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SDA Kinship - December eNews

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Kinship eNews
Messages from your Kinship Leaders

Vol 9 No 12                                                                                December 2015

Changes to Kinship eNews
Important notice: Kinship eNews is now 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Message from the President
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"Generosity—our ability to offer the best of who we are and what we have for the benefit of one another—is perhaps our most valuable human attribute. In fact, it may be the singular quality we possess that has the capacity to transform the world.” —Generous Life (Increasing Your Joy through Giving JumpStart)

As we move into the holiday season, we receive more and more invitations to give to very worthy causes. SDA Kinship invited members and supporters to give to Kinship on Giving Tuesday, December 2. And, very soon, folks will be looking for opportunities to give a Christmas or end-of-year offering or donation to the organizations that serve and support you during the year. I would very much appreciate it if you would consider SDA Kinship as you contemplate where your gifts and contributions go this December.

The statement I quoted really touches my heart because it says what I believe generosity is: “offering the best of who we are and what we have for the benefit of one another.” I think most people look at giving as something they have to do or are expected to do instead something they want to do. But if we look at giving as an opportunity to make a change in this world, it can be something to get excited about.

Your gifts need not be huge to make a difference: we all have different means, and so some of us can give more than others. But if each of our members were to give just $50 this December, SDA Kinship would have enough funding to support our Building Safe Places—for Everyone program for all of 2016, pay for the printing and postage for the Connection for the year, and provide affordable Kampmeeting rates and scholarships for our members who are students, retired, or laid-off to attend US Kampmeeting or the European Kinship Meetings. These are just a few ways in which your donations can help this community. As it is right now, we don’t have the funds we need to pay for several Building Safe Places workshops planned to educate church employees in Europe and the United states in 2016. If we had consistent donations throughout the year, we could maintain a balanced budget and begin moving SDA Kinship forward in a more consistent way.

During our Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 board meetings we worked very hard on updating the strategic plan for Kinship, something that was long overdue. Although we worked for many hours on two separate weekends, we still were unable to finish this important work. We felt as though we were spinning our wheels a bit and not quite able to find the path that would enable Kinship to make the kind of difference in the world that we wish to make. So much has changed since Kinship members started meeting in 1976; our community is different now and so are our needs.

And so we’ve made the decision to hire an organizational consultant to help us walk through the processes we need to follow to get Kinship where it should be today. After an exhaustive search, we’ve selected a consultant who is a great fit for Kinship, and the board voted to work with her for a year. Because our donations are not as abundant as the needs of Kinship are, three key Kinship leaders have donated the entire amount we need to start working with our consultant in January so that we can get on track and make an even deeper difference in this world! I am so very grateful for the love and dedication and generosity of these individuals who believe so strongly in this community and our work; they’ve made our progress possible, and we don’t have to dip into the resources that are already allocated to member services, education, and communication.

It would be wonderful if we didn’t have to choose between serving members and making strategic progress as an organization. If each of our members were to give just $50 this month, we could raise $137,000, and get a tremendous start on a most fantastic 2016! But, more importantly, if each of us committed to donating just $20 each month or $240 throughout the year, our generosity really could be the attribute that helped to transform our world.

Plan to give to Kinship this month: click here to set up an online donation before the year is over! 

Yolanda Elliott, President
SDA Kinship International
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Family and Friends

Kris and Debbie Widmer, Family & Friends Coordinators
Love… No Conditions


As Christmas comes once again, I am reminded that at the core, at the very heart of Christmas is love, no conditions. It comes through loud and clear in the most memorized words of Scripture…”For God so loved the world that He gave…”

The world refers to people, not to the physical planet itself. The world is us, sinful and lost human beings. Jesus Christ came to a world that did not know or understand Him to give up His very life because of His great love for His creation.

Why did Jesus die? To show us that He is absolutely trustworthy. Only He could be a light in the darkness of misunderstanding that Satan has created. The world lost sight of God’s true character. Only Jesus could reveal that character to us. Only then could we be free to choose whom to trust. He has absolute power, and yet He doesn’t use that power to force His way. Instead, we are free to choose. He respects the individuality and intelligence of those He created. (Taken from Could It Be This Simple? By Timothy Jennings, MD.)

And yet, His reception was not what one would expect. Some accepted Him and caught a glimpse of the greatest of all…Love. Others laughed at Him, tried to control Him, rejected Him, humiliated Him, called Him a demon, denied Him, betrayed Him, crucified Him, and yet…He loved and still loves. He is looking for those who will take up the cause of love regardless of the reception and response they receive.

That is a high calling for those of us who follow Him, who have chosen to trust, have experienced His love, and been transformed by it into people of love—love with no conditions, love without force or coercion. I am thankful for the Christ of Christmas that, once again, reminds me of His love. He reminds me that I am free to choose. May each and every one of you feel the warmth of His love and then be transformed into love personified this season.

From Family and Friends,

Season’s Greetings
Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Mele Kalikimaka
Joyeux Noel
God Jul
Feliz Navidad
Happy Hanukkah
Merry Keshmish

May Love Reign

Kris and Debbie Widmer
Family and Friends Coordinators

To contact the Family and Friends Coordinators, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Church Relations Report
Dave Ferguson, Director of Church Relations


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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

From Your Director of Communications
Jonathan Cook, Director of Communications

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Please feel free to contact me anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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


More information about KinYouth at:

Or you can email Rebby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or friend her on Facebook and join the KinYouth Facebook Group.






Kinship Women

Debbie Hawthorn-Toop, Director of Women's Interests

Debbie rainbowflag 100November is the month that the USA celebrates Thanksgiving and is also the start of the holiday season. Many do not have families to celebrate with during this time due to many different circumstances. I invite you to keep your eyes and ears open and, if possible, invite someone to spend some time with you during this tough but also wonderful season. It does not have to be Christmas Day but just sometime during the holidays.

I am continuing to work on the details for our Women & Children First weekend. The dates are July 22-25, 2016. The contract is signed! The registration is up on the Kinship Website at The number of attendees is limited this year so if you are planning on attending please register early. Women & Children First Weekend is open to all female Kinship members, including our wonderful allies.

For those on tight budgets, we do have the Kampmeeting Klub and Women’s Weekend Club which allows you to pay a monthly amount to your account to pay for the events. This allows you to pay for it over time and not have it be such a big hit all at once. The cost for this year’s weekend will be $250.00 per person (full price list will be posted soon). Please go to to set this up or contact Karen Lee, Kinship Treasurer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with questions. The deadline to set up your Women & Children First Klub account is DECEMBER 25.


Catherine Taylor, Editor


If you have comments, questions, or submissions for publication, you can write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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If you know of someone who could benefit or who would enjoy having a time to talk with others about ways to best care for the LGBTI Adventists in their midst, you can let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
You can find out more on the website at

Kinship Kampmeeting 2016
Kristina Burgos, Kampmeeting Coordinator

July 26-31, 2016  Save the Dates!

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Kampmeeting Klub for Kampmeeting 2016 in Baltimore is now up on the SDA Kinship website at Don't forget to sign up by December 25!

If you have questions contact Kristina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Rehoboth Mini-Kampmeeting 2016

Rehoboth BeachMark your calendars now for Rehoboth Beach mini-Kampmeeting in 2016! The dates for our Rehoboth Beach weekend will fall on April 28-May 1, 2016.  It will be a week later next year, so we’re counting on the weather to be perfect!  Make sure you start planning for it now!  




European Kinship Meeting

mapeurope 250September 2016 - We will be meeting at a beautiful seminar hotel in the Odenwald area, south of Darmstadt. Dr. Arlene Taylor will be one of our featured speakers. She will present the most recent research on the brain and sex, gender, and orientation.

Contact Ingrid Schmid for additional information
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Other Kinship Europe News…

If you are a European Kinship member and would like to subscribe to the Kinship Europe email newsletter, please login at, click on My Profile, then click on Edit Profile, select the Mailing Lists tab, check Subscribe for the European Newsletter, then click on Update.

Living Eden's Gifts


You may read this booklet in its entirety online at or printed copies to hand out, you can contact Catherine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..






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.

Make your gift online today at


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