Welcome to Our Kampmeeting Edition page 3 California Passes

Comentarios

Transcripción

Welcome to Our Kampmeeting Edition page 3 California Passes
Welcome to Our
Kampmeeting Edition
page 3
Some Civil Thoughts About
Marriage
page 6
California Passes
Transgender
Non-discrimination Bill
page 5
Episcopalians OK First
Openly Gay Bishop
page 10
Witness Our Welcome
page 12
Andrea Talks About HAD’s
Beginning
page 14
KINSHIP BOARD
President: Bob Bouchard
Vice President: Taylor Ruhl
Secretary: Bruce Harlow
Treasurer: Karen Lee
Connection Editor: Catherine Taylor
Marketing & PR/Webmaster: Robb
Crouch/Dave Gilsdorf
Church Liaison: Leif Lind
Womyn’s Coordinator: Yolanda Elliott
Kampmeeting 2004 Coordinator: Fred
Casey
BOARD MEMBERS AT LARGE
IMRU: Eric Gilleo
KinNet Coordinator: Floyd Poenitz
Office Manager/Member Services:
Fred Casey Michelle Cornwell
Fund-raising: Mark Driskill
Finance: Karen Wetherell
International Coordinator: Obed
Vazquez
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Bob Bouchard, Samuel Pang, Sherri
Babcock
CONNECTION STAFF
Circulation: Fred Casey
European editor: Ruud Kieboom
Photography: Bruce Harlow, Wendy
Rickwalt, Denise Proulz
REGIONAL COORDINATORS - USA
Region 1 (PA, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT,
NH, ME) Eric Gilleo 617-524-8210
[email protected]
Region 2 (WV, VA, NC, DE, MD, DC)
Yolanda Elliot 410-531-5382
[email protected]
Region 3 (TN, AL, MS, GA, SC, FL)
Rick Shadix 770-489-4184
[email protected]
Region 4 (MN, IA, MO, IL, MI, IN,
KY,OH) Fred Casey 866-732-5677
[email protected]
Region 5 (TX, OK, AR, LA) Floyd
Poenitz 972-416-1358 fl
[email protected]
Region 6 (ND, SD, KS, CO, NE, WY,
UT, NM) Robb Crouch
402-466-9476
[email protected]
Region 7 (AK, WA, OR ID, MT)
Dennis Grau 253-503-8363
[email protected]
Region 8 (No. CA, NV HI) Harry
Wilmoth 510-523-3461
[email protected]
Region 9 (So. CA, AZ) Jason Edwards
562-983-5662
[email protected]
AFFILIATED INTERNATIONAL
REGION CONTACTS
Australia Noel Thorpe
[email protected]
Brazil Itamar Matos de Souza
[email protected]
Canada Brent Lehmann
[email protected]
Europe Ruud Kieboom
[email protected]
Germany Roy Ratzer [email protected]
Mexico & Spanish speaking
Alexander Gomez Pasco
[email protected]
Philippines Jonathan Coo
[email protected]
2
Who we are...
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc. (Kinship) is a nonprofit
support organization which ministers to the spiritual, emotional, social,
intersex and physical well-being of Seventh-day Adventist lesbian, gay men,
bisexual, and transgendered individuals and their families and friends.
Kinship facilitates and promotes the understanding and affirmation of LGBT
Adventists among themselves and within the Seventh-day Adventist
community through education, advocacy, and reconciliation. Kinship is an
organization which supports the advance of human rights for all people.
Founded in 1976, the organization was incorporated in 1981 and is
recognized as a 501a(3) non-profi t organization in the US. Kinship has a
board of up to 15 offi cers and 13 regional coordinators. The current list of
members and friends includes several thousand people in 20 countries.
SDA Kinship believes the Bible does not condemn, or even mention,
homosexuality as a sexual orientation. Ellen G. White does not parallel any of
the Bible texts, which are often used to condemn homosexuals. Most of the
anguish imposed upon God’s children who grow up as LGBT has its roots in
a misunderstanding of what the Bible says.
Support Kinship
Kinship operates solely on contributions from its members and friends.
Help us reach out to more LGBT Adventists by making a tax-deductible
donation to SDA Kinship International. Please send your check or money
order to the address below.
SDA Kinship, P.O. Box 49357, Sarasota, FL 34230-6375 — 866-732-5677
Visit SDA Kinship’s Web Site at: www.sdakinship.org
Production: Gerry Fox
INFORMATION
The Connection is published by
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship
International, Inc. Principal office:
P.O. Box 49357, Sarasota, FL
34230-6375; 866-732-5677.
Submissions of letters, articles,
pictures, art work, and graphics are
welcome. Include your name as you
want it published, address and
telephone number. If an item is to be
acknowledged or returned, please
include a self-addressed, stamped
envelope. Some connection
contributors have chosen to remain
anonymous. Pseudonyms, if used,
appear at the bottom of this page.
The connection reserves the right to
edit manuscripts for length, syntax,
grammar, and clarity. Address all
submissions to the Connection, P.O.
Box 49357, Sarasota, FL 34230-6375.
Inquiries and article submissions
may also be e-mailed to
[email protected]
The mention or appearance of any
names, organizations or photographs
in this publication is not meant to
imply a fact or statement about their
sexual orientation or activity.
Subscription requests or address
changes may be sent to:
Subscriptions, P.O. Box 49357,
Sarasota, FL 34230- 6375, or call
866-732-5677. The Kinship mailing
list is confi dential and used only by
Kinship offi cers. The mailing list is
not sold, rented, or exchanged for
any purpose.
© 2003 Connection. All rights
reserved. Reproduction in whole or in
part without permission is prohibited.
OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE
NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF SDA
KINSHIP.
Member of the Gay and Lesbian Press
Association.
Printed in the U.S. using 100%
recyclable paper.
September 2003
Vermont Hosts Kampmeeting 2003
Welcome to Our Kampmeeting Edition
Breaking the first rule of speaking
and writing, we begin by
apologizing for the fact that we
cannot bring you the true flavor, all
the tales, or the absolute ambiance
of the week of adventures we call
Kampmeeting. Due to confidentiality
we can't share every story. For lack of
space we cannot describe adequately
the comfort of the dorm or the
delicate flavors of the cuisine we
consumed. But we will attempt to
give you a quick overview, as well as
some pictures and reactions of the
participants who arrived by plane,
car, train, and.... Well, it was
Vermont; who knows what
conveyance was utilized.
For 23 women the retreat began at
Lake George on Friday evening.
Yolanda coordinated a lodge, a tour
of the lake and 48 hours of
relaxation. Thanks to Sheri, who
researched some of the local color.
We wanted to eat dinner where
people registering could find us so
decided to dine at the lodge
commissary. Our order was taken
one hour and forty minutes after we
sat down. The salad arrived twenty
minutes after that. We began to get
the giggles and realized we had
been unwittingly snagged into a
scenario that even the Funt family
could not have envisioned. The
dining may not have been fabulous
but the humor was memorable. We
call it "The Evening at the Bates
Restaurant". Sabbath morning the
tour of Lake George was much less
eventful and much more relaxing.
We had time to recover from dinner
the night before, connect with
friends we hadn't seen for a while or
hadn't met yet. We found some
ultra-violet rays that had been
missing. Several restaurants, one
miracle (ask Sheri), some swimming
and ping pong later we packed up
and headed for Poultney and Green
Mountain College.
SDA Kinship Connection
Fred met us on the front lawn. He
had already organized the keys
(which he never dropped the entire
rest of the week..but you'll have to
ask him about that). Dinner was
great and opened the door to the
plenary meeting where John
Edwards introduced us to the ins and
outs of the week's activities. One of
our clergy shared visions and Heidi
broke the ice by figuring out 100
ways for us to introduce ourselves.
Then participants ambled off to their
sumptuous quarters.
Monday was packed with a
workshop on forgiveness, our own
stories and the clergy presentation
on acceptance. Bob ran business
meetings. Tuesday we got a lot of
forgiveness, more business, a vision
of Spectrum and then Kinship took
over a local bowling alley. You
really had to be there to appreciate
Grace, gutter balls and a variety of
styles under the strobe lights.
Wednesday we wandered off on
adventures that can only be told in
person. Your new editor spent the
entire scintillating afternoon in
Home Depot getting fixtures for a
new house. Others toured shops in
Burlington, visited the William
Miller Estate, tried to go the horse
races, and toured what West Coast
folk call the tiny state of Vermont.
John Edwards, along with spending
countless hours trying to make this
week as illuminating and pleasant
as possible had made a list of local
options. Joyce continued to spend
much of the entire week organizing
the shuttle service that got us from
airport to Kamp. Thursday we
learned about affirmations and the
Golden Rule, heard more about the
story of Adventism…and indulged
in games, videos and Ellen
Degeneres.
Continued on Page 4
3
Continured from page 3
Kampmeeting
One of the unscheduled surprises
of the week was that two of our
members decided to have a
wedding. We ordered hors d'
oeuvres, a Ben and Jerry's Wedding
Cake and flowers. Leif was kind
enough to officiate. Music appeared
and dancing even occurred. It was a
wonderful lead into our
communion service. Both reminded
us of the ways community touches
our lives.
Elections brought back some
hardworking people who have
served us before. Bob Bouchard will
continue as President. Taylor Rhul
will creatively fulfill a variety of
functions as Vice President. Robb
Crouch was willing to build more
Public Relations advertisements and
designs. Leif Lind, as church liaison
4
will organize speakers and mediate
our relationship with the church
administration. Karen Lee was
re-elected as our treasurer. Yolanda
Elliot will continue to do a great job
at providing events, newsletters and
a website for women.
Though it's not an elected
position Fred will continue to
manage the office and truly
organize us all. Floyd Pöenitz is
willing to do more yeoman's work
as Kinnet Coordinator. Eric Gilleo
will drop down to one paid job so
he can do more unpaid work as our
IMRU coordinator for younger
Kinship members. Karen Wetherell
will be Chair of our Finance
Committee. Obed will be working
on our muli-language
memberships.
Steve Pline is taking a Sabbatical
from his amazing work as
Connection Editor and Catherine
Taylor was elected to attempt to fill
his shoes this year. Bruce Harlow
only way you can truly experience
all the wonders we've tried to
describe is to beginning planning
now for Kampmeeting in Mecucha,
August 16, 2004.
News Roundup
Fred in the Kinship office got an
email note from Bonnie Dwyer,
editor of Spectrum Magazine. She
spent several days during
Kampmeeting with us and was a
delight to get to know. Please
check out the link below to read the
story she posted on the online
version of Spectrum. My hat goes
off to her and her support.
(Floyd's ad plug: if you aren't
already subscribed to Spectrum, I'd
like to invite you to consider doing
so. It is a great and supportive
magazine for the more progressive
SDA!)
http://www.spectrummagazine.org
Larry Hallock writes “You may
recall 5 years ago I hit up my friends
and family for $5 donations (a
couple of you gave as much as
$150) to help repair the birth
defects of two Ethiopian children,
including Abdou, who had a cleft
palate. This is a Thank-you. Details
are at
http://www.turtletours.com/twill.htm
will be our Secretary. Fred and Nelio
will coordinate our 25th Anniversary
Kampmeeting.
Sabbath…ah, the music. We
have reports that even watching the
signer do her job was an amazing
blessing. We had a great sermon,
the annual group photo op, more
field trips to the William Miller
Estate, good-bys...and then
Saturday night was the inimical
talent show...and there really is no
way we can describe that.
But we've left out the amazing
way people took turns to make sure
there were translators and typists for
hearing impaired participants, the
camaraderie in any given moment,
the laugher, the romance, ...the
“Mr. Russelldevotes an enormous
amount of his retirement time, and
lots of money, to carrying on
projects like this in Ethiopia,
through his foundation, ‘Int'l
Children's Outreach Network
(ICON).’”
September 2003
Next Edition: I want to focus on
Marriage, Civil Unions, and Other
Commitments. I would love to hear
your stories and ideas. Some of you I
know already and will call, write and
generally harass to get copy. Some
of you I haven't met or don't know
that you want to write. I've already
got some scholarly ideas so will
include them, but it's our stories and
our ideas that make this place in
writing our home. Please feel free to
ship your thoughts on this topic, or
any other, over to me. I'm also
looking for devotionals, news items,
recipes, regional reports, local
activities or any other news that you
would like to see in our Connection.
Thanks for making us a conversation
in writing.
Catherine
Stanley writes: “Below are URLs
for a brand new book by the Vice
Provost of NYU, Linda Mills;
re-examining policies on domestic
violence
http://www.batteredmen.com/insulti
nj.htm
http://pup.princeton.edu/titles/7574.
html
Nation's Largest State Passes Transgender
Non-discrimination Bill
California Becomes Fourth State to Outlaw
Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals
Kudos to Equality California for its Extraordinary Work
On Saturday August 2, California Governor Gray Davis signed Assembly
Bill 196, making it illegal in California to discriminate against transgender
and gender non-conforming individuals in housing and employment
practices. California now becomes the fourth state to offer such protections
with explicit wording in its law, joining New Mexico, Rhode Island and
Minnesota.
“That a second state this year has enacted this type of law is more evidence
that enacting non-discrimination protections for transgender and gender
non-conforming individuals is supported by our public officials,” said Matt
Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director.
“Congratulations to our friends at Equality California for their hard work in
getting this bill passed — this is a fantastic win for the entire gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.”
The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2004, was introduced by
Assembly Member Mark Leno. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of
23-11 on July 24 and passed the Assembly with a vote of 42-34 on April 21.
“By enacting this law, California builds on the national trend to ensure
fairness for transgender and gender non-conforming people in the
workplace,” said Lisa Mottet legislative lawyer for the Task Force Transgender
Civil Rights Project. “State-level non-discrimination laws are important
because transgender individuals often face fierce discrimination; yet,
unfortunately, there is no explicit federal law offering protection when
people are discriminated against.”
When the California law goes into effect, a total of 68 million Americans
(24% of the U.S. population) will live in a jurisdiction with explicit
language prohibiting anti-transgender discrimination. Many other
jurisdictions have non-explicit coverage, either through court interpretations
or administrative agency determinations of existing anti-discrimination
provisions, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the
District of Columbia.
So far in 2003, one other state (New Mexico) and eight local jurisdictions
have also passed explicit laws prohibiting anti-transgender discrimination:
Covington, KY; El Paso, TX; Ithaca, NY; Key West. FL; Monroe County, FL;
Peoria, IL; San Diego, CA; Springfield, IL. In 2002, protections doubled from
18 million to 36 million people living in a U.S. jurisdiction with an
explicitly transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project
provides legislative and strategy assistance, including evaluation of
legislative language, to activists and organizations working to pass
trans-inclusive anti-discrimination bills or to add transgender protections to
existing laws.
“While the intro in the publisher's
website focuses on men as abusers,
the content of the book focuses on
mainstream domestic violence
programs and the judicial system as
abusers and proposes solutions
which examine the total dynamics
of violent relationships.
“Dr. Mills has done
groundbreaking work in
challenging mainstream policies on
domestic violence, which she
characterizes as coming from the
perspective of privileged, white,
heterosexual women.
“At the upcoming 8th
International Conference on Family
Violence, next month in San Diego,
Dr. Mills plans to use her scheduled
appearance at a plenary session to
challenge the battered women's
movement's refusal to examine
female aggression.”
Thanks for Floyd for this one: “A local Kinship member sent me this link. It
is for the CNN poll on gay marriage. His pastor sent it out to the members to
cast their vote FOR Bush and AGAINST gay marriages.
http://www.fvsai.org/FVSAI_confere
nce.htm
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/30/bush.gay.marriage/
index.html
SDA Kinship Connection
5
Some Civil Thoughts about Marriage
In the midst of all the furor about and gay and lesbian rights we've been
collecting articles from here and there that speak to the issue. Following are
some excerpts we thought you might enjoy. Many thanks for Andrew D.,
Ren, Michelle, Will and others who have shipped them over to me. For lack of
space I cannot reprint entire articles but these were grand and you might want
to look them up in their entirety.
From the Toronto Star:
July 22, 2003
From the Canadian Globe
Mail: August 2, 2003
OTTAWA—Gays and lesbians
who fought and won the right to
say, “I do” in Ontario and B.C. are
among those already lining up to
make their pitch on same-sex
marriage to Canada's top court.
“What is in their hearts is now that
they've worked so hard to achieve
their marriages and have
experienced the joy of marriage,
they want to make sure that access
to marriage is available to all gays
and lesbians,” said lawyer Joanna
Radbord, who represented seven
same-sex couples in Ontario. “That
means being able to participate at
the Supreme Court of Canada along
with the government in advancing
gay and lesbian equality rights.”
Last week, the federal
government unveiled a draft bill to
rewrite the traditional definition of
marriage and allow gays and
lesbians to tie the knot. Justice
Minister Martin Cauchon is referring
the bill to the Supreme Court for an
opinion on whether the proposed
legislation is constitutional. It is
also asking the court whether
Ottawa has exclusive jurisdiction
over defining marriage and for
confirmation that religious freedom
rights offer religious groups the
right to refuse to marry couples of
the same sex. Appeal courts in
Ontario and B.C. have already ruled
in favour of same-sex marriage.
Radbord said the couples she
represents, who live in Toronto,
Ottawa and Windsor.
Forget the preaching, gay
marriage is a done deal
Catholic bishops and other
religious leaders can spit hellfire
and brimstone against same-sex
marriages. Liberal MPs, reflecting
their own views or those of their
constituents, can moan and threaten
to vote against any bill authorizing
it. Citizens can fire off all the letters
and e-mails they like. They will lose
the debate, because there is no
debate. There is no debate in law, as
opposed to politics, because the
courts have spoken. And when
courts speak, the debate is over.
Valerie Lawton, Ottawa Bureau
Hope is like a road in the
country; there wasn’t ever a road but
when many people walk on it, it
comes into existence.
–Lin Yutang
6
By Jeffrey Simpson
Miami Herald: Aug. 04, 2003
By Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Gays may be hope for marriage
So what is it you have against gay
marriage? I'm not talking to the
guy next to you. He doesn't have a
problem with it. No, I'm talking to
you, who is fervently opposed. The
number of folks who agree with you
is up sharply since June, when the
US Supreme Court struck down
anti-sodomy laws in Texas. As
recently as May, 49 percent of us
supported some form of gay
marriage, according to The Gallup
Organization.The figure has since
dropped to just 40 percent. That's a
precipitous decline.
So what's the problem? What is it
that bothers you about gay people
getting married? Don't read me that
part in Leviticus where
homosexuality is condemned. I
mean, that same book of the Gospel
mandates the death penalty for sassy
kids and fortune tellers, by which
standard the Osbourne children and
Miss Cleo should have been iced a
long time ago.
I read The Book. I believe The
Book. But I also know that it's
impossible to take literally every
passage in The Book, unless you
want to wind up in prison or a
mental ward. So don't hide behind
the Bible....
I will, though, point out that
once upon a time, the same
gut-level sense of wrong -- and for
that matter, the same Bible -- was
used to keep Jews from swimming
in the community pool, women
from voting and black people from
riding at the front of the bus. All
those things once felt as profoundly
offensive to some people as gay
marriage does to you right now....
Anyway, the reasoning seems to
be that gay people will damage or
cheapen the sanctity of marriage
and that this can't be allowed
because marriage is the foundation
of our society.I agree that marriage
— and I mean legal, not common
law — is an institution of vital
importance. It stabilizes
communities, socializes children,
helps create wealth. It is, indeed,
our civilization's bedrock.
But you know something? That
bedrock has been crumbling for
years, without homosexual help.
We don't attach so much
importance to marriage anymore,
do we? These days, we marry less,
we marry later, we divorce more.
And cohabitation, whether as a
prelude to, or a substitute for,
marriage, has gone from novelty to
norm.
I'm not trying to beat up
cohabiters. A long time ago, I was
September 2003
one. But it strikes me as
intriguing, instructive and poignant
that gay couples so determinedly
seek what so many of us scorn, are
so ready to take the risk many of us
refuse, find such value in an
institution we have essentially
declared valueless. There's
something oddly inspiring in their
struggle to achieve the social
sanction whose importance many of
us long ago dismissed. So tell me
again why it is you don't want them
to have that. I mean, yeah, some
people say they are a threat to the
sanctity of marriage. But I'm
thinking they might just be its
salvation
From the Pittsburgh Post
Gazette: August 13, 2003
By Samantha Bennett
You live next door to a clean-cut,
quiet guy. He never plays loud
music or throws raucous parties. He
doesn't gossip over the fence, just
smiles politely and offers you some
tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his
house is neat as a pin and you get
the feeling he doesn't always lock
his front door. He wears Dockers.
You hardly know he's there.
And then one day you discover
that he has pot in his basement,
spends his weekends at peace
marches and that guy you've seen
mowing the yard is his spouse.
Allow me to introduce Canada.
The Canadians are so quiet that
you may have forgotten they're up
there, but they've been busy doing
some surprising things. It's like
discovering that the mice you are
dimly aware of in your attic have
been building an espresso
machine......
Just last month, Canada decided
to allow and recognize same-sex
marriages. Merciful moose, what
can they be thinking? Will
there be married Mounties (they
always get their man!)? Dudley
Do-Right was sweet on Nell, not
Mel! We must be the only ones who
really care about families. Not
enough to make sure they all have
health insurance, of course, but
more than those libertines up north.
SDA Kinship Connection
This sort of behaviour is a clear
and present danger to all our
stereotypes about Canada. It's
supposed to be a cold, wholesome
country of polite, beer-drinking
hockey players, not founded by
freedom fighters in a bloody
revolution but quietly assembled by
loyalists and royalists more
interested in order and good
government than liberty and
independence.
I wonder if America will ever be
that cool.
From the Post Star of Glenns
Falls New York: August 10,
2003
by Mark Freeman
Please explain how gay marriage
hurts you personally.
About 5 years ago we
attended a wedding in Salem. It is
the only wedding we have ever
attended in Washington County,
and it was one of the best weddings
we've ever been to. The ceremony
was outdoors, high on a hillside
with a great view. We sat on hay
bales. There was a kind of
handmade floral bower that served
as an altar, and we watched a very
moving ceremony conducted by an
Episcopal priest.
The reception was under a big
tent at the home of a friend of both
young people. We drank wine and
ate interesting food and danced.
When we went home at 11, the
party was still going on.
Technically I guess it wasn't a
wedding, because marriage
between two people of the same sex
is not yet legal in New York, but
I've been to many weddings, before
and since, at which I doubt that the
two people were as committed to
each other as these two. I know
heterosexual couples who have
been married for more than 50
years, as we have, and I know other
such couples whose marriage lasted
a couple of years or less.
I've known homosexuals who
have been in a committed
relationship for many years, and I've
known gay men and women who
flitted from one partner to another,
as I've known straight men who
cheated on their wives and straight
women who cheated on their
husbands.
So what's all the fuss about gay
marriage? I don't want to marry a
guy. Never have. But I can't see
how, if two guys get married, it
hurts me. If you think you can show
me how you, personally, will be
harmed if gay marriage is legal in
New York, by all means send me an
E-mail or a letter care of the Post-Star
explaining that.
Recipe of the
month:
Blueberry Rice Salad
2 Cups cooked cold basmati
brown rice
2 Cups fresh blueberries
1/2 Cup unsweetened fresh
coconut
1 Cup roasted pecan halves
1/4 Cup maple syrup (or honey if
you don’t live in the proper part
of the planet)
1/2 Cup soy flour
some optional salt if you insist
2/3 Cup cold canola oil
2 Tablespoons orange or lemon
juice
Wheat germ to taste
In a serving bowl, combine rice,
berries, coconut, nuts, and
sweetener of choice. Put dry soy
flour, optional salt and 1
tablespoon sweetener in blender.
While blending, add oil slowly
until mixture becomes thick. Stir in
juice of choice. Fold dressing into
rice mixture. Sprinkle with Wheat
germ.
Yield: Four servings.
7
KinNet Thrives
Floyd reports: There are currently
736 folks with access to KinNet.
KinNetTalk is the discussion board
where one can choose between
going online and reading
messages, or having the posted
messages sent to them via email.
After logging on to KinNet you
can go to the Kinship OnLine
website with all the latest member
news about upcoming events
within Kinship. There are online
versions of the Connection (please
remember to send me a PDF copy of
the Connection after it is done so I
can post it online), chat room,
pictures of past events, listings of
Kinship officers, current member
birthdays, member directory,
personals section, and a whole lot
more.
KinNet is doing fine. Fred now
has the job of getting the requests
to join.
Here's how it works. When
someone applies for KinNet, they fill
out the form on the external Kinship
webpage. The form is sent to both
Fred and to me. When I get it, I sent
the person a welcome note and tell
them that they will be hearing from
Fred in the near future with their
user name and password and
instructions on how to use
KinNetTalk. They should save this
email for future reference. Fred adds
them to the KinNet participants and
sends them an email to let them
know and to welcome them.
Normally the initial setting is to get
the postings via email. They need to
log in to their kinnet account and if
they would rather read the posts on
the web, they can change that in
their profile. They can also from
there have access to KOL (Kinship
OnLine) the internal website with
info on what's new with Kinship,
upcoming events, chats, polls,
birthdays, member directory,
personals and a whole lot more.
I am in the process of updating
the members listing and I
encourage members to send me
8
pictures of themselves so I can add
that to their listing.
I'll try to write more and maybe
tips and hints for KinNet as the
months and issues continue. Just let
me know what you'd like from me.
Cookies
Passed along for us by Bruce and
Eddie
A woman was waiting
At an airport one night
With several long hours
Before her flight.
She hunted for a book
In the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies
And found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book
But happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her,
As bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two
From the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore
To avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies
And watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief
Diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated
As the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice,
I would blacken his eye."
With each cookie she took,
He took one too,
When only one was left,
She wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face,
And a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie
And broke it in half.
He offered her half,
As he ate the other,
She snatched it from him
And thought... ooh, brother!
This guy has some nerve
And he's also rude,
Why he didn't even show
Any gratitude!
She had never known
When she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief
When her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings
And headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back
At the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane,
And sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book,
Which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage,
She gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies,
In front of her eyes.
If mine are here,
She moaned in despair,
The others were his,
And he tried to share.
Too late to apologize,
She realized with grief,
That she was the rude one,
The ingrate, the thief
How many times have we
absolutely known that something
was a certain way, only to discover
later that what we believed to be
true...was not?
"Always, Keep An Open Mind
And An Open Heart, Because You
Just Never Know..."
September 2003
CAMPER
QUOTES
being in an environment where I
can freely integrate by spirituality
and my sexuality. –Jerry
I like meeting new people and
watching them realize that Kinship
is something about which we can
be excited. I love the singing.
–Taylor
We asked people to give us their
reaction to being at Kampmeeting.
I like this place. Registration was
kind. Kinship has been good to me.
I'm working on getting more
people of color here. I like the
spirituality. I didn't think Kinship
was going to be spiritual. –JB
F.A.M.I.L.Y safe, warm, loving,
accepting, It could to on and on.
That's the same thing I'm not
finding everywhere these days and I
need it.. –Cathy
Even the bad is good here. I like
that this is small. This is a good
week in a bad year. I like being on
the east coast. With all this rain it's
quite green. Nice people here; a
good unique blend. I like meeting
new people. –Obed.
I liked talking with our visiting
clergy because at this moment I
have difficulty dealing with the
administration of the church. He
showed me another face. –Marcos
I like our conversations. I like
getting to know people better. I like
meeting mew people and I like
catching up on the news. –Hedi
The acceptance is memorable. It's
great to have a week to be
comfortable to relax and to be free.
–Natalie
I love how comfortable I am in
spite of all the fears I had. This has
been a relaxing week. I didn't come
with expectations. I've really
enjoyed talking to and hearing the
stories from different people. –A
most wondrous anonymous woman
I liked traveling all over Vermont.
I like being in a small state. I like
being able to have answers to
questions I've had for years. To me
it is delightful to see so many
people go to the piano and see
them all play. There is such
creativity here. Everyone is so
different. –Ed
Top of the list is connecting with
friends that we don't see on a
regular basis. There is the joy of
I like reconnecting with people
that seem like family whenever I am
around them. I pick up where I left
off. This is such fun. I'm always
encouraged whenever I hear the
clergy speak. I get hope for the
church when I know there are
people like we meet here who work
in places of power. I'm grateful to
know there is sanity. I love the
sound of this incredible musical
group of people. I don't go to
church often and I miss this aspect.
–Bruce
I loved our famous Friday night
meal at the “Bates Restaurant” in
Lake George I loved the bowling
brigade. I loved being able to
worship God, being honest with
who I am and being accepted. I like
putting faces to the names I see on
Kinnet. I like hearing the stories.
–Karen
I'm impressed with the
friendliness and acceptance. I'm still
exploring how I identify myself. I
appreciate and understand the
spectrum of gender and sexuality.
–Bradley
I like the fellowship and family
that exists here. I like the sense of
belonging. There's a sense of
community and diversity. –Terry
I like being with the people. It
was fantastic to meet and talk with
Marcos. I like hearing the stories. I
like sharing our journey.
I like being able to socialize
again. This reconfirms for me that
it's okay to be gay. It was nice to be
able to come here with my partner.
SDA Kinship Connection
9
Episcopalians OK First Openly Gay Bishop
By Rachell Zoll, AP Religion Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Episcopal leaders
confirmed the election Tuesday of
their first openly gay bishop,
leaving some delegates in tears as
conservatives warned that the
decision could destroy the church.
The Episcopal General
Convention on Tuesday took the
final vote needed to confirm the
Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of
the Diocese of New Hampshire. The
vote had been scheduled Monday,
but was delayed after last-minute
misconduct allegations emerged.
Robinson was cleared just before
Tuesday's vote.
With his daughter, Ella, and his
partner of 13 years, Mark Andrew,
standing nearby, Robinson
expressed his love for the church.
"God has once again brought an
Easter out of Good Friday," he said.
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold
said the bishops voted 62-45 to
confirm Robinson's election. Two
bishops abstained from voting, but
their ballots under church rules were
counted as "no" votes.
Immediately after the results were
announced, more than a dozen
conservative bishops walked to the
podium of the House of Bishops,
surrounding Pittsburgh Bishop
Robert Duncan as he read a
statement saying he and the others
were "filled with sorrow."
"This body willfully confirming
the election of a person sexually
active outside of holy matrimony
has departed from the historic faith
and order of the Church of Jesus
Christ," Duncan said. "This body has
divided itself from millions of
Anglican Christians around the
world."
The Episcopal Church, with 2.3
million members, is the U.S. branch
of the 77 million-member global
Anglican Communion. American
conservatives and like-minded
overseas bishops who represent
10
millions of parishioners have said
confirming Robinson would force
them to consider breaking away
from the denomination.
The American Anglican Council,
which represents conservative
Episcopalians, planned a meeting
in Plano, Texas, in October to
decide their next move.
The leader of the Anglican
Church of West Malaysia, Bishop
Lim Cheng Ean, issued a statement
affirming its opposition to
homosexuality despite Robinson's
confirmation. But the head of
Australia's Anglican Church,
Primate Peter Carnley, considered a
liberal, said he didn't think it
would be "a communion-breaking
issue."
Duncan called on the bishops of
the Anglican Communion and
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams, head of the communion,
"to intervene in the pastoral
emergency that has overtaken us."
"May God have mercy on his
church," Duncan said. Eighteen
other bishops signed his statement.
Robinson acknowledged that
many in the church would be upset
by the decision, saying, "That is the
only thing that makes this not a
completely joyous day for me."
Williams issued a statement
saying it was too soon to gauge
the impact of the vote on the
church.
"It is my hope that the church in
America and the rest of the
Anglican Communion will have
the opportunity to consider this
development before significant and
irrevocable decisions are made in
response," he said.
The church has been debating
the role of gays for decades. A win
by Robinson was expected to build
momentum for other policy
changes favorable to homosexuals.
Griswold said he voted for
Robinson out of respect for the
decision made by the Diocese of
New Hampshire, not as an
endorsement of homosexuality. It is
rare for the General Convention to
reject a diocese's choice of bishop.
The denomination has no
official rules ó either for or against
ó ordaining gays.
Some Episcopal parishes already
allow homosexual clergy to serve
and gays who did not reveal their
sexual orientation have served as
bishops. But Robinson is the first
clergyman in the Anglican
Communion to live openly as a
gay man before he was elected.
In 1998, Anglican leaders
approved a resolution calling gay
sex "incompatible with Scripture."
Bishops who hold that view believe
that allowing Robinson to serve
would be a tacit endorsement of
ordaining homosexuals.
Robinson, a 56-year-old divorced
father of two, has been living with
Andrew for 13 years and serving as
an assistant to the current New
Hampshire bishop, who is retiring.
Parishioners there said they chose
Robinson simply because he was
the best candidate.
Under church rules, a majority of
convention delegates had to ratify
Robinson's election.
On Sunday, the House of
Deputies, a legislative body
comprised of clergy and lay people
from dioceses nationwide,
approved Robinson by a 2-to-1
margin; a committee endorsed him
by secret ballot Friday.
Robinson will be consecrated in
the New Hampshire Diocese in
November.
The allegations that nearly
derailed his vote were that he
inappropriately touched another
man and was affiliated with a Web
site that indirectly linked users to
porn.
Bishop Gordon Scruton of
Western Massachusetts, who
investigated the claims, said the
touching incident "was in public
September 2003
view and was brief" and happened
at a church meeting where
Robinson put his hand on the
man's back and arm while engaged
in a conversation. It was also
determined that Robinson had no
involvement with the Web
site.Scruton determined Tuesday
that there was no need for a
full-blown inquiry, allowing the
vote on Robinson to proceed.
The claim of inappropriate
touching was e-mailed to Vermont
Bishop Thomas Ely and other
bishops by David Lewis of
Manchester, Vt. A family friend said
Tuesday that Lewis never intended
the allegations to be made public.
Scruton said Lewis told him he did
not want to file a formal complaint.
The other concern was an
indirect pornographic link from the
Web site of Outright, a secular
outreach program for gay and
bisexual youth. Robinson helped
found the Concord, N.H., chapter
of the group, but Scruton said the
clergyman ended his association
with the organization in 1998 and
"was not aware that the
organization has a Web site until
this convention."
If conservatives do decide to
break away, it was unclear what that
would mean for the Episcopal
Church. Some parishes could split
from their dioceses and refuse to
recognize clergy who support
homosexuality, but stop short of a
complete separation.
A full schism would trigger,
among other things, bitter fights
over parish assets and undercut the
global influence of the U.S. church.
Liberals note that among the
bishops threatening to leave are
some who pledged to walk away
before over issues such as ordaining
women ó then did not follow
through.
But many Episcopalians believe
the debate over homosexuality has
been more divisive.
Bishops from Africa, Asia and
Latin America, representing more
than a third of Anglican
Communion members worldwide,
took the unprecedented step this
year of severing relations with a
SDA Kinship Connection
Connections AIDS Foundation Marathon
Dear fellow Kinship members,
It is with much trepidation that I approach you in this manner.
However, putting fear aside, and empowering you to choose, I will go
forth and let you know why I am writing this post.
I am relatively new to Kinship and have been fortunate to meet
several of you. However I had not really shared some exciting news
about me. A couple weeks before Kampmeeting, I decided to begin
training to run the AIDS Marathon. I am not a runner, neither had I run
before. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to help in some way... HIV and
AIDS are real real possibilities to me and is something I have to deal
with on a daily basis despite all precautions taken, both because of my
profession as a nurse and because of being a sexually-active gay man.
During the six months of training I will log in more than 500 miles
of running. The actual marathon is a little more than 26 miles. The
whole idea of such marathon is to raise funds for the research and
treatment of AIDS, as well as assisting the victims of this debilitating
disease. The San Francisco AIDS foundation helps the thousands of
victims within the San Francisco Bay Area with vital services and
support needle exchange programs throughout the area in efforts to
help stop the spread of HIV. Proceeds will also fund a new initiative to
support vaccine preparedness and HIV treatment access in the
developing world.
I am begging you to reach into your pockets to help me to help the
fight against AIDS. There is a huge need here. We are all feeling the
pain of it in some way or another. Sponsoring me in this marathon is
not just an investment in me, but more so in the community as a
whole. That is something you can feel very good about!
For your convenience, here is the link (which you may have to cut
and paste) to my web page, where you can make your donation
online, safely and securely. If you’d rather send your donation via mail,
I can mail you a donor form once you reply and give me your mailing
address. That way, all you’d have to do is write a check and drop it in
the mail box.
http://www.aidsmarathon.com/participant.jsp?runner=SF-0866&year=2003
In advance I thank you. This is the biggest challenge I have
undertaken (by choice). And as far as self confidence goes — if I can
run a marathon — I can do anything! Thank you for reading my post
and for your consideration.
Hiram Moretta
[email protected]
diocese that authorizes same-sex
blessings ó the Diocese of New
Westminster, based in Vancouver,
British Columbia.
Some conservative American
parishes had already formed
breakaway movements, such as the
Anglican Mission in America,
which remains within the Anglican
Communion but rejects the
Episcopal Church.
11
Witness
Our
Welcome
"God's Deliverance is for All" was
the theme of the WOW (Witness Our
Welcome) 2003 Conference held
August 14-17 at the University of
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Bob
Bouchard and Carrol Grady were
delegates sponsored by Kinship.
The opening meeting was held
Thursday evening at Church of the
Holy Trinity and featured speakers
Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott,
co-author of Is the Homosexual my
Neighbor?; Vance Robbins, a
member of the Cherokee Nation and
a youth ministries leader in the
American Lutheran Church; and
Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr, director of That
All May Freely Serve which works for
ordination of glbt candidates in the
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Picketed!
The 800-plus attendees were met by
picketers bearing signs
proclaiming, "God hates fags" "You
will burn in hell!" etc., and loudly
denouncing the evils of
homosexuality over a microphone.
Some of the "allies" present quickly
linked arms and formed a line
between the protesters and those
entering the church, while singing
"We Shall Overcome." One man
reported approaching a little old
woman carrying a placard with the
words, "Sodomy is sin," and telling
her, "I agree with you. The way I
read my Bible, the sin of Sodom
was inhospitality. By the way, what
city are you from?" The implication
was that the City of Brotherly Love
was not being very hospitable!
12
Devotional
Most of the time we read this, I imagine we will wish we were the "Bill" in
the story. I wonder how the story would shift if we were in the other role.
His name is Bill
He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright.He became a
Christian while attending college. Across the street from the campus is a very
conservative church. They want to develop ministry to the students but are
not sure how to go about it.One day Bill decides to go there. He has a style
and mannerisms that do not fit readily in with the norms of the church.
The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for
a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now,
people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.
Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes
there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. By now the
people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time,
the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is
slowly making his way toward Bill.
Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-grayhair, and a three-piece
suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a
cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy,everyone is saying to
themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can
you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some
college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.
The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All
eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The
minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to
do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great
difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with
him so he won't be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he
says, “What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have
just seen, you will never forget.
“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will
ever read.”
Speakers and Music Featured
Diversity
Conference planners had taken
great pains to be ethnically
inclusive, not only with musicians
and presenters, but also with music,
which included everything from
contemporary, charismatic and
gospel soul to classical, traditional
and folk. "Some of this was a stretch
for me," says Carrol, "but I also
enjoyed some lovely new hymns
from other cultures and from the
gay/lesbian experience." A choir of
"crème de la crème" musicians led
the worship music at each service.
Friday night the Transcendence
Choir, made up of eight Black
transsexuals, was a sensation.
For those who got up early
enough, each day began with a
number of Breakfast Bible Studies to
choose from. Carrol attended one
led by Chris Glaser, gay author and
former Presbyterian minister.
Breakfast was followed by the
morning worship service. Mari
Castellano, a lesbian Latino pastor,
spoke Friday on peace, liberation of
oppressed minorities and sharing of
the earth's resources. The speaker at
Friday night's worship service was
Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of
Refuge Church in San Francisco
which specializes in an HIV-AIDS
ministry. Saturday morning's
worship featured Steve Rohr,
September 2003
motivational speaker and
co-moderator for the ELCA's
(Lutheran) National Council of
Churches Young Adult Ministry
Team. He told his moving personal
faith story as a gay man.
Unfortunately, both Bob and
Carrol had to leave before the
Sunday morning 11:00 worship
service, where Rev. Troy Perry gave
the homily. He is the founder of
Metropolitan Community Churches,
which has grown to 300
congregations and 44,000
members over the past 35 years.
Plenary Session
A forum on racism was the
subject of the plenary session Friday
morning. The welcoming
movement, and in particular the
WOW2003 coordinating
committee, has come to recognize
and face its challenges to be more
aware of the need to welcome and
involve people of all colors,
ethnicities, cultural and linguistic
heritages. Committee members
reported on various aspects
confronted during the planning
process and the audience was
invited to contribute to the
conversation.
Abundance of Workshops Available
It wasn't easy deciding which of
the 36 afternoon workshops to
attend! Carrol chose two movies.
"Trembling Before G_d," presented
the difficulty gay and lesbian
Orthodox and Hasidic Jews have in
trying to integrate their faith and
their sexuality. In the discussion
afterward it was noted that they find
hope in the biblical concept of
"wrestling or arguing with God," as
found in Abraham's attempt to
persuade God not to destroy
Sodom, Jacob's wrestling with the
Angel until he received a blessing,
Moses' arguing against the
destruction of the Israelites, etc.
The second movie was "This
Obedience" about the ordination of
ELCA pastor Anita Hill. Surprisingly,
it was a small Minnesota church in
America's heartland that engaged
in this act of ecclesiastical
SDA Kinship Connection
disobedience and started a debate
within the denomination that still
rages. The strong faith and dignity
of Anita and her partner were
evident throughout the film. Two
especially poignant scenes during
the bi-annual church-wide assembly
were when the former Presiding
Bishop, during whose tenure a
requirement of celibacy for glbt
clergy had been adopted, spoke of
the growth in his understanding
and his hope that this would soon
be reversed, and when the youth
delegates wept in dismay over the
negative vote.
Resource Center
The large resource center
featured exhibitors from 21
denominational groups, 13
specialized ministries, 12
educational institutions, 5 advocacy
groups and 9 music and art
ministries. Kinship and Someone to
Talk to shared a space here for their
handouts. The Shower of Stoles
Project of the ELCA (Lutheran)
denomination, a collection of stoles
from glbt pastors who were forced
to resign because of their
committed relationships, was hung
from the balcony around the
resource room.
Bob encouraged Carrol to buy
anything that would help in her
ministry, and the following
resources are now available through
her (as soon as she finishes reading
them!): When Husbands Come Out
of the Closet by Dr. Jean Scharr
Gochros (based on her research
project), The Truth Shall Set You
Free by Sally Lowe Whitehead (wife
of a gay man), The Slow Miracle of
Transformation by Mary Lou
Wallner (a mother's story with
foreword by Mel White and promos
by Philip Yancy and Peggy
Campolo), Inclusion: Making
Room for Grace by Eric H F Law
(Episcopal priest), Both Feet Firmly
Planted in Midair by John J McNeill
(former Jesuit priest), and This
Obedience (video about Anita Hill's
ordination).
movies, and a dramatic presentation
was scheduled for Thursday and
Saturday night. Carrol opted for a
PBS video, Family Fundamentals,
on Thursday night. It followed the
stories of three families - Baptist,
Mormon and Roman Catholic - to
show how parents are turned
against their gay and lesbian
children by their fundamentalist
Christian beliefs - an indictment of
Christian communities that would
rather divide families than support
them in this difficult situation.
Saturday night's Doin' Time in
the Homo-No-Mo Halfway House
with Peterson Toscano was in turn
hilarious, sad and inspiring.
Toscano, a superb actor, played five
different roles as he took the
audience on a tour of a 12-Step
Christian program that attempts to
save men from the snares of
homosexuality through bizarre
rules, a masculine resuscitation
regime and brain numbing
reconditioning, 95% of which, he
said, actually happened to him
during his seven years of attempting
to escape from homosexuality. In
his role of preacher, he tells of how
Jesus called Lazarus to "come out" of
his closet-tomb.
This opportunity to interact with
and learn from both allies and glbt
people of many different Christian
backgrounds, who are working to
make their churches more inclusive,
was a valuable and inspiring
Entertainment
A diverse offering of concerts,
13
Andrea Talks About HAD’s Beginning
“If only one person doesn't lose her/his faith…”
Andrea is the founder of HAD, the group for GLBTI people with a Seventh Day Adventist background in Germany. In
this interview with Ruud Kieboom, our European editor, she shares her journey.
It all started when I received a
letter from a girlfriend from school,
in which she wrote telling me that
she is a lesbian. I had to find out in
a dictionary what it meant: "lesbian"
and "bi-sexuality" and
"homosexuality". I answered her in a
letter in a way anyone would do
who has not had to deal with these
issues. A lot of preaching that it
isn't right to be that way, that it
should not be and, and, and... She
didn't appreciate my reply and
stopped contacting me.
But, it didn't end there for me. At
that time (1980's) there was a
discussion-forum "Teestube" going
on in the city of Darmstadt in
Germany, where young people met
to exchange thoughts about current
events and issues. I turned out to be
the first within the SDA-circle to
speak about this hot item
"Christianity and Homosexuality".
There were only two Christian books
I had read at that time from a
Christian bookstore - books however
that I would never use again
14
nowadays - and quoted from them.
In this Teestube was room for
only 15 people and on that
particular evening a guest from
another SDA-congregation in
Stuttgart was present. He was
moving restlessly in his chair and
suddenly said: "I cannot let the
discussion end like this... I am gay".
He then started to tell us what it
meant for him, to be gay and how
he lives with his orientation. We
were all very touched. Afterwards I
was very shy to meet him; I was so
impressed, but it was all so strange
to me, so different, so exotic. I know
the fear you feel when you have
never dealt with this theme before
and think that it is difficult from a
moral and biblical point of view.
Life went on and I started to work
as a secretary in our SDA school in
Darmstadt, Marienhöhe. I had very
good contacts with some of the
students. So it happened that I
found out about this guy who made
funny hints and particular remarks,
that made me conclude that he was
gay. I had harsh conversations with
him, it really was a fight with words
sometimes. We cried together, we
laughed together; I learned
everything what there is to know;
uncensored he described to me
what sex is like between males.
This is how I lost my shyness
regarding this topic.
In the year 1991 an article was
published in the Adventecho, the
Adventist magazine for Germany:
"Nowhere to quench the thirst ". It
was a story of an ex-gay man who
got 'cured' by prayer, got married
and had three children. He was
happy that he has not been
discriminated against by his
congregation.
My thoughts were that now every
congregation would believe that it
is possible to get cured! But I didn't
overlook the thoughts where he
said: "My feelings aren't over yet! I
still have to pray a lot, to fast
often..." and so on. It was so clear to
me: he had learned to live
differently, he tried to live
differently, but wasn't 'cured' yet.
Being cured means that you are
free, that no forbidden feelings are
left.
So I wrote a letter to the editor
that was returned to me with the
request to work it out into an article
about help to homosexuals. "Me??" I
was completely stunned by this! For
many days I wondered what to
write, I was not an expert on this
matter; only had my human feelings!
Finally I decided to turn my letter
into an article entitled
"Homosexuality, a theme about
humans". I made pubic my address
to start a discussion group. I
received letters from lesbians and
gays within the church, but also
from brothers and sisters that were
pretty harsh and made my stomach
turn around. But it strengthened me
in my thoughts, because I thought,
who would react like that... I look at
this this way: You will recognize
them by their fruits. When there is
no love behind it - even when it is
out of fear - it cannot be right.
Something is wrong with that.
A group was formed, first by
exchanging addresses. The first
contacts were through me; I tried to
figure out who suited best to
whom, I wanted to bring people
into contact with each other. A few
months after I started this, two guys
sent me a card, telling me they had
started living together, hehehe!! It
wasn't my purpose, but I wasn't
upset about it of course! They were
very happy. I can't believe that I
have made it to here, despite all the
difficulties with school — and
September 2003
ignores us, warns against us. That's
why we always invite pastors on our
meetings, so they get to know us. It
is a pity that it is not allowed to talk
about this in the church. The church
tries to make us an "non-dangerous"
group by ignoring us completely
and not responding to any of our
attempt for making contact with
them. A lot of things have changed
in the last ten years. Many things
have become non-issues, even in
the church. My hope and desire is
that someday, homosexuality will
become a non-issue as well.
churchleaders!
When I was 12 years old I lost my
father because of a tumor in his
brain. He was only 35 years old. My
sisters were 10 and 7 years old, my
mother 36. We tried everything that
is written in the Bible: Healing
prayers, anointing, fasting,
everything, everything! We believed
strongly that he would be healed
again. Yet he died.
Churchmembers visited us and
said to my mother: "Your faith
probably wasn't strong enough",
loud enough for us children to hear!
That was a key-experience to me,
since then there is nothing worse to
me than judging someone's faith
by someone's own observations
only.
Regarding homosexuality, it is
the same to me. When lesbians and
gays tell their story and tell that they
are praying, fasting and faith didn't
help, that they are still homosexual,
and it is not believed by the pastor,
they will have no chance. This is
not only an issue with
homosexuality, but with many other
problems, people face in their
orientation. You have to trust
someone's feelings, when you don't
understand these feelings yourself or
cannot imagine them.
The first years I was the leader of
the group, which was an advantage
in contacts with churchleaders.
SDA Kinship Connection
Since I'm not a lesbian, there were
no walls to break down to talk to
me about the issue. As long as it
was profitable to the organization I
did it with joy. One day one of the
members said: "Churchleaders are
not interested in us. When talking
about homosexuality they only want
to talk to you!"
That was the time for me to
withdraw as president. I could help
them no longer. My last
conversation with churchleaders
didn't do any good. Now one of
the groupmembers is president. I
still work with the group as a
treasurer. But to be honest, my role
as a leader hasn't stopped yet; I
can't stop it, even when I have tried
so often.
My goal? If only one person
doesn't lose her/his faith because of
the support given by this group, I
have reached my goal. That is the
most important thing.To be a group
where you feel OK, where you are
accepted for who you are, and in
which you can be open. One
person's faith can be of help, an
encouragament for others... and for
me! That's why I can't leave: HAD
in one way or another is "my child" my friends can always count on me!
I believe that in the future we
have to work together with other
groups, in order to have a greater
outreach. SDA-leaders in Germany
PFLAG
From Ren:
http://www.pflag.org/press/030528.
html
The founders of our chapter here
were a minister, his professor wife
and another teacher. All three
would come to spend several hours
with us. Those became the most
well attended meetings. They
sometimes would spend four or five
hours here. That included our
potluck meal. Joyce, Ira, karen and I
went to one of their organizational
meetings. . . I doubt that I missed
more than one meeting a year.
They have lending libraries for
parents of lgbti's here. A gay
psychiatrist still holds a rap session
once a quater for al who need it. He
used to to this once a month when
they had meetings twice a month. I
urge people to go because, after a
few sessions parents feel a little
different. If they quit more that half
come back after a few months. I
have met SDA parents at these
meetings. I have met students that I
had taught with theirr parents. It is
a part of this community.
15
It Is Great To Get Together!
It is great to get together
All we friends, from near, from far
Came to share with one another
Things that matter, things that are.
(chorus)
Many were the ways we traveled
Yet, so far we have arrived
When we leave this place, departing,
May our hearts be satisfied!
God loves me, He surely loves you!
‘Tis the truth we must believe!
He has given us the wisdom,
This to know and to receive.
(chorus)
Many were our roads and byways
Yet, so far we have arrived
When we leave this place, departing,
May our hearts be satisfied!
Words and Music by Ed Vieira
Kinship Kampmeeting, Cherry Valley California, July 7-14, 2002
16
September 2003

Documentos relacionados