Children First Weekend. 

TIME TO REGISTERWe still have a few spots available

The house is filling up! Women & Children First weekend registration is on the Kinship website at The dates are July 22-26, 2016. The number of attendees is limited this year; so if you are planning on attending, please register early. We have already had several members register and it is on a first-come-first-served basis. Women & Children First Weekend is open to all female Kinship members, including our wonderful allies.

Please feel free to contact me with any other suggestions or ideas that you may have for KinWomen. I can be reached at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein. and on Facebook.  

Debbie Hawthorn-Toop

More information at:


Catherine Taylor, Editor


When I first began editing this newsletter thirteen years ago, Bob Bouchard told me that the most important thing to our readers was to hear our stories. He was right. That hasn’t changed. We have been honored to share small and large segments of many of your lives. That being said, we need more stories. Those stories have power. We would be willing to do phone interviews. If there are specific aspects (or all) of your story, we would be delighted to print it. A way that some have found it easy to at least begin or share a part of what you would like to say is to respond to topics like: 

1. Five things about myself.

2. The most important things I have learned about coming out.

3. Some of my greatest supports have been….

4. What I would like the church to know is….

We have gotten specific appreciations for Jerry McKay's story and requests for more. Of course we would be delighted to have another serialized project.

You may use these or anything else that comes to mind. You can write to us at  Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you have comments, questions, or submissions for publication, you can write to us at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein..

Connection Archives

You can find archived copies of the Connection online at


Building Safe Places—for Everyone
Safe Places Team: Ruud Kieboom, Frieder Schmid, Ingrid Schmid, Floyd Pönitz, and Catherine Taylor

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At the European meetings last month, pastors asked for stories about the ways church members or church leaders have been helpful to us. We would love to share your experiences with them. If you could take a paragraph or three pages and let us know this part of your story, we will be honored to pass it along. You can write to Catherine at[email protected] /* DATA[ */!function(t,e,r,n,c,a,p){try{t=document.currentScript||function(){for(t=document.getElementsByTagName('script'),e=t.length;e--;)if(t[e].getAttribute('data-cfhash'))return t[e]}();if(t&&(c=t.previousSibling)){p=t.parentNode;if(a=c.getAttribute('data-cfemail')){for(e='',r='0x'+a.substr(0,2)|0,n=2;a.length-n;n+=2)e+='%'+('0'+('0x'+a.substr(n,2)^r).toString(16)).slice(-2);p.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(decodeURIComponent(e)),c)}p.removeChild(t)}}catch(u){}}()/* ]]> */ .

We are always looking for resources to include on our website. If you would like to share ones you have found, please send them to [email protected] and we will be delighted to include them.

You can find many resources on our website at

You can receive our newsletter by contacting us at [email protected] blackline

Rehoboth Mini-Kampmeeting 2016

Rehoboth Beach

We will have the beach house from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning, providing our attendees an extra day to play at the beach, boardwalk, or outlet shops.

Please fill out the registration form online as soon as possible to make sure you get a room at the beach house! Once all spaces are filled, you will need to find your own room at one of the many hotels in the area. 

The cost for the weekend at the beach house, which includes a warm bed, Friday evening supper, Sabbath and Sunday breakfast, and Sabbath lunch is $125/person. The cost for the weekend if staying off-site is $80/person. All other meals are your responsibility.

Our speaker this year is Pastor Al Konrad, Brian’s good friend! 

For any questions, please contact Yolanda at [email protected]  

Click here to fill out the registration form.

I look forward to seeing you soon!


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Kinship Kampmeeting 2016
Kristina Burgos, Kampmeeting Coordinator

July 26-31, 2016  Save the Dates!

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Kampmeeting is a little over three (3) months away; so if you have not registered for Kampmeeting, there is still time to receive a 2% discount if you register by April 30.

June 17, 2016 is the last day to register. After June 17, there will be a $50 late fee to register. (

For those who have received a scholarship, don't forget to register.

For those who signed up with Kampmeeting Klub, you still need to register.

Information regarding tentative schedule, location, and fees are on the SDA Kinship website at  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kristina at [email protected] .


Kinship Europe

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EKM 1-5 September

We already have 23 people confirmed to attend! If you would like to join us at a lovely seminar hotel in the parkland of Germany, hear devotionals by participants and local allies, learn about our brain with Arlene Taylor, be a part of a play, and meet an international group of Kinship members, you can register online (see link below) or contact Catherine at [email protected]  for registration information.

For more information, you can go to

More information about Kinship Europe at

European Coordinator:Ruud Kieboom

E-mail:  [email protected]

European Youth Coordinator: Itamar

E-mail: [email protected]


Book and the Beach — October 26-30, 2016

beach book 2011The Kind God of the Old Testament?

Cost: $240.00 per person

We're keeping the dolphin cruise, great meals, beautiful view of the ocean, comfortable rooms, remarkable people, lighthouse visits, and a surprise or two. We moved the date on the off chance that having our gathering later in the month will provide more sunshine and fewer hurricane warnings. We are shifting our study this year to be a mix of presentation and discussion. Our topic is God's Grace in the Old Testament. We'll hear about and discuss stories.

You can register at and sign up to pay at little less than $35.00 per month per person from April to October. If you have questions, you can contact Catherine at [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you!


Living Eden's Gifts


If you or anyone you know would find a Biblical study of the issue helpful, you can access the entirety of this Bible study about "the clobber texts" at or,or you can order a hard copy version to share from Catherine at [email protected]

blackline Kinship Support

circle of kinship smWithout 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.


Helpful Hyperlinks


 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






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An Open Letter to Any Parent of an LGBTIAQ+ Child