For more than four decades, Kinship, an organization dedicated to rewriting the narrative of isolation and exclusion within places of worship for LGBTQ Adventists, has fought to redefine parts of Adventist culture that they have experienced as harmful. Floyd Poenitz, who assumed the role of Kinship's president about three years ago but has been involved in some capacity since the late 1980s, acknowledges that growing up in Adventism can sometimes feel like existing within a bubble. When one's thoughts and experiences significantly diverge from those of their surroundings, an overwhelming sense of loneliness can permeate every aspect of their existence. The stark contrast between the church's proclamation of open doors, the preaching of Christ's all-encompassing invitation, and the harsh reality of ostracism, rejection, and shunning often creates an unfathomable dissonance. Consequently, many individuals conclude that the church is an unsafe space for them. Kinship strives to address this dissonance by reassuring members of the LGBTQ community that they are not alone in their perspectives and experiences. Not only do they not walk this journey alone, but they are celebrated and welcomed.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2023/getting-know-sda-kinship-international-interview-floyd-poenitz