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From the President's Desk-May 2015


Less than two weeks ago, my local Kinship region had our annual Rehoboth Beach Mini-Kampmeeting in Delaware. For 15-17 years, we’ve held this retreat every year using the same beach house. The beach house holds 26 people and it’s full almost every year. The other attendees stay in nearby hotels, and we eat most meals together at the house. It’s a great place to hold a weekend retreat for our group.

In the early years, we held our church service and meetings in one of the living rooms of the beach house, but trying to squeeze 30 people into such a tight space became uncomfortable. We looked through the town to see if there were any churches that might work for our group. The Presbyterian church just a couple of blocks from the main street of town fit our needs perfectly, and the folks at the church let us use their church at no charge! But we make a donation to the church as a thank you for their generosity. We’ve now used that church for several years.

Rehoboth church

We keep the weekend casual because it’s at the beach! And there are things nearby to do for everyone to enjoy. Whether it’s shopping at the outlet stores or walking on the beach or boardwalk, flying kites, or riding in a two- to four-person pedal buggy, there’s lots to choose from!

But the most important part of the weekend is spending time with each other. Our Friday evening vespers program can be anything from sharing our stories to a presentation from a speaker. On Sabbath morning, we have lesson study before the church service begins. We also try to alternate between a woman and a man as our Sabbath speaker each year. Often, especially if the speaker is not a Kinship member, they are as blessed by spending time with us as we are spending time with them. We’ve also had a tradition for many years of having a sacred talent program on Sabbath evening. One can sing, recite poetry, tell jokes, or share some other talent to close the day. The talent show is one of my favorite times of the weekend because I feel so blessed by the talent that is shared by my region family. Then we all go out to a restaurant as a group to eat and laugh and talk. We get in all the time together that we can because some of those who attend are friends we only see that one time each year.

My region is extra special to me. Although I coordinate the weekend, everyone is always so willing to pitch in and help with anything that needs doing. For me, it’s a labor of love. And I’d bet Linda Wright and Kristina Burgos are also finding that coordinating our annual Kinship Kampmeeting is a labor of love as well. It’s a lot of work, but because the event is so full of lovely people, great meetings, fabulous music, and more blessings than can be counted, it’s well worth it! 

If you’ve never experienced Kinship Kampmeeting, this July in Pomona, California, promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget. As many of you know, I look forward to attending Kampmeeting every year. It’s hard to explain what I experienced at my very first Kampmeeting, but it was so special to me that I’ve never wanted to miss another. So far I haven’t. Please come and experience it for yourself. You can register on the Kinship website.

Yolanda Elliott, President
SDA Kinship International
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