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Home Explore SDA Kinship - CONNECTION - August 1997

SDA Kinship - CONNECTION - August 1997

Published by Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc., 2019-03-07 16:41:00

Description: The Newsletter of Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc.


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August 1997 Vol.21, No.6 flffiMffiflH$ffiN

SDA KINS HIP Who ure ore... INTERNATIONAL, tNc. Seventh-dayAdventist Kinship International, Inc. is a support group which ministers to the KINSHIP BOARD I spiritual, emotional, social, and physrcal well being of Seventh-day Adventist lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and their families and friends. President: Darin 0lson Vice President: Yolanda Elliott SDA Kinship facilitates and promotes the understanding and affirnration of Secretary: Charles Shobe homosexual and bisexual Adventists among themselves and rvithin the Ser\"enth-dav Treasurer: Mike McLaughlin Adventist community through education, advocacy, and reconciiiarion. Connection Editor: Walt Elias Public Relations: Jim Chilson Founded rn 1976, the nonprofit organization was incorporated in 1981 anc h,:s ;':rc,::i c,: Church Liaison: Donald Freeman 15 officers and 10 regional coordinators. The current list of members and iriends rnciudes Womyn's Coordinator: Natalie Clothier well over a thousand people in 16 countries. Kamp'98 Coordinator: Lee Stover SDA Kinship believes the Bible does not condemn, or even mention, homosexu- MEMBERS.AT.LARGE I ality 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 Director of Regional Coordinators: Donald Freeman God's children who grow up gay or lesbian has its roots in a misunderstanciing of Womyn's Newsletter: Kathleen Geraty what the Bible says. Members-at-Large: Marge Doyle, Bob Bouchard Campus Coordinator: Greg Cox Kinship operates solely on contributions from its members and friends. Member Wellness: Larry Whitford SDA Kinship supports the advancement of human rights for all people. SUPPORT STAFF I Support Kinohip Office Support: Hal Jobe Kinship depends on you. Kinship is supported solely by contributions l{eip us lnformational Services: JohnWieland reach out to more gay Adventists by making a tax-deductible donarion ro SD-\\ World Wide Web: Scott Wiemers Kinship International. Please send your check or money order to the airjress belou,. SDA Kinship, P.O. Box 7 320, Lagona Niguel, c49267 7, (714) 2+E- 1 r sq. CONNECTION STAFF I Region 1 Region 3 Region 7 Contributors: Bob Bouchard, Natalie Clothier; Robbie 0bed Vasquez (405) 521-931 9 Sandy Mann (404) 633-8447 (71 41 248-' 7t .1 Depew Natiel Durham, Kathleen Geraty, Bruce Harlow, Joe, Darin 0lsen, Chaz Shields, Jim Stoicheff, Region 2 Region 4 Region 8 Pictures courtesy of james 0'Grady, Jan Radclyffe, John Yolanda Elliott (410) 531-5382 Bruce Harlow (714) 248-1299 Wieland, Editor: Walt Elias Harry!r';i-.:: a'- 523-3451 Region 5 and KinNet INIORMATION I Floyd Poenitz (21 4) 41 6-1 358 Region 9 The Connection is published 10 times a year by Seventh-day Region 5 Brad Fos:er 3' 3 362€51 8 Adventist Kinship International, Inc. Principal office: P0. Box Ben K. (303) 32'1 -5331 7320, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677; (714) 248-1299. U.S, Region 10 (Kinship Canada) subscriptions are $25 {or ten issues, and $1 5 for additional Gerald Aiex 5'3: 234-0555 subscriptions, toreiqn subscripti0ns are $40. Ifi Submissions o,f letterg articles, picturet art, and graphics are welcome. lnclude your name as you want it published, addrest &l and telephone nurnber. lf an item is to be acknowledged or $r returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. 50me Connectron contributors have chosen t0 remain ,, anonymous. Pseudonyms from this issue appear at the bottom oi this page. The Connection reserves the right to edit Visit our manuscripts for length, syntax, grammaI and clarity. Addres all Web Site submissions to the Connection, P0. Box 7320, Laguna Niguel, (A92611 . Inquiries and article submissions may also be Pseudonyms: GeraldAlex, Walt Eliat Donald Freeman, Sandy Mann, lan Radclyffe, Richard Russell, Lee Stovet and possibly others e-mailed to [email protected]. The mention or appearance oi any names, organizations, or photographs in this publication is not rneant to imply a fact or statement about their sexual orientalion 0r activtty. Subscription requests or address chanqes must be sent to Subscriptions, P.0. Box 7320, Laguna Niguel, CA 92611 , l7 14J 248-1 299. The Kinship mailing iist is con{idential and used only by Kinship officers. The mailing list is not sold, rented, or exchanged for any purpose. Ol 997 Connection. All rights reserved. Reproduction rn whole or in part without permission is prohibited. oPlNl0NS EXPRESSED HEREIN are N0T NECTSSARILY IHoSE 0F SDA KINSHIP Nlember of the Gay and Lesbian Press Association. Printed in the U.S. on 1 00% recyclable paoer. l{ you've never been to Kampmeeting, you had better attend next yearl ! |

I[Ihat did they think: Attendees respond Without exception, all attendees Jesse: It was so relaxing, wonderful, fabulous. \"liked\" Kampmeeting this Sonya: Everyrthing. year. Ihere were no negative Joe: Fellowship. comments. Jim: The fellowship and meeting all the wonderful people. Craig: The speakers, especially Kathleen. And of course the fellowship. Hal: The fact that so many new people were here and that we still make an impact on people that need us. Floyd: Seeing friends I haven't seen for a long time, and especially, meeting new KinNet faces. Ritch: The camaraderie, having \\4rginia here who is like a surrogate mother to myself and others. Also the depth of Wendell's presentation. Bruce: Fellowship. An overwhelming sense of acceptance, and a sense that I have started to develop a whole new circle of friends. Sherri: Sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, and seeing my family. Matt: The campus is delightful, the facilities are nice too. Darin who? Don: Everything. Greg: Liked coming togettrer and meeting people from all over. Larry: Liked the clergy talks. Jim: Getting together with all the people from Kinship. Linda: The communion seryice. Doug: Virginia's story \"My Son, My Son\". George: Hugs and smiles. Leif: Indescribablywonderful. Lee: Seeing everybody again. Jeremy; Location. Paul: Reacquainting with people. Walt: Material for Connection. From our president, Darin Olsen Kampmeeting proved to be a well attended event this year, and a meaningfiil experience for all. We had a good representa- tion from across the US, people from Canada, and Australia. There was lots of talent shared and extended families made. The people who came to speak were well received and meetings well attended. From flowers in your room to mints on your pillow each night, it was obvious that our Kampmeeting Coordinator this year put a lot of work and energy into it. Thank you, Lee Stover. Once again this year I found that the most meaningful part of Kampmeeting was the fact that I had the chance to sit down with many people and talk to them one-on-one. At Kampmeeting this year, I realized that I spent too much time worrying about minute details and the politics of Kinship, rather than relating to people on a more personal level. I especially value the time I got to spend with the newcomers; thank you for sharing your stories of spiritual journeys, leadership and courage. As we enter into a new Kinship year, I would like to acknowledge those of you who served on the board last year, the regional coordinators, and also the project coordinators. I would especially like to say thank you to those of you who finan- cially contribute to Kinship's cause. It is your generosity that maintains the projects we have funded. Lastly, I would like to encourage your participation for the next year. Whether it is local meetings, or even writing for the Connection, your contribution will make Kinship an even richer family. Its your organization. Hrppy Kinship New Yearl I have to run, the Packers game is on. NOT! Love, Darin Connection . August 1997

Kanpraeeting , the Storie s We have an especiaily CHAZ SHIELDS discovered if I try to get up earlier, my body large number of stories Back, back, back to the first feeling. I may respond by making me spend the whoie this year\" Enjoy! day resting, and getting to do nothing! I was guess it was being upset over finding out it Connection . August 1997 grateful my body cooperated, and I didnt miss r.vouldnt be in Pacific Palisades. I missed the one of her meetings - I even made it to one there five years ago - I vaguely remember brealdast a couple timesl something about a tip to Puerto Vallarta that I've alwal.s admired and respected Doug talked me into. It was supposed to be 10 Madely.nn, from the first time I heard her days, but turned into two months! But that's speak 8 years ago at a Kinsirip church service in Region 9, and I rvasn't disappointed. I found another story. myself taking notes from that first Monday Then there was excitement when I until the last Fridav - I difu't \\yant to trust my discovered it would be at UCLA. I had worked impaired memory to that many new insights on campus before, and loved the campus and and truths. fu a social u'orker, I pleased to buildings and the area, as well as the energy of learn so much about x'hat socieE'and social vouth and learning. What a great idea! structures were like in Christ s time. I've been an Adventist ail n-rr'life, and onh' recently have Alarmed was the feeling when I tr been made to reaiize I can't take thoughts discovered the cost ofthe vyeek. I have been and instructions from the u'ritings of that time unable to work for the past two and one-half and directly apply them to mv iit-e. As a years because of my struggle with Chronic member of the National Orsanization for Fatigue Immune Dysfunction S'v,ndrome. I've Women, I was excited to ie'arn more about the women of the Bible I had aig'avs taken for spent thousands of dollars trying every granted. I can now respect them fbr the treatment I heard of that made sense. Because remarkable persons thev rvere, and that gives there are no accepted tests to diagnose the me hope that as one of the despised social illness or degree of disability, I am still in the groups of our time, homoserr,rals ri'ill, in time, appeals process with Social Security and my also lose that stigma. She reminded me of hor'' ra..lical Christ former employer's long term disability carrier. Appreciation surfaced when I was able to work was. But more than that. -lladelvnn made me realize how much more radical he g'as than I'd out a deal with Mike so that I could attend. ever imagined! I felt inspired br Christ's As I walked into the lobby that attempts to change a hierarchical social Sunday afternoon, I felt tinges of apprehen- structure to an inclusive, parallel one in which sion - all these new people to meet. I hadnt all have equal value and oppomrnifl'. not only for this iife, but for the one to cr,,me. -\\t a time spent the whole week at Kampmeeting since when I'd become discouraged br the po*'er of my first back in 1983 in Pennsylvania. But I the combining of conservarive Chrisrianirv soon felt comfortable because everyone was with corporate America, she gar-e me renewed friendly and approachable - just as at every hope and faith for the progressir-e humanists and Christians trying to make ours a \"kinder other Kampmeeting. and gentler\" society. l was curious to find out who my room- I was fascinated by our giimpses of the mate would be. I was satisfied when I discov- society of Christ's time taken from archeology. ered it was Ben. I had become his housemate 2 Along with Madelynn, our archeologist months ago when he rescued me from being challenged me to re-think Biblical passages in homeless or having to move to Tennessee. I light of these new insights. knew we'd be compatible. But I also felt I was amused by how concepts and ideas disappointrnent that I'd miss the opportuniry on the Bible as literature, as rveli as the book of getting to know someone else better. of Ruth, were presented. It reminded me of One of the frustrating aspects of CFIDS is the saying \"\\Alhen the student is readr', the not being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I've learned I can only do what my body wants me to do, when it wants me to do it. I was worried I'd not tre able to make Madelyrn's 9:00 morning meeting. My usual wake up time is around 9 AM, and I've

teacher will comel\" I'd never been Kampmeeting in Minnesota next year Jones-Haldeman, told us about the interested in even looking at the Bible and hope that my family will at last be book of Matthew. Her thesis is that from that perspective and was de- willing and able to experience Kamp- Matthew is telling us Jesus came to meeting. change our relationship with God lighted. from vertical to horizontal. Rather fim Stoicheff than being above us, God is with us, One pastor's presentations made hence the name Emmanuel. Dr. me proud that he is the pastor of an I debated going to Kampmeeting Haldeman used the stories and SDA church. I was touched to learn because I was new to Kinship. In fact parables in Matthew to show how that the conference ofEce regularly I'd had no contact with anyone in the Jesus didn't treat people poorly receives letters from grateful parents in organization other than via KinNet because they had no status, or money. the heardand of America. These parents appreciate that their homo- and individual e-mails. Ron Lawson She also spoke ofpersonal experi- sexual children they thought they'd ences. One of the most memorable lost have a place to worship where they encouraged me to go, so I did. The feel welcome. experience was a blessing. I'll briefly stories involved an unhappy young explain some of the things I enjoyed. \\4rginia's life experience man she had as a student, who showed brought tears - tears ofsadness for her The Soeakers her a list of characteristics for the and her family's pain, and tears of I'11 admit that I'm not a fan of small, vindictive God he believed in. church services. I attend them because She told him it was no wonder he expectant gratitude for the ministry of I think I should: it seems inevitable hated this \"God\", for he was hateful. that something good will rub off if I go He ended up stomping on the list and healing she has for so many Adventist turning to the real and loving God. parents who grieve in isolation because often enough. I dont feel I learn of their child's life-style or death. Virginia Cason's first session had anlthing new at the typical Adventist us all in tears. She spoke about the Because I'd missed the social \"worship\". (I put that in quotes AIDS death of her son. A mother of activities every evening, I was amazed two gay children, her biggest contri- and happy my body granted my wish to because I don't consider such services bution may have been the love and make it to the talent show. The talent acceptance she offered. She and her husband were with us all week, and Virginia Cason's first session had us all reached out to everyone. Her final in. tears. She spoke about ... her sorl. talk was similar to what you hear at campmeetings all over: she asked us in our group is astounding, and I very worshipful.) This lack of enthusi- to turn our lives over to God in a new and deeper way. I, for one, want the wasn't disappointed. I loved discover- asm about church made the sessions I kind of relationship with God that Mrs. Cason appears to have. ing each day another person's addi- attended at Kampmeeting all the more exciting: here I was listening to people Australian Dr. Wendall Rosevear's tional talent. I feel smug when I realize talk about God, the Bible, and personal talks were perhaps the most meaning- how many gifts so many Adventist ful to me. He spoke on relationships, churches deny themselves ofl (OK, so relationships with God, and much of I'm human). And as long as I'm being what I heard was new to me. sharing a simple model that seems honest, I also felt smug when our I said to my friend and roommate utterly obvious when you see it. A Floyd, with whom I spent most of my Sabbath offering topped $19,000 - see healthy relationship requires com- what else they're missing! time there, \"It's amazing that the 30 or plete acceptance, which allows both 40 fags and dykes in this room get to parties to communicate honestly, and And Esteban's concert - what can I hear something more worthwhile than also allows trust to develop. Dr. all the people in all the Adventist Rosevear works with maximum say? I am jealous of his gift, but feel churches will this Sabbath.\" (I use the security prisoners, so his message of fortunate that I'm able to enjoy it. I terms \"fags\" and \"dykes\" because they acceptance is not a platitude; he accentuate the fact that those ofus at knows what it means. Apply this was glad it was a part of Kampmeeting the meeting were, for the church's model to your relationship with God for all to be inspired by. And I'm and it becomes apparent that God grateful I live in Region 9 and don't purposes, outcasts, yet we were hearing accepts us all exactly as we are. For have to wait another year to hear the tmth in ways most Adventists some of us I think this is a realization; Esteban in concert. never will.) it's certainly not something I'd heard in the Adventist church before. Sadness surfaced as Sunday came I'll tell you about the three and tl-re experience that is Kampmeet- speakers who affected me most profoundly. ing ended. But with it came a sense of peaceful satisfaction that also is part of The morning speake5 Madelyn that experience. Finally, there was the feeling ofexpectation at having Connection . Auqust 1997

Other Events their stories was painful and liberating. Bntce Harlow Other events included a day off, a It hurt to hear so many sad stories, but As a first-time attendee, I had no nighttime walk on the beach, a talent it was a relief to know others had been idea of what to expect at Kinship rhsur, and a time to share personal Kampmeeting, but from beginning stories. through the same difficulties before ro end, I found the experirnce to and come orri the other side just fine. exceed all expectations. I look back While groups went to Disneyland, A4any ofus had felt ostracized by the Universai Studios, and museums, church; some, myself inciuded, had left at those seven da1,5. r,,'hich already Floyd and I took off on our own the church for a time. All of us were seem dream-like, u'ith ven' foncl Wednesday. We had r great time glad to have the fact that God wel- dining out, seeing a show on Mars at coines us reinfbrced. mernories. the Griffith Observatory, and walking on Laguna Beach. Accommodations I couldn't believe the n'elcome. The rooms were all right; the fbod acceptance and affirmation I ie1t. The talent show was run by a was delightful. The staffwas friendly, On the first day, and on elen'day bitchy drag queen called Mama. An though they seemed a bit unsure of thereafter, the \"old timers\" \\\\-ent out import from Evangelicals Concerned, what we were about. of their way to talk to me, nrake sure she seemed a bit shocked by some of that I was comfbrtable, anJ solicit the racier numbers. The show con- Conclusion any suggestions I might h*\\'e ro sisted oF [emale impersonators, singers, The experience was more than make the experience more enjovable. dancers, and poets, of varying degrees It usually takes me ari'hile to set of talent and with varylng degrees of worthwhile. I came a\\r'ay more accept- comfortable with strangers. but ing of myself and more secure in my almost from the beginnins I felt like success. relationship with God, and I also made I was with family. After ibur months some great friends. I'm planning to go of being on KinNet, it'*'as great to The session where the people who next year, and recommend it to any gay were new to Kampmeeting shared Adventist or former Adventist. 1 Red and Green CabbaEe Saladi ----r l---- I I 2 cups shredded red cabbage 2 cups shredded green cabbage l/2 crp Best Foods mayonnaise ll2 cup red wine vinaigrette dressing (any brand, I like Wishbone) 1 teaspoon celery salt Combine cabbages in large salad bowl. Combine mayonnaise, dressing, and celery salt in a small bowl. Whisk until blended. Add the cabbage and mix well. Serve well chilied. Can be made one day in advance. Serves 6. COM.NIENTS: As I have gotten older (40ish something), I find simplicity to be the key word when having company. Easy do ahead recipies are great when time is scarce. Feel free to adjust amounts in above recipe to your own tastes. Contributed by llal Jobe Connection . August 1997

I have had going away, just that he needs to spend on overmember, has taken readership rores :[i:'#]:tr ]::i:xLt\":'ffi:fih:ltRonmany issues, marshaling Kilhipb Questresponse to the scandals at Learning Center and the attempted hisbefieves in he will support with all ;,:'J;,Tff:fi',,[Tl might. while Ron is'strong-willed and haswiil argue his views with pa'ssion, he go\"a. stitt we will misi his thoughts on ihe board. Kinship could not have been what J professional reemergence,\"f al*aysieen supportive ;J ;il;;;- it is today iinot for Ron Lawson's *ha, others were ! 9:l]g\" ayCook as a counselor to Adventist ,,ry it .oorr. getting angry and contributions over more than seventeen people' burning\" years. With all our hearts, we thank out or And Ron cares- fTorhatht.ihseohtagsa. niza- r.r\"i\"g. {; accomplished more indicated that not you, Ron. And we wish you all good Ron has tion over the years than any other he is ihings. v KINSHIP OPERATING ACCOUNT STATEMENT Fund Name Beginning Ending Expense Transfers 07t31t97 07101t97 lncome General Fund 6,824.42 5,935.1 0 (540.13) (1,237.50) 10,981 .89 Program Funds 1,896.73 1,022.00 (s17.23) 0.00 2,401.50 4,450.00 1 3,087.50 (0.35) 4.765.00 (146.77) Connection Kampmeeting 97 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Kampmeeting 98 1,2M.70 1,360.00 (25s.00) (2,480.00) (140.30) K'mtg Scholorships Project Funds 35.32 0.00 0.00 0.00 35.32 Advertising: General 147.74 0.00 0.00 0.00 147.74 Advertising: Women's (421.8s) 0.00 (46.33) 0.00 (468.18) Clergy Packet 95 0.00 Kid's Stuff 280.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 280.00 Member Wellness 4,843.67 200.00 0.00 0.00 4,853.67 Womyn's Newsletter 0.00 (247.s0) 850.s9 813.09 Regional Funds 01-North Atlantic 145.72 0.00 0.00 0.00 145.72 02-Mid Atlantic 72.29 0.00 0.00 0.00 72.29 03-South Atlantic 197.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 197.50 04-Great Lakes 50.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 50.00 05-Great Plains 230.97 0.00 0.00 0.00 230.97 06-Rocky Mountain 163.87 0.00 0.00 0.00 163.87 07-Pacific Northwest 143.58 0.00 0.00 0.00 143.58 08-Central Pacific 233.38 272.50 (1 01 .1 6) 0.00 404.72 09-Southwest US 1,872.22 264.00 ( (800.00) 1,145.27 1 0-Canada 45.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 45.00 Totals $23,32s.8s $22,151.10 ($24,120.07) $0.00 $21.355.88 a li KINSHIP ENDOWMENT ACCOUNT STATEMENT t Beginning Transfers / Ending Restricted lnvestments 07t0'197 Deposits Adjustments Disbursed 07131197 Asset Allocation 759.22 't.29 0.00 0.00 760.51 Bank America Savings 1,945.99 0.00 30,959.95 Fidelity Brokerage 0.M 0.00 0.00 23, 1 51 .05 Time Deposits 57.96 0.00 0.00 U.S. Treasury Bills 0.35 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $0.00 U.S. Treasury Notes 0.00 0.00 $1.945.99 0.00 $se.2s $s4.881.52 Iotal $52,875.28 Connection . August 1997

,\\ t L rt ; rI Connection . Auqusi 1997

1 Cafeteria 2. Sarurday night 3. Hal, Michael,Jesse 4. Jesse, Rob, Jeremy 5. Bruce, Michael I1 6. Jill, Sherri L 7. Thlent show... B. Jim, Ritch, David, Bcb 9. Kathleen, \\4rginia 10. John i 1. Yoianda lZ.John, Donald 11 t a Connection . August 1997

Hnil of iln Hril Ron Lawson Retires as Kinship Church Liaison BY BOB BOUCHARD, FORMER PRES!DENT OF KlNSHIP 1981-1987 Ron is a pioneer in Ron Lawson decided not to run for relationship with the leadership of the denomina- Kinship, and has reelection as SDA Kinship's Church Liaison tion, what was probably more important was to always been this summer, ending an era t-lrat began, in influence the local church institutions-after all, interested in realiry before Kinship was organized officially that's where we all experienced rejection or helping the SDA in 1980. acceptance. It was decided to invite influential Church recognize Adventists to Kampmeeting to get to know us and Ron Lawson, a Professor of Sociology in to share their knowledge with us in meetings. So and honor its gay the urban studies dept. at Queens College in everyyear since 1980, Ron has arranged to have members NYC and the last of Kinship's original officers various pastors, teachers, counselors, doctors, serving in the same role, is one of Kinship's lawyers, etc., join us. Since we knew that many gay pioneers. In the 1970s he ran ads in The Adventists were dealing with their orientations in Advocate to see if there were other gay their later school years, Ron emphasized bringing Adventists \"out there.\" He created a network sympathetic folk to Kampmeeting from the various of gay Adventists primarily on the east coast at SDA colleges. Over the years, this has been one of the same time that Ben Pickell was contacting Kinship's most successful programs, creating folk in the California area and creating a knowledgeable friends on all the campuses, people group that came to be called Kinship. In the 7970s he ran. ads Not content with just talking vrith people individually, Ron was interested in changing in, the Adaocate to see if the SDA Church. He organized a meeting at a motel outside Phoenix in 1980. The goal there Llere other gay Ad- was simple, though accomplishing it was not: aentists \"oLLt there.\" Invite denominational leaders to meet with some of the church's gay members. It was a to whom we could refer questioning students over historic meeting that began a conversation the years. that attendees decided should not stop at the end of the week. It was at that meeting-the Ron was also an important member of the first Kampmeeting-that the attendees board of Kinship, helping to mold the early decided to create a continuing organization organization into something that continues to that ultimately was became Seventh-day grow and thrive. During the trademark lawsuit Adventist Kinship International Inc. or SDA brought against Kinship by the SDA Church (we Kinship. won!) and the early schism in the organization (some members went off to form another gay- Ron was there. He was particularly support group, Orion; a number of its leaders interested in continuing the dialog with the eventually returned to Kinship), Ron was a Church and was elected Kinship's Church bulwark in maintaining the organization. Ron, in Liaison. And he has been reelected ever since. his capacity as a sociologist as well as board (An honesty footnote: In a couple ofyears when Ron was doing research overseas, others filled the post, but we all knew that Ron would reassume it when he returned.) In the first year, Kinship's leaders agreed that whatever the state of the organization's Connection . August 1997

!. it:i Ron was presented with a plaque commemorating his many years of i.!:,i'E* service to Kinship. He is shown with past presidents of Kinship. i:j :'ffi Left to right: Darin Olsen, Michael Mclaughlin, Bob Bouchard, Ron Lawson, Marge Doyle, Richard Russell, Ben Pickell ffiitorb Corn er BY WALT ELIAS It's Tiresday, and it was only two relate stories of those who have upon their own inner wisdom gone almost instantly from hating rather than upon that served by the days ago that I left Kampmeeting in a their gay selves to finding that gay verywonderful rnood. I am now on a is the best thing that ever happened corporate reli gious commu nity. holiday in Hawaii, and it is quite a contrast to the experience at UCLA. to them. f remember when I was an I think that this year's kamp SDA college student I had a feeling As I think about the Kampmeeting I might be gay. But I didn't feel experience, there are two things that experience was especially spiritual that I could be; after all, I wasnt come to mind as especially important. for me. I find myself perplexed at religion in general. The experience interested in wearing a dress and One is the fellowship and afErmation of discovering various Christian denominations have lied to me, and molesting children, my stereotFpe one receives in this loving and accept- continue to do so about gay issues at the time. I remember seeing ing environment. The other is the joy has caused me to question every- Kinship's old hodine number, 800- 4GAYSDA, but never having the of watching new people, often very thing religious I have learned. It is nerve to call it prior to actually unsure of themselves, Bro.w\" amazing a painful process, and the Church is coming out. amounts in only a few days. For many, probably more interested in Kampmeeting is their first foray into I also attended a public college, changing me than accepting and and there I discovered that there the gay community, and this takes helping me. was a gay student group 0n campus. significant amounts of courage. Many gay folk are alienated Even though I attended there two Individuals come into kamp unsure from the Church and religion in years, I never had the nerve to if they will somehow fit into this \"gay general. Some of these alienated attend or inquire. For the gay kid community\". What they find is that people may become quite spiritual who was always \"The Best Litde the \"gay community\" is quite diverse, with an experience that is based Boy In The World\", college wasn't and provides a place for everybody. I easy. would expect that most of us could WaltElias,JuJy4,1997 Y Connection . August i997

Kamp Stories Continued llt For somg meet many KinNeters in the flesh. Now when I eye in the place. In addition to enjoying the Kampmeeting is a content of their presentations, it was amazing and read their posts I can see them in my gratifuing to feel the total acceptance and uncondi- very spiritual makes a difference! They're more 3-dimensional. tional love that every speaker projected. Knowing experience. Several times when I introduced myself to some- that people of this caliber exist in the church and one I got a look of puzzlement. Then when I gave in Adventist colleges and universities gives me my e-mail name, \"ChgoBurban,\" they'd light up hope that the next generation ofgayllesbian and say, \"Oh! It's you! Hil\" Adventist youth will have an easier time of it than many of us did. Of course, you cant have an Adventist gather- I was impressed with the quantity of musical ing without the requisite \"do you know...?\" taking talent present at K-NI. Keyboard and vocal skills placel Kampmeeting was no exception. It com- abounded. Just listening to the group sing during menced even before KNI started when I attended the Gay Men's Chorus of LA program with my song service was impressive, and the special music brother. I had been told that I would be sitting was special, indeed. And you had to see the with other Kinship members, but I didn't immedi- Extremely \"Tackay\" Thlent Show to believe it! I ately know anyone. Then one guy passed by me haven't laughed so hard in a long time! It was a busy week...there wasn't much free and thought he recognized me. When he gave his time (something I hope we plan for next year), but first name, I immediately knew him. He and I everything was so good that I hated to skip even attended SMC together 20 years agol A.fter that, it one session. I felt like I was burning the candle at was just one after another--a college friend's both ends! And the week wasn't even over before I younger brother, someone who went to academy started to mourn its passing and begin looking with my wife, people who attended Campion forward to next year when I will start the week out already knowing 50-100 peoplel For those who before and after me....and on and on. The Adven- haven't been to a Kampmeeting yet, I have only one piece of advice: don't let anything stop you tist world is so small it's almost scaryl from attending next year! Whether you've been The way the schedule was set up, it seemed as out for 2 months or 20 years, you'll find something ofvalue there, I'm sure. FIope to see you therel if we were constantly eatingl The cafeteria food was better than anlthing I ever had at college--and Natnlie Clothier such volume and varietyl It would be hard to beatl Should I go? No. And, of course, meals provided interactive time to But why not? Someone might be there. tr\\&o? I don't know; someone. get to know one another better. But they are there too. Good point! The speakers (consistently called \"clergy\" by So I wrote to Yolanda and told here that I those attending, even though not all were minis- wanted to go. She then put me in touch with ters or theologians) were greatl I can't critique each one, but I must say that it was pure pleasure Darin and Michael and to cut a long story short I to experience MadelynnJones-Haldeman on a was soon to be on a plane jetting my way to the daily basis as she presented a discussion on Mat- beautiful state of California for the annual Kinship thew entitled The Inclusiveness of Christ. She has Kampmeeting 1997. a reputation of being a tough grader, but I wish I I was really apprehensive, but as the time got closer for me to go I started to get excited. Ex- could have had her as a religion teacher when I was cited about whom I would meet, having the in college. I think it would have helped me begin freedom to be who I am and not having to care. my spiritual adolescence a lot sooner! Not only is she very intelligent, but she's also an independent thinker, and has a lovely droll sense of humor. I also very much enjoyed seeing an archeologist's slides of the Holy Land and hearing more about how life was there back in Bible times. It helped put things more into context and perspective. When Virginia Cason told the story of her gay son and about how she and her husband dealt with his Connection . August 1997

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Its amazing how much When I got there, it was a different mafter soon, so theywill need your prayers. Thank people enjoy and connect entirely, or so I felt anyway. with Kampmeeting. Though you. they are scared an uneasy The freedom was what made me feel the first time they attend, You could say that when I first went to they quickly find out how uncomfortable. It was kind of like \"all these Kampmeeting, f was still tangled in the wonderful the experience can hangers in the closet, but after I threw them people here are gay and dont care that I am be. too\". I found it very unsettling to begin with, off and jumped out of it. That's what it feels and for those of you that were there and met like anyway and it is so wonderful. I thank you all and I love you all. Kinship and its me at the beginning of the week, that is why I members etc. will always be close to my heart. acted the way I did. Also when I first go God bless you all. This is Natalie Clothier somewhere like that I am quite shy at first Q signing off. Proud and GAY!l know some of you dont believe that but it's true) and it takes me a while to come out of jo, my shell so to speak. Hello all, A.y*.y the meetings were very interest- It was definitely great meeting so many at ing and it was nice to hear new perspectives on Kampmeeting. I am now able to place names different issues, and it really helped me in with faces tiat I have seen over the years that I more ways than one. have seen mentioned in the Connection. Kampmeeting as well as Kinship really Since this was my first Kampmeeting, I helped me to clarif, a few issues with which I had some expectations that were shattered and was dealing. I went with doubts about who I many gready exceeded! Kampmeeting was really was and could not accept myself as gay. Now I feel fulfilled, at peace and have finally more than I ever imagined it would be. It was accepted who I am and am proud of it! God the most accepting place I have ever been. I made me who I am and He loves me no matter thought I would never see the day when any what. Our relationship was rekindled that church clergy would accept me, much less a week I spent with everyone and now I feel so bunch of us, and say that we are OK. I know close to God. I have never met so many that that doesnt seem like a big deal to some of you. But hearing and experiencing what wonderful, caring, non-judgmental, accepting, MadelynnJones-Haldeman had to say was uplifting. I was able to sit down and talk to loving, etc. people in all my life. I did not feel \\4rginia Cason one-on-one for some length of time. She listened to my story and had such the depression that everyone told me I would words of wisdom--words that healed my heart feel the week after and I still haven't felt it. and made me feel all right to be gay and SDA. Life is really good with God!l Thanlcs, Virginial I now know that God brought me here for Many Kampmeeting attendees went out more than the reason I originally thought, of their way to talk to me, and make sure that I which was to take me out of all that was was having a comfortable and good time. familiar, so that there would not be distrac- Many came up and asked for suggestions I tions blocking getting to know each other. I might have to make this Kampmeeting now realize that there was much more to it experience more enjoyable. While I appreci- ated that, I felt almost from the beginning that than that. I think the problems I was having I was with family and I knew that I was going to have a wonderful time. But hrefore you accepting myself were blocking God from knew it, it was over. totally coming into my life, and now that the I was saddened to see Kampmeeting end. barrier is gone, He has come in and given me It seemed that I had iust gotten there when the end of the week came. I am definitely the peace that I have been longing for so long. I guess He was just waiting for me to relax and going to be at the next one for the whole let it all go to Him. week. Many thanks to all the Kinship board I am not ashamed of who I am anynore or and staff for all their unending efforts. All I what people will think. I am telling only those whom I want to and not denying it when asked can say, is that if you never have been to a (as much as I would like to yell it from the top Kampmeeting - Go! There is something of of the building). I have told the family I have value there for everyone. in the States and have written a letter to my parents in the (IK, which I have sent to my cousin to proofread, but will be sending it Connection . August 1997

Robbie Depew major life crises and transition and were intensely focused on her every Admittedly my expectations for people who were experiencing real word. I am not very old (a mere lad in fact) but I have already experienced Kampmeeting were dubious at best. I contentrnent and satisfaction in life. And I watched all of these people sufficient years of searching for an had experienced nothing positive with benefit from sharing together. illusive Savior in the regimen and Adventist gays and lesbians that gave rhetoric of religion to be moved to tears Ti-ue commiffnent and satisfac- by what Madellnn had to share. It was me any reason to believe Kampmeet- tion in life is an illusive ideal which few such a beautiful and incredibly over- ing would be something spectacular. in life ever realize. Growing up gay In fact, to be quite honest I really whelming experience to listen to and Adventist I knew a handful of Madelynn articulate, in her endearing expected it to be a bunch ofbitter people whom I really respected and way, her vision of an \"inclusive Christ\" queens and belligerent bulls sitting admired, who I thought had found true as she sees him revealed in the book of contentrnent and satisfaction in life. Matthew. I sat there with my heart around a campfire (or would that be But I never knew anyone who was gay aching and crying out for more. I felt as Kampfire?) commiserating in their and who was happy or fulfilled in his or though I was being fed from a fire her life. In fact, I didn't know anyone hydrant, and I feared I would never be shared personal trauma at the hands of who was gay at all for most of my the church and life in general. Please growing up. Being out in the gay able to absorb all that she shared. But I do not misunderstand me, I realize we community for a few years now I have knew that, once and for all, I now had a each have a story and there is a very continually searched and struggled to real need to share that story and develop a picture of what my life as a vision of a loving and awesome Savior receive the support of others who have gay man should entail. Unfortunately that no one could ever steal away from shared similar experiences. Flowever the idea of a week long support group, what I have found with frightening me. \"hi my name is Robby and I'm an Adventist homosexual, \" just didn't frequency is a community of irrespon- I believe Madellmn's vision of an sound... well, spectacular to me. But a sibility to self and others, a community little voice inside kept me believing inclusive Christ is at best illusive, that Kinship could be so much more shadowed by the sinister bureaucracy of and I really wanted to experience what What I experienced at l(ampmeeting fo, that so much more was. exceeded euen, what I dared to dream What I experienced at Kampmeet- ing far exceeded even what I dared to Kinship would be. dream Kinship could be. I not only of transience in both personal commit- religion, for any person. But for a gay found a body of loving, laughing, ment and spiritual conviction, and a or lesbian youth grow'ing up in the hugging, crying, praying, singing, and community lacking life goals in general. At Kampmeeting I found Adventist church even that illusive incredibly special individuals but I also many people who shattered my negative perceptions ofthe gay and vision is often stolen away. At least, that found a beautiful and embracing lesbian community. For those of you was my experience. I knewJesus was picture ofJesus through Madelynn who are at a later point in your;'ourney real and I knew that he died to save me, Haldeman's presentations. You may of life, you must realize that you have BUT for whatever reason ( wonder) I find this amusing, but the last thing I something incredible to share. Your believed he could and would only save me if I was straight. I prayed for several expected to experience at Kampmeet- struggles and your triumphs are a ing was a group of happy people and years forJesus to help me be \"normal.\" spiritual inspiration. legacy oflove from which later genera- I wanted so badly to be saved. IJpon tions of gays and lesbians, if willing, accepting the fact that I was gay I then The people I met at Kampmeet- did my best to deny God's existence or ing were far different from the \"bitter can benefit tremendously. I know I involvement in my life. It was outside queens and belligerent bulls\" I had anticipated. Of course there was a learned much and my dreams of what of the church and its structures that I my life as a gay man can and will be smattering of us who shared a rather met a friend who helped me to realize regal and royal air about ourselves and were fantastically broadened. I am so that God did create me and because there certainly was a contingency of thankful for that experience. respectably rowdy women. What I had God doesnt make mistakes he loves me not expected was the heart-to-heart On Monday morning when sharing and the incredible blending of Madeli.nn first shared with us I was differences or the joy that come with riveted to my seat. My mind and heart that sharing. What I found at Kamp- meeting was people at every point in the continuum of life's spectrum. I found people who were experiencing Connection . Auqust 1997

The stories go on rrr felt total support. For the first time in my life I felt I support from everyone around. Straighg Cray and Bisemal. Everyone uas together in belieft. We were I one, We are one! i just as I am. However even this foundation Kathlecn Geruty I Some carne to lacked the fundamental motivation to sen e a I loved my experience of Campmeeting? No, Kampmeeting with fear, higher power. Madelynn shared her belief that KAMP 4EETING! Yeal...It's been ages since I've i since Jesus is not physically present in our daily enjoyed singinghyrnns as much...corne to thinkofit, i but this was quickly dispelled by the lives it is only through the love we share with it's been a iong time since I\\-e enjoyed \"religious\" one another that we can see Christ, and this meetings so much! The spirituality and practicality is acceptance and love sharing is the truest and purest form of worship what made it really work they found there. possible. That concept for me is real, it is a motivating power. I love that concept and I love Some ofmyfavorite things...the new &iends I the vision ofJesus that I saw in the love shared with me at Kampmeeting. met and seeing the few \"old\" friends again...the rnusic - especially Bartja andJessie - y,ou hit me in the heart, Nmh anie l- Brian L. Dur.b ant Mtgrr,i, good to have one of our mothers share herself and her h,.rsband...she rvas WTTTI Aur apprehensive college student sat on a plane, not icnor,i.ingrvhat to expect {rom the followingweela God \\WIH us...makes such a difference...we activity. He looked over at the wornan travelingwith ieim. She looked just as he felt. Mrnral fear creptup shared tears, laughter and so much love...personal ir-rto lris soul. \\Arould these people accept him lbr stories...g'ou,...u'here rve're corne frorn, where u'e are hirnself, or would they be the same as\\,'one else? no*i r.vhat rve're up to...not to harc been missedl \\Vas his fear r'varranted or was he just ol'er flhank you, Ron for making zure I was there and reacting to the aruxiety that he rva-s feeling? At least he Marge, fbr vour u,onderful facfitating and had one cornfort: Natalie was there with him. 'ilgether they could make it through ary,thing. He caringl)...Some more of my favorite fiings...the detennined to rnake the best of e-.,ery situation. warmth, hup, incredible zupport through simple This is just a snapshot of the feelings and things zuch as someone nev/ to me 'walking up anci concerns I went t}rough on my rvay to Kamprneet- introducing himself or herself to rne...oh, thank ing. What did i find there? Acceptance, love and you 1... Dear lv{adel}nn and your \"The Inclusive support. I never thought that such a thing was Christ\" - so needed and so timelv..Again, I'rn possible: people who understand eiacdywhat you touched by all the large and small things done by har.e, are and will be going through, people r.r,ho members I didnt even knowtill Kampmeeting, Imow 1'ou, even though they have never met you people u.ho brought the week together. I4,'endell, I before. SO appreciated your clear, sirnple and practical I met manv fiiends, heard many clifferent stories, sharing of acceptance and honesty The warming service on Friday - REAllYcommunion with each other and (iod, too...oh,Jessie, your song - especially the second onel...and Robby and Bartia...Last but not least, it rvas vev special for me to be at IlfuI with my dear bnrther. rvhose incredible love, nrpport and tenderness, along ri'idr his insight makes so much worthwhile and then he brought along his dear wife and our parents (ike Hlveth \\4tlliams says, \"No Brass €fo\\!'s under their feet\") - th.y are tr:r:ly ou1lo love and zupport their kids...even ifwe are hard to understandl \\4rell, these are some ofmy Septemher 20: Region 0. Barllecue. highlights.. \".here are many more. Thank you, to those of you that hoid the September l0: Region 8. ,\\leeting vision drat ves vie can be both Seventh-day September 28 - Novernber 1. AIDS Quilt Display, Grace Cathedrai, San AJr entist and gay or lesbian...very necessrry Franciseo and on the way to healing...thank C,od! For futthcr it{brmatiol c0ntdct the approp'iate regional toordinator oil page 2. If you're thinking of going to K&[, don't think, just go! Y Connection . Auqust 1997

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