Saying Goodbye to Kevin

Saying Goodbye to Kevin December 10, 2014

TMF_KevinKevin Harris, our Director of Community Relations, will be leaving his position on staff at The Marin Foundation at the end of the year after starting with us in 2009. With him moving on, we wanted to take the opportunity to have him share a little about his work with us, some of what he has learned, and his hopes for the future.

Looking back over my time with The Marin Foundation, it is a bit surreal to think that my time here is coming to an end. I’m incredibly thankful to have had this opportunity to have be a part of this meaningful and necessary work as Christians are grappling with how to better walk alongside LGBT individuals, whether they are Christian or not, and being faithful to honoring the space that that God has created for them in the Church.

I’m especially thankful for all of the relationships that have come out of my time with The Marin Foundation and the encouragement of so many people that are seeking to engage and love in more productive ways while helping their communities to do the same. This work has brought me in contact with evangelical Christians with little or no contact with those in the LGBT community who genuinely want to live out their faith in more loving and hospitable ways to LGBT activists striving for those in their broader community to be treated with dignity in a legal capacity and everyone in between. We have had the privilege of having some wonderful interns during my time and I really appreciate the group that regularly attends the Living in the Tension gatherings that we host every other week. Along with being able to constructively discuss the intersection of difficult topics and our own lives, I’ve learned a lot from this group and am particularly thankful for the friendships and community that have developed. If you’re around Chicago, I’d highly recommend checking out one of the gatherings in the future.

Regularly being immersed in difficult conversations around faith, sexuality, and culture with others coming from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds has helped to form me in a number of ways. I’ve learned that it’s much easier to blame others and see the faults in those that we disagree with than it is to investigate our own heart and sift through our own baggage and sin. It can be easy to project what I haven’t dealt with or create a scapegoat in ‘those people’ that I disagree with or dislike rather than seeking to find the good or see the image of God in them in some way. While I may have a long way to go, I’m convinced that learning to listen well to dissenting opinions and pain is one of the most difficult and beneficial things that I can do for both myself and others. I’ve learned the necessity of talking and learning to stand in solidarity with marginalized groups rather than talking about them and focusing on tangible actions and relationships over disconnected statements and theological declarations if the Church is going to take steps forward in loving their LGBT brothers and sisters. It has not always been easy, but I’m thankful for the ways that this work has challenged and helped me to grow.

I am still figuring out the details, but after moving on I’m hoping to work to save some money to head back to school. While it is time for me to step away from my professional life revolving around conversations about faith and sexuality (at least for the time being), I’m incredibly thankful for my time at The Marin Foundation and I’m looking forward to seeing the ways that they will continue to help bring about reconciliation.

Much love.

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