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Yolanda Elliott

SDA Kinship is a community. But what is a community? The definition says: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

I frequently say, when asked, that one of SDA Kinship’s goals is to build community. The challenge is that we are a very diverse group with layers and layers of “uniqueness” and diversity that we bring to the community table. So what is the characteristic that we have in common? What the church sees as the brokenness of our orientation and gender, we see as a blessing.

Just listen to our stories. Stories from LGBTQIA+, parents, and allies. We are survivors. We come together in our Facebook groups, or WhatsApp groups, and other social media to share our journey, find commonality, and to get and give encouragement. When one member is hurting, because we have felt hurt and understand that, we all hurt together. When a member is rejoicing, we all rejoice together. Together we are stronger. Our voices are stronger.

Let’s make 2021 the year of building community, keeping our theme Loved and Affirmed in mind, and sharing our stories. If we aren’t welcome in certain communities, let’s invite them to our community and show them what it is like to be Loved and Affirmed.

Floyd Poenitz 
Vice President
SDA Kinship Int., Inc.