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Home Explore SDA Kinship - CONNECTION - April 1997

SDA Kinship - CONNECTION - April 1997

Published by Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc., 2019-03-07 16:34:30

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


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Coruruectioru JJ== I o <AA\\-JlrJ nr F G\"I'qD\\t e Uuur,,.^ I am pleased to inform you that although you as a gay person will not be allowed to preach, teach Sabbath School, lead song service, have drink- ing fountain privileges, or park in the parking lot, you are welcome in our church. The state of gays in the SDA Church: Some churches exclude gay members Also: Board meeting report Ex-Gay? Who?

Cortn\"ectiort Who we are. . r Vol 2l, No,3 Seventh-day Adventist Kinship In- members and friends includes well over a thousand people in l6 countries. Kinship Board ternational, Inc. is a support group which SDA Kinship believes the Bible does PLeiideni: Darin Olson ministers to the spiritual, emotional, so- not condemn, or even mention, homo- Viie President: Marge Doyle cial, and physical well being of Seventh- sexuality as a sexual orientation. Ellen Seiretuy: Obed Vazquez day Adventist lesbians, gay men, G. White does not parallel any of the Treasuer: Mike MClaughlin cowi tioi EdiLot : wa]1 elias bisexuals, and their families and friends. Bible texts. which are often used to con- Public Relrtions: Jim Bell SDA Kinship facilitates and pro- demn homosexuals. Most of the an- Church Liaison: Dr. RonCld Lawsoo motes the understanding and affirmation of homosexual and bisexual Adventists guish imposed upon God's children who Womy!1s :Coofdinatoi.i:Ybl$ada Elliotl among themselves and within the Sev- grow up gay or lesbian has its roots in a Kcmp'97 Coor.linator: Lee Storer enth-day Adventist community through misunderstanding of u'hat the Bible says. Members-at-Large education, advocacy, and reconciliation. Kinship operates solely on contri- butions from its members and friends. Kamp Kids Coordinrtor: Pm Roberts Founded in 1976, the nonprofit or- ganization was incorporated in l98l and SDA Kinship supports the advance- Spiritual Advisor: Kay Clayton has a board of 15 officers and 10 re- ment of human rights for all people. Dir. oi Regional Coordr.: Donrld Freemm Womyn's Newsletler: Jackie Summerlon gional coordinators. The current list of Mbr. at Lrg.: Terre Price Campus Cpordinatbii fteg Coi : t .:.:, 1:l , ' :sumart,s,i t,\" : ,,,,, Office Support: Hirl Jobe Inf.ormatirjnal Services: John,'Wieltind World Wide Web: Smtt Wiemers CanwftionStatf Kinship depends on you. Kinship is supported soleli' bv contributions. Help us reach out to more gay Adi entists b.v'- Coltrib-u1orr;,,Ri1cfi Bmroni,BrianlCluko, : making a tax-deductible donation to SDA Kinship International. Lriry Hallock. Ben Kemena. Glenn i Please send your check or money order to the address belorv. Lu.ckasavalchi David,lvlorris; J,:Victi , , Shelton; Obed Vasqna-e, Walr Eliai; Editor: , ', For irlf0rmafion gall; ',::,::: Regional Coordinators .',..,.,.... . ,,,,{lt{):.2$ii299,. r. 10 q'rryfffip :lg:ru51i$h€d:1!!:tim6!::{:yesrby::Sererrthi dry AdJenrist Kinship lnlemational. Inc. Principul ottire: P.O. Bor 7320. Lrguna NigKl. CA 92677. ,(?1+i 2a8:,1?99; ,U.S, Nbicfiptiors tre $25 lor ten: :ii:$lles,:andr$15 lbi:addi{iotral,*bsriptians, ForcigE e li::,Submisionf tlillers,:articleij, pic$r6s, artiratrd: \"o qB> i graphics wclc,rme, lnclude your nme ts you D x, wif,l iI publishcd, addrcr+. and telephone number. U an item is tr) bc acknowledged or reumrd. pica{i I include a self^arldr*se,J. sumped enviioge. Siime 1r Conniction conrriburors have choren ro remdn anonymous. Psudmyms frm this issue rppeu ut f, lhe,loltBn o{ thil tdgei::Thp CrTIr4{4:I6 eriiellthE Region I Recicn 5 right to edit manurcrips fw lengrh. synru. gramniir, Obed Vasquez (401) 521-9319 Ben K. (l0lr ll:-:lii andc.l4ri(y:, Ad{ke f s qU f ubmiisiom:n} th6q?Pg{tir& Region 2 Pio.J BdX ?320.1 L4grnalNigue,L:CA 9?6??: Inqnjliq! Yolanda Elliott (410) 53 l-5382 Recion: und e[icle submissions mry be e-mailetl ro Teny Worm*ood i50li l-tl-81'1-1 Region 3 [email protected]. (7 14) 248-1299 Recion 8 The menrion or appenrrnce oI xny names. Region 4 Hmv Wilmottr (510) 523-3461 {trgMizulions. or phomgrrphs in rhis publicarion is Scott Wiemers (616) 473-3412 Region 9 Inot mearr h imply l{41 oi iuiement aboirt rheir Region 5, md KinNet Donald Freemao (213) 848-7161 Floyd Poenitz (214) 416-1358 sexual 0.ienl!tinn,)r acdvit). Region 10 (Kinship Canada) P$trdonym: Cenld Aler, Wah Fli6. D.nrld ItNnEn, LeSbvlr. udrlsihty(Ser Gerald Alex (613) 234-0555 Subscription rcque\\6 or address chuges muil be twnt'!6 Sqlsunfllionn,P;o\"i:Eax:7320, L[glna Ni8ual. CA 926?7; {7:14):248i,1?gsi::Iha,I(inthip,meititg liat i.\\ confi Ljenti dl ud uscd only by Ki nship ofllce rr. The msilinp lisr is nor rold, rcnted. or crchanged tor any purpnE. @1997 Cowtiot ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTiON IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBIIED. oPINToNS ExPRESSED HERETN AIE Noi NECESSARILYTHOSE OF SDA KINSHIP, START SAVING,MOI'ltsY FO&'KAMPMEETING:lt{ow,!:,:, ilMetnher the Gay md Leshtan Prcs.r As.torioion $,+x;il,'i \"; ucri,iliia *r;'ii;:;#;; Conruction. March 1997

CeTBNDAR oF Evpxrs For further information contact the appropriate regional coordinator. May 10: Region 9. Meeting in Inland Empire, California. May l7: Region 8. Meeting in Lodi, California June 2l - 22: Region 9. Gay Pride \"Christopher Street West\" West Hollywood, California. June 28: Region 8. Meeting in Alameda, California. June 29: Region 8. San Francisco California Gay Pride. July 18-19: Region 9. Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles concert. Also present Gay Men's Chorus of San Francisco and Gay Men's Chorus of New York. Over 400 voices. July 20 - 27 19972 Kampmeeting. UCLA. August 9: Region 1. Picnic. Regional Coordinators Note: rt is the intention of the Corauctioru to publish a calendar in each issue. Please send information to The Connectionat the Kinship office, or e-mail to [email protected] This issue features a report of Board Meeting, which was held in Albuquerque the first weekend in March. Also featured are experiences of gay people who have found themselves not wanted in their churches. We also feature a few of the \"Heartwarmers\" that were posted to KinNet sometime ago. These are warm fiizzy stories that make all of us feel good. There is an extremely good chance that the next issue of the CONNECTION will be in a new format. Look for it! Also, either the next or following issue should address the state of several of our SDA college campuses and gay folks there. March 199? . Connectian

Tnp SvroKrNG CHURcHMAN by Ritch Barron n many congregations across America, fueled by the of what you did?\" The speaker said: \"I sure am!\" I do not intend to argue whether homosexuality is a rhetoric of religious conservatives, there has been agitation to cleanse the church membership. Often sin. The Bible, is clear that it is NOT. If any care to the \"sin\" that is being attacked is that of homosexuality. debate that, I can be reached through the Connection. I But those who allow gospel rock music or promote want to analyze this attitude. women's equality including ordination, are also attacked As a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with the purpose of driving them out. The urge to purge I find it deeply tragic that some of us are proud of the fact the church of sinners has been gaining power over the the we chased from our fellowship a person for whom last few years. Christ died (Romans 5:6). I believe that those who do so, have joined Satan in proclaim- Dick Barron. a well known evangelist ing themselves better than God of the 60's used to tell \"One of the best things we (Isa 14:13-14). the story of a woman Christ, when He was here, he visited during one did when we started this con- went out of His way to seek out of his series of meet- and spend time with people like ings. During his first gregation was to get rid of Mary of Magdala who was taken in the very act of adultery (John visit with her, she con- fided that she had been the gay member.\" 1:3-11). He spoke with the Sa- baptized into the local maritan \"Woman at the Well\" SDA church five years and never once asked her to earlier and that from the change her living arrangements day of her baptism, she (John 4:1-42). The Pharisee's had not set foot inside the church. most ardent \"proof\" that Jesus could not be the Messiah Intrigued, Elder Barron, coaxed the story from the was the fact that he constantly associated himself with sinners (Luke 7:34). This is the Christ whose example lady. On the day of her baptism, one of the leading women of the congregation, put her arms around her and Christians are expected to foilow. \"welcomed\" her into the church. But while she was Yet too often, we will only associate with those hugging the new convert, this church member smelled righteous enough to earn our fellowship. Even in our the unmistakable odor of cigarette smoke. Before the sun welfare ministry, we expect some proof or promise from went down that Sabbath. the church member had called the one assisted, that they will \"stop their evil ways\". every member of the congregation: \"Isn't it just awful, When that promise is missing, we walk to the other side the pastor baptizing that woman and SHE'S STILL ofthe road, (Luke 10:31), lest our holiness should be hurt SMOKINGI\" As Elder Baron would say \"In God's lrom association with unrepentant sinnei-s. eyes there were two people smoking that day.\" A prominent Adventist pastor. rvas preaching at the Whether through careless gossip, or vicious Bible General Conference Session in I 895. His topic one night thumping, the attitude is the same: \"I don't want to had to do with the subject of reaching out to sinners. He said our job was to minister to the sinner's physioal & associate with those sinners.\" Recently, I was told of a conversation with a member of my congregation who has spiritual needs even ifthey never accepted Christ -- even been very vocal about his opposition to gay people being if they are eventually eternally lost. He went on to say allowed membership in the church. During the conver- sation, this prominent Adventist said: \"One of the best \"Anybody who has such a kind of hoiiness that they cannot be found in the company ... of people who are things we did when we started this congregation was to get rid of the gay member.\" The person to whom he was fallen, and lost and degraded, without spoiling [that holi- nessl, would better get rid of it as quickly as possible, and speaking was stunned. When asked \"are you really proud get the right kind [of holiness], because that [other] kind Connection. March 1997

of holiness is not worth having, it is already spoiled.\" At example we are to follow, how dare these so called this point, someone in the audience challenged the minis- ter with the question \"But what about our reputation?\" Christians be proud of having sent away one of the \"least He answered \"The Christian has no reputation; he has character!\" (A.T. Jones, General Conference Bulletin of these my brethren\". In doing so, they have chased Feb 24, 1895) away Christ himself (Matt25i40). His answer reminds me of the great gift Christ brought But, now comes the more difficult part for me. How to us when He \"... made himself of no reputation, ... and do I reflect this Christ in dealing with those who would was made in the likeness of men\" (Phil 2:7). If this is the throw me out of the church for being gay? Do I self- righteously \"shake off the dust from my sandals\" and See ttChurchman\", page L0 Boano MnnrrNc Rnponr Bv Onno VnzeuEZ SDA Kinship Board Meeting 1997 New Mexico. Regions Coordinator, reported that nearly al1 the regions he SDA Kinship board met on March 1,1991 in are preparing a regional newsletter, with a variety of Albuquerque, New Mexico! Under the direction activities in the regions. At the present time there is a of Darin Olson, president, the meeting took care vacancy in Region Three for coordinator. An Austra- lian group is being formed, and the Board will be as of its administrative duties, reviewed reports of program supportive as possible in their endeavor. The Public Relations Director, Jim Bell, has maintained an up-to- development, and reviewed Kinship policy. date database and is working closely with the Campus The various programs of SDA Kinship were re- Outreach project. The electronic chapter of SDA Kin- ship, KinNet continues to grow. At present there are viewed and their progress noted. Lee Stover reports that the program for Kampmeeting 1997 is on schedule. Ron over 100 members participating on the network chapter. Lawson, as Church Liaison, has worked on the prospec- There were several social concerns that were ad- tive invited 'clergy' who are supportive and caring dressed. The issue of sexual harassment was reviewed individuals. A special feature is the Kamp Kids Pro- and discussed. At the present time SDA Kinship has gram. In recognition that there are parents with children established apolicy concerning sexual harassment. This of various ages who will be coming to Kampmeeting, a document is on file. The other area of concern was the program is being developed by Pam Roberts for the week. The Campus Outreach program, led by Greg issue of serving alcohol at SDA Kinship functions. While Cox, is well under way with initial contacts made and an it was noted that SDA Kinship makes no comment on overall plan developed. One of the goals ofthis project members's drinking, it felt that there was a liability is to establish contact with the student newspapers of concern to Kinship, and so the following general state- SDA and public universities, establish a counselor base, and become a resource for students. The HlV/lVellness ment and policy was prepared: SDA Kinship recognizes program is now being developed. The HIV outreach and supports the rights of our individual members to project will become part of a greater Member Wellness make decisions about their use of alcohol. However, given the potential issues of liability for the organization, outreach. This project, headed by Tene Price, will be use of alcohol is prohibited at fficial SDA Kinship more inclusive and extended to other health issues, such functions. as women's health, substance abuse, etc. A workshop The Office of Kinship, administered by Hal Jobe, on HIV is being prepared for Kampmeeting . Specific areas of the organization reported various has been busy sending information packets (45 sent out projects and efforts under way. The Womyn's Coordi- in the last six months) and handling the printing and mailing of Kinship's CONNECTION. nator, Yolanda Elliott, with concerted efforts indicated that the number of women on her list has grown by nearly The fiscal position of the organization is relatively 407o. She has undertaken several projects in order to reach women and maintain contact. A special effort is healthy, however it was noticed that expenses and in- being made to find out the interests of women so that these can be included or addressed at Kampmeeting. come have gone down in comparison with the previous The Womyn's Newsletter continues to be published un- year. der the leadership of Jackie Summerton. Donald Freeman, The Board Meeting was hosted by Terre and Mar- shal in Albuquerque, NM. Many thanks for their splendid hospitality throughout the weekend March 1997 . Connection

CRISIS IN CENADA: I CoNrRovERsv OvBn Gry MBUnERS Sprrrs I Nonru OsnAwA SDA Cuuncn By Brian Clarke and Glenn Luckasavatch i, our names are Brian and Glenn and we have pursue this matter further, our Pentecostal friend decided been asked by Kinship to share our recent events that a good course of action would be to take our original with you. friends to see one of her relatives who just happened to But before we do, we must explain briefly that three' be a Pentecostal pastor At least this is what we have years ago, God found us a wonderful church in which we could f'eel free to worship Him. We were welcomed by gathered. During the course of the conversation, the pas- tor was informed by the ladies that they firmly believed the pcstor and the congregation. that we had a very close relationship with God, and on During this three year period we were actively in- many occasions saw God move as a result of our minis- volved in many aspects of the church. (i.e. teaching try. However, they could not explain how this was possible Sabbath School, leading out in prayer circle, etc.) We since we are \"practicing homosexuals\". After listening to also formed the Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry, a regis- the concerns of the ladies, this \"man of God\" wasted no tered charitable organization in which we conducted Bible time explaining to the Ladies that Satan can also counter- feit and supplied these ladies with all the material they studies each week. Approximately 10 to 20 attended needed to stand in judgement of us. weekly. A food bank was also set up, which met the Equipped with material in hand, and a set mind, our needs of the less fbrtunate of our church and community. friends decided it was time for our trial. We were con- During this period, the church members began to fronted one evening in December, after a Christmas party know us as Christians. They also soon realized that we held by our Bible study group. (All this of course in were a gay couple. However, until recently it was never an issue. Or, if it was, we were never informed. And thus keeping with the Yuletide season.) After talking for well we remained active in the church until Dec. 1996. Unfor- over an hour, we realized that the conversation was not tunately, our Pastor, due to illness had to resign from the going to be very productive. We thought it would be best Church in September. Shortly afterwards a power struggle to break off and leave the matter up to God. Before doing so, we asked the ladies if they would mind reading some soon began to emerge, of which we desired not to be pafi. books we had in our library on the topic of homosexual- ity. They replied that as far as they were concerned, it When our Bible study began, a couple of ladies was out of the question. They knew what the Bible said: it was written in black and white, and that was enough. In began to attend. We developed what we considered to be an attempt to push our luck a little further, we asked if it a very close friendship. After about a year, a third lady (a might be possible that they might be misinterpreting the friend of the first two ladies) began to attend the Bible Bible. We further wanted to press our luck and ask that if study. She was a member of the Pentecostal Church. we had a Bible with coloured print, would that make a Another friendship was established. On one occasion we difference to their belief, but we decided to withdraw. had the opportunity at her request to pray for a healing of a lump that doctors had discovered in her breast. Later On a subsequent encounter, the ladies informed us the following week, her family doctor confirmed that the they still wanted to be friends with us, but because of the lump could no longer be found, and was at a loss to Scripture, they could no longer attend any meeting in explain why. which gay people were leading. They did, however, go to great lengths to assure us of their love for us, and that Afier attending our study for some time, and releas- ing we were a gay couple, this lady decided to do her they were only taking this action to ensure that we would \"Christian Duty\" and confront our friends with the issue be accepted into God's kingdom. We assured them that of our life-style, which, of course, was not in keeping with her Pentecostal Church beliefs. In attempting to Connection. March 1997

since our Lord died that all might be saved, and since we that a vote of non-confidence was carried for the elders have acknowledged him as our personal saviour and of they church, and they were relieved of their duties. Lord, our entrance to the Kingdom was definite. We John 14:27 states \"Peace I leave with you, my peace further stated that a friendship at this time was not pos- I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. sible, since their love for us was not unconditional. It Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.\" didn't take too long before word ofour encounter spread We give God praise and glory, because during all the to the church body and we were soon contacted by the commotion these words were never more real to us; the church leadership and advised that they were in full peace and calm that we felt that evening was beyond support of us, and the matter would be dealt with by the explanation. leadership. The following day, Wednesday February 19, we I Much to our surprise on a subsequent Sabbath, dur- were informed that many of the people who walked out I ing divine worship at our church, the ladies decided it of the meeting were not interested in returning to the would be a good thing to interrupt the service and speak North Oshawa Church, or in fact wanted to be associated in front ofthe congregation regarding what had gone on with the Seventh-day Adventist organization. Upon real- in the previous days. A number ofpeople from the con- izing this, we arranged for a Sabbath service to be held in gregation, upon realizing what was about to take place, the Anglican Church that we were using for our Friday approached the ladies, and after a short confrontation night Bible Study. Sabbath morning came, and God they were escorted out of the church and advised that this blessed us with an attendance of approximately 55 people. was not the way to resolve the situation. The head elder We might add that the love and joy expressed to God and then read the vision of the Church which states that \"we each other was somewhat overwhelming. As we lifted are to provide a safe community where people can grow our voices up in praise to God, and sang \"Because He strong in Christ in an atmosphere of love, tolerance, anil Lives I Can Face Tomorrowl', truly we felt that we were acceptance for seekers, believers, and former believers.\" accepted with unconditional love by our new found church It was decided by the leadership of the church that family. on February 18th, a meeting would be held in order to We further were informed that the United Church allow anyone who wished to express their opinion on this where the North Oshawa SDA church was renting, had and other matters of concern. As a result, two of the items called a board meeting on the following day (Feb. 19 on the agenda were a non-confidence vote for the board 1991) and a decision was made that the contract of the ofdirectors and elders, as well as alternative life-styles. SDA Church would not be renewed because of the dis- Needless to say, the meeting became quite nasty. At the crimination shown and their conduct within the sanctuary. very top of the meeting, we were informed that we were (The contract was due for renewal in March.) We were in fact not members of the church, and thus were not to then informed that an offer was given for our newly vote or contribute in any way during the proceedings. A formed family to return to the United Church facility at previous church clerk attempted to state that this didn't no charge. make any sense, since she was the one who received our We regret that time and space does not allow us to request fbr membership transfer three years ago, and include all ofthe details ofour encounter, but in conclu- remembered very distinctly receiving the transfers, and sion we would like to thank God for His never-failing entering them on the church books. The chairperson love, and all those who called in support from Kinship acknowledged her, and stated that they would have to International, and others. We look forward to rebuilding take her word for it. However, we were still not permitted a strong and vibrant congregation in which all are wel- to vote or take part. come to attend and be accepted with unconditional love regardless of sexual orientation. We would like to solicit Since this meeting was for members only, it was your prayers on our behalf. May our loving Heavenly suggested that we be asked to leave the meeting, and if we refused, then maybe we should be physically re- Father continue to bless us all as we strive to continue our moved. A conference lawyer who was present strongly work for Him. advised against this action. We ended up staying until a vote was taken as to whether or not gays could be ac- March 3.1997 cepted in the church. After much heated discussion (to say the least) and after an official statement was read by a Brian Clarke and Glenn Luckasavatch representative from the conference which stated that ho- c/o Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry Suite 3 15 mosexuals were welcome to attend church but are not 8 Midtown Mall Drive privileged to have membership or hold office, the matter Oshawa, Ontario LII SLZ CANADA was put to a vote. The result was that the conference (905) 728-8814 position would stand. At that point, we left the meeting with a number of others following. Later we were told March 1997 . Contuction

Heartwarmers Some months ago on KinNet (contact [email protected] Ioud, the heavy equipment not being entirely suitable for to subscribe) a number of posts were distributed on gay the job. Who would help me lift it in and out of the car? supportive events that Kinship members had been in- What if I busted a sewer line? And even after all the volved in or become aware of. We print some of them here. If you have a Heartwarmer story of your own, expense, hard labor and risk of causing unforeseen dam- please share it with us, it would be nice to make this age, maybe the desired result could not be achieved by all this anyway.... And would my customer really appre- col u mn a lreque nt featu re. ciate this much effort just to get slightly sleeker lines in the finished decor? am, a friend of ours works as a performer and drama teacher of young and, shall we say, eco- No ordinary clerk would want to hear all this mental nomically-advantaged children. This past summer going back and forth, so I suggested he wait on other while teaching, acting, mentoring, Sam planned a show which required a princess as the central character. The customers while I tried to make up my mind. No, he said, he was happy to help. And he was exceptionally patient. most gifted little actor happened to be a seven-year-old \"I used to live at Cornelia and Halsted,\" he said out boy, Johnny, who when told he would not be playing that of the blue. Red light flashes-Little Jim's, a gay place, part cried bitterly, inconsolably. is on that corner. What was he trying to tell me? Toward the end of the drama season the little troop \"...And I want to apologize to you guys,\" he contin- had a party at which all teachers, parents and children ued, using exactly those words. I realized he had noticed were present. As they festively celebrated, the mother of the small Little Jim's logo on my jacket, which I'd won the gifted little actor invited Sam to the side to tell him, in a game at Little Jim's. \"When I was younger, we used \"I'm so pleased that Johnny has been able to have you as hassle you guys. I threw rocks at the windows of Little a role model all these weeks.\" Jim's, and generally gave you guys a rough time. I was stupid. We were young. I'm really sorry now. You grow Sam, being uncertain what she meant, thanked her up and you learn a lot.... I just want to apologize to you but asked clarification. Johnny's mother replied, \"Well, you're gay aren't you?\" Sam gulped but of course con- guys.\" So I'm passing it on. curred that, yes, he is. \"Well, I'm pretty sure Johnny I decided not to rent the equipment, but the trip was well must also be homosexual and I want for him to have the worth it. best possible role model. You have been wonderful as Contributed by Larry Hallock, Chicago that and I want you to know you are appreciated!\" A s you may know, I attended Loma Linda Uni Contributed by J. Vicki Shelton versity and have an SDA background. Nonethe less, my partner is Catholic and we attend Dig- ecently I went to rent some heavy equipment on a customer's behalf-a jack hammer and a walk- nity/Denver together in Mike's tradition. When the behind diamond-blade wet saw for cutting con- call for \"Heartwarmers\" was issued, this story instantly crete. (Let's hear it for Butch!) At the rental place a came to my mind. young man in his mid-twenties waited on me-and, inci- At last Sunday's Dignity Mass, we had our local dentally, he was gorgeous. But I'11 tell you up front that he's straight, so as not to mislead you as to where this is monsignor as the presider. And, he shared with us a very going. interesting story (which I hope I can share accurately). With customer service what it is these days, I was As many of you may have heard, Cardinal Joseph pleased that the guy was so attentive to my needs (my Bernardin of Chicago died of pancreatic cancer in No- project, I mean), especially given the fact that I began to vember. He fought the tumor and lived with the waste a lot of his time by rethinking my entire project out malignancy for over a year. See ttHeartwarmers\", on page LL Connectiort. March 1 997

Kinship Operoting Account Stotement Fund Nome Beginning lncome Expense Ending Generol Fund 03lov97 656r3 il,zr 3.05) Tronsfers 03131197 Progrom Funds r3,236.00 {4,989. r9) 7,189 89 Connection Kompmeeilng 96 1,897.61 3s0.00 t42302) 000 1,824.59 Kompmeeling 92 000 000 11,164.40j K mig 96 Scholorships |,164.40) 000 000 s0000 000 s0000 000 000 299.70 Proiect Funds 000 Adveriising: Generol 25970 40.00 Advertising: Women's Clergy Pockei 96 ?( 2' 000 000 000 JJ.3I Kid s Stuff 000 Member Wellness 147.7 4 0.00 000 000 147.74 Womyn's Newsletter \\42t.851 000 0.00 0.00 t421.85J Regionol Funds 240.00 000 O 1 -North Atlontic 4,343.67 0.m 0.00 000 240.00 02-Mid Atlontic O3-Soulh Atlontic 840.59 ,15.00 000 000 4,343.67 04-Greot Lokes O5-Greot Ploins 000 855.59 06-Rocky Mounloin OZ-Pocific Northwest 145.72 000 000 000 I45.72 OB-Centrol Pocific 72.29 000 000 000 72.29 O9-Souihwest US 197.50 000 000 )97.50 l0-Conodo s0.00 0.00 000 000 50.00 230.97 000 000 230.97 Toiols 000 000 000 163.87 .163.87 000 000 000 r03.58 r03.58 000 000 497.7q 579.65 000 il 06 86) 000 969.75 862.26 000 4s.00 4s.00 25.00 179 sl) 000 rBZ.00 000 $21,865.22 $1,773.13 \\$2,322.44 ($4,989.19) $)632672 Kinship Endowment Account Stqtement Restricted lnvestmen Beginning Tronsfers / Disbursed Ending 03131197 Assef Allocotion 03lo1l97 ss Bonk Americo Sovings Fidelity Brokeroge 580.59 10,17375 0.00 000 10,754.34 Time Deposits 0.40 000 25,026.44 U.S. Treosury Bills 0.00 il,638.2 r) 000 U.S. Treosurv Noies 2,955.80 2,963.34 9,477.30 7.54 000 0.00 9,477.30 Totol 000 __139Eq 000 000 000 !3?Eq $44,669.84 __ w9 $0 00 $48,221.42 l$6,629.7)) $r0,r8r.29 March 1997 . Corunection

Ex-Gay Ministries: Who REALLY Changes? by David Morris friend of mine, Earl, that has gone thorough tries cure the sexual addiction in these men. several ex-gay ministries shared something with Once the sexual addiction is cured, these men go on me this past week. I thought it was worth relat- to live what they have always been -- heterosexual men' ing to others, so here it is: First, a little history on Earl. And these are the men who ex-gay ministries count when Earl has always known as far back as he can remember giving numbers to the public. Earl says that these ex-gay that he was different, but it was not until high school, that he could attach a name to that difference, a gay man. ministries are aware of these facts, but deny them. How else would they be able to continue. And for those Being raised in a re- heterosexual men who had ligious home, he sought engaged in gay sex while out all kinds of change They really haven't changed being sexual addicts, none ministries. None of them of them are willing to ad- worked, but he has been mit to their past out of fear of what that past could do at all, they just deny theirinvolved with quite a few. Earl has been quite to their future. true self and try to live a lie. happy since he was able Earl did mention that to accept himself as a he has met some men who gay man, and his par- ents are getting to the are living a heterosexual life-style after going place of realizing that he will not change because God through an ex-gay ministry. He says that these men have made him that way. gotten married and even had children, however, they Because of his past involvement in ex-gay minis- admit that they have to fight their homosexual tendencies tries, he was recently asked ifhe knew ofanyone that had on a daily basis. They really haven't changed at all, they gone through a change ministry and had actually changed. just deny their true self and try to live a lie. After a while, Here is his response, related in my own words: these are the men that usually sneak around and cheat on The people that ex-gay ministries parade around and their wives by going to \"bookstores\" and bathhouses. I claim that have been changed, have had a change occur thought some of you might find this interesting. God's peace, David M. in there lives, but it is not the type of change these ministries claim that it is. All of the people that these ttChurchman\", from page 5 ministries claim to have changed were in actuality sexual addicts. And it was the curing of their sexual addictions that caused change in these people. Of all the people that hope for the worst for them? Do I try to win the ear of the Earl knows that have \"changed\", none were really gay. pastor and point out the wickedness of these gossipers? (Of course he only knows about the men who have (Romans 1:29-32) gone through these change ministries, he couldn't tell us Or do I turn the other cheek? Paul was never one to anything about the women.) These men were hetero- shrink from debate. And he certainly wasn't afraid to sexual men who were sexual addicts who had learned challenge the evils of hypocrisy and tradition (Gal 2: I I ). that they could get unlimited sex from gay men. They I believe that we, too, should be \"ready with an answer to didn't care who the sexual encounter was with, they only every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is wanted sex and it was easier to get sex from a gay man within you\"(1 Peter 3:15). We are counselled to be bold than from a woman. in our faith, and to stand for the Truth though the heavens With woman it takes time to get her to the place that fall. To me this means, I will never attack those who she is willing to share herself intimately with a man, attack me, but I will also not turn and run. Whenever I more time that most sbxual addicts are willing to wait. am given a forum from which to share the truth about Some gay men provide an unlimited source of free and Christ's love for his gay children, I will not be silent. easy sex for the sexual addict. It is when the sexual Whether that forum is one to one with a mother who is addict suddenly realizes that he hasn't been with a woman seeking to understand, or before a General Conference in quite some time, that he fears that he has become gay Committee facing those who would accuse me, I will and seeks out these change ministries. The change minis- speak for I cannot be silent. 10 Connection. March 1997

Continued from \"Editot\"rpage 12 know much about Cardinal Bernardin, but I do know that When I arrived at my parents house after the wed- he struggled with gay and lesbian issues in the face of official Roman Catholic Church directives. ding, I casually mentioned that I had sung for this wedding. Evidently, as his death grew near, Cardinal Bernardin My mother thought that was nice and wondered whose began to meticulously plan his funeral. If there is a good wedding it was. I told her it was \"John\" and \"Steve.\" I aspect of dying from cancer, it is that the death some- got only a rather flat and unemotional \"oh\" as an answer. times occurs in a fashion that allows one to plan a funeral With further questioning I learned that such events made her uncomfortable, although she acknowledged with time and say \"good bye\". Cardinal Bernardin did just that. she might think differently. Although I am not sure of And furthermore, lest his plans be thwarted, he shared his plans with several colleagues,-to ensure that his will what concerning a gay \"wedding\" might make her un- be done (a method ofchecks and balances). comfortable I doubt the \"commitment\" part is a major As you may have heard, his funeral mass was a problem. private ceremony for church clergy in Chicago. Cardinal Bernardin made a very powerful statement in death that My mother will indeed \"learn\" with time. I hope he could not make in life. The choir that sang at his that slowly but surely the general public will also learn. In the mean time, I shall continue to think about my funeral mass was the church choir of Dignity/Chicago,- the congregation of gayllesbian/bisexual/transgendered own wedding. The date? Well, I haven't really started dating yet, so am not quite ready with the date. Catholics. Walt Elias, Editor and, Eligible Bachelor. Most of the church clergy in attendance had no idea from where the music came until after the service. You ttHeartwarmers\", from page 8 can imagine what this has donel Catholic clergy around Cardinal Bernardin was also once accused ofa sexual the world are contemplating the message of Cardinal relationship with man who died of AIDS. His accuser Bernardin's example. later recanted his accusations and there was a reconcilia- We are not alone. tion between the two men before they both died. I do not Contributed by Ben Kemena Ktnshrp Kookers This is an easy and very good appetizer. It is originally from the Pace Family Roundup Cookbook. Hal Jobe Fiesto lortillo Roll-Ups 1 pockoge iB oz.) whipped creom cheese B oz, Velvetto cheese 112 cup Poce Piconte Souce 1 green onion, chopped 6 flour tortillos 1 cup shredded splnoch leoves 114 cup chopped plmiento or roosted red peppers Stir creom cheese ond Velvetto cheese until smooth. Stir in piconte souce ond onion. Top eoch tortillo with obout l/4 cup cheese mixture. Spreod to edge. Top eoch wiih spinoch, ond 2 teospoons of chopped pepper or pimiento. Tightly roll up like o lelly roll. Ploce seom side down on cookie sheet. Cover ond refrigerole ot leosl 30 min. Cui eoch roll into 6 slices. Secure eoch slice with toothpicks. Serve with odditionol piconle souce. Mokes 36 oppetizers. March 1997. Conrrcction

Book Review: 'lfieMitor's Corner: Wrestling With The Angel sang at a gay wedding this last weekend with the local gay men's chorus with which I sing. Techni- by Ritch Barron cally it was a \"commitment service\", but \"wedding\" is the term thatlthinkof so I will use it here. Since I had n the book \"Wrestling with the Angel\", edited by Brian Bouldery and published by Riverhead Books, never before sung at a gay wedding I was expecting a 21 gay writers from various religions discuss their special experience, and I was not disappointed. As an faith and their belief in God. They detail how they relate to the various institutions in which they were raised, organist, I have certainly played for several weddings of institutions which ultimately rejected them. the straight sort, and I will have to admit to never being Each author brings their own unique, intensely per- particularly moved by them. Yes, I can enjoy the music sonal spiritual journey to answer the question \"If God and the elegance, but they have never really spoken to creates each of us in His own image, then how can that my own experience. image be wrong?\". The answers are not dry theology, and they are not boring philosophy. They are each This wedding was different. Think about it. Every- person's struggle to come to terms with himseli his religion and his God. thing is as you would expect in a wedding, except that the Because of differences of culture, background and wedding party is gay. The wedding was in a Lutheran religious faith, I had difficulty understanding a couple of Church, and the pastor doing the ceremony was the the authors. Others thrilled me with their eloquent de- father of one of the grooms. There were many present scriptions of feelings with which I too had struggled. One from the congregation that had come to add their support. of the most poignant essays is Michael Lowenthal's el- The gay men's chorus sang, among other things egy \"Saying Kaddish for Peter\". He describes learning \"Mary Us\", from \"Naked Man\", which was premiered of a deceased uncle who may well have been gay. He by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus just last year. never learns for certain, yet he comes to rely on this Although it was moving to sing this in a recent concert, it fantasy uncle for comfort, protection and encourage- was especially so to do such in an actual wedding. At ment. one point I found myself almost too choked up to sing. The vows were however the most touching. By the Alfred Corn most closely reflects my own experi- ence. Raised in a religious household, he even flirted at time we had gotten to this point, many in the choir, one time with being a minister. His reasoned arguments following the teachings of Christianity, led him to con- including myself had tears running down our faces. (Even clude that being gay would lead to an endless circle of sin and repent which he believed was too cruel for a loving as I write this I am deeply moved) The vows themselves God and thus, he lost his faith. He finds it again, but in a very different form from his childhood. Anthologies can were then recited by the respective grooms. When the sometimes be difficult, each author having his own style and message. However, with only one exception, these first one started to speak, he broke up momentarily as he essays were very readable. Each author, speaking from shed a few tears himself. At this point, we, the choir, his heart, touched me in one way or another. Even when really lost it. Those that weren't previously shedding I could not exactly relate to their experience, it was tears were now. The significance of this event was refreshing to view God through other eyes. emotionally overwhelming. What does it mean to be gay and Seventh-day Ad- I have wondered what so many people have against ventist? I am compiling a book that answers that question. gay weddings. My suspicion is that sexual activity is It will contain essays, poems, meditations, and stories. If what bothers them the most, though most of them may you would be interested in contributing to such a book, not have really thought about it. Certainly such activity Please call me at (7 14) 539-3860, or write to me at: is an important result of straight weddings. Commitment Ritch Barron 12838 Timber Road \"G\" is important, but the \"wedding night\" is a very significant Garden Grove, C492840 part of the package. Gay marriages are not, I would think, about sexual activity. They are about making a public commitment of their emotional bond to each other.. They don't need permission from society for sexual activities, either soci- ety wouldn't care, or wouldn't give the permission any way. It seems that when gays want marriage they are talking \"relationship\" and straights are hearing \"sex\", whatever they imagine that to be. Of course in both gay and straight settings, a com- mitment of love is important, but its supreme significance in a gay ceremony is probably not obvious to the typical straight individual on ,h\" rO* See \"Editor\", page 11 t2 Corunectinn. March 1997

REGISTRATION FORM X Eth Amnuail Street Addres Sta16 Zip S.E.A\" Country KilNSHIP KAMPMEETING 1997 Prefened roomnate (must amplete *parate registration form) Please usa two forms. tr u t] trutrtr LJ Check as appropriate +Entire week Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri sat A. Double occupancy (per person) July 20 - 27 $495.00 entire week or $75.00 daily rate $ UCLA B. Single occupancy (per person) Conference Center $895.00 entire week or $135.00 daily rate $ Los Angeles, CA C. Day time rate (includes meals) Transportation can be provided $40.00 daily rate $ from Los Angeles lnternational D. Parking (stickers required on all autos) airpoil for a suggested $5.00 daily rate $ donation of $10 E. Airpofi transport $10.00 $ F. T-Shin $15.00 $ Payment plans as well as a limited G. My donation to help the scholarship fund $ number ol scholarships are Total $ available. Please call or write for inlormation. Down payment ($50 min) $ Flioht lnformation Balance due by July 1st. $ Arrival date u Check enclosed (made out to SDA Kinship) Time Airline tr Please charge my Mastercard or Visa Flight Amount authorized to be charged $ Complete this form and mail Card #_-. with payment to: Card expiration date SDA Kinship PO Box 7320 Signature Laguna Niguel, CA, 92607 Confirmation will be sent to persons registering by July 1, 1997. Pre-payment of USA Kampmeeting fees is appreciated since l(nship has to pre-pay the facility. Rooms (714) 248-12e9 are assigned on a first come first serve basis. Amounts quoted are in US currency.

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