We humans enjoy connecting. We connect with family members on special occasions. Many of us enjoyed the weekly connections with friends at Sabbath services when they were allowed, and we look forward to returning to those times again.
Connecting allows us to catch up on each other’s lives—travels, special occasions, celebrations—or give support to others during stressful times. We get to share new information, maybe new places to visit, learn new information, or give support that someone else needs. That’s how we can enrich someone else’s life and, in turn, have our own lives enriched and improved. Connecting in person is valuable because you can sense each other’s joys and challenges and give hugs and personal responses. In-person, connections are great.
Today's world is a bit chaotic! A few weeks ago our political world was filled with various discussions, opinions, needs, and desires and gatherings. Our physical world was moving out of wintertime and looking forward to springtime with less snow, tornadoes, and rain, and more wildflowers and wonderful sunsets. Suitcases and hiking backpacks were coming out of their closets getting ready for fun trips, looking forward to cruises, vacations, school proms and graduations, and spring break.
Then suddenly our world changed! Our plans were dampened and some were washed away. The virus arrived and, with it, major changes to our plans, our lives, and our immediate futures.
Reinder Bruinsma has been a Seventh-day Adventist conference president for the Netherlands and for Belgium, General Conference administrator, pastor, and author - among several other things. In what he loosely calls his "retirement" he continues to write, speak to Adventist leadership and laity conferences and, attend other meetings around the world.
On the weekend of April 20, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division (NAD) hosted a workshop that included a select group of church leaders and lay members. The purpose of the workshop was to “participate and preview a new resource (booklet) titled Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones: Adventist Edition.”
Carolyn and I felt honored and humbled when we were invited to become coordinators of the Kinship Family & Friends activities. We have been loving and supporting members along with our gay son Aric for many years. Unfortunately, he lived in New York City so we didn’t physically attend together.
Over the years of enjoyable participation, we have always felt warmly welcomed but often, after attending a Kampmeeting, we drove away wondering if we had helped the members in any way ... oh we shared great stories ... we laughed and cried over challenging moments ... we all had fun BUT...
When my oldest child informed me that she was transgender, I cried. I was confused. I didn’t even know where to turn to talk to anyone, because I knew my church wasn’t prepared to touch the issue. So I started praying and reading.
It’s been a couple of years now. My daughter Amy is happier than she ever was during her years of living as a boy. Her teenage siblings accepted her without question; their oldest sibling was simply "regenerating" like in Dr. Who—the same person inside with a different outside.
Here we are in the baseball post season again. It is amazing to watch teams make their final out...the out that sends them home. There's the cheering and high-fiving from the winning team. Then there's the downcast faces of the losing team. No matter what, one team moves on and one team goes home.
by Debbie Widmer, Family and Friends Coordinator
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and it’s not over yet. First was preschool graduation, with those adorable children in miniature caps and gowns waving their hands, unashamedly, at their parents. Next came eighth-grade graduation a week later. These young people tried out their adult looks—awkwardly child-like one moment and boldly confident the next. Today was an academy graduation. These graduates are on the brink of adulthood, making adult decisions about their futures.
From: Kris and Debbie Widmer.
Recently and ongoingly (Kris is a poet and wordsmith so occasionally he forges odd words), transgender people have been in the news. The world and national news and the internal news that Adventists hear through their social media and other communication channels.